Memories of My Daughter
Renee remembers her daughter. I'll add chapters as I write them.
1. Chapter 1
Rating 5/5 Word Count 565 Review this Chapter
Memory is such a strange thing. Unreliable, a kaleidoscope of images, nothing quite true. Only half truths, your feelings and opinions altering what really occurred.
Your mind fails eventually, becomes arthritic to the point where you don't know your own name. But some things you don't forget. The feel of people, deep down. The impressions they leave on your soul, much more lasting than those on the mind.
"Isn't she beautiful?" The nurse smiles warmly at me, and gestures towards my sleeping newborn daughter. I look down at the small wrinkled red face. Not the first adjective I'd use. I'm suprised to discover that I feel none of what I suppose are the typical maternal feelings towards this small scrap of humanity. I only feel very, very tired.
We bring her home the next day, just after supper. Charlie opens the door as I walk up the stairs, cradling baby Isabella in my arms. I pause at the doorway to her room. Charlie has fixed it up nicely, outfitting the whole thing in soft pastels. I go and put her in her shiny new crib, with the shiny new mobile.
I stare down at her, trace my fingers over her jaw, feel the skin, soft as rose petals. I'm like a detective trying to puzzle out the alien territory of her features. She looks like me. But there is something in that serious gaze, so incongruous on a baby, that is just like her father. I smile. I've never been so in love.
The sound of the door slamming echoes down the hall, bouncing of the walls and boomeranging back. I won't stay here, I can't. Doesn't he see I'm suffocating? I can just imagine what the fine ladies of Forks will say about this! The flighty wife, the wronged husband. They won't talk about anything else for months.
I pick Bella up from her playpen. Everything is packed waiting in the foyer. I look into those bottomless eyes and am completely unnerved. They trust with total composure. How will I do this?
Bella, age one. I have never been so terrified as I watch her fight to remain upright. She is utterly determined, chubby hands curled into stubborn fists at her side. She stumbles, falls, crashing with a bang into the sharp corner of the end table. I rush her to the emergency room. Five stitches are required. It's the first trip of many.
Bella, age three. Christmas morning dawns hot and without a cloud in the sky. No white Christmases here. She races into my room at six, small face shining with barely contained excitement. She is confidant that the Barbie dream house she has been asking for since last January is waiting under the tree. She's right. There isn't a thing I wouldn't do for her.
"Smile for the camera, baby!" We're standing in front of our new house in Phoenix. It's Bella's first day of kindergarten. She has a new dress in her favorite color of the week, pink. It fails to hide the fatigue, the bags under her eyes. She's terrified they won't like her, and my assurances to the contrary do nothing to relieve her anxiety. The words sound false to my own ears. I'm just as scared as her.