She’s fallen asleep on my chest. Her little arms flop around my sides while I push her up and down with big breaths. I try to imagine how it must feel; the heartbeat, the airway, the warmth, as womb like as possible since exiting the real thing.
In this moment, I know exactly what I’m doing. No doubts, no distractions, just the purity of looking after a helpless being that needs my care and protection.
Then you come in and I feel tension stab at my bubble. At least you can’t shout at me for not helping, but still it’s there; a flame waiting to spark.
It’s source is tiredness, the deep and withering kind. This is added to by frustration at being denied a life in order to care for another. Additional combustion comes from a sense of guilt about daring to feel that way.
All that’s needed are a few words.
What’s the matter?
And we’re off.