“Blurry textured effect…” © La_Corivo.

    He was standing in the corner furthest from me, watching and waiting. He didn’t hold a scythe or wear an evil grin, but I knew what he was after. The pressure in my ears was almost unbearable, and the sensations coursing through my body were heightened. I could feel every pulse point beating from head to toe, and I could feel every drop of blood moving through my veins in a rhythmic vibration. His expression resembled certainty, like he knew he would win; but I wouldn’t let him.

    Modesty wasn’t an option, but I didn’t care. I just wanted everything to be okay. My body began to tremor, uncontrollably; I couldn’t stop shaking!

    “It’s time,” I heard a man say.

    A woman took my hand. “Take a deep breath,” she said, “and get ready!” I took a deep breath in, then exhaled. “Here we go. Deep breath in. One, two, three, push!” I pushed with all my might as she counted to ten, and I prayed to God I was doing it right. I exhaled sharply. “You’re doing great,” she said, as if she read my mind. “Get ready! Deep breath in. One, two, three, push!” I pushed again with equal force hoping that it wasn’t all for nothing. He was still waiting in the corner.

    The same pattern of pushing and breathing continued for what seemed like forever. Sweat trickled down my face and neck. My hair and gown were damp and stuck to my skin. “You’re almost there!” She was still holding my hand. Her fingers were blue from the force of my grip. “One, two, three, push!” I pushed harder than I had ever pushed. She reached ten, and I kept pushing. If I stopped then, I wouldn’t be able to go again. Suddenly, I felt different, like standing at the edge of a cliff looking down — awestruck. My breath left my body, the world spun around me, and I plummeted to the dark space below.

    Copyright © 2019-2024 Irene Bratton

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