Sarah’s Losses, Too Great to Bear

by on December 16, 2023 :: 0 comments

photo "Best Ride of Life" by Tyler Malone

The child died within the womb. Sarah, the mom, had a miscarriage. She had gotten knocked up in a car outside a big dance hall at an intersection where three parishes met.

On Saturday after mass, the place was full. Sarah’s mom had dropped her off and said she’d pick her up before eleven o’clock p.m. Sarah, embarrassed to be picked up by her mom, said, “Drop me off at the Jitney Jungle, I’d like to buy some gum. The wine, blood of Jesus, taken at mass seems to have soured on my pallet.”

Sarah’s mom answered in her Cajun French, “Mais oui, Mon chère fille. Je peux le faire.” Yes, my dear daughter, I can do that.

Sarah was feeling nauseous; fearing she might be pregnant at fifteen made the communion wine, the blood of Jesus, even more bitter, like old wine that has been changed into vinegar. And with that thought she headed out the door after Miss Mary Lou Jones checked her out at the Jitney Jungle market.

“Bon nuit, Sarah,” Miss Mary Lou Jones said. Good night.

Sarah crossed Highway 13 where the Green Lantern dance hall was located. She hoped to see Junior, a soldier that she had met there about a month ago. He came twice a month from Marais, a larger town north of the Green Lantern. Junior was headed out soon for Vietnam. Sarah wanted to tell him that she might be pregnant with his child.

Cigarettes and beer smells made her nauseous. The music was loud and her tummy gurgled. There was a heavy smell of flour browning; the Green Lantern was serving gumbo over rice tonight. It was all Sarah could do to make it to the bathroom to vomit the nothingness within her belly. She wished she could expel the fetus as well, but abortion was an unthinkable sin in the Catholic Church. No way this baby was leaving her body save through her womb.

Nightmarish, this whole situation, like a bad dream or an episode of As the World Turns soap opera drama playing out. And she had become a main character. Only fifteen with child, she could be mistaken. Maybe there was no baby inside her, but a woman knows her body. She knows if she’s with child. It was Junior’s. Sarah had been a virgin until Junior pressed against her groin while she had her pink hearts, full-figure panties on. Sarah was a full-figured girl. Not fat, full-figured. There’s a difference.

She loved Junior. Sarah had let her love for this soldier, Junior from North Louisiana, a Baptist, impregnate her. Two strikes against Junior, from North Louisiana and a Baptist. Her mom had not even met him. Sarah had only been with him twice and it was the second time she figured his sperm pierced one of her eggs with one of Cupid’s arrows. And now another Junior was on the way.

Sarah spotted Junior coming her way.

“Hey, baby,” he yelled as Rockin Dupsy and the Dupsies played a Cajun waltz.

Junior asked, “Sarah, wanna dance?”

Sarah answered, “No, Junior, my stomach is feeling topsy-turvy.”

“Okay, honey, I’ll find someone else to move with,” responded Junior.

This didn’t feel like love or a man ready to raise a child, Sarah thought. What had she done? And she began to cry running to the bathroom to throw up again.

Junior sought Sarah out a couple of hours later as she sat alone at the bar drinking a Sprite to settle her stomach.

“Hey, sweets,” Junior said. “Wanna dance now?”

Sarah said, “Junior, we gotta talk.”

“Okay, chère,” he said, “let’s talk.”

Sarah said, “Junior, I’m pregnant.”

Junior responded seriously, “Sarah, is it mine?”

“Yes, Junior,” Sarah answered, “I’ve only been with you.”

Junior’s response surprised Sarah. “Sarah, it’s our responsibility to provide for this baby.”

She smiled big questioning, “Really, Junior?”

“Yes, my love, we consummated our marriage early that night. My heart is yours and our baby’s,” Junior answered.

Barely an adult himself, Sarah wondered how they would navigate this newfound parental duty much less how she might push a baby through her womb and raise the child. It was all very frightening. She had made the choice to grow up overnight.

Sarah’s mom took the news well but she wasn’t happy about her baby girl marrying a Baptist from North Louisiana. In her mind that was like marrying a man from overseas. Baptists and North Louisianans were foreign people in a foreign land.

About three months into the pregnancy, Sarah lost the baby. With Junior by her side, they mourned Baby Junior, a boy. Junior, more in love with Sarah than ever, left for Vietnam shortly after she lost the baby. Each day he was away he wrote a letter to Sarah.

Junior wrote, “Sarah, my Cajun girl from South Louisiana, how I love and adore you. My heart longs for the day when we can be reunited.”

Sarah answered, “Junior, my North Louisiana boy, you are the delight of my life. I can barely wait to see you in person.”

Sarah and Junior wrote faithfully until one day a uniformed soldier knocked on her mom’s door where Sarah was living until Junior returned home from Vietnam. The soldier had some sad news about Junior.

“I’m Sergeant Howard Moon with the United States Army. I’m here to inform you that your husband, Junior, was killed in active duty yesterday.”

Sarah fainted onto the floor. As she came to, the sergeant placed her on the couch and left shortly after. Sarah was worse than wounded. She’d loved and now she’d lost her love’s baby and Junior in the span of such a short time.

It was too much to bear. Sarah took her own life the same day slowly drifting to sleep after taking a bottle of prescription sleeping pills.

editors note:

Living life is loving, but both those end eventually. We’ll always be here to catalog loss, too. Always and forever. ~ Tyler Malone

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