You Complete Me
by Adele Evershed
The year before, she was like the last prom dress left hanging on the rail, a bit sad but still hopeful. Then he walked into her life, all clichéd–tall, dark, and handsome, and she knew she would go to the ball.
The month before, she was shopping for maternity clothes, her watermelon stomach altering her center of gravity, so everything felt slightly off. When she got home, she found a Post-it on the fridge.
The week before, she finally confronted her Mum, her sea-change body roiling to match her mind. After, she tried to slow her breath—the baby seemed to settle, the outline of a foot imprinted on her abdomen.
The day before, she tried to remember the last time she had felt the baby move. Her blue-tipped fingers made it difficult to take the Post-it from her purse and ring the number he’d left for emergencies.
The hour before, the doctor told them the baby was in distress, and she’d need a cesarean; they sat apart, she crying silently as he scrolled through his phone.
The minute before they pulled their baby out of her body, she screamed his name, and he took her hand, but he would not look at her. His eyes, the same color as hers, were wet and full of clouds.
The day after, she asked the nurse to take the white tulips her mother had brought her to the cancer ward. When the nurse asked if she was sure, she pulled her dark hair away from her sweaty neck, stroked her daughter’s cheek, and nodded.
The week after, he stood at the end of her bed, eyes like the inconstant sea, asking if she was keeping the baby. Then he said he was leaving for good.
The month after, she looked at the birth certificate she had ordered from the General Register Office. Comparing it to her daughter’s, she saw her own had both the date and time of birth stamped in official black ink. The numbers blurred and she knew he was right.
The year after, she looked at the photo her birth mother had sent. She had the same blue eyes and dark hair as her twin brother, who was lying beside her just before they were separated and given up for adoption.
Adele Evershed was born in Wales and has lived in Hong Kong and Singapore before settling in Connecticut. Her prose and poetry have been published in over a hundred journals and anthologies such as Every Day Fiction, Grey Sparrow Journal, High Shelf, Reflex Fiction, Shot Glass Journal, and Hole in the Head Review. Adele has recently been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net for poetry, and the Staunch Prize for flash fiction. Finishing Line Press will publish her first poetry chapbook, Turbulence in Small Places this year; and her upcoming novella-in-flash, Wannabe, will be published by Alien Buddha Press. Find her on Twitter @AdLibby1