The Seed of Hardship - Chapter 8
“Never better?” Matthew asked. Concern was clear in his eyes as he looked at his wife. He placed down Kezia, who he had been holding in his arms. The infant dropped her bottle of formula and began crawling towards the bed where Kristel was sitting with a blood pressure cuff wrapped around her upper arm. Kristel’s eyes were wide as she stared at the blood pressure monitor, yet when Matthew asked her if she was okay, she said never better.
“Okay, I’ve known you way too long to fall for that,” said Matthew.
“Just… get out of here. Go to Rob. You’re stressing me out.”
“And you’re still talking,” Kristel said with a sigh. She pulled the blood pressure cuff off her arm, placed it on the side table atop the monitor and placed her hand on her forehead. She turned her body and lay back so that her head was resting comfortably on the pillow behind her.
Matthew bit his lower lip and looked away from Kristel. For a moment, he stared up at the ceiling and blinked rapidly a few times. Kezia continued crawling towards the bed. When she finally got there, she gasped the sheet with both hands and hoisted herself to a standing position.
“Mama!” she called.
Kristel didn’t respond. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. “Well… I guess I’ll call you sometime,” Matthew said, his voice very faint. He turned slowly and began to walk out of the room. Kezia looked back at him. “Love you,” Matthew quietly said.
Kristel opened her eyes and turned to look at Matthew but she didn’t sit up, nor did she reply. Matthew walked out of the room. Immediately, tears took to running down Kristel’s face. She placed her forearm over her eyes and released a shuddering breath.
Kezia continued looking towards the door. Then she looked at her mother and resumed trying to climb unto the bed. After a while of struggling, Kezia let out a loud shriek, causing Kristel to immediately sit up and wipe all the tears from her face. She stood up from the bed and walked to the other side to pick Kezia up. She then took her cell phone out of her pocket and called Tori. As soon as her friend answered the phone, Kristel released her waterworks.
“Hi Tori,” she tearfully said. “Can you talk?
For the rest of the night, Daniel remained in his room, Kezia was fussy and Kristel was very quiet. She prepared dinner and insisted that Daniel came out of his room upstairs to eat with her and Kezia. Kristel didn’t have much of an appetite and she was fighting back tears so the meal was an extremely difficult time for her.
Then there was Daniel, he spent most of the meal pushing the food around his plate with his fork. Kezia was supposed to be in her crib but every time Kristel tried to leave her in the nursery, the infant began screaming. Normally, Kristel would leave the child and allow her to scream but her head was aching too severely to tolerate the noise.
After dinner, Daniel ran back to his room and Kristel returned to her room with Kezia. She had given up on trying to make the baby sleep in the nursery. However, Kezia was inconsolable and refused to go to sleep despite the redness of her eyes. Kristel tried to make Kezia lie in bed beside her but Kezia wanted to lie on top of her. She had to struggle to get Kezia to lie beside her but then Kezia began screaming.
“Come on, Kezi,” said Kristel, patting Kezia’s belly. Kezia screamed and screamed and screamed until she was red in the face and nearly breathless but she continued crying. That night, Kristel got not a wink of sleep. In the morning, the babysitter came to the house to look after Kezia while Kristel went to a job interview and her classes in the afternoon.
The next night was the same thing – Kezia cried on and off until the sun began to rise – and then the babysitter came for Kristel to attend an audition and classes.
The third night, after an hour or so of Kezia’s screaming, the house phone began to ring so Kristel sat up to get it. “Hello?” Kristel loudly answered over Kezia’s screaming.
“Hi,” a voice responded.
“Tori?” Kristel loudly answered. “Speak up. I can’t hear you.”
Kezia grabbed on to Kristel’s shoulders and pulled herself up. She began trying to get into Kristel’s lap but Kristel wasn’t cooperating. Kezia’s shrieking made her feel as though her head would explode at any moment. Realising that Kezia would soon fall off the bed if she didn’t help, Kristel put one arm around Kezia’s back.
Kezia stopped screaming but she contended with Kristel, trying to pull her mother’s nightshirt open. “Kezia, stop,” Kristel demanded.
Kezia slapped Kristel’s face forcefully and, without any delay, Kristel laid two slaps on Kezia’s behind. Kezia looked at Kristel with a wide-mouthed shocked expression then after a few seconds, the shrieking commenced.
“What’s wrong with, Kezi?” asked Tori.
“She’s been acting up ever since Matthew left.”
“Oh,” said Tori. “I’m sorry.”
“She won’t sleep,” Kristel whined. “And I haven’t slept in three days!”
Kezia tugged on Kristel’s shirt so hard, she ripped the buttons. Succeeding in getting the shirt open, Kezia irritably nuzzled Kristel’s bosom. Kristel stopped struggling with Kezia. “Okay, Kris,” said Tori, worry evident in her voice. “I’ll be there in ten minutes.”
“What? Tori, no,” said Kristel.
“See you soon.” With that said, the line went silent.
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