Wednesday, June 18, 2014

(8) WARNING: CONTAINS ADULT THEMES!! For the Love of Loki (conclusion)


           We spent a full month in the mountains. It was wonderful to be there with him alone and to worry about nothing at all. It was cooler in the mountains, but still warm enough to go swimming every day. The lake there was colder and had a beautiful waterfall that emptied into it. We swam in the nude nearly every afternoon after getting to the lake by horseback.

            My belly swelled quite a bit while we were on our honeymoon. I began to worry that something was wrong. I seemed so large for only five months. I had brought the pregnancy book along and was comparing myself to the illustrations.  Loki did his best to reassure me that every woman was different and I was likely just fine. He even suggested that I might be carrying twins or even triplets. The thought of having to care for multiple newborns at once was even more frightening to me. He finally agreed to leave the manor so I could be examined by the palace doctor and hopefully allay my fears.

            We arrived at the palace in the morning and he immediately went to get Julius while I lay in bed and rested. Julius brought Hestia, the midwife, along with him. They both examined me for quite a while and then stepped out in the hall to confer. Loki sat next to me on the edge of the bed and held my hand. Neither of us spoke.

            Ten minutes later, Julius returned alone and informed us that he wished to take me downstairs to the formal medical chambers for further testing. I could feel Loki's grip on my hand tighten slightly. "Is she carrying multiple babies, Julius? Is that what is causing this?"

            "I am not certain your highness. That is why I want a more thorough examination. It is possible she has twins or even more."

            I arose from the bed and Loki and I both followed the doctor downstairs to the palace medical wing. Loki remained at my side the entire time and held my hand when it was possible. At the end of nearly three hours of tests of every variety Julius could perform on me, it was concluded that I was not carrying multiples, just a single very large baby. He also informed us that the baby was a girl.

            "I do not understand why the baby is so large," Loki stated after Julius gave us his conclusions.

           "You have both been working under the assumption of a normal Midgardian pregnancy between two human beings. That is obviously not the case here; the baby clearly has more of her father's Asgardian features and will likely not need forty weeks to develop like human babies do. Asgardian pregnancies are usually thirty weeks at the most and do tend to result in larger babies than humans. At the rate this baby is growing, you only have five to eight more weeks to go. When the time comes, I will have to deliver your daughter surgically because she is already too large to fit through your pelvis. I am sorry for that because it will limit how many children you can have in the future."

            "Would all of our children end up like this baby?" Loki questioned.

            "I cannot say. It would depend on the genetic makeup of the child at conception. If they inherited more features of their Mother, they would probably be smaller and more human-like. It is just so difficult to determine though because genetics is complicated enough, but when you add in the differences between Midgardians and Asgardians, it becomes even more unpredictable. We might appear similar in many ways, but we are clearly different beings. It is not merely that you are tall while Lorelei is petite; you are physically larger than her. She is fairly average for a human female. I am sorry that I cannot give you more positive news, but the truth is that I just do not know."

            I felt too numb to say a word. Loki thanked Julius and helped me out of the room and back to our chambers. I lay on the bed and informed Loki I just wanted to take a nap as I was feeling very tired.

            He kissed my cheek and covered me with the blanket. I soon drifted off to sleep. 

Unfortunately it was a sleep full of nightmares about giving birth to a monster baby. I imagined all sorts of strange scenarios from the child being hairy and wolf-like to being a blue giant. I feared that the Jotunn witch was not the only reason that Loki's eldest three children turned out to be the creatures they were.

            Loki came to me during these nightmares and tried to soothe me, but it was useless. My fear was too overwhelming for his words or presence to provide comfort. At last I awoke screaming in utter terror. He came running from the shadows on the other side of the room to hold me and attempt to console me. I must have cried a river before it subsided out of sheer exhaustion.

            "Darling, I could see what you were dreaming. Do you really fear that you are giving birth to a monster?" Loki asked cautiously.

            "I am full of fears right now. I did read that such bad dreams are not uncommon in a first time mother. We apparently all worry about our child not being healthy and normal."

            "I guess it does not help matters that I have had four children who were not normal," he responded with a hint of annoyance in his voice.

            I had no retort to that because it was entirely true. I chose to remain silent.

           Eventually he broke the silence by asking, "Lorelei, do you think I am a monster?"

           "No my beloved, I do not think that. I think you are Asgardian and I am not and that fact is being reflected in our daughter."

            He seemed relieved by my answer. He sighed and leaned back on the headboard of the bed. I snuggled close to him. "What are we going to name our little Princess?" He asked.

            "I have no idea. I had not even considered names yet;" I paused, before asking something I had wondered about for years. "How did I get my name? Was I old enough to tell you?"

            "I named you. You did not speak a word for nearly a month. I began to doubt you even could. Mother kept telling me to give you time as you had obviously been severely traumatized. I asked you several times if you could at least tell me your name; you did not have to speak another word until you were ready. I just called you darling for the longest time. Finally one day I asked you again what your name was and you told me you did not know. I asked if you would like me to give you a name and you said that you would. I named you Lorelei. It was from a Midgardian book I had read. The name was said to mean 'alluring' in a language known as German. Apparently there are a lot of different languages in Midgard. I definitely found you attractive and charming, so I thought it was a very appropriate name for you."

            "Does your name have a meaning?"

            He chuckled. "It means 'close.' I have no idea why I was given that name."

            "What about Thor? What does that mean?"

            "Thunder...obviously. He gets a fearsome name that means thunder and I am close. I have never quite understood that."

            "Maybe it refers to you being close to your brother?"

            "I suppose it could just be a reference that my mother always wanted me to be close to her and my family."

            "There is nothing wrong with that."

            "I suppose not. That still does not decide our daughter's name though."

            "You know more names then I do. I think you should choose her name."

            "Are you certain about that darling? I do have some books with lists of names. We could go through them together and choose something we both like."

            I sighed. "All right, if you insist."

            He got up and walked across the room to the many bookshelves that were on the opposite side. He picked a rather large book from one of the shelves and returned to the bed with it. We then sat there until our dinner arrived looking through names and discussing them. He was partial to the name Tatiana. I liked Eleanor. He could not persuade me to change my mind so he ended up suggesting we compromise and name her both. I agreed. Her name would be Tatiana Eleanor.
           
                                               ***************************

           The days slowly turned into weeks. The baby continued to grow and I became increasingly uncomfortable. Loki and I did not make love anymore. I did not sleep well anymore. I had nightmares every time I closed my eyes and drifted off and Loki was unable to quiet my fears. He refused to leave my side so he did not sleep much either. He tried everything he knew to stop my nightmares, but nothing worked for long. He apologized to me daily for getting me pregnant, thus causing my problems. I developed a standard response that it was worth it to give him our daughter.

            Four weeks after Julius told us that our daughter was going to have to be born surgically, he decided it was time. He could not even promise us that she was fully developed and would be able to live outside of the womb. My health however was deteriorating, so it was best to go ahead and deliver the baby before we both died. He reassured us that they had the technological means to take care of the baby after birth. I was at greater risk of death then she was.

            It was early in the morning, in the middle of the week. The day dawned rainy. I was taken to the medical wing of the palace. Loki was at my side. I was dressed and prepped for surgery. Julius informed Loki that if he wished to be in the operating room, he would need to change into something more appropriate. He was reluctant to leave me. At that moment, Thor walked into the room and said he would sit with me. Loki went to change, pausing to say something quietly to his brother at the door. They were too far away for me to hear the exchange. Loki left; Thor came to sit in the chair next to my bed.

            "How are you Lorelei?" He inquired of me.

            "As well as can be expected as I guess. I am nervous about the surgery and worried for Tatiana."

            "Are you not concerned about your own health?"

            "I am certain I will be fine. Julius said my body should return to normal after the baby is out. I just hope she is developed enough to live outside of my womb. What did Loki say to you before he left?"

            "He said not to upset you because you are stressed out enough. I have no intention of making your health worse. I just want you to know that I still love you. I will just have to accept the fact that you chose my brother instead of me."

            I reached out to caress his cheek. "Oh Thor! I wish I remembered the things you spoke of that day, but I simply do not. I love Loki with all of my heart and I know he feels the same about me. I hope someday you find a woman you can love with all of your heart and who loves you as much in return."

            "Thank you Lorelei. You have the biggest heart of anyone I have ever met. I hope this surgery goes well and you have a beautiful, healthy baby girl. I cannot wait to hold little Tatiana in my arms. I am certain she will be as beautiful as her mother."

            He leaned over and gently kissed my forehead. Loki entered the room just as he sat back. He eyed us suspiciously before approaching the bed and asking if everything was all right.

            "Everything is fine brother. I was just telling Lorelei that I am certain little Tatiana will be a healthy and beautiful baby. I look forward to meeting my little niece."

            He then got up to leave, telling us he would remain nearby in case we needed anything.

            Loki is sitting next to me patiently waiting for the nurses to take me to the operating room. I am finishing up this entry in my diary. The nurse just came in to say it is time. I guess I will write again after Tatiana is born and I have recovered some. I am excited to see my beautiful daughter. I cannot wait to see Loki holding our sweet baby girl. He is going to make a wonderful father. I must end this now; the nurse is getting impatient with me. I am going to end this by saying: I love you Loki! I love our little Tatiana Eleanor and I do not regret having your child!

                                     ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

           
            I found Lorelei's diary. I never even knew she kept one. I remember giving her a blank one on her eleventh birthday and telling her that it was for all those beautiful random thoughts her mind was always full of. I did not know she had actually begun writing in it though. I guess there were some thoughts she kept hidden from everyone, including me. I am Loki, son of Odin and I will tell the rest of my wife's story. The rest of her story deserves to be told. After all, everyone's story has an end.

            She left off with going into surgery to deliver our daughter Tatiana Eleanor, so I will pick up from there. She was actually very sick on that day even though she only mentioned it in passing in her diary. Carrying our child was killing her. Several of her organs were shutting down. The pregnancy was just too much for her human body. I do not know if it was because she was human and I am not or if it was because she was so young.

            The surgery itself was routine. Julius had to make a large incision to remove the baby as she was quite large. Tatiana was not breathing when she came out. As a matter of fact, she was entirely blue. She was taken to the other side of the room where a warming bed for babies was set up. Julius's assistants worked frantically to clear her airway and get her breathing. I do not know how much time had passed before she soon uttered a faint cry. She was given oxygen but it was not helping the situation, so she was hooked up to a ventilator. The blue slowly began to fade from her skin as the machine breathed for her. Her lungs were not fully developed so she could not breathe on her own.

            I was not even allowed to go over there while they worked. Julius finished stitching up Lorelei and all seemed to be well with her. She was not unconscious, but was numb so she did not feel the surgery taking place on the lower part of her body. She kept asking me if Tatiana was all right and all I could say was the physicians were assisting her. No one was the slightest bit interested in updating us at that moment.

            I was holding her hand and absentmindedly kissed it a few times to try to reassure her, but my full attention was on our daughter. It was then that the monitors attached to Lorelei began to sound their alarms. Julius rushed over and gave her a couple of injections and it stopped. I was then ushered out of the room. It was the longest, most agonizing twenty minutes of my life. I sat on the floor opposite the operating room, waiting for someone to come out and tell me that my wife and newborn daughter were going to be just fine. Thor came over and sat next to me. We did not speak. We just sat and stared at the doors and waited.

            After what seemed like hours, Julius came out and told us they were both stable for now. Lorelei was brought out and taken to her room. She was unconscious now. She never woke up. She was in a coma for four days before her liver, kidneys and heart finally failed her. She never got to hold Tatiana or even see her. I had lost the woman I had spent the last fourteen years madly in love with. My beautiful Lorelei was gone. Just like that, in the blink of an eye, she was gone from me forever. I never knew it was possible for my heart to ache so badly. I thought I had been heartbroken when Sigyn had died, but this felt even worse. Sigyn and I had been together for over a century. Lorelei had been my lovely wife for two short months. We had only had fourteen short years together and for most of that she had been a little girl.

            I remembered sitting in her bed and holding her after the machines had been turned off. All of the wires had been removed and I was given the chance to grieve her alone. I held her petite lifeless body against my chest and I wept. I wept like I never had before and I am not ashamed to admit it. I felt as if someone had stabbed me through the heart.

            It has been almost a year since she died and it still pains me to sit here and write this. I kept a lock of her curly red hair. I wear it in a locket around my neck that I keep inside of my clothing and close to my heart at all times. I still wear black. I still feel like I am mourning her. She was my life for fourteen years and now she is gone.

            I would love to say that at least I have our beautiful daughter. A part of her and a part of me that would live on for years to come and be a balm to soothe my aching heart. Alas, I lost her too. Two days after her Mother died. Tatiana's lungs were immature despite her size. She may have had other problems as well. Her little body simply could not handle life outside of the womb. She was as beautiful as her Mother. She had her Mother's eyes and my hair. I believe she had a combination of the best features of both of us. I wish I could have watched her grow up to see if her personality was as much of a blend of us as her looks.

            I insisted they be together for the funeral. She was dressed in a baby's pink gown and placed on her mother's chest. Lorelei was wearing her bridal gown. I did not want to ever see that dress again. It was just too painful. She had looked so beautiful in it when she had walked down the aisle toward me on our wedding day. They managed to position Lorelei so it looked as if she was holding her baby girl. At last she got to hold our little darling.

            Lorelei and Tatiana...both of my princesses lost to me. It is not a pain I would wish on anyone no matter what they had done to me. This is the end of our love story. I am sorry it is not a happy fairytale, but I have learned that life seldom is. Someday, I will be with my loves again for all eternity. Lives end, but true love is forever.

                           IT IS FINISHED


The Alternate Ending of For The Love of Loki

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