The Brightest Hope

By Su Yin Yap

“Come with a comfortably full bladder and a clean pair of socks,” instructs the leaflet, with no further explanation, as if the reasons are self-evident.

Perched on the edge of the bed in hospital cap and gown, my best pair of cashmere socks offer some comfort, soft as caramel around my toes.

The ward is windowless, strip lighting exposes everything: cracked hopes and free-wheeling despair.  I tamp mine down tight inside me and mark them “Not for Today.”

A blue disposable curtain separates me from the couple in the next bay – she is crying quietly; he plucks reassurance from the air and weaves it into a blanket around her. They both know it is an illusion – there is no comfort here.   

“Cubicle 2, Are we ready?” Gripping, gaping gown, I pad behind the doctor into theatre.

“Now watch the screen … a quick flash as I transfer the embryo,” says the doctor from behind my tented knees. There you are, a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it shooting star.

Last time I saw a shooting star I felt tiny, a speck within the vastness of the universe.  

Now you’re the star and I’m the universe.
Hold on, little one, hold on.

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Su Yin Yap is a psychologist and spare-time writer based in the UK. Her work has been published by Popshot Magazine, Funny Pearls online journal, and award winning Arts and Culture website Headstuff.org and performed at Solstice Shorts, 2018. You can find her lurking on Twitter @SYwrites.

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