After Ashley and Mark lose their baby, the second part of the short story deals with how they adjust to this loss.


Ashley was sitting on the brown velvety chair in her bedroom, reading Marquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera. About a month ago, while flipping through channels on the television, she came across the movie adaptation of the book. Her immense love for the movie pushed her into buying the book to read. She was just about to reach the end of one particular chapter when the doorbell interrupted her. She lifted herself up from the chair on which she was sitting and walked toward the door. When she opened the door she saw Mark standing in front of her. He looked like someone whose energy had been completely sucked out of him. Fatigue had consumed him, wholly. Even when he said hi, it felt like he said it with a lot of effort.

Busy day at work?

That would be an understatement. He uttered these words as he stepped into the house.

Why don’t you go have a warm bath and I’ll keep dinner for you on the table.

I’m completely beat. I just want to sleep.

Oh, alright.

I’m so sorry. I know you’ve been waiting for me.

No no, it’s completely alright. He smiled at me and planted a kiss on my lips. Good night, honey.

Good night!
She watched him as he walked toward their bedroom and disappeared in the darkness. It had been almost twelve months since they lost the baby. They very rarely spoke about it. Even now, it was too painful to talk about. The baby was a part of them. A part of them they didn’t want to spend their time reminiscing about.

It had been over a year since Ashley had gone back to school. During the initial few months after they lost the baby, she spent her days drowning herself in sadness. She barely spoke. All her words came out in the form of tears, which came cascading down, every time she thought about the baby. Ashley felt like she had disappointed Mark. That it was her fault that the baby did not live. Mark felt like the baby had taken away Ashley as well. What remained was only her body but deep inside, the sadness had overpowered the person that she was. Ashley was someone who hated depending on anyone. But in those few months, she had transformed into this person who needed someone for by her side, always.

Her life had come to a standstill. She’d spend hours sitting by the window looking outside.

One night, about two weeks ago, after brushing her teeth and changing into her night clothes, she went to the kitchen to drink a glass of water before sleeping. When she was almost about to enter into the kitchen, she could see Mark sitting on the couch, in the dim light coming from the table lamp of the side table. He hadn’t noticed her. She walked a little closer toward him, trying not to make a sound. She noticed him silently weeping. She didn’t have to ask him the reason as to why he was crying. She knew. She knew that she had hurt him, not because they had lost the baby but because of what she had become. She knew that what was hurting him the most at that moment was that she chose to remain in the ruins of herself. She took a step back and walked to their bedroom. She want to interrupt him and just let him be. She was laid out on the bed when Mark entered the room. She closed her eyes pretending that she had fallen asleep. She could feel him crawl onto the bed. He came closer toward her. He kissed her on her cheek and whispered a good night in her ear.


          Good morning, husband! Ashley was sitting at the dining table sipping her cup of tea while reading Love in the Time of Cholera. She heard the sound of tea being poured into a cup from the flask in which she had put the tea in. She understood that it was Mark. Good morning, wife! After he poured tea into the cup, he walked into the dining area where Ashley was sitting. He kissed her on her cheek and sat on the chair which was on the opposite side where Ashley was sitting, at the dining table. It was around 8 in the morning on a Saturday afternoon. Mark didn’t work on Saturdays.

Did you sleep okay?

I slept well!

I’m glad.


Yes, honey?

There’s something I want to talk to you about?

What is it? Tell me.

I had gone for an interview a few days ago. The interview was for a teaching position in an International School.

Wow, that’s amazing!

I got the job. Mark put down his cup of tea and smiled from ear to ear at Ashley. She could see how proud and happy he was for her.

Congratulation! But why didn’t you say anything?

I wanted to surprise you. He couldn’t stop smiling. He got up from his seat and went to sit next to Ashley. He hugged her and did not let her go for a few seconds. That particular night when she found him crying, it shook her and made her realize what she was doing to herself and to their relationship. A part of him had also died inside when they lost the baby. But he decided to try moving on from it. Ashley realized that night, how much she needed to do that.

She removed herself from their embrace and said, Also, one more thing Mark.

Yeah, tell me.

I want to have a child with you, again.

Come, let’s!

Ashley chuckled a little. No, no. Let’s adopt a child. Mark did not say anything. He was taken aback.

Are you sure about this?

Yes, I absolutely am!

Are you ready for this?

I am, very much. Are you ready for this?

I’ve been ready forever, now. I was waiting for you. I have been waiting for you to be absolutely ready.

They looked into each other’s eyes and smiled. They were beaming.

You know, when we lost the baby, I realized how much I wanted one. For most part of my life, I was afraid of being a mother. I didn’t think I would turn out to be a good enough mother because my mother wasn’t one. Not at least when I was growing up. I didn’t want to turn out like her and ruin our child’s life. But I’m ready now. I’ve got the best partner who I know will be by my side always. I’m not afraid anymore. I’m not afraid anymore, at all.


Mark, thank you for giving me the strength to do this.

Thank you, for finding the strength to do this. Two years and 10 months later, they were playing with their 9 month old daughter. They called her Ariel. After their first child Ashley didn’t think that she had the strength to have another child. Mark was also on the same page. But today, they had something they never imagined that they’d have. They were not only blissful because they had a child but also because they were bringing happiness in the life of a being whose birth parents abandoned her.