Once she hit the wall all hell broke loose. The others gnawed and hissed around her. Her slithery shell ebbed and flowed furiously as she was driven deeper into the cocoon that was to be her home for the next few months. If she had tears then, this is the moment that she would have cried. The hot liquids that were surrounding her had battered and singed her vessel. She didn’t notice until later, after the onslaught, that she wasn’t alone. Another force was beside her, multiplying and dividing its love just like hers. She grew fond of its caress and playfulness until it ceased to exist-taking the brunt of the evil that was pumped into their mother’s veins before the plunge. She cried.
Once they hit the gurney all time stood still. Screams and beeping welcomed her into the land of the living. Tubes and an incubator enveloped her form for the first few months of this life. The fluid pumping through her arteries refused her departure. This is the time she grew accustomed to being alone.
Once the staff named her all hell broke loose again. Her name was plastered in the papers and on every local and national broadcast. Her parents’ past was televised like a bad soap opera waiting to happen. He, a married, seasoned politician with a very wandering eye, and she, an unseasoned teen with a knack for dreaming and art. They had met during a meet and greet at the local high school where mom was a budding photographer. Dad needed a headshot for his next book.
—Later came the freezing splash that catapulted her full circle. But before this, were two years of love and laughter, college scholarships and promised dreams. It’s amazing how fast forever turns sour. A new election year bloomed and so did mom’s stomach. With the polls rising in his favor the moment had come to make a decision. Of course there was sound counsel to be had, and in the end mom and the kids became the odd man out.
Mom and dad’s family both stepped up to the plate to offer assistance and nurture to the little changeling that was Hyacinth. When she was able to stand on her own, she went to live with grandparents who split her time from week to week. She grew and matured into a very intelligent, lovely individual who had the beauty and innocence of her mother as well as the tenacity and charm of her father.
She shed her past like a withered skin and embraced the path that she was given to lead.
In high school she learned the art of painting and photography, and was even chosen to represent her city at the Governor’s mansion on a trip for talented youth.
During her career as a photo journalist she created the series ‘Life in Rapture’ as a memorial for her mother who was snubbed away in her prime- as was her father, who wrote letters from his shelter down the road.
When they were finally able to meet she cried again. She later used her gift to paint his likeness as she saw fit. He obliged without complaint, and when she had finished with it she named the vision ‘ Giovanni’.
On a business trip to Asia she met and fell in love with another female. Year after year she traveled to visit. Year after year she was taken aback by how genuine her feelings were. Her heart skipped a beat each time they were together.
Once she was able to break through the walls she adopted the girl. And named her Gia, in ode to her fallen soulmate.
Later on that year she married her best friend and fellow business partner. She didn’t cry.
She was finally ready to let go- all the heavens and earth opened up to receive the love inside of her.
She felt the pulse of life after the first few months of conception. Her hands kneaded gently against the belly that was soon to be swollen and taut with yearning. This is where she learned again how to truly share her inner space.
The child’s father soon began to sing vintage songs passed down through generations to the rapidly growing fetus:
“Go to sleep little baby, mind or the bugga doola will catch you,
When you wake, you’ll have a piece of cake,
Hold ya heap little horsey,
Go to sleep little baby..”
that in response caused the mother to compile her own:
“Eelie, Ilie, husha my baby,
Husha my baby don’t cry,
Eeli, Ilie, husha my baby,
Your mama will come bye and bye
I met her on the street
With a man of six feet,
I took her by the hand,
Said darling come home,
And rock the sweet baby to sleep”
– it became a competition amongst the parents on whose lyrics the babe would come out to.
The beauty of the occasion, that would soon become canvas, was finally captured on film-the birth happened- clearly after a rendition of the father’s deep and soulful whines.
She wept, as she gazed into her newborn’s eyes, alive with wonder. Her mother had never experienced these sensations-the first touch; tracing the delicate skin as it creased around her beloved-the first breath; bellowing out like a glorious alarm.
This was her moment. And she relished it with all her being. He was so beautiful. No. More than beautiful-ravagingly exotic. He had acquired curly, raven black hair from his paternal side, along with thick eyelashes a la mode. The eyes were of an almond shaped nature, and trotted from hazel to a grayish green depending upon his temperament. His nose, lush and plentiful, lay above full lips that curved into the most delicate pout.
Oh, and the bronzed tone of his skin, how it seemed to have been kissed by the gods themselves. There was even a signature birth mark planted on his bottom, as if he couldn’t get any more cherishable. The dimples showed up the next morning after he was washed and fed. With his papa and big sis at their side he smiled and winked, and she knew then that she had another heart stopper on her hands.
Tamuriel L. Dillard