I read the news today, oh boypublished: 2011-11-03
If only you’d known this morning, dear woman. If only.
You didn’t. You simply decided it was time to get your act together. No more tears. You have an entire future ahead of you. Life begins at fourty, is what they say. So begin then. Right now!
You actually sit down to have breakfast with your kids. One is two years old. The other is three. Sure, there were times you questioned what you had gotten yourself into. You wanted to pursue your career, why not? So many women do after all. You could do this.
And yes, you could. But you woke up one day looking at the state of your skin and hair. Had you brushed your teeth today? You simply couldn’t remember. Something overcame you, you still aren’t quite sure what exactly. You felt -quite strongly- that you’d had enough. You stepped into your boss’ office, perhaps you had stayed on so long simply because you liked him. All the women liked him. All the women worked hard.
He wasn’t very nice now. He sighed and said, “they all do that don’t they?”
“Give up. Every woman I know does, sooner or later a woman who has children gives up.”
It affects you, sure it does. You even tell yourself, “o I’ll be back, just you wait and see.” But as you walked out of the office you realized you hadn’t felt better in your life.
So today, you’re heading there with a smile on your face. You’re going to pack your things and say cheery goodbyes to your colleagues. You should have done this a long time ago, is what you feel.
You put your two children in their car seats and make sure they’re buckled up properly. They’re more fun to be with than you can remember. Maybe you could go to the beach with them?
You park your car as close to the office building as you can, adjacent to the canal. You step out and take a moment to look up at the building where you wasted fifteen years of your life. You sigh of relief. But then, as you turn back to your car, you notice it is moving.
Fuck, you think in an instant, no hand-brake!
The car rolls and rolls, backwards, towards the canal. It seems slow and so you pull the door open and try to get your children out of the car.
Too fast. It’s going to fast.
You slam the door shut and try to push the car back. But it has gained momentum. It is too heavy for you. The car plunges into the water.
You scream, “Help! My babies!” and dive into the canal after the car. Other people jump in too. You try to open the doors, break the windows with your fists. This isn’t happening. Yes it is. It most certainly is.
How long did you try? Did you look at your children’s faces as the water slowly filled their lungs? Did you make contact with them when you knew, because at one stage you knew didn’t you? Or did you keep trying and trying to open that bloody door?
And by the time the medics came -which was fifteen minutes later- you no longer dared to look. But you made yourself look, didn’t you? You made yourself look at your two dead children.
Because this is it, this has now become the first day of the rest of your life.
*Based on a true story in today’s newspaper.