By the time Maria was three and a half months pregnant, Tim had already been in country 90 days. Life wasn’t so hard for Tim. Everyone loved the AC guys in the desert. Tim and Maria communicated regularly via Skype and Facebook. Tim would often turn the monitor and make sure no one was looking and would have his wife show him her bare belly. Every now and then, if he was lucky, Maria would flash her breast.
“Are you being safe?”
“Yes, babe. I’m being safe. It’s a little too safe actually.”
“Don’t say that,” she scolded him.
“Well, I got to say, it’a little boring. All I do is fix air conditioners, that and go to meetings. Nothing ever happens!”
He was lying, partially. He was telling the truth about being bored but, even inside the wire, there was a level of danger. Rockets and mortars were often randomly fired into the base. They were set off by a time delay. No one actually took aim. So, haphazardly, they landed where ever they landed rarely hitting anything of significance.
“Well keep it that way,” she said, “your ass ain’t getting out of helping me deliver this baby that easy.”
“I wouldn’t miss it for the wor…” The call dropped.
After a few failed attempts at reconnecting, Maria decided either the base communications went down, or the generators were out. Both of which happened on somewhat of a regular occurrence. She would try again tomorrow.
The next morning Maria was stunned when the news anchor claimed that four Airmen were killed as a result of a mortar attack at Camp Sather yesterday. The very base Tim was stationed. She immediately got online to see if Tim was online or at least to see if he had been online at all since the day before. His last post on Facebook was a status update that he was, “about to get online with my baby!” He hadn’t been online since their call dropped. Off course, she assumed the worst.
She was devastated. For the next several days, she barely ate and barely drank. She hit the refresh button on her computer over and over. All she ever saw was Tim’s last status update, “about to get online with my baby!” All of this was taking its toll on her body.
The guys in Tim’s unit back in the States were of no help either. None of them had any information. Everyone was waiting.
It was on the third day after she heard of the attack on the news that Maria noticed blood in her panties when she went to pee. Later, after a few hours of trying not to think about it, the pain hit her. Doubled over on the floor of her Beale Air Force Base, ranch style, three bedroom home she called 911.
When she came to, she recognized the smell, the terrible lighting, and the white walls, floors, and ceilings. She was in the hospital. “My phone,” she thought. It happened to be next to her on a little table next to a plastic pitcher of water. She immediately fumbled for it and checked Tim’s Facebook status, “about to get online with my baby!” She curled up and cried herself back to sleep.
She was woken up a couple of hours later with repeated notifications on her phone. They were Facebook messages.
“Babe, I’m ok!”
“Babe, are you there?”
She reached over to turn the phone to silent but took a quick peek and saw her husband’s messages. Confused about how to feel, she flopped back in her bed relieved that her husband was not one of the four dead but then saddened by what she had to tell him. She messaged him back, “Timothy!”
“Babe, I’m ok. Can you Skype? I only have a few minutes.”
“Get on Skype, Babe. I’ll explain everything.”
“I can’t, Timothy. I’m not at home.”
“Where are you?”
“I’m in the hospital.”
“What?! What happened?”
“The baby, Timothy! Our baby…”
The more I read, the better writer I become. As I work on becoming a better writer, I can see where I can improve on what I have already written. I am a direct and to the point kind of a person. People like that in my non-fiction writing but I can see where it may make for a, kind of, blah novel.
As always, feel free to leave some feedback in the comments section below. Especially if it has something to do with losing a baby. I’ve have very little experience with this, so I could use some help here.