Not My Blessings

A young family soon discovers their twin children are not the blessing they thought they had received, but instead a true horror.

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5. Drowning

   The rain drizzled down in thick streams, drenching the earth and mingling with the salty tears running down the faces of so many. For January, it was surprisingly warm, but the chill felt by the people gathered around the newly turned earth was too cold to be touched. Black makeup ran down Laura's face, tears silently streaming down her face. She was dressed in black, holding a black umbrella, and drowning in her pain. She couldn't breath, couldn't think, couldn't function. Ever since that day in the hospital, it was as though she had shut down. Understanding, Darrell had stepped up to not only care for the children, but handle all the funeral arrangements and any other situations that had arose. Meanwhile, Laura had locked herself upstairs for days, isolated from the world. This was the first time she had stepped outside in a week, and Darrell wasn't sure to be relieved or concerned. He stood aside from her, with her sisters and the children, while she stepped forward and looked upon the casket bearing her mother's body.

   After the service, Darrell tried to go to her, tried to take her in his arms and whisper it would be ok. But when he tried, she had already sunk back into her shell. She briskly walked away, not even glancing down at her children, both of whom were giggling and laughing, shrieking with peals of delight, as they had the whole time. Darrell, stunned, accepted that she needed space and gathered up the children, walking to the car and reciting his promise internally. As he got in the car, he looked towards his beautiful wife, who was staring out the window with a blank expression. "Its going to be alright, she just needs time," he thought to himself, putting the car in drive. "She will wake back up when she sees how much Cody and Jessica need her, how much her sisters need her, how much we all need her."

1 Year Later

  Darrell woke up early, rolling out of bed without any concern towards the woman sleeping next to him. He went downstairs and did some laundry quickly, glancing at the clock occasionally. He went into the kitchen and started making breakfast. Soon, he heard the patter of little feet coming down the stairs, and he smiled to himself. He turned around to see  his children, now nearly three, pulling themselves up onto the chairs and waiting patiently for breakfast. 

   "Wheres Mommy?" said Jessica's voice sweetly, like every morning.

   "Mommy doesn't feel good. Now hurry up and eat." Darrell said, trying to hide the pain in his voice. Ever since Maurice had died, Laura had disappeared. The sweet, funny wife, the loving, patient mother, the Laura he fell in love with, was gone. She spent all day in her room, hiding from reality and doing nothing at all. She hadn't said so much as a sentence to the twins since then, only a mumbled yes or no at most. Darrell had accepted it at first, but he couldn't take much more of it. Christmas was only days away, and so was little Cody's and Jessica's birthday. He glanced at the clock, swearing under his breath. 

   "Go get dressed, comb your hair, and brush your teeth please." he said, quickly scrubbing dishes and trying to gather them up. The twins ran upstairs  and he followed slowly, turning the knob to his room and going to his close and dressing for work. Five minutes later, they were all out the door and Darrell was hugging them goodbye as he dropped them off for work. Laura had quit, or at least, stopped going to work and it was up to Darrell to bring home money. The daycare was quite expensive, but he had no other option. He had tried leaving the children home with Laura, only to come home to find they hadn't been fed, bathed, or even watched at all. It was a miracle they hadn't been hurt. Therefore, he decided spending a few hundred more dollars a month was worth it.

   Darrell came home from work early, having taken the afternoon off to go shopping for presents. He went home to change out of his business suit and found, to nobody's surprise, Laura laying in the room with the lights off and her hair a mess. She smelled strongly of vodka, and Darrell was disgusted. He switched the lights on, causing her to groan unceremoniously.

   "Enough is enough.Get up, NOW." he growled at her. She simply moaned, rolling over and throwing a pillow over her head. " I said, GET UP! I am so sick of this, of you! I cant take anymore." He shouted, ripping the blankets off her. She looked up, clearly confused, and for a moment Darrell saw the old Laura shining through. Then, her eyes clouded back over, and the worthless one returned.

   "What do you want from m? Can't you leave me alone? I need to be by myself, to sort things out." she was slurring her words heavily, and Darrell's anger rose.

  "You are lazy, inconsiderate, and worthless  When was the last time you contributed to this household, to this family, to me? You don't even speak to your children anymore! I understand you are hurt, but there is more to life than you! Saturday is Christmas, and the Cody and Jessica's birthday! Now i will be damned if you are going to stay up here all day. This is it Laura, I am done.Either this all stops now, or you can leave." He was shaking with emotion, unable to control his voice.

   "You don't know what I'm going through! This is so hard for me, you cant possibly begin to understand  I cant handle anymore right now. The kids, you yelling at me, work, the chores  it is all too much to bear!" She could tell he was upset, but she wasn't about to admit she was wrong. 

   "Actually, I do know, because I am doing it all on my own. But that's about to change, isn't it?" He stormed out, grabbing his keys and coat and heading to the store. At a loss for words, Laura tried to sort things out.

   "Of course he is right. I don't know how I could do this to him. And my children! What have I become?" She thought to herself, shaking with the thought of how awful she had been. Suddenly sober, she opened the door to her room and went downstairs, for the first time in months. "Alright Darrell," she sighed, "I am back now. I quit drowning and learned how to swim." And she picked up the broom, sweeping the floor in a humbled mood as she tried to set things right and prepared for the holidays and birthdays ahead.

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