Meus Michael Meus Culpa
I stroke Michael's face as he wanders to sleep. I am entranced by his perfect face, now so peaceful. It seems unimaginable that the screaming fifty minutes ago could have belonged to either of us.
I smile at how quickly my loathing; boarding on hatred; towards him changed. How fifty mins ago, I’d have done anything to walk out on him. Now I could think of nothing more incredible than staying in bed with him. My fingers tingle as I long to stroke his face, but know if I do, he may wake and our previous disagreements surface again.
I stare up at the ceiling. Beside me, he is sated and I feel his body soften as he slumbers.
I bask in a warm glow as my body sings. I allow a small smile to rest on my face.
Its only then that I begin to feel a sapping energy with its daggers sinking deeply inside me, ripping me apart and exposing me to the world.
I see cobwebs needing to be brushed down from the ceiling and a wall that needs repainting.
My fecklessness in my life’s role darkens my soul. Guilt swallows me.
He is still sleeping, but I wonder if its just for show.
I try to even my breathing as I inch out of bed. He stirs and moans in his sleep. His hand reaches onto the empty pillow.
I freeze. The hand goes limp and he drifts again.
Perhaps, I reason, I could lay here a little longer, soak up the ecstasy of the moment, the feeling of oneness and completion.
Dark guilt, fed by the piles of washing on the floor raises it ugly head and taunts me. My home screams attention while I laze in bed.
I inch further out of bed, taking every movement slowly before I am upright. My feet seek slippers for a quiet getaway.
I turn for a last look at that perfect form laying in my bed. The sheet casually draped over his chest and an arm flung above his head. I reach out to gently caress his face, but I know it was a mistake the moment it’s over.
Eyes spring open as his tiny mouth twists in retribution of being roused and abandoned. With Michael's shrieks, tears of exhaustion and frustration spring into my eyes.
I wrap him tightly, pop him over my shoulder and I begin my endless walk. Fifty steps up and back measure the hallway. I make soothing noises and promise never to leave him.
The blunt knife of guilt twists deeper as I contemplate following advice to bottle feed rather than to feed on demand as I’ve been doing. To trade the certain feelings of ecstasy of connection with the possibility of more sleep tantalizes me. I continue to stumble up the hall as the tendrils of guilt wind their way around my heart and resolve.
Meus Michael Meus Culpa.
Congratulations Annie, it was a close call