“I’m pregnant.” I could feel letters scrambling, beating each other up to form words to make this better; they were unsuccessful. There was nothing to make this better. I mean, I could have an abortion. Pretend it never happened. Technically speaking it was smaller than a peanut. It didn’t have personality. I wouldn’t even have known I was pregnant anyway. I only knew because I was three days late. I was never late.
Jacob, however, was always late. Always late with some type of nonsense excuse that would only make sense if I lacked self esteem, but I didn’t. I had my pride. I had my morals. I bowed down to ignorance and accepted what we had. I loved him. I pushed aside all reasons and focused my energy on the type of person I wished him to be. I wished him to be mine. Only mine.
I had pictures of us on vacation spread out through my apartment. He had a side of the closet and a toothbrush in the bathroom. My grocery store runs included all his favorite snacks and beer. He loved Yuengling, especially with grilled wings. He loved when I rubbed his back while watching prime time. We spoke over twenty times a day on the phone. Every weekend we went off on some adventure and more often than not, he slept in my bed. My friends didn’t even know, that I, was the other woman.
“Huh?” His eyes opened up and I could see the fear building up inside him.
“I’m pregnant.” I looked away; I couldn’t bear to see the rejection of our love in his eyes.
“Ummm, well….you…I mean what do you want to do?” He walked over to the kitchen, opened the fridge and searched for an answer.
“What do you want to do?” I followed him into the kitchen and stood with my back against the wall staring at the cold truth. I was in this alone. His fun was over and my world was about to change.
“I have two kids. You know that.” He finally reached in and grabbed a Yuengling. Something stirred inside me. It was too early to be the baby, but I felt like it was telling me ‘This is what you chose for us?’
“What do your two kids have to do with this one?” My heart raced and I knew what was coming, but the fear kept me from making a move. I couldn’t say it. Not yet. I was hoping that he would turn around, grab me, look into my eyes and tell me that we were in this together and that he was finally leaving her. Then he would kiss me passionately, make love to me and reassure me that it was all going to be ok as long as we had each other. Nothing could prepare me for what came next.
“I have two kids. Three is not an option. Get rid of it.” He sipped his beer as the cold oozed from his eyes. “How soon can we take care of this?”
“Get rid of it? You. Want. Me? ME? To get rid of IT?!? This isn’t a purse, a phone call, or some type of picture that would compromise your bullshit marriage, THIS is a life. I have a life growing inside of me that came from you.” The tears overwhelmed me, but the ignorance took a back seat to the obvious.
“What the fuck? How do I know that it’s mine anyway? I don’t know what you do when I’m not around.” He slammed the beer bottle on the counter and I couldn’t help but flinch. This person standing before me was not the Jacob that would tickle me at the nap of my neck whenever he wanted to remind me that he loved me. This was not the Jacob that would hold me close and whisper in my ear how happy he was that he met me. This man, this man was not the one who told me he hated her and the way she treated him and the kids and that I was different. This was something else. Something I didn’t know.
“It’s yours. Trust me it’s yours.” I looked at the kitchen tile and started making patterns in my head in order to distract the pain that my heart was pushing into my being. “It’s our child. Whether you want it or not.”
“I don’t want it. I can’t have it. Do you understand what this could do to me? Don’t you love me? Can’t you see what you are doing to me? What you are going to do to my family?” His face was flushed. Hot pink I think was the color on his cheeks.
“You? What do you think it does to me to know that when you aren’t sleeping with me, you are with her? How do you think I feel when I have to keep you a secret from my family and lie about where you are to my friends? I hate not being able to hold your hand or kiss your lips in public ‘because someone might see.’ To hell with you and to hell with her.” I stomped out of the kitchen like a teenager denied hanging out with her friends on the weekend. I could do this alone. I didn’t need him.
“Seriously? To hell with me?? LOOK AROUND YOU TRIST! I PAY FOR THIS SHIT. Every fucking thing you want, I pay for. I give you the world!! All that I ask for in return is your discretion.” He ran up to me and held me. Not the way a lover holds his beloved, but the way an abuser holds his victim. This is the part where he would make himself the victim, and I the reason. I refused to fall for it.
“Discretion? That’s all that you ask from me? I guess my to do list was a lot shorter than I made it out to be. You’re an asshole. I should have known better than to expect anything from someone like you. It’s been three years. Three long miserable years of giving you my discretion. I can’t do it anymore.” I pulled away and walked back into the kitchen. I stood in front of the counter that held his beer.
“Oh you can’t huh? You planned it this way? I’m not leaving my wife. I can’t.” His eyes became watery. I wasn’t sure if his emotions were genuine or something to once again trap me and keep me hanging on his wall of honor.
“It’s not that you can’t. It’s that you won’t. She’s not the bad one. You are. You are the one that wants the best of both words. I’ll make this very easy for you. Take what you want and get out. I’ll never ask you for anything. We will be ok.” I reach over for the bottle of beer and hold it in my hand.
Jacob pulled back and instantly the tears went away. The emotion switched to laughter and he couldn’t contain himself. “Ha…really? You will be ok. Wow! I must admit that I want to see that happen. Do you know how much a child cost? Whose going to help you with child care, or when the little shit wont’ stop crying? What are you going to do then?” He began to pace the kitchen. He was no longer talking to me, but speaking to the husband inside him. “This is over. No more of this. Walk away and this will go away. You’re not keeping it.”
“I’m keeping it Jacob. I am keeping this child, but I chose not to keep you. We are done. Get out.” The child growing inside me was giving me a strength that I lacked all these years. It was long overdue.
“You’re right. You need to think this through. Call me tomorrow. I heard about a clinic, not to far from here. I’ll take the money from my vacation fund and yeah…don’t worry about this kid. We got this.” He walked over, took the beer from my hand and drank. He finished the bottle in seconds, placed it on the counter behind me and then hugged me. He hugged me tight. He kissed my neck and held me.
I didn’t hug him back. I knew this was good bye. My arms dangled under his strong embrace. “I’m done.” The tears didn’t come. They disappeared into the self love I discovered. The self love that was now turning into someone to love that would always love me unconditionally. I didn’t need second class love. I needed genuine love, and that’s something that Jacob could never give me.
Jacob left that day. I was strong enough not to speak to him. He called. He texted. He emailed and even showed up at the apartment a couple of times. I just blocked him from my life. It’s a daily struggle not to think of him. He was my world. The one that got away. I realize now the value of me. The importance of loving myself first and not letting anything or anyone come in between me. Love is something that starts in the heart and spreads through every orifice, consuming the bad and expelling it. Each beat is another chance to heal the soul and make things right. I made things right, no matter who or what it cost me.
“Trista Stuart, the doctor will see you now.”
© 2013 Seven Magazine