It was midnight and the whole house seemed at rest. In the great mansions, each and every door was closed. Sarah along with her husband lay quite on the bed. She was in pain. It was evident from her expressions. Saad, her husband was fast asleep, oblivious to the pain which swallowed his wife. She was expecting and the delivery date was of the current month. There had been preparations for the ‘new guest’ and along with the parents the grandparents were as active as children, wandering in and out of shops and getting hold of every beautiful baby thing they could lay their hands on. During the days, the home would be filled with exclamations of only one word ;baby.
As Sarah lay on the bed, she clenched her fists hard, swallowing something with difficulty. It was a pain she had never experienced before. Her face went from red to pale as she abruptly sat on the bed. Before she could gather the energy to get up and visit the toilet, a wave of nausea hit her and she threw up. The muffles of pain together with the sobs woke Saad up who got immediately concerned. He helped his wife sit upright and gave her a glass of water. It was a caring gesture and Sarah felt better.
“Thank you! I feel bet …,” Sarah was saying but something hindered her speech. She could not breathe. Her face went white and Saad called his mother in her room, alarmed.
“Mama, Sarah is not feeling well, can you please come up,” he said in one breathe.
His mother having had identified the situation asked Saad to call an ambulance immediately.
She reached the room and helped Sarah lie down. Sarah did not find comfort anywhere. She was in pain and now hot tears started to escape her eyes.
“Mama I…” she said but could continue no further.
The ambulance came and they helped Sarah into i. She was gasping for breathe. Her face ws as white as snow, her eyes watery. Saad could not bear the sight. His wife looked painfully beautiful and he gently held her hand.
Sarah was taken to the delivery room and all Saad could hear were cries. Cries of pain. He waitd there for what seemed like ages, before a doctor came out, looking as pale as Sarah had.
“I am sorry,” she said. That was it. Just three words and Saad’s world crumbled to sand. He closed his eyes and having lost his balance, fell on the floor. His mother, tears rushing down her face, consoled him
“You have to be there for Sarah,” his mother told him between sobs. ” She needs you.”
Sarah was shifted to a private room and Saad hesitated before he entered. As he entered, he stopped when he saw Sarah’s face. An angel, a ghost, a fairy? He could not gather the word. She looked out of this world. Painfully beautiful, he thought.
Tears were pouring like diamonds from her eyes, her face as white as ever. She was completely lost. Lost in the pan of a mother’s grieving heart. Something seemed to have clenched her soul as she lay there, holding a smiling face in her hand.
Saad went near and gasped when he saw ‘his girl’. The baby was no less than an angel and an identical of her mother. With the eyes closed she, the angel seemed to be sleeping but in reality she was away. Far, far away from her grieving parents. She was dead. Saad couldn’t bear the sight of his daughter lying motionless in his wife’s arms. To him it all seemed like a dream. A very bad dream. A nightmare.
“She is beautiful,” he said. “Painfully beautiful.”
Sarah looked up and met her husband’s eyes. There were tears running down their faces, their thoughts in the same line and their eyes speaking to each other. The pain in one’s heart open to the other. Saad put his arms around his wife and his daughter. He put his thoughts aside and sais, “i love you, both.” And he meant it.
A sight so beautiful, filled with love could be accompanied with pain and agony? Nobody could even imagine. As they stood observing from the door, tears streamed down the eyes of the grandparents. The sight was truly, painfully beautiful. Their heart ached at the silence of the world around them, it ached for their children, it ached for the beauty in pain. A beauty in dying. A beauty already dead. Painfully beautiful.