This was written for a Goodreads writing contest (in the amazon kindle group), and it didn't come last (always a positive). The theme was "memories inspired by colour" and the word count limit was 200 words, so I had to cut it a little more than I'd have liked to. Here is the slightly expanded version.
I order a glass of rosé while I wait and regret my choice immediately. The swirling soft pink in my glass takes me back 22 years in a moment. I swallow down the lump in my throat. This is supposed to be a happy day.
I was so excited to be
having a girl; as soon as the scan was finished we went to the DIY store
to pick up pale pink paint. After three boys I was finally getting my
little girl. I was so happy.
I bought her dollies and princess dresses, but she only played with them when I wanted to play with her. She suffered ringlets and ribbons with an impatient tolerance, when I had begged and pleaded with her.
She was never a girly girl, was happier playing football with her brothers, rolling in the mud, fighting with her brothers, making friends with the boys. It is normal for a girl with so many brothers to relate better to boys though, isn't it?
My little girl, gone forever.
She went abroad two years ago. The phone calls slowed, then stopped, replaced with the odd e-mail instead. That last e-mail stabs at my heart, the one where she explained to me that I'd never see her again. Why hadn’t she told us? Didn't she know we'd never have judged her? We'd have understood. She didn't have to leave us, hide away and do it. I would have held her hand.
I breathe unsteadily. This is supposed to be a happy day.
My son breezes in then, I spot him as soon as he comes through the doors, and we hug for a long time, almost too long. I am putting off looking into his eyes, my daughter’s eyes.
My Jennifer, who is now my Jonathon. I have lost a daughter, but gained a son.