The salty tang of olives would hang in the air, sun cream, sweat, salami and cheeses. Picnics with the girls. The sun hanging over our hot heads like a cot mobile. No one knew the time, no one cared. On the weekends, we were free.
One positive pregnancy test later, everything changed.
The weekends blurred into weekdays, the sun was too strong for a baby, and a watch ticked on my untanned wrist. Round the clock feeding. All the time. If I didn’t check the hour, the baby would remind me. And olives? Cabbage leaves were the new olives.
One summer night later, everything changed.
The baby burned as hot as the sun. The wailing was incessant. Something was wrong. My heart raced inside me like a bull thrashing to get out of the gate. It was a feeling I’d never experienced before. Raw fear. When the doctors told me the baby was going to be just fine, it was only then that I could breathe. I took the little girl into my arms. Her diamond blue eyes shone. She deserved better. My baby deserved better.
One morning later, everything changed.
I picked up a jar of olives from a supermarket, stuffed them into the changing bag, and took Summer to the park. At last, she had a name. She lay in the shade under a tree, and I lay beside her, just over the line in the sun. We looked up at the branches veering off in every direction, and as I ate my olives and Summer drank her milk, time stood still. In the distance, the girls strode over with picnic baskets, waving. We were going to be just fine.