by Solveig Werner
This story might be hurtful for some, but it sadly is a reality for many, and a subject that is often too taboo, especially around Christmas.
Felix wiped a tear from Susie’s face.
“Honey, it will be alright! We won’t tell mom, I promise!”
“She’ll nag just the way she always does when you see her, she’ll know when you are lying.” Susie softly spoke to Felix.
“Please, I promised them a family Christmas, we are always with your parents!” Felix started to behave defensive.
“Yes, but they don’t ask these questions!”
“You are their daughter, that’s why. And your mom and you have a special way of communicating. Didn’t you see how she looked at you knowingly, understandingly the day it all happened?”
Susie nodded, there had been no need to tell her mom, the signs for good and bad had been too obvious. Their telepathic power had been so strong, she knew that she was understood.
“Hello, lovebirds!” A rusty voice bellowed from the entrance of the railway station. “Sorry, I just arrived, but I had to bring the last presents home before picking you up. There are so many of them your suitcases would not have fit in.”
“Oh, your girlfriend is more and more beautiful every time I see her” where Nora’s words as she opened the door. Susie did not feel beautiful, she felt feeble and sad. “You should marry her quickly before she runs off with someone richer!”
“Mom, please! This is the 21st century, and we are modern no need to rush to the altar!”
“No need to rush, she’s what now, 29? It’s high time to start a family now, and …”
“Mom, we don’t need to be married to start a family. And at the moment both things aren’t our priorities.” Felix tried to stay diplomatic. His eyes followed Susie who accompanied his father into the guest room, quietly he added “she’s got a lot on her plate right now, so please don’t pressure her with family planning.”
Nora glared at her son, “so now, it’s Susie’s career that’s keeping you from having babies, before it was the youth of your relationship, the absence of money, what’s next the planet being overpopulated?”
“Mom, just please be nice with Susie, it’s really tough for her at the moment!” Felix pleaded, standing next to his boots the melting snow slowly spread into his socks. “Let me just change my socks, do you still have a pair of slippers for me?”
Susie looked into the mirror, in her red dress she looked as though Marley’s ghost had decided to dress up like a Christmas ornament. She was pale and skeletal. The morning sickness followed by the shock of suddenly losing their baby had left deep psychological scars and the physical marks were still visible. She apprehended the evening and the days to come.
“Susie, my dear, you must eat more! Look at you, you are so skinny. How my Felix ever become a father if there is no fat on your hips and thigs?” Nora said across the table as she served her children and their partners.
“Thank you, Nora, but see I was really sick lately, and thus I lost a lot of weight.” She couldn’t tell the witch that was her mother in law, that a baby had been on its way, she had felt his or her soul, but she had also felt that very soul fade away.
As the evening went on, Felix tried to talk to his mother about all sorts of things. Susie tried her best to avoid her.
“It’s time for the presents!” Nora announced, handing a little parcel to Felix, “you two go first, these are just perfect accessories for the year to come.”
Susie and Felix glared at the mugs in front of them, Susie stormed out of the room, out of the house. Felix followed.
Nora and the rest of the family stayed behind.
Nora shook her head, “she can’t be that much opposed to kids can she?”
“I’m going home! I cannot stay here!” Susie sobbed, trying to order a taxi.
“Honey were are in the countryside here, you won’t make it home before tomorrow morning. Do you really think that you’ll get a taxi on the 25th of December in the middle of nowewhere?”
“Ok, you win! But tell your mom to keep her mouth shut, I am going to lay down a bit. And this is the last Christmas ever that I am spending with my inlaws, and that won’t change if we ever have kids.”
“What’s wrong with Susie?” Nora asked.
“Mom, please be nice to her when it comes to babies. She’s worked very hard to have me be ready. In the past, it was I not her who blocked off at the idea of kids. Now, we are ready, or well were.”
“What does that mean?”
“Susie had a miscarriage, and that just before Christmas. She’d felt sick a few weeks ago and realised that she was very late, due to her work she hadn’t paid much attention to her cycle. She was pregnant. She had just booked an appointment with her doctor when the bleeding started.”
“So please, if you want grandkids from me and Susie, just don’t mention them ever again until we tell you that it is okay to do so. Merry Christas!”