The screams can be heard from outside the home. Not surprising in this small village of straw huts and tin garages that serve as humble abodes. Strangely, despite the poverty, the place feels like home.
Soft voices whispering comforting words rise from the small window from the bedroom. He looks in quickly so as not to be noticed. Men are not allowed during these times of… trial.
He sees his wife, glowing as the sun. Her face is full of pain, such pain. He desires only to go to her, but knows that he should not. His outstretched hand falls limply to his side. He can only serve as the spectator that he is.
The village “doctor” murmurs and shakes her head. She turns and whispers something to a waiting girl who quickly darts out the door for some necessary object. On the bed his wife pants for breath as if she has run miles and still has further to go.
A shriek pierces the night and torments his ears. He will never forget that sound. Missing is the commotion of joy or happiness. Only terror at what might be happening, at what is to come.
And as the doctor bends down she can be seen to remove a body. A small body that does not move, and yet still it glows as his wife does. A piece of heaven, a piece of perfection, untouched by the hate and the fear of the world. The baby will forever sleep in peace.
In this knowledge, in giving birth to death, a father can find some comfort.