Jump: Stories of Life, Love and Fear

Jump cover

 

It’s finally done and I’m so excited I could burst. After months and months of hard toil and graft, I’ve finally finished my first book.

As a little inducer, here is the first story:

 

Jump

My feet are right at the edge.  In the distance the sea merges into sky and I can taste the salt in the air as the breeze lifts my hair whipping it into my face. ‘You’re sure it’s safe?’ I ask. But I don’t even hear the reply, all I can hear is my heart pounding in my ears. My breath keeps catching and I realise I am shaking and I’m about to step back when I see his face, his perfect face. His eyes, fringed with dark lashes, are gently shut.

 

My hair is plastered to my damp head. Michael puts a straw to my lips and as I sip gratefully, I look into his brown eyes which are brimming with unspoken sympathy that I can’t bear to see, so I close my eyes and focus on breathing in. I smell of sweat and blood and the smell fills me, distracting me for a moment before I feel the pain starting to build like a tidal wave. ‘I can’t do it.’

‘You’re nearly there sweetheart, you’re doing really well.’ The midwife looks into my eyes, urging me to focus.

I open my mouth to reply but the pain builds and my awareness slips as it breaks over me.

‘Breathe,’ she says.

I suck air in, trying to focus on the movement of the breath through my nose down into my lungs, forcing myself to blow the breath out through my mouth. The pain is starting to ebb but already I feel another building. ‘Drugs, I want drugs,’ I manage to say.

‘It’s too late honey, there’s no point, you’re too close.’

What does that mean? I’m going to die, how can I be too close to anything? I hear grunting  and I want to ask who is making that god awful noise but I’m awash with pain, it flows over me, thick and sticky like treacle. Then, as it starts to slide away, I realise the noise is coming from me.

‘With the next pain I want you to push. Are you listening? I need you to push with the next pain.’

I clench Michael’s hand, digging my nails into his palm. I want her to shut up. I shake my head and clench my teeth as another pain builds. I can’t push, I won’t. Then I feel something pressing on the inside, the band of pain around my stomach is a vice and like a can of pop that’s been shaken I feel I’m about to explode. I have to get this thing out, now, so I push.

‘Fantastic, you’re doing really well.’

 I want to punch her face but my body does not belong to me, all I can do is breathe and push, breathe and push. I feel a stinging and burning between my legs.

‘That’s it, the head’s out. Just a few more pushes now and it will be over.’

This will never be over I want to tell her. Never. I push again and I feel the baby slide out of me.

The midwife cuts the cord quickly and efficiently, no smiles or celebration. She wraps a towel around the baby and hands it to me avoiding my eye. My baby is tinged blue. It is covered with blood and vernix but it doesn’t move and although I knew, I didn’t. I open the towel to see. ‘A son. We have a son.’ The words choke me as I kiss his head breathing in the smell of him. He has dark hair, like Michael and thick dark lashes and I brush the tears away because I don’t want them obscuring my vision; I want to drink him in. This image has to last me a lifetime, has to replace a lifetime of watching, I can’t afford to miss a second. So I gulp them down, holding them in my throat. I feel Michael’s arms around me, cradling me, cradling us and I feel his frame begin to shake with big, silent sobs. I lean into him, stroking his face with my free hand. I realise that the midwife is speaking to me but it’s like I’m underwater and the sounds are muted and distorted. I look at her to see her mouth moving as she waves a needle at me and although I’m terrified of needles I just nod and it hardly registers when it pierces my thigh. Suddenly I remember. ‘A photo; I want a photo. Will you take a photo of us?’ She asks me if I want to get cleaned up first but I’m adamant so she takes one and says we can have another later as well.

 

Standing at the door of the plane, with the instructor behind me and the wind whipping my face, I realise that this is the first time for a whole year I have felt anything but grief. So I jump.

 

To download the book simply click on the picture above which will take you to a page where you can download the PDF version of the book. It will be available on Amazon in a few days, however, I can’t guarantee it will be free on Amazon.

 

Finally, Id like to thank everyone who has been so kind and supportive of me in this new venture. People have contributed by reading and critiquing and giving advice when I was stuck on a technical problem.Everyone who has shared my blog posts on their facebook page or twitter feeds

To everyone (both those I know and those I don’t) who has shared my blog posts on their facebook page or twitter feeds I want to say a really big thankyou – doing that has meant that my readership has gone from around a dozen people a week when I launched it in January, to around 300 per week now. Your support has made this venture possible – keep up spreading the word!

Finally, I’d like to say a big thank you to my daughters, both of whom have contributed to the creation of this book.

Pearl’s brilliant photography is the book cover.

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And Katie’s editing skills and brilliant summarising resulted in a readable manuscript and a terrific blurb!

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Cheers girls!

I hope you enjoy the book. And please, continue to share the love!