The fingernail marks, little red scratches across the milky white of my flesh, tell me that the time has come.
I have been more than generous.
At night, I would pray for them. "Are you there, God? It's me, Angie." Eleven years old. Twelve. Fifteen now. Sixteen. Jesus, were they ever going to come?
So you can understand that when they finally arrived, I fell madly in love. They were perfectly round, full and firm. Oh, they were lovely.
And still, when the time came to share them, I was not possessive. I gave freely and often. I was the very model of generosity.
But as they say, you give an inch, they take seventeen months.
That was Round One. Truthfully, I only just escaped in one piece. There was an adjustment period, a time when I fretted that things would never be the same, and then finally, the acceptance that things definitely weren't the same but that it had all been worth it.
Round Two, I swore, would be different. I would learn the lessons of Round One. And the lessons were never trust the male species to say "when." Never leave important decisions in the hands of the male species. The male species could not be trusted. With anything. Ever.
This time, I am in charge.
Little fingernails scrape angrily across my skin.
"NO!" I say, the volume of my voice designed to cut through the indignant screaming. Tears are streaming down his flushed cheeks. He is distraught.
I pull him in closer. Cuddle him to my chest and speak soothingly.
He arches his back and wails, "Nonono, amummaaah!"
He is clawing at me again, confused at this change. We are in the rocking chair, the stereo is playing softly, the same lullabies as always, the songs that come right before sleep. And he is tired.
So where is the boob?
My baby son and I are engaged in the ultimate power struggle. At the end of the month, he will be seventeen months old. The age his older brother was finally weaned.
I am done. I want to take back my prized possessions. What is left of them. Because if breasts are twins, mine are no longer identical. One boob has been so thoroughly neglected that it has resumed normal boob status. The remaining 'working' boob, having taken on the job of two, is robust with milky goodness.
I fear that we may have gone too far to ever get back. I fear the damage has been done. I am eager, no, desperate, to salvage what I can.
But still, my sweet baby boy writhes angrily in my arms. His blue eyes, rimmed red with tears and tired, search my face beseechingly.
And soon, they reveal the telltale sign of imminent sleep, rolling back into his sweet little head. He is quiet now, content.
I need a miracle.
This was written in response to a writing prompt from Tne Red Dress Club.
Someone has stolen something from you. Something of tremendous value. What will you do to get it back? Or will you give up?