The Beginning of The End

"The Beginning of the End" copyright 1989
by Susana Maria Rosende


Eric Clapton
(Eric Clapton & Will Jennings)

Would you know my name if I saw you in heaven?
Would you feel the same if I saw you in heaven?
I must be strong and carry on
'Cause I know I don't belong here in heaven

Would you hold my hand if I saw you in heaven?
Would you help me stand if I saw you in heaven?
I'll find my way through night and day
'Cause I know I just can't stay here in heaven

Time can bring you down
Time can bend your knees
Time can break your heart
Have you begging please

Beyond the door there's peace I'm sure
And I know there'll be no more tears in heaven

Would you know my name if I saw you in heaven?
Would you feel the same if I saw you in heaven?
I must be strong and carry on
'Cause I know I don't belong here in heaven

She seemed to glide over the graves, her baby-blue maternity dress billowing in the wind. One week had passed.

"Here it is," she called out to me. She carefully replaced the marker on the grave. Then the tears came.

Instinctively, I cradled her in my arms. Then, I whispered, "I wish he'd lived longer. I wish we had memories."

Silently, she dried her eyes. When she spoke, her voice was strong, determined. "We've got to get a stone. No one knows he's THERE."

Every night for a month I awoke to the sounds of sobbing. At first, I held her in the darkness. Later, I let her cry on her side of the bed, feeling powerless and alone.

At work, I spent my days staring out the window of my office, feeling no urgency to complete my projects. Initially, everyone asked about my wife, about how she was feeling. Eventually, they stopped asking all together.

When the office emptied, I sat at my desk for hours, staring into space. Then I got home late, after Lily was asleep, and lay on the couch in front of the T.V., our timid cat, Samantha, curled on my chest.

Once, I awoke in a cold sweat. In my dream, Lily'd cut off Samantha's front paws, and had served them for dinner, while Samantha limped by the dinner table, her front legs bandaged, her large eyes, glassy, searching, imploring, helpless.

After six weeks, my boss called me into his office.

"Brian, I realize your family has been through a rough time. However, you're falling way behind on the project, and I'm afraid that if you don't become productive soon, I'll have to pull you off of it." The pressure was on. Yet, I couldn't think. I couldn't sleep. I couldn't feel. I was slowly dying inside.

All Lily ever did was talk about the baby. She cried; she screamed. "Why don't you ever talk about him? Why don't you ever cry? How can you act like nothing ever happened?"

Her accusations cut through me like a knife. The anger building inside me exploded then, and I hurt her: "Somebody's got to work around here! I can't sit around and obsess all day!"

Lily hadn't set foot in her garage studio since the baby died. After our confrontation, she began painting again, furiously. Canvas after canvas portrayed scenes of pregnant women, wailing mothers holding limp infants, and sickly little boys. I stopped coming home.

I was staying at my friend's apartment four months when I was served the divorce papers.

I drove over to the house and discovered a moving van on the driveway. Lily was talking to the movers and stopped mid-sentence when she saw me.

Time stood still. She wore the same denim mini-skirt she had on the day we met in English Comp class three years before. She shrugged her long, blonde hair off her face in a familiar gesture. I realized I missed her.

Yet, I knew things could never be the same.

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