Ch39: Stolen Feb 3rd & 5th
By lisa h
Ian said he’d be back today with promises of fresh food. I doubt he’ll make it over, there’s a storm raging. The waves are cresting high and foamy, and there’s no other ships out there. Even the ferry from Aberdeen didn’t come through this morning, I was up, rocking Ewan back to sleep.
The last few days have passed in a fog of feeding baby, feeding me. Cleaning baby, forgetting about me. Changing baby in a never faltering cycle of new babygrows as he either spits up on them, wets them or those super amazing blasts of poo escape up the back. I’ve been putting it off, but despite the weather I have to wash some of his clothes in the tub out the back of the cottage.
After some mulling it over, I realise I can use the sink inside. The babygrows are tiny, and I feel uncomfortable leaving Ewan alone, even for a minute, even if he’s sleeping. I nip out into the wind and rain and fetch the detergent. I run back inside, already dripping wet from the storm. Ewan is as I left him, swaddled up and on the sofa, in the crook between the seat and the back. He’s fast asleep.
I wash the clothes, wondering how long it will be before it’s safe for Ian to sail the boat over. My mind wonders while I wash. Deidre, my cousin brought her little baby Silvia over a couple of years ago. Silvia must have been two months old. The entire time Deidre was there, she was happy for anyone else to hold the baby, she wanted nothing more than to sit by herself with a cup of tea after my mother gently refused her request for a beer.
Deidre talked to me, she never stopped. From a traumatic birth, with the baby getting stuck, and losing huge amounts of blood, a torn up placenta, need for antibiotics, the baby not bonding with her, and I suspect a good dose of post natal depression, Deidre was a mess. Even Silvia wasn’t free of needing the NHS services with a displaced hip that was bound for now, but would need surgery.
During all this trauma, she’d rejected her boyfriend and sent him packing and my aunt was getting fed up with what I guessed was a foul attitude and a refusal to have anything with the baby.
I finish up the laundry and hang in in front of the aga to dry. I can’t image rejecting Ewan. I want nothing more than to spend my time holding him, cuddling him. I don’t want him ever to get into Ian’s hands, but I know eventually I’ll run out of excuses and he’ll run out of patience, and my little white-haired boy will end up in his father’s arms.
Ewan’s still asleep, twitching in that new born way which is so sweet, so adorable. I take the time to fix some food, a jam sandwich with lots of butter. I eat staring out the window, munching and drinking tea. I’ve noticed that breastfeeding requires lots of fluid in to get enough fluid out. The storm is raging, enough that the lights flicker briefly and for once I know it’s not Ian monkeying around with the turbine. There’s another bout of flickering and then the lights go out altogether.
Shit. I actually find myself hoping the weather will calm enough for Ian to come tomorrow. It’s too dark this time of year to be without. Then I remember that I plan on killing him and escaping. The turbine doesn’t really matter anymore.
Five days old. I wake up thinking how amazing it is that five days have flown by already. I hadn’t realised how ingrained and normal the loneliness I felt had become. Having Ewan has saved me from a dark pit of despair and the scariest part is I didn’t even realise how far I’d fallen – I didn’t even realise I had fallen. Now I have a reason to smile, a reason to wake in the morning. My beautiful, wonderful, perfect Ewan.
The blood flow from giving birth is easing already. I once more thank my lucky stars that I had such an easy birth. All of this could be such a different story. I could have died. Ewan could have died. Worse, Ian could have showed up and found me dead, with the baby swaddled at my side and taken Ewan, raised him. That should never happen. He’s my son, my reason to live.
The storm disappeared late last night and today is almost calm. I expect it won’t be too long before Ian arrives. I tidy up, washing a few more items of clothes in the never ending way that babies produce dirty laundry. I’m hanging it up to dry when Ian knocks at the door before entering.
“Good morning!” His arms are full with bags. “How is my son today?”
“He’s fine, thanks.” I hate the pleasantries, but they are necessary.
“I’ve got a freshly cooked chicken here and some salmon. Do you like salmon?”
“Yes, I do.” I’ve eaten so much crab and mackerel I’m not sure what any other fish taste like anymore, but to be honest, it’ll be nice for a change.
“Good. I’ll cook that for our dinner.”
My heart gives a little jump. If he’s planning on staying for dinner, that might mean he’s staying the night. I may get a chance to gut him like a fish.
“The turbine is out. I think the storm a couple of days ago knocked it out. Can you have a look at it?”
“For you, anything.” He grins and goes back to the stove.
I plaster a fake smile of gratitude on my face before turning back to my baby and giving him a real expression of happiness.
The day passes slowly. Ian fusses about the cottage, tidying, arranging, getting supplies up from the boat, checking on me and Ewan. He’s seems a bit frustrated now my by reluctance to let him cuddle the baby. I don’t care and cling to my little one as if my life depends on it. I don’t trust Ian and I’m not letting Ewan out of my embrace.
Ian fixes dinner early and I know he’s not staying. We eat with Ian rambling on, talking about work, the farm, his properties. Normal life. I want a normal life. I want to be free, away from this island, showing Mum and Dad the wonderful gift that has come from this horrendous situation. But Ian’s got no intention of taking me off Vanir today, I don’t need to ask to know that for a fact.
The evening is calm and I put on a jacket and wrap the baby inside my jacket, following Ian down to the pier to see him off.
“Don’t you think the baby needs to be seen by a doctor?”
Ian is climbing in the boat. “He’s the picture of health, why would he need to see a doctor?”
“A check up, you know, make sure he’s hitting all the milestones as he should.”
Ian returns to the pier and stokes the top of Ewan’s head with his fingertips. “He’s fine. He’s just as he should be.” He gets back in the boat. “I’ll be back in a few days.”
He blows me a kiss as I untie the boat and chuck them onto the deck. What a bastard.