Shoebox

MAKE IT STOP!” the woman, legs spread, and her head flung violently against the dotted lines that now supported the scene. I stood in exacerbation and awe as the moment was quickly becoming a scene of nativity. Pulling from my shoulders the crisp white dress shirt, I began to rip the fabric into strips while giving myself moments of lapse.

The red 4 door darted across one lane of traffic to the one my vehicle was inhibiting that day. Her face filled with horror as the momentum of her speed slammed into the forward motion of mine. My body was defenseless to the thrust of change finding its way to my frame. Seconds turned to minutes as timestood still. My last memory was her cranium slamming against the door frame nearest her now frightened face.

Staggered like a drunk sailor on shore leave I eventually came to. The smell of gasoline and melting metal serves as a catalyst of consciousness. One notion tugged deeply on my psyche as I searched for her. One thing would make this all okay, one thing would make this all a horrible dream, her well being.

“I am sorry Nick, I found her first.” The man’s celestial Ora keyed me into what was now happening. Her body was laid out against the black pavement and pond of blood now encircling. Tears welled up in my eyes as the realization that the man was here for two rather than one. Falling to my now ailing knees, I begged to save the child. “Please let me save this pristine life and do what you will with the venerable.” The man seemed amicable to the request and only nodded his head in the direction of her battered frame. “I don’t have all day.”

Battlefield medicine training cycled through my mind as I continued to rip my business attire into well defined strips. The blood effortlessly flowing from her leg had to be stopped and the pressure of expensive shell and tie appeared to mend. With the liquid of life now contained within her skin, I focused again on the life inside. The service had never taught delivering a child. My first feeling was that they should, how else could I ever hope to perform this?

Where the service had left me illequiped, Hollywood filled in the gaps. I had seen a delivery in sensational situations all the time. Her face was filled with fear and uncertainty as I stared down at her from my shaky knees. I certainly was not instilling a sense of confidence, but rather that of a small child finding a shattered bird or squirrel. A shoebox and grass shards would not fix this.

Bring me some damn water!” I shrieked to the forming crowd. The wall of people must have been 3 meters back from the vista of death, but even there they felt too close. It was as if they were breathing too hard, stealing my air. The celestial man stood there calm and controlled. Effortlessly full of air and perfect heart rate. His heavenly source did little to assist me and I felt angry that such power did nothing. Just then a bottle of hotel water rolled to my feet. The wayward business traveler too uneasy to come close trickled it to us like a bowler to a pin. Cracking he seal I poured the liquid into what was left of my collar.

She was not as patient as one would thinking considering the situation and screamed for me to do something. My photo based memory and analytical thinking gave way to saving this child. The world receded from my vantage and the child slowly found this. The screams of newnessinversed the now fading sounds of pain. Carefully allowing the host body to push the child into my waiting arms, I waited for the last nudge. Our eyes met as her expression changed from that of an athlete racing to that of a mother. It must have been her first child as the vision was locked upon her miracle. Child and mothers eyes met, a smile was exchanged, a smile of a lifetime. In that silent trade was the hopes, dreams, and aspirations of a mother for her rearing.

I turned around to the man and was met with only the crowd looking on in dead silence. My arms holding what was left of this woman’s life. The child screamed as only a newborn can, indifferent to the silence of the world gazing upon her. Her face was hard to distinguish between the tears and racing heart I now had. It registered that my tears were falling upon her face and I did my best to move my head to alleviate the waterfall of sadness.

The ambulance ripped into the scene to find this young man resting upon the backs of his feet, tears from his cheeks, and life within his arms. The child was pulled hauled from my embrace and I was left alone on the pavement. With the crowd gone and the child now being cared for I collapsed to my side and curled up. There was no where to hide from the world. Removing the mask I wore tocamouflage my weakness, I sobbed.

We are all here for a reason. Today the woman’s was to give life. Her deal with God allowed a trade of hers for the infant. My mother had given me more lessons in my life than a moment exchanged in death could ever contain. My greatest desire is that thenewborn did extraordinary things in the coming years. A great deal was given to afford the opportunity. With my legs pressed firmly against my chest and my head pillowed against a yellow line, I watched tears and blood dance. It was over and I had no clue how to stand.

They placed her body in a box and buried it that day below the surface of the Earth. Her family stood on the side weeping for lost causes. The fragile child was dressed in black, even the diaper, and was the only one of the group smiling. Life and death, tears and joy, always seem to be opposite. I still felt like a child onlooking. They had taken the angel from the highway and put her in my shoebox. The grass clippings were added to the water of our eyes and there she was placed. “Son, I am not sure she will make it” my Fathers words echoed against brain, “but we can check back in the morning.” No Dad, we can’t.

Updated: