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The Falling

In the action itself, she is weightless and free. The flight is not to be feared, only the impact. A story on the life of Esme Cullen. Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Banner By incredible Iris!

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63. Chapter 63

Rating 5/5   Word Count 577   Review this Chapter

Is looming at the edge of pain,

Mark is reading his composition aloud when it happens. I’m smiling, nodding, because it’s really quite good. He’s written a short essay about the way this tiny town and the Verona of Romeo and Juliet are different.

And suddenly I feel my whole body twist up. It’s like the cramps I had the first time I menstruated. Only a hundred times worse.

Mark breaks in his fluid recitation. “What’s going on?”

And the oldest girl, Mandy, takes control. “Esme’s havin’ her baby. We need to get her to her house. Mark, you keep on readin’. Watch the younger kids. Ellen, Sadie, you come with me. My sister just did this three months ago. Lynn, you get my mother.”

Lynn was the first girl who followed Mandy—a younger, blonde girl. Eager for acceptance into the group. She nods and leaves, and I look up at Mandy. Dimly, I register that she is glaring around the room. “Well? Get a move on, y’all.”

And they do. I feel arms around and behind me, supporting me as we hobble to my house. It’s not easy. Every few minutes, I feel a wrenching pain in my gut, forcing me to bend almost in half.

“Just a little further, Miss Esme. You can do it.”

I turn my head a little- it’s all I can do to be able to see her face. She is grinning encouragingly. I can scarcely imagine how terrified she must be. She’s only a fourteen year old girl, and my life is practically in her hands.

There was a time when I disliked her. Now I think I admire this girl more than anyone else I’ve ever known. The simple practicality of her manner impresses me immensely.

“Thank you, Mandy.”

“Ain’t a problem.”

We continue the journey in silence. Just as we reach the threshold of my tiny house—Mandy kindly opens the door for me—I scream. It feels as though the entire lower half of my body is clenching and aching at the same time.

“What’s going on?” Ellen asks. She’s the youngest of the girls here, and obviously not as fearless as Mandy.

“She’s havin’ contractions. My ma knows what to do, don’t fret. But she’s gonna be hurtin’ until we can get the baby out. So you need to be calm, Ellen. Can ya do that for Miss Esme?”

“Sure thing.”

“Sadie, help me get her dress off.”

The skirt is pulled up, just as Lynn leads a woman who looks like a worn-out older version of Mandy in the room.

“Good job you brought me here,” she says brusquely, and then takes over.

My eyes roll back in my head with the next cramp. She sighs and pats my arm.

“I’m Mandy’s ma. Mrs. Coveny. My other daughter just had her second. Don’t you worry, Mrs. Cullen.”

I can’t quite remember how to speak. There are tears on my face, sweat on my forehead, sticking my hair down, as I pant slowly. The weight in my stomach feels heavier than ever.

“Can you try an’ push that little one out? Just squeeze your stomach in.”

I do my best. There is a ripping feeling and corresponding pain.

“Again,” she commands. I obey. And again. And again.

And willingly you fall.