Hardening of the Heart
Kay lay in her bed curled up into a ball under her covers, still not feeling well from what she had undergone only a few weeks before. Physically she was fine, all recovered, but her mind was still in turmoil.
She was sure what she had done was right. It had to be done, she couldn't avoid it anymore, it would have been wrong if she hadn't of done something about it. Her heart told her that by carrying out her plan that this would all end.
Kay sighed into the cushion and hugged her legs even closer to her body. Michael would be home in a matter of days and she wasn't sure what to do. Should she tell him…or just keep it to herself? Letting him believe what Tom Hagen had told him would be the easiest thing to do. But surely Michael wasn't as blind as she thought, he'd eventually figure out what had happened…wouldn't he? Kay wasn't sure anymore, Michael was so different now, so different from when they were first married. He seemed to have gradually turned cold and distant, always dealing with the family business, saying it was all for the good of the children. For the good of the children, he hardly ever saw the children, not when he had so much business to handle.
The pitter-patter of small feet ran past her door, and all down the hallway, suppressed giggles echoing through the hall.
"Shh", she heard their grandma scold them, "You'll wake up your mother". The footsteps softened and she heard the front door creak shut as Michael's mother took her grandchildren outside to play instead.
Kay groaned and opened her eyes slowly. The room came fuzzily into focus and she leisurely raised her head from the pillow and pushed herself up. Kay sat on the bed in silence, her legs curled underneath her body, the warm covers still semi-wrapped around her waist. She could hear her children's excited squeals from outside the window, they must be playing a game of tag or something. Kay gave a deep sigh and put her face in her hands, trying to clear her head, trying to think of what she was to do.
It was eating up at her, this whole charade, it had to end. Kay still loved Michael somewhere deep down inside, but she couldn't seem to conjure up the emotions she once could for him now. Her heart seemed to lie still in her chest, dusty and unfeeling. She desperately wanted to feel love for her husband again, the kind of love she had felt for him in the beginning, but she just couldn't. Their marriage was a joke now, at least to Kay. He had no time for anyone or anything but business, and she couldn't understand how he could be so blind to this fact. Their marriage was falling apart; all because Michael couldn't get a hold of his venture, he couldn't end it, couldn't keep away from it. Even her pregnancy hadn't made him quit.
Kay's hands slid off her face and she looked down at her stomach, wrapped up in her cream colored sheets. She sensed it churning suddenly, like she was going to be sick. Kay still felt horrible about what she had done, but taking away Michael's unborn child was the only way she could get him so see clearly…it was her only way out. She couldn't go on with this life anymore; she wasn't strong enough, so she had to turn to the rashest action she could take. Surely once Michael knew about what she had done to their child he'd have to let her go, he could never live with the knowledge that her miscarriage was no miscarriage at all…but an abortion.
Kay slid her hands down to her stomach, trying to calm the churning sensation. But should she really tell him about what she'd done to their baby? Did she really want to be that cruel? No, she didn't want to be, but if Michael refused to let her leave then she'd have no choice. She breathed in deeply, closed her eyes and remembered back to happier times at her son Anthony's First Communion, when Michael and she were still blissfully in love. Thinking back on those times always cleared Kay's head. It was one of the few things that brought her happiness now, one of the things that numbed her to the pain and loneliness that was their marriage.
She remembered back to the night as if it were yesterday. They were dancing to a lovely, slow, jazz song; the moon was full, tinted butterscotch yellow, and the soft glow of the terrace lights were all around them. Kay had just found out she was pregnant with their third child only a few weeks ago, and Michael was overjoyed. She remembered the shower of kisses he bestowed upon her when she first told him, his fascination with the small child growing inside of her stomach, and his beaming smile when she divulged to him that it felt like a boy. Even though it was their third child together, he made her feel as though it was their first.
Michael held her close in his arms, his face resting against hers, she could feel his warm breath on her cheek, and Kay's soft hand was intertwined with his, the other resting on his shoulder. They were rocking back and forth slightly, gradually spinning around in a circle to the song; she felt almost as if they were the only ones on the dance floor.
Suddenly Michael moved his face away from hers and smiled down at her stomach, a proud glow in his dark eyes.
"How's the baby?" he looked up at her, the grin still on his lips.
"Sleeping inside me".
"Does it feel like a boy?"
"Yes, yes it does, Michael", she smiled, returning her cheek against his. Kay closed her eyes, in total bliss from the moment as they continued to slowly turn together, the calming music washing over her and soothing Kay's tired mind.
"Kay", he spoke softly in her ear.
"I'm sorry about all the people today. Bad timing, couldn't be helped though", he continued to murmur in her ear.
Her face fell a bit. She wished he hadn't brought that up, not now, not when she was having such a wonderful time in his arms. Kay didn't want to be reminded of the family business that had been going on all day inside Michael's office. While she and the children had to entertain the guests at the party, he had been dealing with all sorts of offers and contracts from people that all revolved around Michael's work with his mob…the dealing her husband and his whole family was in.
"It made me think of what you once told me", she moved her face away from his and looked at him squarely. "In five years the Corleone family will be completely legitimate", she quoted, "That was seven years ago". Kay stopped dancing; gazing seriously into Michael's big, dark eyes, trying to get him to see how important a subject this was to her.
Michael looked back into her eyes for a moment before answering, studying her worried face carefully.
"I know…I'm trying, darling", he cooed and placed his check against hers again, as he started to dance with her once more.
Kay sighed and closed her eyes again, moving along with him. Once again she decided to just forget it; it was all she could do. She enjoyed the feeling of Michael's cheek against hers, his breath slowly falling onto her face, his hands intertwined with hers. Yes, she could forget it one last time, and just savor the moment that they were having together now.
Kay took her hands off her stomach, her lips now twitching from the tears she wanted to cry. She turned toward the window, watching the grey clouds pass by slowly by, her hand massaging her throat. Thinking back on that instant in time, it made her treasure the happy moments in their marriage even more, but even that night had been ruined in her memory. She sighed, that was the night Michael and she had almost been killed.
Later in the stillness of the dark, when the party had finally died down, Michael and Kay went off to their bedroom to get some much needed sleep. She had practically jumped into bed, while Michael took longer to get ready. When she laid down on the soft sheets and pillows already feeling sleep upon her, she saw a drawing their son Anthony had left for his father. She picked it up and smiled. It was of Michael in on of his fancy cars getting chauffeured around; wearing his long coat and grey hat he usually put on when he went out. At the bottom of the drawing Anthony had written to ask if his daddy liked the picture, and left a check box for him to mark yes or no. Kay placed it back on his pillow and snuggled up underneath the covers, sighing as she felt the soft mattress form to her body.
She saw Michael walk into the dimly lit room from their bathroom, taking off his jacket and loosening his tie as he strolled over to their bed. He paused when he saw the simple drawing lying on his pillow. Michael reached for it and picked it up, giving a little smile when he looked over the picture.
Kay shifted to her side and gave him a tired smile. He reached down and stroked her cheek softly and then asked quietly, "Did you see this?"
They smiled at each other for a moment then Michael turned around and started toward their table by the window. He leaned over and placed the sketch on the wooden surface, still looking down at the drawing his son had made him.
Kay gazed toward the giant windows, the curtains pulled aside so you could see the trees and lawn outside. She clutched her pillow and asked lazily, "Michael, why are the drapes open?"
He looked over at her and then turned toward the windows as well, a quizzical expression on his face. Suddenly Kay saw Michael drop to the floor in the blink of an eye. She was puzzled for a split second before gun shots showered through their windows, sending broken shards of glass flying all over their bedroom. She rolled out of bed, taking a sheet with her, hoping it might protect her from any broken glass that might be on the ground where she would land. Kay hit the floor, immediately covering up her head, wishing the terrible sound of the bullets shattering their windows, and piercing their walls would just stop. Suddenly she felt Michael's body over hers; he was shielding her from the bullets or broken glass that might hit her.
Within seconds the guns ceased firing, and their room became quiet, a creepy stillness now resting down upon them. She felt Michael shift on top of her; she guessed he was looking around to make sure no more bullets would be flying in again.
"Kay, darling, are you hit?" he reached for her body, turning her around to look at him. Worry and horror were plainly set on his face; his eyes gleaming with the hope that she hadn't been shot.
"No", she breathed, thrashing her head around, paranoid if any other stray bullets might crash through their walls. Michael wrapped his arms around her body and hugged her tightly, kissing her cheeks rapidly, reassuring her that it was over.
They were both panting loudly, still in shock from what had just taken place. It had gone by so quickly that Kay wasn't even sure if it had happened in the first place. She peeked behind Michael's shoulder and saw their bedroom walls torn through with bullet holes. She felt the feathers from her down sheets and pillows on her feet and legs, her beautiful mirror was shattered from the bullets that pierced through it, and then she saw the smoke that rested in the air, surrounding the two like an ominous cloud.
Before she knew it Kay began to weep. Michael hugged her closer and started to rock her gently, his breathing still heavy and strained. She continued to sob quietly into his chest, not wanting to believe what had just happened.
Kay was still shaken from that night. The fact that Michael and she had come so close to death scared her beyond belief, and the thought that the children could have been in the room with them made her feel even more terrified. After that night everything changed…and not for the better as Michael had intended.
Michael then became obsessed with protecting her and the children after that. He wouldn't even let her go get groceries, he insisted a bodyguard do it for her, or let her take the children to the park for the afternoon; they had to stay in the house instead. No one could leave the house on Michael's orders, and that's when she first began to feel suffocated by their lifestyle. She knew he was doing it for the welfare of his family, but he didn't seem to understand that by doing those things he had proved to Kay that she couldn't tolerate Michael's business choice much longer.
If it meant that she and the children couldn't leave the house freely without fearing for their own lives, then how could she ever raise their kids to be the best that they could be? With a third child on the way what was she supposed to do when she couldn't take the new baby to see it's grandparents, or even to meet the neighbors? How was Kay supposed to raise a normal family when they couldn't go outside due to Michael's crippling fear that they would be killed? The answer was simple; she couldn't.
With that thought Kay felt justification for what she had done. With their marriage in shambles and her own self doubt of her love for Michael, it had been the best for their little baby to never have been born. She felt horrible for thinking it, but it was true.
Kay massaged her temples slowly. She could feel a headache coming on. She flopped down onto the bed again and pulled the covers over her body, crushing her head against a pillow and closing her eyes tightly to try and evade the oncoming pain.
"If this is what happens when I think of Michael and my future …then maybe we really shouldn't be together anymore", she muttered to herself, a tear slowly trickling down her cheek.
I think I might fix this chapter up a bit more, but I wanted to put it up sooooo...here it is :D
Tell me what you think, opinions appreciated. Thanks for reading :)