This story is by Laura Aukstolis and was part of our 10th Anniversary Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
Thump, thump, swish swish swish. Thump, thump, swish, swish, swish.
I hear lots of things. The sound of my mother’s voice. The thump of her heartbeat. The swish of the fluid I live in every time we move. I hear my father’s excited plans for my parent’s anniversary too, whatever that is. He told my Mom to pack their bags, they are going to Paris this year to celebrate. Actually, I have heard about that a lot lately and to be honest it’s really starting to get on my nerves!
You see, my parents are continually telling me to stay here and keep growing, that it’s not my time to come out yet. Wherever out is. And really, I do want to be a good, obedient child and make them happy, but I’m hitting my breaking point. The space I live in now has become VERY cramped! Either I’m growing or it’s shrinking and it’s getting really uncomfortable.
It doesn’t feel fair at all! Why am I stuck in here while they are out there having all the fun without me?! I’m tired of hearing about their special day and missing out. I’m tired of being stuck in here. It would serve them right if I sabotaged their plans and got out for their anniversary. I just have to figure out how to do it…
Plop, plop, plop.
Wait! That sounds like my Dad coming.
“Hi honey, are you ready to leave soon? Our taxi will be here in a minute.”
“Yes, I’ve just finished.”
A taxi ride with my Dad?! I like those, they put me to sleep.
“Good, we need to be at the airport by 8 to make our flight in time.”
Hold on! Are they going already?!
“Joe, I don’t know if this is such a good idea! We are so close to the due date and…well I’m having second thoughts.”
“It will be fine! We’re just going for the weekend! We’ll be back in plenty of time. We talked about this, remember? The doctor thinks it’s not a big risk. If we need to, we can always take the next flight back at any time.”
“Um yes, I know. I just…it seems so close from her birth and all, just two weeks out. Something about it doesn’t feel right.”
They’ve said that word birth a lot recently but I have no idea what it means. Hmmm. I am going to have to do something about this quickly if I’m going to make it out of here in time. But what?! Think!
Kick, kick, kick.
I’ll try kicking. This hasn’t changed anything before but maybe there is some kind of trap door to this place or something. And if I hit it just right and with enough speed…
“Oh baby! Are you excited for the trip too?! Ouch, my ribs! Well you certainly are strong honey, that’s good, but please…take it easy on your Mama!”
Hmm why isn’t this working?!
“Patience, it looks like the taxi just pulled up.”
“Oh! Alright, coming!”
I wish I had inherited more of my mother’s traits! I really don’t have much patience for this, it’s already frustrating! I’ll try kicking a bit more but ugh, it doesn’t seem to be working. I need to come up with something else and fast.
“Where can I take you today folks? The hospital…er haha?”
“Hehe, we’re headed to the airport actually.”
“Oh alright, no offense.”
Dang! Why is nothing happening?! Someone let me out of here!
“Ohh settle down little one…we’ll be there soon!”
I don’t want to settle down. I want to come out! Arrhh!
Zzzz. Wait what?! No! I am not…getting sleepy! This can’t be happening! But that noise…the motion…my eyes…ohh! Zzzz.
“Honey look outside!”
“Oh it’s beautiful! I love seeing the ground from this height!”
“I am happy we took this trip!”
“Me too! I can’t believe we’re almost there.”
“I love you.”
“Ahh…I love you more sweetheart!”
Ah no! Please stop! That’s so embarrassing! Hold on a second…did they say we’re almost there already? How did this happen?! How long was I asleep for?! Alright, don’t panic! There’s still time. I just need to act fast! Let me try something else. Hmmm, maybe if I twist myself around…
“Ohh ouch! Joe, did we eat something funny at the airport?! My stomach is in knots!”
“Uh no? I don’t think so.”
“Maybe it was the croissants. Hmmm…there was a lot of butter on them?!”
“Ohh haha no. I am not in labor! You would know Joe! Well, at least I don’t think so?! I don’t know? Maybe? Hmmm. No-feels more like heartburn I think.”
“O…kay…well just a thought, haha! Let’s try and concentrate on something else and see what happens.”
“Lets?! I don’t need to focus on something else! What could be more important than this Joe?! Don’t you understand that?! Maybe you need to focus on something else!”
“Uh, er…right yes…sorry honey! I guess I am just feeling a little nervous myself.”
“Now you’re nervous?! Haha, very funny. Okay, well Joe it’s a little late to turn back now, we’re almost there!”
Arrgh! I hate when they argue! Don’t they have anything better to do with their time?! Someone…let me out of here! Twist. Twist. Ugh this is hard work! I’ll just take a quick break.
Ohh yum! Mmhmm…butter! Zzzz
“Woohoo! We’ve finally arrived!”
“Thank goodness! I was getting cramped!
You were getting cramped? How do you think I’ve felt for the last 6 months?!
“Isn’t it marvelous darling?!”
“France! We’re in France!. Do a happy dance with me!”
“Whoa! Honey…settle down, no. Let’s not. What if it sends you into labor?!”
“Haha…oh Joe now don’t be silly! A little movement isn’t going to do anything like that!”
No! No! We cannot be…in France! I’m supposed to be out of here! Ok, relax. Nothing has happened yet. Don’t give up. Think. What can I try next?!
“Patience, here’s our taxi, let’s go!”
Ah no…no! Not another taxi!! That’s the last thing I need right now! Maybe if I worm my way down a bit lower…there’s got to be a trap door to this place somewhere! Let me see…
Huh? What’s that?!
“Joe look! They are starting!”
“Hmmm, just one? Maybe it’s just the test firework before they start.”
No…no…no! This CAN’T be happening! Fireworks were supposed to be the best part of the trip!
“Okay, here we go!”
Boom. Boom. BOOM! Screeech!
“Oh it’s beautiful!”
“You’re beautiful honey!”
“Aww I love you, happy anniversary Joe!”
“Happy anniversary honey!”
Nooo! I wanted to celebrate this! You can’t….without…me! Sob. Sob. Nooohh!
What was that? Ouch!
What is that rushing sound? Hold on…ouch! What is that rubbing up against me?!
“Honey?..why are we wet all of a sudden?!”
“Oh…my…I think, did my water just break or did you spill your wine on me?!”
“What?! Ok…don’t panic! Breathe. It’s alright! You’re fine. We’re fine!”
“Get a taxi, quick!”
“Alright let’s go…grab my arm!”
Ugh! I feel…strange. What’s all the commotion going on out there?
Ouch! Stop! Stop! I’ll stop trying to get out of here, just stop squishing me ok?!
So there is a trap door to this after all! Yes! But it’s way too small!! I changed my mind! I’m comfortable here, I’ll stay! Stop shoving me towards it! I need to back up! No…no…noohh!!
Ahh so this is what freedom feels like! Wow! I feel…good, other than a bit of a head rush maybe but oh there’s so much space out here!! I can get used to this!
Where are my parents? I wonder if they are surprised and angry that I’m out before my time.
“Aww look at her Joe, she’s beautiful!”
“Oh wow, she has your eyes!”
“And look at those tiny feet!”
“She’s perfect…just like her Mama!”
“Awww, happy anniversary!”
“This is the best anniversary ever!”
“Yeah, way better than fireworks!”
“Now we can celebrate her birthday and our anniversary together every year!”
“I can’t wait to spend our next trip as a family!”
“Let’s start planning right away.”
“Wait! Joe look, she’s smiling!”
I feel like the luckiest baby in the outside world! I’ve heard a lot of things..but this is the best thing yet!