A rubber ducky bobs lazily on the water’s surface, its garish, painted smile pregnant with plastic sadness.
Raj cleans the pool, silent. Each dead leaf extricated from its depths is another page of a life they once contemplated, now defunct. Annie sits nearby, her sobs matching the carefree dance of the floating toy. The test results, still fresh in their minds, were unequivocal; the verdict, unforgiving. She could never be a mother, nor Raj a father. They wouldn’t know the miracle of creating new life, never hold their dear baby. Their dream, like leaves, had drowned.
Unwavering, the rubber ducky smiles.