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Tonight, they decided that they would not make love. They had very important matters to take care of early in the morning anyway. And besides, she didn’t quite feel like being touched. Not tonight, maybe not for a very long while. The room was a bit cooler than usual, even with the heat on so she asked him to bring her a thicker blanket. He obliged, and handed her the blanket. She wrapped it around herself and shivered slightly. She wouldn’t look at him, only at the wall that she was facing, her eyes blank. He wanted to lie in bed with her, to feel her warmth but the last time he had tried that, he found himself absently caressing her belly which resulted in angry tears.

No tears tonight, he thought to himself. There would be none of that this time. Instead, he got another blanket from the linen closet and went to the couch, wrapping himself up and staring at the living room floor. Then the windows, then the walls, and finally he let his eyes settle on his hands. He allowed himself the brief tantalizing image of his hands caressing a baby’s face and then shoved that image from his mind. There will be no tears tonight, he told himself again, especially not from me. He watched the doorway to his bedroom, wondering if she was really asleep in there, in the darkness by herself. Something told him that she wasn’t, that she was just as awake as he was. He looked at the clock, saw it was 12 midnight and decided to at least try and sleep. He wasn’t ready for the morning, but he knew, that inevitably, it would come.

They woke at 7 am. She took her shower first, he second. Usually they showered together allowing the soaps suds and their lips to slide off each other’s skin. But that was too intimate a notion today, so they decided that maybe a little distance wouldn’t hurt this morning. He went into the bedroom when he was done, putting on the clothes he had prepared the night before: khakis, a black shirt, tan tie and black shoes. She was already dressed, wearing a dark blue v-neck sweater and dark jeans. He had never seen her wearing such dark colors before. We’re mourning already, he thought quietly. A brief glimpse into the mirror locked his eyes with hers. It was a very fragile gaze that she gave him, one that begged for silence and pleaded for forgiveness at the same time. He tore his eyes away. He couldn’t stand to look at them anymore.

It took them a half hour to get to the doctor’s office. The appointment was scheduled for 8:15, they arrived at 8am. She told the receptionist her name and filled out the paper work, he sat next to her in the waiting room, trying not to meet the gazes of the other women in the room. They all seemed so sad. They looked at him half in envy of the woman who had her man’s support, and fury that they were so intensely alone. He knew he could console them no more than he could the woman whom he had come with, so he looked down, thinking of nothing, feeling nothing, but hearing his heart beat frantically all the same. The nurse called her name and just like that she was gone. She did not look back at him, only stood from her seat and followed the woman dressed in white down a long hallway. He sat and waited, feeling as alone as the somber women in the waiting room.

At 9:25 she came back out. He stood up to greet her. She wouldn’t look at him, so he gave her back her things and escorted her out. He opened the car door for her and went to the driver’s seat. It was 30 minutes of silence. He parked and turned to her but quickly looked away. Her eyeliner stained her cheeks. She had been crying and he didn’t even know. Would it be like this forever? She didn’t move, just continued to cry silently, black tears falling down her chin. He unbuckled himself and held her. She became tense but quickly sunk into his arms. She buried her face into his chest and uttered deep sobs. He knew that was all he could do for her.

Twins, she whispered hoarsely. They were twins. The words entered his ears like drumbeats. Everything became louder. He could hear her incoherent mumbles, the rain outside splattered against the car window like shattering glass. His breathing was ragged, quickening to uncontrolled huffs. He felt her body shaking and realized it was his own. His eyes stung and he brought a hand up to rub his eye, they felt wet. He was crying. He wasn’t even aware until now that he was sobbing louder than she was. Twins. It as all he could bring himself to say. He closed his eyes and imagined two faces, two beings that could have been and shoved the thought painfully from his mind. There will be no tears, he tried to tell himself. But he was already crying and no matter what he said, he couldn’t stop their flow.

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lolowe

Rockaway Beach, United States

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