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Like Clockwork

Discussion in 'Creative Archive' started by Freta, Nov 12, 2010.

  1. This is a story I wrote for English class earlier this year. It's a very short story but it also has a pretty serious theme.

    Like Clockwork

    I sat in the uncomfortably silent room, more anxious then I’d ever been before. I knew that I was making a bad decision by being here instead of being with my wife. Time probably would have stood still if I hadn’t been looking obsessively at the most amazing clock that I’d ever seen. It didn’t have any distinguishable characteristics or anything. In fact, if anyone else had paid any attention to it they would have most likely depicted it as an astonishingly dull item, just like the rest of the room. What I thought was so amazing about this clock was that it was actually ticking and I’d never really appreciated that fact until that exact moment. The gears must have been placed so precisely and skilfully for it to have run so smoothly and gracefully. All of that time and effort the clockmaker must have gone through simply so that this remarkable piece of art could be set into motion. My thoughts drifted from the clock towards my unborn baby.
    “If I am so amazed by this ordinary clock, how much more amazing would the birth of my first child be?”

    I rose from my seat and sprinted out of the waiting room, down the hallway and into one of the most significant rooms I had ever been in. When I entered I wasn’t greeted as graciously as I had expected unless you consider horrific screaming gracious.
    “Where in the world were you? I’m in here giving birth and you choose to sit out in the waiting room, twiddling your freaking thumbs!” A midwife, passing by the room overheard the blaring noise and walked in to help calm her down.
    “What time is it?” My wife asked after the woman had left us. I was astonished. I had spent so long staring at a clock and I never even thought about checking the time.
    “I think it’s be around 4-ish” I responded. Tears started to well up in her eyes.
    “I have spent seven hours in this dreadful room now. Why is this happening to me? I just want to leave!” I held on to her hand and squeezed it as gently as I could manage.
    “Just remember that after the end of all this time, everything that you’ve gone through will be worth it.”

    We sat like that for some hours, talking about what we’d do after this. It was agreed that we’d move up to Shorncliffe where the pier and the giant clock tower were. We’d take the baby down to the beach every day and unlike our last decision, we’d never regret this. It was 9 o’clock when the baby started to crown. The clockmaker’s masterpiece was almost complete and my wife, besides everything that was happening, was smiling through the whole thing.

    Everything started to happen so fast. I didn’t understand exactly what was going on around me. The baby was trying to get out but the umbilical cord had wrapped around her neck, stopping her from moving. Everyone was panicking and my wife and I shared this moment when we looked into each other’s eyes and we both thought back to the time we had gone to the abortion clinic. I had spent the entirety of that visit sitting in the waiting room twiddling my thumbs. I was very upset with the whole situation and the slow ticking of the clock had been nothing but an annoyance to me. When I saw my wife leave the room, she was in tears. While she was going through the procedure, she realised that she was about to kill a living child. She tried to stop everything, but it was too late. We sat down on the stairway outside the clinic and talked about what we thought of children. She told me that next time, things were going to be different.

    The doctors delivered our baby, but the cord had already caused minor damage to her neck. She was going to be fine but she had a mark that would never disappear. We didn’t care about this at all though, because we had our child. When I held her for the first time, my heart seemed to slow down. I never wanted to let her go.
    “Last time,” My wife started asking, “do you think she would have been as beautiful as this?” It hurt to think about the answer.

    It wasn’t until after my wife and the baby had rested that we left. I glanced at the wonderful clock as we passed through the waiting room and I noticed that it was struggling to continue with its secondly routine. I took the clock from its stand and examined its smooth wooden exterior very closely. I found a small winding key was under its base and realising that this was probably the only chance in my life that I could do something like this, I wound it up and set it back down on its bench. It was going to stop ticking some time, but it surely wasn’t going to be today.

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