#169 Whiteout

by Tracy Fells

“I’ll make a start on the nursery today.”

The newspaper drooped, as the words pierced my husband’s bubble. “Sure you’re up to it? Remember what Dr Samson said about taking things easy.”

The morning’s sky was cornflower blue, the color I’d chosen for the walls. Once alone, I began the birthing of our spare room. With a paint stained trowel I eased open the first tin. The astringent scent made me blink. The brightness of the brilliant white emulsion seared my eyeballs.

A woman can change her mind and the color of a room was under my control. The blue would keep for another project.

After finishing the ceiling my back nagged, but I carried on with the walls. The past obliterated beneath the rhythmic sweeping of my roller brush. Standing in my canvas—a swirling white sea—only the bare boards stood out, dirty and scowling, spoiling the theme.

A hand touched my cheek. Dr Samson crouched beside me. “She’s sleeping.” I guessed she was talking to David. In the glare of the room Dr Samson burned out like a skinny black candle. They found me curled, like a kitten, in the middle of the nursery. I had painted myself from head to toe with white emulsion.

Dr Samson explained this bizarre behavior; “To carry a baby full term and then lose the child at birth is traumatic. A terror that lurks in the darkest of nightmares.”

She understood. I had to whiteout the nightmares.


Anonymous said...

Such a sad, stark tale. Great entry!

Patsy said...

So sad.

Laura Howe said...

I like the shift that parallels the horrible loss. As a reader, I'm expecting the joyous event of painting a nursery, but then realize the nursery is going back to a "spare room" and the anguish she feels.

Julia Thorley said...

What a painful read. Great writing.

TracyFells said...

Thanks to all for the lovely comments. Sorry this was a bit of a gloomy story...