Tatiana Raudales studies creative writing in Winter Park, Florida. She has not had any pieces published via online magazines. Some of her work is published on online writing forums such as Lettrs, and www.writerscafe.org
A Gift From God
“Where have you been? Andy has been asking for you all day,” I told my husband as he walked in through the front door, holding a small blue box. He pushed me aside with so much strength that I fell to the ground.
“I’m here now, aren’t I?” he said carelessly as he made his way to the dining room. Andy sat eagerly in his white hair-chair that was stained with remnants of old food. His face lit up with joy and he jumped up and down saying, “Dadda.”
“Did you bring him a cake, dear?” Instead of crying and staring at the ground like usual, I got up and walked over to join them. I looked over and saw he wasn’t wearing his ring.
“It was for work, I swear.” He caught on that I had noticed, but quickly moved on to place the box right in front of Andy. Of course, he had to help him open the box to reveal a small chocolate muffin with a white candle on it.
“Yay! B-birfday.” Andy struggled to find the words but still giggled cheerfully. He hugged my husband very tightly for a couple moments.
“Time to blow out the candle!” I brought out a match and took the muffin away from Andy, which caused him to squirm in his seat, before lighting the candle.
We sung a few rounds of Happy Birthday while Andy patiently waited with the biggest smile on his face.
Then, he squinted his tiny eyes, and blew out the candle. My husband and I clapped and cheered for Andy as he sat proudly in his chair.
“Cake,” Andy said, jumping up and down.
I gave him a small plastic spoon and helped him cut the muffin in smaller pieces. He tossed the spoon aside and dug right in with his grabby little hands. Andy proceeded by shoving handfuls of the muffin into his mouth.
That’s when it happened.
Loud coughs and groaned pushed their way out of Andy’s lips. Over and over again, he hacked and wheezed. I tried patting his back but he wouldn’t stop. I quickly ran to find my cellphone to dial 911, but my husband had stopped me. He shook his head and pulled the phone away from me. I frantically tried anything I could to stop Andy from coughing, but he soon ran out of breath in my arms.
My husband was never to be seen again. That’s all I will ever know him as. Just a “husband” who couldn’t fulfill any duties to his wife. Looking over at my finger, I caressed where my ring used to be. Anger boiled up inside of me, but I instead decided to fold my hands in prayer. Deep bellowing sobs clawed their way painfully out of my throat. A puddle of tears had gathered on the photo album. I held out that one picture in my hands and stared at nothing. My crippling melancholy was interrupted by a knock on the door. Sighing, I lazily got up and off the recliner and headed towards the front door. I walked past dozens of picture frames that had been covered by white cloths.
I opened the door and looked around but no one was there. There was nothing around but a large box with tiny holes all over it. A small note was taped to the top of the box. Before I could read the note, something moved inside the box. Scared, I carefully pulled the top off the box, revealing a small newborn baby inside wrapped in a pink blanket. She started crying, a beautiful sound I had missed.
Grabbing the note once more, I read it out loud. The note was written in the world’s most beautiful handwriting.
“This may not be exactly what you wanted, but your prayers have been answered.”