The Girl I Hope You’ll Be

Your tiny fingers grasp the top of my thumb, scarcely able to keep your eyes open, and already you trust me. You trust me to protect you as you sleep, to feed and clothe you, to give you warmth and shelter. Nestled in the crook of my arm, in this scratchy hospital bed it’s just you and me, no one else matters. Nonsense babbles tumble out of your pursed lips, and I can’t help but cry at just how perfect you seem.

I have hopes for you yet, little angel. I hope you’ll grow to love the forest as much as I do, that you will seek comfort in the way sunlight filters through the green leaves above your head to the dark cocoa-coloured mud on your boots. I hope you will learn fairly swiftly that mud doesn’t taste like chocolate.

I hope you’ll do well in school, and that you’ll find your subject early on. Whether it’s the conceptual complexities of mathematics, or the ebb and flow of verse in literature, smooth arcs of oil pastels or whizzes and fizz-bangs, whatever you choose I hope that you are supported by your teachers and they recognise your full potential.

Rather selfishly, I hope you will look a bit like me. Blonde ringlets and big green eyes, freckles sparse across your rosy cheeks. I hope you have a soft laugh that can capture the hearts of even the toughest creatures, and you are sensitive to others and their issues as they have been to me. For you, little angel, have been the biggest issue I have ever had, and people have been kind in their approach to you.

A nurse and the lady with the black coat have appeared again. She scoops you from my arms, and you don’t even stir. I watch as the blue blanket you are wrapped in disappears from view, and the nurse softly strokes my arm.

I hope we meet again one day, little angel, and I get a chance to explain.

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