I’m having a boy and Daniel is over the moon but I’m scared because I have no brothers and Dad left when I was two and how am I supposed to know anything about raising a boy even though Daniel says don’t worry I have four brothers so trust me you’re worrying about nothing, so I squeeze my eyes shut and try to see our boy doing boy things and I try to place myself in the scene but all I can see is Daniel wrestling with his son in the grass, and I try on the word son and I want to love him but he feels so other, then Daniel says Rick and I are going for a ride and I say I wish you wouldn’t but he pecks me on the cheek as he leaves and says I always worry about nothing, so I sit with the stranger inside me and pray he doesn’t grow up to like motorcycles, but I’m not worried about him I’m worried about me and how he has a mother with no heart, so when his dad never sees the semi coming I beg to love his son enough for both of us but it’s just not there it just won’t come and then he comes and the delivery room falls silent as they place him in a stainless bowl and all I can see from across the room is a perfect tiny foot dangling over the edge and I want to die, I want to die for not wanting him in the world and for being so afraid to raise a boy who will never wrestle with his dad in the grass.
The Stranger Inside Me
Traci Mullins, a non-fiction book editor by day, has had her flash fiction stories published in three anthologies, Panoply, Spelk, Flash Fiction Magazine, Flash Boulevard, Blink-Ink, Dime Show Review, Ellipsis Zine, The Drabble, Fantasia Divinity, and many others. She was named a Highly Recommended Writer in the London Independent Story Prize competition.
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