"I hope you enjoy!"- Antia
The Libra Part 1
“You're almost there, beautiful. One more push.” Malik encourages to his wife, Brenda. The sky is pitch black without a single visible star with the exception of the moon. The moon shines brightly, its essence full and complete, and appears so close that one can nearly reach out and touch it. The wind howls and blows angrily through the large trees outside of the small house where the couple recently wed and now reside. Although small, it is their first home, built on a foundation of love. The house is a run down two bedroom, with only one tiny restroom, and leaks and cracks everywhere, but still, their happy home. Inside, they don't have much furniture; a small bed, a small couch, a wooden dining table that wobbles with two just as wobbly chairs. The furniture they have is just as run down as the house would look to an outsider, but again, this is their home.
Malik Gardner has skin like the night, hair as natural as wool, and eyes so dark and so deep, it would seem he can look into one’s soul. Shorter than the average man, if he didn't have a full mustache and a thick long beard, at first glance he looks like a teenager.
Brenda takes a huge breath, and starts to push with everything she has in her soul as the elder black woman between her legs smiles at her softly. Tears that convey a mixture of joy, anguish, and frustration form as Malik gently kisses his wife's forehead; his green, red, and black leather necklace shaped like Africa dangling loosely from his neck.
“You're doing fine.” He replies to her, more in love at this moment than when he first met his lovely wife. He wipes her brow and kisses her lips gently.
Brenda Gardner still looks as beautiful as ever with her long, thick, all natural hair bound by a simple headband. Her light brown tinted eyes, bright caramel brown skin, and beautiful pearl-white smile, which shine exquisitely, regardless of the intense, jarring, labor pains.
In Malik's eyes, his wife is queen. In fact, all women of color are queens. He believes the woman is one of the strongest beings on Earth because only a woman can create life. Sure, the man makes his contribution, but it's the woman, who bears the child, delivers the child, and provides the nourishment for the child from their own bodies… from their breast. Women are great, and his wife is the best… but… next to him, of course. No one of this world is better than him, not his wife, his first child, no one; the only exception to this is the most high, way above. Somewhat contradicting, but this is Malik. This is what he was taught as a child, so this is what he embraces as well as enforces as an adult. He is the man of their home; the man is the leader; he is the man, and he reigns supreme.
Brenda sighs loudly while her husband stares from beside her. Because it’s Brenda’s second child, she for the most part, knows what to expect, but she still isn't a professional obviously, and no woman can ever really fully prepare for the terrible pain of childbirth. Brenda tried to… Allah knows she did… however, this pain is far more intense than the pain she had with her first born son three years prior. This baby is coming into the world too soon, a full month early, but nothing was going to stop him. Brenda grabs her husband's hand, giving it a tight squeeze as she struggles to bring baby number two into the world. Sweat drips down her forehead from strain and pain while the sunlight beams across her face in a pattern from the window.
Brenda's love for Malik goes unmatched to any other. Her husband is the greatest thing on this Earth. Sure, her children, both born and unborn equally matter, but, Malik is her King, and she his Queen, and it takes them both to survive the jungle where they reside. The two lovers met as teens and fell in love instantly some time prior to their first child. Both knew no other man or woman sexually, and what attracted them to one another was their love for Black people and the want, need, and passion for their people to succeed and become much greater during a hard time period for them.
“The baby’s coming,” the elder lady who looks much older than she actually is, her short and wild hair tied in an old green head rag states from between Brenda’s legs. This lady is of no relation to Brenda and Malik but a well known midwife in their community. Her face is deep and serious, and also tired, bearing wrinkles to that of one in their eighties. Her eyes are surrounded by darkness on her dark brown skin, while her hands are coarse and rough from years of hard labor.
One more push relieves Brenda from the most pain she's ever felt in her young life, and will probably ever feel. The baby wails loudly, mad at the new world for taking him from the only world he's known for eight and a half months.
“A boy.” The elder says, smiling gently and covering the young child in an old but clean blanket. She frees the baby from his mother with a single snip and wipes him down with a towel while he continues to bawl angrily. Malik grins with a near perfect smile and kisses Brenda's lips tenderly. One glance at his second son puts a name in his mind instantly.
“We will call him Hassan.” Malik speaks up, without delay.
“Hassan? Why Hassan?” Asks Brenda.
“Hassan means ‘to be beautiful; to be good.’ I know for a fact that this little guy right here, is going to change the world.” Malik kisses his newborn baby boy gently on the forehead.
“Hassan? … I… like it.” Brenda responds, smiling. They kiss once more. Baby Hassan stops crying as if someone hit a switch, opening his swollen, heavy eyes. He looks at both his mother and father briefly. A small smile crosses his lips before he closes his eyes again. Brenda and Malik both look at each other with confusion.
“Malik, did he just… smile?”
“I think he did. He must like the name.” He chuckles, gently caressing the baby's soft, dark cheek. Hassan responds with yet another small smirk. Malik and Brenda both laugh softly.
“Wow, what a guy.” Says Brenda, putting Hassan on her breast to feed. Malik watches his newborn, his heart full of love and joy and his mind going a thousand miles per hour. He thinks about all the things he wants to teach his son, show his son. Of course, this is the couple’s second child, but to this baby, he feels a near unexplainable attachment to immediately. Malik waits patiently, but also impatiently for his son to finish feeding.
“Malik? Is something wrong?” Brenda asks, weakly.
“…He’s so beautiful, and so perfect... my son… my special boy.” Brenda smiles at her husband’s level of love. He hasn't looked at anyone else besides the baby since he entered the world. Unsure of why Little Hassan is so much more impressionable than her first born to her husband, Brenda still only responds with a smile. Once baby Hassan finishes feeding, Malik scoops him into his arms without words to his wife.
“Hassan. I am Malik, your father. And this is Brenda, your mother. There is only one greater than us, and you, yourself; his name is Allah…” Brenda admires her husband with heavy eyes. He didn't talk to their first born like that so soon. Why Hassan? However, the eighteen hours of labor really took its toll upon her, and the relief is the greatest satisfaction, so at this point, it doesn't much matter.
“Hassan, our people are great. Our skin is powerful. There is no other greater race than that of our own...” Malik continues…
“…’It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men’... that's Frederick Douglass. Do you know what that means?...” Hassan’s tiny eyes remain locked into his father's as he continues to speak.
“… ‘The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress. Man’s greatness consists in his ability to do and the proper application of his powers to things needed to be done’, this too is Douglass, my son...”
“Malik, is he watching you?” Brenda asks softly, smiling gently with fascination, but still exhausted.
“…My boy is listening to me.” Malik grins.
“Malik…” She wants to let him know that Hassan can't be listening to him, he's less than an hour old.
“…Brenda, my son is listening to me. I tell you, he is really listening. He understands.” Malik says again, without looking at Brenda at all, only Hassan. He strokes his cheek gently; Hassan responds with a small yawn. Brenda smiles softly as Malik continues talking.
The laborious event left Brenda exhausted, as she fell asleep not much longer after. Malik cuddles and stares at his son for what seemed like minutes, but actually turned into a little over an hour, continuing to speak “wisdom” upon him while Brenda sleeps, peacefully. Baby Hassan holds eye contact with his father surprisingly the whole time he speaks, as if focusing on his words and learning every bit. This amazes Malik to the point where he keeps going, convinced that his son can actually understand and interpret his words despite only being minutes old.
“Wearing me out.” Malik laughs. He leans over to kiss the sleeping Brenda, gently laying his son in the homemade bassinet. “Hassan, my special little man.” Malik says out loud. Hassan responds with a yawn and closes his eyes slowly. Malik snuggles next to Brenda on the small bed, falling into a deep slumber.
Hours later, a large shadow appears over Hassan’s five-pound baby body, engulfing him in complete darkness. In the darkness of the shadow, bright red, evil eyes glare; eyes full of evil, disgust, envy, and hatred. The shadow dissipates into smoke, forming into a figure bearing no shadow the least, even by the bright light of the full moon. The owner of the bright red, evil eyes scoffs loudly to himself but no one can hear him, at least, that's what he thinks until Hassan squirms from being disturbed.
“What? He must be one. He knows I'm here. Only they can sense me.” The figure scoffs. Hassan whimpers softly and squirms.
“Disgusting. No way that he can be one of them. I have destroyed them.” He says out loud and then spits with disgust on the floor. He takes an obvious whiff of baby Hassan like one would if looking for a foul stench in the air and then gags.
“Putrid creature… You will not live.” He extends his hand bearing long slender fingers with long sharp fingernails towards Hassan with the intentions to snatch his vile baby body from the bassinet and wrap his long fingers around this newborn creature’s tiny near nonexistent throat. The thoughts of covering this disgusting rat’s tiny mouth until he's dead from asphyxiation appear in his mind, along with one thousand other ways to kill this little bastard makes him groan with anticipation. For only the second time since his arrival into the world, Hassan wails loudly, a baby scream so fearful, so shrill, that the being… the one… standing before him responds with a growl of annoyance. The growl scares Hassan more causing his screaming to get louder, waking both Malik and Brenda and nearly scaring them both shitless.
“Hassan, what's the matter?” Malik asks, jumping up to his feet. The figure is gone, but whatever or whomever it was, nearly scared newborn Hassan back into the womb. Malik takes a trembling Hassan into his arms causing him to stop crying almost instantly.