Drop Dead Life / © Hyla Molander 2010 3
Instead, my mom positions herself to the right of the steel operating table, abrunette curl straying from her cap.
Mom speaks in a whisper. “I am going to be next to you the whole time.”
intertwines her fingers with mine, leaving enough space for Erik’s photograph.
I strain my neck backwards, peeking at the door to the operating room.
Please be here, Erik. I need you.
I imagine Erik walking through the door, perspiration on his brow fromrunning late. We kiss as if it is our first kiss, slow, with exploring connection. I feelrelief, forgiveness, elation, immense gratitude that he is back in my arms.But Erik is not in my arms. Erik is nowhere to be seen, and the thought of my life as a 29-year-old single mom with two babies makes me want to throw upall over the cold cement floor.
“I don’t . . . feel so good.”
My insides twist around and around, swirling like a dust-filled tornado. Theagitation pounds at my abdomen, scraping at the deep layers of my skin. Anger.Sadness. Confusion. Hopelessness. I have no idea how I will raise these girlswithout him.The tall, male anesthesiologist leans in to comfort me, his green eyes
peering over his surgical mask. “Let me know what you need.”
No doubt the hospital staff is also sho
cked at my husband’s absence. Just19 months before, the same doctors and nurses had witnessed Erik’s tears of joy at