The Repair Shop by Steve Goodlad

The baby monitor crackled to life at 02.30 a.m. with my daughter wailing. As I rolled out of bed a gentle shushing and humming came through the speaker. Followed by silence. Relieved, I slipped back under the duvet to hear my husband mutter; “thanks love, I’ll get her next time.” 

My eyes snapped open immediately. “It wasn’t me Col.” Now he was awake. I was scared to go and see, so frightened of what I might find. To relive that nightmare again. 

Col was on his feet though, all urgency, and I lay there waiting, expecting to hear him crying on the monitor. I knew I couldn’t bear that. 

We should have left that house. Started all over somewhere else. It had been a bargain. A tearful man handed us the keys saying; “We’d had happy times here.” Who was “We”? He couldn’t reply. He was so choked. 

We had happy times too and when I fell pregnant it felt like we’d been doing all the renovations ready for a family. Our purpose. Until that voice on the monitor that was neither me or Col. But we’d both gone back to sleep oblivious of the ominous silence. The silence that remained until our second child was born around two years later. 

I heard Col shouting; “Get away from her. She’s mine.” Then relief when I heard a baby cry of torment, but so blissful. I ran to the door of her room and I snatched her from Col’s grasp and down the stairs, out of the front door and into the street. It was cold in just my nightie but I ran in bare feet and kept running. 

I looked around the circle of women. The Psychiatric Hospital support-group. Silence. Then one said; “And?” 

“I’ve not been back since.” 

Published in Issue #16

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