Oliver stares at a willowy nurse with a vacant expression and watches her place several extra items into a bag for his baby girl. A new doctor, one he isn’t sure if he’s seen before, scrolls through a clipboard of discharge papers, monotonously dictating instructions. They’ve let Abigail stay in the hospital’s nursery for nearly a week. Not because she’s needed the attention, or that she isn’t a healthy baby, but because Oliver begged them to grant him enough time to bury his wife before being forced to take the child back with him to an empty home.
He’s detached, a blank slate, wishing for nothing more than to turn back time and insist that Nadia never skip a pill. He would’ve worn a rubber every single instance, plus double checked on her daily intake of birth control. Oliver thinks of all the things he should have done differently—only accepting a low-income job, choosing the wrong hospital, and finding more time before having children. Nadia insisted that Abigail was a gift from the heavens, and now his wife is gone. What kind of God would do such a thing to his beautiful Nadia? Grief forces her last words to sting him repeatedly. Why did Nadia keep shouting ‘thirty-three’ as their daughter entered the world? By now, Oliver has become annoyed over his wife’s obsession with numbers, refusing to teach Abigail about them.
“Oliver?” the doctor barks, tilting his head to the side and closing a bit of space between them. “Oliver, can you repeat what I just said?”
Oliver snaps out of his daydreaming of Nadia, gazing back and forth between the nurse who’s prepping Abigail and the doctor who’s now intruding on his personal space. Oliver does not understand what the man has said. All he can think about, when he eventually makes eye contact, is whether this doctor was one of several people in the room when Nadia died. It was chaos, the cramped and sterile space overfilled with medical personnel rushing in every direction trying to revive her. All the while he screamed and yelled at the fools who were too busy fretting over the baby to bring back his dying wife.
Abigail fusses, whimpering a quiet moan from the little plastic bed the nurse has her in. Oliver looks away and watches the nurse fetch a bottle.
“Oliver?” the doctor continues to pester for his attention. “Do you understand your responsibilities as a parent? I need to ensure the child’s safety before I can discharge her.”
Oliver gently clears his throat. The idea of adoption entered his thoughts the previous day, but it was a mere passing option. Nadia would surely turn over in her freshly dug grave at even the muttering of such a word as adoption.
“I understand,” he finally speaks because he can’t avoid it anymore. “Feed her every three hours, at least. Keep tiny items out of reach. Burp her, change her diaper, make sure she sleeps on her side, so she doesn’t choke on spit-up.” Oliver nods at his own words and stares again at his additional responsibility. One that he’s avoided for seven days while he buried the love of his life and drank himself to sleep each night. “I get it,” he mumbles. All he can think about is the lost wages this week and those coming down the pike if he has to stay home more often to raise her. He’d spent everything on the funeral too. How will they survive?
Weathering Old Souls Description:
Abigail has always struggled with strange voices appearing inside her head. From the relentless tyranny a woman faces on an antebellum plantation to the unknown prison camps in America during World War II, our heroine discovers the past in a way that forever changes her future. There are moments from previous periods that serve as guiding posts for the country’s growth, but they also mark the transitions for Abigail’s own personal history. Her best friend, Margaret, partners with Abigail to discover the identity of these voices while focusing on her passion and quest to become a United States senator. Through it all, a serial killer torments the country, romance blossoms between some of the people they meet during the journey, and secrets long thought buried come to light in devastating ways. With the twisting of elements, numerical alignments, and the trauma of spiritual entanglements, no one will be the same… and just a few might not even be around anymore.
Contemporary Fiction but with historical interludes, metaphysical elements, past life regression, suspense / mystery