Oscar re- entered the room, where both Ava and Clara were sleeping soundly. He sat down wearily upon the chair, glancing at Ava. Sensing his presence, she opened her eyes.

“Please stop staring at me when I’m trying to sleep! I can sense that you’re there you know!”

Oscar sighed. “I could do with some sleep too, I was just thinking how pretty and peaceful you both looked.”

Ava shrugged. “No-one is making you stay. You look ill. You know it’s true. I should be out of here in another 4 hours or so, so you can go home and have a sleep then. I swear that I am never, ever going to get pregnant again. Childbirth is the most painful, traumatic thing ever! I feel both emotionally and physically drained! It’s horrible.”

“Do you never have anything positive to say?”

“What? I’m allowed to express my opinions aren’t I?”

“Absolutely, but you’re raising your voice. You’ll wake Clara.”

“Oh yes right.”

“You are okay with the name Clara aren’t you?”

“It’s just a name Oscar.”

“Okay, I just thought she suited it and it’s after my Gra-”

“Yes, yes after your Grandmother. I don’t need the full run down story for the thousandth time!”

“Sorry Ava, you get some more rest, but please try not to scream and shout.”

“What’s wrong with you?!” Ava snapped “What are you looking at me like that for?”

“It’s nothing Ava.”

“Well you might as well tell me now! Out with it!”

“Not if you’re going to talk to me like that!”

“Oh talk to you like what? Stop being so precious all the time. Step out of your pathetic little bubble, the world doesn’t revolve around you and your Leukaemia! Life goes on you know at least my life will, hopefully without you and that baby!”

“What? Oh don’t be ridiculous.”

“I don’t want you in my life any more and you’ve made it quite clear that you don’t want me in yours!”

“Ava, now is not the time or place to discuss this. People can overhear us, just wait until we get home okay!”

“Oscar we have to move out of our uni house in a matter of months, what are you going to do then? You’re certainly not living with me!”

“Oh, thanks a bunch. Well that makes me feel just great Ava! What about Clara? You can’t just take her away!”

“Oh she’s all yours Oscar! The sooner I get rid of the both of you the better and I mean it!”

“That’s a cruel thing to say!”

“Of course you’re so perfect Oscar!”

“I’m fully aware that I’m over anxious about everything and I don’t look so great right now! At least I can admit my faults.

They both jumped as Clara let out a cry. Oscar swiftly walked to her cot, taking her tiny hand in his. “I’m really sorry.” He whispered, lifting her out and gently holding her in his arms.

“Ava, she needs a feed I think, she’s trying to eat my finger!” He laughed, trying to turn the situation into a light-hearted one.

“Well she’s not coming anywhere near me!”

“She’s really hungry. It will take 10 minutes. We don’t really have any other option.”

“I swear she’s not my baby, I mean look at me, I’m pretty and she’s so ugly!”

“Take that back!”

“Just look at her! That hideous birthmark will never ever go away!”

“I’ll get Hanna to help you.”

“What the hell?”

“Someone has to talk some sense into you!”

Oscar gently walked to the midwives station with Clara in his arms. Hanna smiled. “Aww isn’t she lovely? She’s so contented.”

Oscar nodded and smiled. “Yeah, I think she needs a feed though. I was just wondering whether you could give Ava a hand?”

“Yes absolutely.”

She followed Oscar to Ava’s bed. “Don’t worry Ava, it’s not as hard as it seems.”

“I’ll try it but I really don’t want to make a habit out of this! Can I not bottle feed?”

“Ava, Clara needs to feed within the first hour of you giving birth to her.”

“Fine, fine! Put her on.”

Hanna gently lifted Clara from her cot handing her to Ava, who reluctantly held her.

“Now what?”

“Now then Ava, turn Clara towards you.”

“Oscar hold her with me.”

“Okay.”

“Touch her upper lip with your nipple, and, when she opens her mouth wide, pull her onto your breast, holding your breast for support. Her mouth should cover not just the nipple but most of the areola too. That’s it Ava, you’re doing well.”

It feels horrible! I want to stop now.”

“Ava, you have to let Clara finish her feed, she’s clearly really hungry.”

“She’d better hurry up. How often do I need to feed her?”

“Eight to twelve times in 24 hours is about right.”

“That much? You’ve got to be kidding me! Well, if it has to be done, it has to be done. Still, it’s not very pleasant having to look at her.”

Oscar gritted his teeth. “There is nothing wrong with Clara.”

“Except the fact that half of her little face is freakishly red-y purple. No I can’t take to her at all.”

“You have to try Ava!”

“Try being in my shoes Oscar. I have no parents and a fiancée who is ill with cancer. I found myself pregnant and our baby is deformed! How on earth would you feel?”

“She is not! I sympathise with the first part. Like I’ve already said, I’m sorry for your loss, as for my illness it just happened.”

“I want to live my life.I don’t want to be stuck indoors with a child that I can’t bear to even look at! How would you like to be me? Try living a life where you wake up every morning and wish that you were dead!”

To be continued….

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23 thoughts on “Planchette- Part 141

      1. Selfish yes, no doubts. Maybe you know the inner workings of her mind, but when I see someone act in this way, it just feels to me there is more, in her deep past that has given her excuse to do so.

  1. Ava last line was ver interesting, about waking up and wishing to be dead, when all Oscar wants is to wake up each day and know that he’ll live.

  2. Poor Ava. I really do feel for her. The bonding between a mum and a baby is so easy and so instantaneous, especially with the breast-feeding. She must be very ill to not feel any love for her own little daughter, regardless of the birthmark.

  3. A new low! Ava’s a pip and no mistake–this particular scene has the makings of scene 1 of a screenplay–I don’t think I’ve ever heard a story that began “So he left the hospital with the baby, never to see the mother again…”

  4. I was going to say how horrible Ava is – but then realised that I ought to be feeling sorry for her. But no – to me she sounds awful. But I’m enjoying the story.

  5. I am ending tonight’s reading not liking Ava a little more each word that comes out of her mouth. Yes, she is making a sort of effort but for how long. To be so rejecting, you are right Sophie, there is something definitely wrong with her socializing abilities. It’s not just in the way she reacts to the baby, it is everyone. She treats everyone badly. No, I have no sympathy for Ava. I don’t think she is heading in the direction of depression from giving birth. No, she just wants to divorce herself from being responsible for any of her actions. Oscar wasn’t the only one who got her pregnant. She needs to grow up & make a decision. Let Oscar go & he will land on his feet & hopefully heal & if necessary, he may need to turn to his mother. But who does Ava have if she turns everyone away? Sebastian? She is pushing herself into the corner of aloneness by wanting to throw away those who would be in her life & give her a family. Well, done. The chapters tonight & the dialogue well executed & well written. Really moved the story forward in a very dramatic build up. See you back here on Monday early AM for me. Great writing. TY 🙂 Jennifer

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