All posts filed under: Fiction

We Call Them Destiny: A Birth Story

The day Destiny was born a mist covered the mountains and the air was crisp. The green of the trees and the grass shown against the gray of the morning. . I was out with the other expectant pregnant folks for our daily exercise and I felt like I could finally feel them coming closer.  “I think the baby is coming today!” I said excitedly to Maria.  “Oh really? Why Shaquan? You’ve been pregnant so long, maybe your baby decided to stay inside!” Maria laughed. She was trying unsuccessfully to do the calisthenics that the teacher was demonstrating and collapsed into giggles.  “I am not really feeling this. My belly is so big!” I said, adjusting my loose-fitting blue crop top over my breasts to do the next stretch.   “Don’t squat so deep and maybe it won’t be so hard to get back up!” Maria laughed even louder.  Maria was my closest friend in the group of baby carriers this season. All of us exercised and had breakfast together before beginning our day. She was …

The Test of Womanhood

Dr. Isaac’s words shatter me. More than half the syllables that leave his mouth have been shattering me, disintegrating the perfect mold of my life since the day I learned I couldn’t carry a child to term. Today, he says to my husband and I, “Mr. and Mrs. Akingbade, I think it’s time you both start considering surrogacy.” It was a resigned statement, spoken with slight reluctance but punctuated by a bluntness that only physicians can produce. The words smother me as I mull over them, processing their meaning and assessing their implication. A typical response of mine each time Dr. Isaac metes out words that confirm the limitations and failures of my body. I’m sorry, but it seems you are unable to carry a child to term. I hate to say this, but we might have to try IVF. Desola, the IVF didn’t work. We can try again during the next cycle. When can you come in for another round? My fourteenth IVF attempt has just failed and now, I’m being told to relinquish …

PERISHABLE

Tonee slipped in her mouth the last piece of fried chicken she had swaddled in a napkin for safekeeping. Just like she slipped from the event hall before they could load up her car with leftovers. She didn’t need the store-bought chicken that spent hours at the repast sweating in an aluminum pan to spend days in her fridge, until she ate it all.  She could see the package on her doorstep from the car. Though stamped across its face, “PERISHABLE” failed to invoke any sense of urgency in her. Folks had been sending her things left and right once word got out that her mom passed. Why should today be any different? She unlatched the glove compartment looking for the restaurant napkins she always grabbed in generous bundles. Empty. She rubbed her fingertips together, hoping to make them less greasy. She wasn’t wiping her hands on her good black sheath dress—she was sad, not stupid. The sheen on her seatbelt buckle confirmed that her bright idea had not been her best idea. She stretched …

Taken: Three Stories | Danielle Buckingham

1 “What’s on your mind today, Carletta?” I don’t tell her my children. Their faces, the first thing I used to see each morning, whining about being hungry. The sound of their voices calling my name, Mama, over and over again. And their laughter filling up what used to be our home. I miss that. Them and having a home. “Nothing really.” I say, instead. It’s hard to keep a straight face with this lady. It’s like I’m being interrogated. The same old thing, every week. Her sitting across from me in that wooden chair, the seat padded with floral. And me on this ugly brown couch, with my arms crossed, ready for the session to be over. I shift in my seat, trying not to look or seem as annoyed as I actually am. “How was your visit with your family yesterday?” She says, kind of glancing at me over her glasses. Here she go trying to play this little game again. She knows good and damn well those people, whoever they are, ain’t …

The Sale

Mother died. The apartment I’d bought for her had to be sold. When the apartment wouldn’t sell, I started grousing that I would be wearing Mother’s albatross now. As soon as the place was move-in ready, she had to go and die. Good in a way she was dead, actually; if she’d had an inkling of my (okay, mean) grousing she’d have writhed like a salted leech. And if she’d even heard the word “leech” — same thing. Mother loved my son Joey more than anything else in her world, everyone would say. Joey didn’t love her back that much. Joey was a tough kid that way. Living with his immigrant single mom, American dad furious about the divorce, Joey knew not to love too much where the yield was slant or uncertain. And so he didn’t love Mother enough to be really stricken when she died. I tried to see it from his point of view, but since I had to be the link between him and Mother, I minded it. I minded that …