Before our marriage, he told me that he would not be able to father children. He knew how badly I wanted to be a mother and promised that he would climb mountains to make that happen. As the initial all-encompassing love I felt for him began to fade into the day-to-day reality, I worried that I had given up my dream for someone else’s goals.
Our whirlwind courtship had made everyone question us, but they trusted. They believed in our focus as we always achieved what we set out to do. The similarities between us reinforced our bond and washed away any concern.
We travelled. We entertained. We drove beautiful cars and lived a lavish lifestyle. Yet my heart always felt empty. Of course, he was enough. Of course, he worked hard, was faithful, present in body and spirit and reliable. But…
I wanted a child.
As we watched our friends add to their families, we added stamps to our passports. We filled every moment and barely had time to attend Christenings or birthday parties. I wanted for nothing. Yet, I wanted more.
I began to pull away from him emotionally. A void that all of the material objects and physical pleasures in the world could never fill had become my obsession. He was so busy doing his things that he never noticed the change which made the emptiness even larger. Being together became less frequent. His focus was the next great accomplishment; mine was finding fulfillment.
I told him I needed to venture out to recenter and he couldn’t be a part of that. I explained that I had lost myself in him and needed to find me again so that we could be a better us. I spun my plan in such a way that he knew his participation would interfere. I’ll never forget the sad smile on his face when he finally agreed that if it was my goal, my dream, he would not stand in my way.
I began the adventure living as he and I always had with the best of everything, but soon grew tired of being alone in luxury. No beach, historical site or exotic locale could fill that empty space in my soul. Yet, I continued to search. I dined with locals, made new, yet temporary, friends and experienced more in those months than I had during the last few years of my marriage.
The contact with him had been frequent at the beginning, but had tapered off to a short daily phone call. I shared all I could, knowing he couldn’t understand the change within me. He appreciated the pictures I sent and encouraged me to take all the time I needed. He assured me that he had everything under control and would be waiting when I came home.
When I finally felt a peaceful fullness within me, I made plans to return home.
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I wasn’t sure how I would begin the conversation, but it had to happen quickly. I knew I had been wrong, but couldn’t hide my internal glow. I had put aside my greatest dream for him and he hadn’t followed through on his promises to me. I had decided to follow my heart and was comfortable with my decisions.
When he didn’t pick me up at the airport, I was disappointed, but thankful for the additional time to sort through my thoughts. He knew I was coming home, yet didn’t answer my calls. He was probably locked away at his office, as had become his standard.
As I exited the cab, I smiled at the beautiful new car sitting in my driveway, then wondered if he’d let me keep it after I told him. We had enjoyed many amazing years and I was now on the verge of my greatest achievement. I knew that all would be okay. I flattened my clothing against my sides knowing that I couldn’t hide my growing belly and walked inside to change before he got home.
I smelled a soft floral scent coming from my bedroom and smiled. Flowers would be a beautiful welcome home.
I pushed open my bedroom door and there they were – arms and legs intertwined.
I closed the door quietly and smiled. Making my way down to the kitchen, I felt incredible peace. I was going to have someone else’s baby and he had no room to cast a single stone. The rightness eclipsed every mistake made along the way.
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Written in response to the Speakeasy #158
This week’s prompts: