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“Can a love story come from death to the living or from the living to death? You’ll have to find out… As a paranormal romance series, I would recommend this one.” A. Lopez Jr, Goodreads.
“If Death Should Love Me is a wonderfully written paranormal romance that offers a mixture of love, humor, and adventure.” Carol Cassada, Goodreads.
“… I must say this book is WONDERFUL!!!!! I love it! I am currently reading it a 2nd time. You will not regret reading this book.” Drandie Dodson, Goodreads.
If Death Should Love Me
Fate’s Endeavor Series
Copyright C. Desert Rose & AAPH
I was eighteen. A man in both body and mind. No longer was I the boy that wished to prove himself a man. There was no doubting it—everyone knew the man I had become. My wife, family and friends were proud of the person I now was. Everyone knew, as did I, that as the first born son I would be the inheritor of my father’s reign. Unless of course, something should happen to me. Now, in being a husband and a prince, I was of the right mind to have many sons. This was, after all, the way of my people.
I was hunting, readying my wife, soon to be born child and myself for the winter that was quickly approaching. From afar I heard my sister’s voice calling me. “Amari! Amari! Come… come quick! It is time!”
The thought came that I must have lost track of time, I had not realized that I had been away so long. That morning Sulika mentioning that she felt some discomfort. When I asked her if she would be alright, she assured me that she was fine, that there was nothing to worry about as she still had another two weeks before her child baring day. So clenching my teeth, I went ahead and left to hunt, deciding against my better judgment.
And yet, here was my little sister, gravely calling for me to return.
There was no denying it, the time had come. I would be a father. Today. Running fast through the jungle, making certain that I would not miss the big event, I practically flew through it. All of the women gathered together in Sulika’s birthing hut call out to me, urging me to hurry. Sulika had been calling for me. It was not customary that a man enter the birthing hut, but this time the women made an exception as I was being insistently requested by my wife.
Sulika’s mother came to me, “Amari. Please, hurry. She has been calling for you.”
Sulika?” I called softly, she heard me and looked over in my direction. Her skin so very pale—a thin blanket of snow upon rich chocolate skin, it was. Completely flushed of color. Her lips were dry and cracked.
She saw me and reached to me, “Amari,” she spoke, so softly, so void of strength, that I barely made out what she had said. “Come.”
Closing the distance between us, I sat at her side and took her hand in mine. Then grabbed a rag that was beside me and wiped her head. “I’m here now. Fear not.”
She smiled a very weak, fragile grin, “Yes. Thank you.” This birthing was indeed taking a toll on her.
“No worries love, soon it will all be over and you will be holding our baby in your arms in no time at all,” I smiled at her and continued chatting, hoping inwardly that it was making her feel better. “It will be a boy. Strong, like his father. His mother’s eyes. We will walk around the entire village displaying his greatness. Everything will be over before you know it.”
A contraction. She squeezed my hand with whatever strength she still contained. She moaned and whimpered. My heart broke for her. With my other hand, I rubbed her back, “I am here, love. I am right here.” She breathed, trying to ease the pain. Still it was of no use because she had no strength. No fight was left in her. So once again I commenced my babbling, hoping that to a certain extent it would help her feel better—even if just the slightest bit. “When he grows, I will make sure that he becomes the tribe’s best hunter. And, he will be the tribe’s strongest man,”
She looked at me with hopeless eyes. “What if it is a girl?”
“Well if it is a girl, she will look and be everything like her mother. Nothing like her father. I would not want to ruin a perfectly good thing.”
Another contraction. She tensed. I could feel the pain that ran through her also run through me. I wished and prayed to all the tribal gods that they would help me ease her pain somehow.
My mother pulled me aside for just a moment. “Amari, she is not well. We are doing everything we can. But, her labor is not normal. The child is breached. She is losing too much blood.”
My hands began to shake, I was irrecoverably unnerved. “What is going to happen, Mama?”
“I do not know my son. We are doing all that we can. I hope the gods help her through this.”
For a long time, I did not leave her side, not letting her hand go for a second. I could feel the life drain from her with every breath. I worried deeply for her and my unborn child.
After several hours of agony and pain, it was time.
All the women scurried around her, cheering her on as best as they could. Some ran about trying to collect cloths, others gathered hot water, some had tools in their hands. And Sulika, was weakened flimsy and lifeless. I panicked. They were screaming, yelling, fussing about.
All of it seemed like a blur. My eyes were fixed on my wife, observing that she was even paler now, than just a little while ago. I bent over her. If it was a reflex of protection or desperation, I do not know. I needed to collect my emotions. Then I kissed my wife’s forehead and whispered into her ears. “Everything is going to be alright.”
“No… it is not.” was her reply, and her words seeped out of her lips like soft, supple smoke from a dimming candle. Barely audible, barely there.
“Push, Sulika, push!” Someone demanded. She used whatever strength she had and pushed. This went on for just a few minutes. At one given moment she pushed with all her might. Then, I heard my wife take a long aching breath, and breathed no more.
My heart dropped to my stomach.
I looked at her, staring, hoping that what I had just seen was in my own imagination. I heard more commotion. The women were running amuck. They began to yell and scream to each other.
Everything turned into slow motion. Muffled voices, screams and cries. Yet my eyes were fixed on my wife. For a split second I looked down at the child. A girl. She was right, but the babe was lifeless as well. She flopped like a wet rag in the arms of my mother-in-law.
Just like that, it was all over. My wife and my child were gone. I had lost everything that meant anything to me in a matter of a day. I was broken. Destroyed.
I named the child Alala, meaning like a dream—for that was all that she had been. A dream…
We buried them together, the tomb read; “My FIRST and ONLY wife, Sulika and our little angel Alala. You will never be forgotten.”
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