Eve by Meshael Al Blehed

Posted on May 2, 2011 by

4


In order to understand this, you must first learn who Eve really is.

“My name is Eve.” I introduced myself as I surveyed the John I was spending the rest of my night with. “Original, right?” I said as an afterthought.

My life is much like my name. Common, generic, and repeated so many times that it lost any meaning. Well, for the most part.

It’s ironic that my job requires I sleep with people. But I do love sleeping; you could say it’s my escape. I can be whoever I want to be when I’m asleep.

Unlike my fellow colleagues, I never felt the need to hide my name. I love my name, why should I hide it? I also don’t care.

I sat on the edge of the bed and observed the John attempting at small talk. He was flustered and nervous. It was amusing for the first thirty seconds but now it’s just annoying. He dashed out of the room mumbling something about getting some condoms. Amateurs.

There are reasons for recalling my story. It could simply be to achieve semantic gratification. Or maybe to finally start the burning revolution ingrained in my soul. But I think I just need people to know my story.

You see, my life has been cast in shadows. Consisting of lost chances and avoiding glances. My lack of eye contact is not a passing phase. Year after year, I float aimlessly around. Any purpose I had in life is completely gone.

It makes me look back at a time long ago where I was happily married to the man of my teenage dreams. Life was rough but we made ends meet. The simple yet happy life you always hear about. The kind of life where they’re frustrated and worn out up close but happy and radiant from afar. Yeah, I was living it.

Miracles were regular visitors to our little apartment and they kept us going. The most precious miracle of all was a kick inside my stomach. A baby was inside me. We were going to be a family in every sense of the word. The ugly holiday sweaters, the drawings hung up on the fridge, the one night in the week where we’re allowed to have pizza, and the awkward family photos. We were going to have it all.

None of us could believe it. My husband and I were overly excited that we planned everything. The nursery was getting along just perfectly. We chose yellow because we thought it was neutral. We went overboard with the toys and teddy bears, but our baby deserves nothing less.

As my stomach grew bigger over that course of time, I grew less patient for the arrival of everything I had hoped for. We finished reading all the parenting books, we were so eager.

If I had to be completely honest, those were the best days of my life. Anticipation fueled our veins, it engulfed our lives, and it was seen in every movement.

But I guess living the simple life isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.

One day, I awoke to the bright white of hospital lights, swimming in the harsh white linen. A headache with the magnitude of a catastrophic earthquake hit my head, and a wildfire eating its way through my throat to match. I had no idea how or why I was here. I was completely alone in the room. My hand subconsciously reached for my stomach but there was nothing. What was happening? Did I deliver my baby? Why couldn’t I recall anything? I started calling for my husband or a nurse or anyone who would let me know what was going on. An eternity passed until my husband came in. In all the years I’ve known him, I’ve never seen him wearing that facial expression. To this day, it haunts me. I saw the heartbreak in his exhales as soon as he walked in but I had to ask what happened. After one of the longest silences I’ve had the misfortune to experience he told me that we lost the baby. We stared at each other for what seemed like another eternity. I watched the contortions of his face as he stifled down the tears. I watched the gleam in his eyes dim and disappear. Observing people is much easier than facing your emotions. Something in my face must have disappointed him because his shoulders drooped in resignation and turned to leave. I lay motionless watching him. And as he slowly walked out of the room I knew that the moment he stepped out he would never come back. I said nothing and stared at the ceiling with not a thought in my mind. I didn’t want to think about it. After some time, a doctor came in carrying my baby girl. My limp, blue, dead baby was given to me. As I took her in my arms, I couldn’t help but wish that she would start crying. Move. Please do anything.

I took my time studying every inch of her, the curled up little fingers to the tiny toes. Her face was beautiful.

She was going to be the prettiest of her friends, the smartest in her class. Of that I was sure. So why won’t she open her eyes? Such perfection shouldn’t be dead. I never wanted to let her go, but they took her away. What they didn’t know was that they were taking my life with her. I returned home several days later. Shattered would be the term to describe the state I was in. I walked in only to be faced with all the reminders of the wonderful life we could have had. Baby clothes on the couch, parenting books on the coffee table, toys on the floor. Why did I ever allow myself to be excited? Why did I let myself believe that I deserved something good?

The loss of a husband and a child was too much for me to just get over and move on.

A part of us died that day. Both drowning in a sea of regret, we couldn’t help each other to the surface.

I often wonder how he felt. How it felt like to leave his daughter, how it felt like to leave his wife with nothing. No amount of good intentions on his behalf could ever make it better.

But on the off chance he might wonder about it, I’d want him to know that I’ve made my peace with his disappearing act.

I’ve tied the loose ends to my neck and killed whatever life I had in me. I never knew depression until it hit me. In result, I retreated to my haven of sleep and unconsciousness. Did I mention how much I loved sleeping? It is quite truly the only bliss in my life. It’s the only time where I get to see my daughter. If she could only spare a glance at the mess I’ve made for her and come back.

It looked like I was neck deep in dreams I couldn’t afford. So I always ended up opening my eyes out of ritual and habit.

And I opened my eyes to see myself unbuckling his belt. Thoughts like these cross my mind as I pull down his pants. Years have passed but I’m still tormented. I just can’t let my feelings go, I need them. Regarding the nature of my profession, I have to sustain a level of anger and frustration to do my job. It’s not easy when you’re not furious. I always recall my tragedy to evoke whatever negative feeling I need to get through my day. It’s sick, twisted, and fucked up but it works. Some days I’m glad my daughter is dead; she wouldn’t have to see what I do for a living. Because let’s face it, no one cares about grieving eyes. I’ve gone about the whole thing a million times now; I guess you could say an advantage is that my life lacks trepidation. But it also lacks any kind of hope, let alone ambition.

Funny how my feet used to hold two, but now they barely hold me. I keep on saying that I can’t live this way over and over but I never change, this is the only way I know how to. I just don’t like it much. Everything changes but I’m still the same wounded person. I feel left behind and I don’t know what to do.

There’s no place like a motel bed lying next to a complete stranger to stumble upon self-realizations. I light a cigarette and take a long drag. I need them more than the air that I breathe. You can make fun of how I rely on smoke to fill a void inside me, I know it disappears but it’s all I’ve got.

I finish my cigarette and look at the man sleeping next to me; at least one of us will leave this filthy bed satisfied.

I gingerly step out of bed and collect my money and clothes like clockwork, after all it’s one in the morning. I stop by the diner for a late dinner and a side of harsh reality; I’m a whore. If Shakespeare once said that life is a grand stage where we are nothing but characters that play roles, then surely my role is so lackluster that I can hear the applause as I rush to die in my sleep.

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