For the visually challenged reader, the image shows a young woman holding a child wrapped in a white blanket, close to her bosom.
By Tessa Dean September 2022
A Beautiful Gift
Ava was sleeping snuggled up to her mother’s bosom. She was wrapped in the white blanket that her aunt Karina had knitted especially for her. Every now and then her small lips would move indicating she was about to wake up and want to eat.
Karen sniffed the sweet baby smell of her daughter and looked forward to her waking up and feeding. This was her favorite time with Ava. She watched the clock so she wouldn’t mess up the schedule she had for feeding Ava. The doctor insisted that schedules were important for infants.
Jack would be home in a few hours and want dinner so she had to wake up Ava if she didn’t wake up on her own, feed her, and then make sure Jack’s dinner was on the table. Before Ava was born Jack was used to Karen waiting on him hand and foot and she knew better than to have dinner late. However, sometimes things came up with babies and she had been late with dinner a few times and Jack would become somewhat violent.
He drank way too much, even all day at work since he owned his own business and Karen was becoming worried about her and Ava and their safety around him. Her sister Karina had warned her about the possible violence and the safety of the vulnerable infant, not to mention Karen.
Karen had packed bags for both her and Ava and had the address of the nearest battered women’s shelter. She didn’t want to leave Jack, but she was terrified of how violent Jack was becoming. He hadn’t touched her or the baby yet, but he would break furniture and Karen’s favorite knick knacks. She was afraid it was only a matter of time until the violence escalated to him hitting her or the baby.
Sighing, she looked at the clock and put Ava down on the dressing table and began to undress her to change her diaper prior to feeding her. She had just gotten her dressed and Ava threw up. She hadn’t fed her yet so she wasn’t sure why Ava was throwing up. She undressed her again and washed her up and redressed her. She started towards the rocker to feed her when she threw up again. She was becoming worried so she called the doctor and he told her to bring her into the office right away.
While the doctor was examining Ava Jack came home and threw a fit. Breaking almost everything in the living room. He then went out to eat. He didn’t bother to call Karen to see if something was wrong with Ava and ask her why dinner wasn’t on the table, he just threw himself into a temper tantrum.
As the doctor was examining Ava he told Karen her fever was very high and she should keep a close eye on her and give her a fever reducer for infants and if that didn’t bring her temperature down she should take Ava to the hospital. Karen panicked and tried to call Jack, but he didn’t answer. She noticed the time and was afraid that Jack would hurt one or both of them. She was afraid to go home. She told the doctor her fears and called her psychotherapist and they decided Ava was safer in the hospital and Karen was to go to the shelter. She protested at first and then said her belongings were at the house and she was afraid to go there to get them.
The doctor called the police and between him and the therapist they convinced the police to take Karen to the house under police protection and then an officer would stay with Jack if he was home and arrest him so he couldn’t stop her leaving and also so he wouldn’t learn the location of the shelter. It was a hard sell at first since Karen never reported Jack for the previous violence, but she felt since he didn’t hurt her too badly, and he always promised never to do it again that she would be alright. The violence had been escalating and today she missed dinner again and feared his wrath and so she had to file a police report against him and show them all the bruises on her body that were in places that were not in clear view. Pictures were taken for later proof if needed.
Ava was taken to the hospital and once settled in, the police took Karen to her home. When they pulled up they found the door ripped off its hinges and the front room was a wreck. Jack was still not home so one officer waited outside to make sure he didn’t come home while the other officer and the therapist helped her collect her and Ava’s things. They loaded up the police car and took them off to the shelter. The therapist stayed with her until she was checked in. She talked quietly to Karen and calmed her down and told her she didn’t have to worry about Jack finding her since the location of the shelter was not common knowledge. The other women there approached her and tried to make her feel welcome and the therapist left once she was feeling better about the situation.
Advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses
New Author’s Website – http://www.tessadeanauthor.wordpress.com
Author – Old Writing – http://www.finallyawriter.wordpress.com
About my life – http://www.tessacandoit.wordpress.com
Author of a book published on the blog, https://tessacandoit.wordpress.com/government-property-a-memoir-as-a-military-wife/