Tag Archives: Loss

The Payback

A light mist of rain began to fall. Victor Mazurich watched solemnly as they lowered the small coffin into the freshly dug grave. Victor has been coming here for the past few years to pay his respects to his wife Alexis. His son Arthur would be spending eternity next to his mother. In the last five years, Victor had lost his family; his wife to cancer and his son to a freak accident while playing with a school friend. Arthur fell or was pushed he hit his head on the ground; he lingered in a coma for three days before he finally died. The police ruled it an accident.

As the preacher finished the prayer, Victor place a small flower on his son’s casket and said a prayer. Victor waited until the casket was completely in the ground before he quietly turned and walked away. As Victor approached the car, his chauffeur/body guard opened the door for him. Victor slid into the back seat of the limousine.

Daniel Reese did not go to school today. His mother, Natalie, wanted to keep him home for a few days, until the shock of the events wore off. She wasn’t sure if she should send flowers to Victor Mazurich; there wasn’t exactly a protocol for this sort of thing. The last time Natalie saw Victor was at the official hearing to determine if it was an accident or foul play.

The day of the court hearing, Daniel told his side of the story; how they were horsing around when Arthur fell backwards and hit his head. The court accepted the story and ruled it an accident. Natalie tried to talk to Victor, to tell him how sorry she was. Victor just stared at her with his dark emotionless eyes. A chill ran down Natalie’s spine. She was afraid.

Life for the Reeses’ slowly moved forward. Three weeks had gone by; Daniel was back at school, trying to cope with what had happened. Daniel spent one hour a week seeing a counselor that the school had provided. Natalie too, was dealing with everything the best way she could. She had been raising Daniel on her own ever since her husband left. She did the best she could. Maybe it wasn’t good enough?

One day while Natalie was home, she was startled by a sharp knock at the door. She walked to the door, looking out through the pane of glass, her heart nearly stopped. Victor Mazurich was standing looking back at her with those same dark eyes. She cautiously opened the door; “Hello Mr. Mazurich.”  She said her voice trembling.

“Good afternoon Mrs. Reese.” Victor replied. “I was hoping we could talk.”

“Uh, sure, please come in.” Natalie opened the door to allow Victor into her home. He was a tall man, well over six feet. He was dressed impeccably. Victor Mazurich was an imposing figure.

“Can I get you something to drink?” “Coffee, soda, anything?”

“No thank you Mrs. Reese.”

“Please, have a seat Mr. Mazurich; I did not get a chance to tell you how sorry I am about all of this.” “If there is anything I can do, please let me know.”

“I appreciate your sentiment Mrs. Reese.” Victor said as he sat down on the couch. “But I doubt you will be able to bring my son back to me.”

“No, Mr. Mazurich.” “I can’t do that no matter how much I want to.”

“By the way, how is Daniel doing?”

“He is dealing with everything the best he can, he is seeing a counselor at school.” “Although I don’t know how much good it is doing him.”

“Guilt is a terrible burden for anyone to bear, especially children.”

“Please understand Mr. Mazurich, it was an accident.”

“Yes Mrs. Reese, I am aware of the court’s ruling.”

Victor sat silently for a moment before asking; “How old are you Mrs. Reese?”

The question caught Natalie off guard, she quickly composed herself and said; “I am thirty three.”

“How serious are you about you making this right?”

“I am not sure; I guess whatever is in my power to do so.”

“Well I have a proposition for you, Mrs. Reese.”

“What would that be?”

“Give me a child.”

“Excuse me!?” Natalie said. “I am not giving you Daniel.”

“I do not want Daniel, I want you to have my child.”

Natalie legs went weak. Was he serious? Was this some kind of sick game? “What do you mean you want me to have your child?”

“It’s simple Mrs. Reese.” “You will have my child.”

“Mr. Mazurich, this is insane.” “I can’t do it.”

“No, Mrs. Reese, insanity is having to live everyday knowing your child was taken away from you.”

“Mr. Mazurich, I am very, very sorry for what happened to Arthur, but you can’t expect me to have your child.”

“Mrs. Reese, let me put this plainly and simply.” “You will have my child.”  “I know several good fertility doctors.”  “Sex will not be required.” “I will pay for everything, from insemination, through the pregnancy until the birth.” “Once the child is born, you will give it to me and that will be the last time you will ever hear from us.” “If you do not agree to this, you will never see Daniel again.” “You have twenty four hours to think about it.”

2:40 PM

We arrived at the hospital; I told my father that visiting hours must be almost over, considering how late it was. He told me that under the circumstances, they will not refuse us to see her. We walked up to the receptionist, she recognized my father immediately. He had been coming here several times a day for a week now. She handed each of us a pass. We thanked her and headed for the elevator. As we rode the elevator to the fourth floor, my father tried to prepare me for what I was about to see. The elevator chimed, the doors opened and we walked down the hallway to her room.
I could not believe that the woman lying in that bed was my mother. She was so thin and frail; her complexion was waxy and sallow. She did not resemble my mother at all. At first I thought that we walked into the wrong room. There were an array of tubes and hoses attached to every part of her body. The room was quiet and still except for the rhythmic hiss of the respirator that was feeding oxygen into her lungs. It took me a few seconds for it sink in. My father walked out to give me a moment of peace with her. I walked over to her and stroked her hair and gave her a kiss. I wanted very much for her to know that I was there, but she gave no response. I remained still for what seemed like an hour. As I stared at her, I could not help but feel sadness, anger and hopelessness. I remembered every fond moment from my earliest childhood until the last time I saw her.
After several minutes, my father walked in with a nurse. She explained to us that her condition had not changed; I asked to speak with the doctor; the nurse replied that she would page her. She then walked over to the machine checking on this and that. After she was satisfied that everything was in order she walked out of the room, leaving me and my father alone to discuss what we were going to do. Before I decided on anything, I wanted to make sure that there was no chance of her ever coming back from her coma-like state.
About five minutes had gone by when the doctor walked into the room. She introduced herself, we shook hands and I thanked her for taking good care of my mother while she was in here. She said thank you and gave me a weak smile. I wasted no time in asking the doctor if she felt that my mother’s condition would change. She assured me that the cancer had spread throughout the rest of her body, and that she would only get worse. I looked over at my father who gave a slight nod and hung his head, it was then we decided to take her off of the machines and let her go.
The doctor said ok. She then paged two nurses who came in; they asked us to leave because what they had to do (removing all the hoses and tubes) would not be a pleasant thing to witness. Me and my father went to the cafeteria and got some coffee, neither one of us uttered a sound. About fifteen minutes went by, before we went back upstairs to see her. All the tubes and hoses had been removed; she was lying on her side taking shallow rapid breaths. The nurse informed us that she was given some pain medicine that would, for the most part, keep her comfortable and relaxed. I walked over, gave her another kiss and apologized for the decision I (we) had made. I know it was the best thing for her and I hope she understood that as well.
My father and I stayed for another twenty minutes or so, by that time her breathing was not so labored, I kissed her on the head and walked out of the room. My father followed after me and then we left. The drive home was nearly silent; the only words we spoke were us trying to convince ourselves that what we had done was for her benefit. It was late when we arrived home. Neither one of us said a word my father went to bed and I lay on the couch trying to get some sleep, but no sleep came.
It was morning and I heard my father come down the stairs; he walked into the living room and saw that I was awake. He said he was going to make coffee and if I wanted anything to eat. I said no and that I was not hungry. My father poured each of us a cup of coffee and told me that we were going to the hospital.
We got there around 8 o’ clock; we went to her room and I noticed that she was still lying on the same position, her breathing was shallow but she was no longer struggling and gasping for breath; the nurse walked in and informed us that her condition had not changed. And that they were doing their best to keep her comfortable.
My father walked over and gave her a kiss. The sadness in his eyes was painful to see. I then walked over to her, gave her a kiss stroking her hair and telling her how much I loved her. I was hoping she could hear me; I wanted her to know that I was there for her and that I wanted more than anything for her not to suffer anymore.
After a half hour or so, my father asked if I was hungry yet. I said I wasn’t, but I knew I had to eat something. We went to a small diner; I had a light breakfast of eggs and toast with coffee, my father had the same. He asked me if I wanted to visit my aunt and uncle who lived not far from the diner. I said sure.
We arrived at my relative’s house, they were glad to see us. They asked how her condition was, after explaining the decision we had made, they were both in agreement that it was the right thing to do. The usual platitudes followed about no more pain and suffering and that she will go to a better place.
We returned to the hospital in the afternoon. I did my usual routine, I walked over to her, gave her a kiss, told her I loved her. I sat in the chair next to her bed. After several minutes, I noticed that her breathing had stopped; a chill ran over me, I was watching my mother die. I looked at my father and told him; “I think she is gone.” He walked over, looked down at her and let a sigh. It was a sigh of relief, the woman he had loved and shared his life with was no longer suffering or in pain. I called for the nurse to get the doctor. The doctor came into the room and began to check her for a pulse, there was none, it was then that the doctor told me that my mother had died. She asked me if I had by any chance noticed the time, strangely I did. It was at 2:40 PM.