Falling (story by R.C. Peris)

Falling is always slow motion for the person falling. I am falling. I’ve been pushed (or did I jump) out of a window at the top of a very tall building. My thoughts bounce like a big ball as I dive into the pavement. I should have had sex more. Why is that my first thought? I should have fed the ducks in the park I always walked past. I should have cooked for my husband more. I should have worn the color orange more. I should have visited my mother more. I should have read more books. I should…have been a mother.

I’m conscious of my hands and there’s a weight. I’m half to my death and I realize there’s a baby in my hands. Wrapped tight and gazing at me with large blue eyes. I scream. I need to protect the baby. Suddenly, I can’t think. My mind is spinning. I look around the city street and the buildings, noticing them for the first time. I see something green and white striped. An awning. I need to get close to it. I kick my legs and try to fly closer. It works some. I do it more. I’m close. Very close. I throw the baby onto the awning. It bounces gently. I look down and there is only black asphalt. Splat.

I wake up. I’m in a hospital room.

I ask my husband, “Where’s my baby?”

“The baby is dead,” he says.

I cry because I thought I saved the baby and I am not a mother.

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