Waiting by the window with my swollen belly wondering where he was. Thinking what if I go in labor. No phone, living in a city where his friends were my only friends. My baby does a back flip inside me. Happy little back flip. I cradle my belly in my hands so tenderly. Baby, please forgive me if I can’t give you the world. I had stars in my eyes when I made you and now they are starting to fade. I fell asleep waiting for him to come home to me. I fell asleep on the couch. I woke and he was sleeping in the bed.
I looked at him in the bed of our one bedroom apartment and looked at the warm couch I made comfy.
And I went back, to the couch.
I was in labor for over 24 hours, my beautiful baby boy was born with big eyes, brown skin and hair that stood up as if grass was growing. He looked lovingly at me, as if I held all of life’s secrets in my eyes. But it was the other way around, he held them in his. He had his dad’s lips, full, yet a small mouth like mine. My eyebrows and his dad’s eyes. We made him. Hid dad was there for the labor and delivery. Then he was gone. I cried for the two days I was in the hospital. A nurse wanted me to talk about it, but I said I didn’t want to. I didn’t want anyone to know, he didn’t love me anymore. She gave me options, to go into a shelter for abused women. I wasn’t abused, I was unloved. She said I was emotionally abused.
He came at the last minute to sign the birth certificate, and pick us up.
And I went back.
Me walking on the snowy road, my newborn in his carseat, I am carrying him. I am crying and scared and angry. I found the love letter between him and his “girlfriend.” I hit him over the head and took my baby and started walking. Where will I go? I can’t go back to him. The wind started to blow.
And I went back.
Two more babies later, he never changed. I am loading the car. I have the option to move 12 hours away with a good job. I put the TV in the front seat. Pack all the clothes in the back. My three boys are bewildered. Sitting in car seats in the back. I have a loaf of bread and some bologna in a cooler with some juice and soda. We need all the gas money we can get. He pulls in with his friends and starts laughing at me. ”Where do you think you’re going?”
“I’m leaving you.”
“I’ll see you in an hour.” He says.
And I never looked in the rear view mirror as I drove away. 12 years later, I am still single and know full well love is a deep emotion that needs to be protected and respected. If it finds me someday, I will remember that. If not, I didn’t waste anymore time with someone who didn’t love me. And I am ok with that.