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Jolanta Gradowicz

The doctor left her room and closed the door. Ann stayed in bed – she was still suffering after the difficult delivery. She still wrestled with her thoughts. She looked at her baby lying in a little crib, close to her own bed. Ann touched gently her little son, trying to recognize some familiar facial features on his face. The little boy resembled his father: black, curly hair, the same chin, the same big eyes… Mark would be proud of his son. If only he knew…

Ann stared thoughtlessly at sunbeams on the wall. The winter day was very sunny – it was exactly like the December day one year ago when she was introduced to Mark during a business trip. The handsome, young man turned out to be very intelligent and charming – too charming, unfortunately…

Their relationship lasted a bit longer than those few days on the business trip.

It turned out that Mark lived in the neighboring town, and it was no problem for him to wait for her every Friday till she would leave her office room. She never had much time for him because her daily duties forced her to come back home, but she was never able to refuse him his nice invitations to a café, or to the movies, or to a little suburban hotel…

Ann was wondering how Mark would have named his son. Perhaps it would be a simple name like Jack or John. Frankly speaking, she didn’t know Mark well. That was a fleeting acquaintance – a few months’ madness - with the little, crying-in-the-crib consequence…

A nurse opened the door a little and said, “Ann, your husband called us to ask the doctor about your and your child’s health. He’ll appear soon to see you”.

“Thank you.” Ann was not able to cough up more words. She buried her face in the pillow. The suppressing fear came back.

Lies had seemed easy for the last months, but this day she didn’t feel strong enough to tell new lies to her husband. Andrew didn’t deserve lies, undoubtedly. He was waiting so impatiently for the child; stroked her belly softly, told amusing fairy tales, worried about the unborn child so much…

Andrew smiled from above a great, colorful bouquet. She could see true happiness in his eyes. The nurse took the flowers and left the room. They stayed alone. Andrew kissed his wife’s hand. He came up to the crib and asked, “Darling, may I kiss my son?”

“Of course, you may kiss your son…” – she answered automatically like the echo…

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