The preceding story:
A continuation…..Her Side…
He made these noises when he slept. Somewhere between a moan and a whimper, he would stretch and yawn, shift and make those noises, he was adorable. He looked, innocent. Like the man who did all those things, was someone else, and all the roiling feelings or doubt and stress and all that other stuff did not apply to this man. This sleeping figure, all warm and relaxed and tame. This person deserved only gentleness and kindness and filled her bosom with the most unearthly welcome weight.
The weight had life, and mood to it. A way of inciting a sort of longing, a desperate one, pathetically so. It would make itself dense and heavy at the very thought of his permanent absence. Heavy when he did everything to be anything but that innocent form making noises between a whimper and a moan in the throws of rem sleep. And so she had stayed.
Now the image in the mirror acted as the only counter the weight had ever known. A challenging lightness triggered by the hand she held on her now protruding belly. Feeling the first kicks, evidence that this thing causing her figure to distort was a living being, not just a part of her, but someone to whom she would owe her fealty above all others. Someone small and sweet and hers. It made her smile.
It made her frown. By now she would be plagues by “what ifs“. What if it was her? What if she was being too rigid? What if he needed her? What if her leaving would be the thing to push him over? What if she could be the change in him? The lightness contradicted it all. She had done all she could and all she had done had been in vain.
So she ignored the little heavy flutter. The little voice asking about what the future would be. What would happen when he wanted to partake in the life they had created? Was she strong enough to not fall back into him? Would that be so bad? What if he was the only thing to come between her and her lightness?
The bed was cold. Her place was cold. He had to admit to himself that he missed her. He felt his chest heave, and his breath quicken in the way that he had become accustomed to it doing over the last few months.
Since she left a note on his pillow, and a poem in his hand. He touched the manila folder, he had looked at the black and white print out so many times it now looked worn. But not with age, simply with the frequency of his touch and his tears. He could admit that to himself here too. Here in the dark, in the dead of night, he could admit to an audience of one that her leaving in the way she had had bought him to his knees.
If only she had given him a chance. If only she had let him know before, given him time to find a space for this, this newness in his life. Then he would have, he thought, found a way to convince her, that things could be better, that they could be better. She just needed to have a little faith. If only she had had a little faith in him.
In his mind eye, he played again the sight of her. He had seen her today, leaving the doctors office. Her belly gently rounded with the blessed burden of his loin making. She was carrying in her all his possibilities, and she denied him even the pleasure of her company. He wondered if he kicked yet, if he put his hand to her belly if he would feel a heart beat, if his son would respond to the sound of his voice, if it was a son at all.
He felt the hot sting of liquid on his cheeks. He didn’t bother to wipe them away, he was alone after all. On one would think him less a man for this. For this heaviness in his chest. Something that had developed when she left. Like she had taken the air with her and left him to breath some thick heavy concoction made of loneliness and misery and shame.
If only she had given him a chance, to explain it all the right way, to make her see it his way, to make her stay, so they could be a them again. Now he had to contemplate, what if she never let him back in? What if he had to see his son grow from a distance? What if she never came to her senses? What if she refused to love him again? What then?