“I was going to bring you kids with me, but you meant the world to your father. I couldn’t break his heart that way. I knew leaving would be bad enough, and if I tried to take you kids as well, he would have never allowed it. He would have fought tooth and nail for you kids. So one night, I packed my bags, wrote a note for him, and left—never looking back, and never calling to check up on you guys.” Sara, my mother, I didn’t know what to call her, broke into quiet sobs.
I wish I could’ve blamed my tears on the hormones, but I knew I couldn’t. She had said so much; I learned more about the whole reasoning behind her leaving. Now that I knew, I wasn’t sure if I should be angry, content, happy, or relieved. Where do we go from here? How do you begin to build a relationship with someone after so many years of wanting and needing her, knowing that she chose to be selfish? Does she even want to build a relationship, or is this a way to help ease her guilty conscious?
Sara wiped her tears with the back of her hands and looked back at me. We stared at each other for a moment. Her eyes pleaded for forgiveness and mine screamed with pain and understanding. So many things were going through my mind: more questions, wanting her to explain more of herself.
Just when I felt I was going to blurt out everything and tell her about all of my feelings towards her, the front door opened and closed. All three of us turned our attention towards the door, and Jeremy was standing there, staring at us questioningly. He slowly made his way in our direction.
It may have been the emotional rollercoaster of the last hour I’d endured with my mother, or last night’s mishap with Marcus, or the fact that my pregnancy hormones were getting the best me, but when I saw Jeremy and his familiar, friendly face, I couldn’t help but jump out of my seat and throw myself into his arms.
At first he was wary, and then when I began to sob in his arms, he tightened his embrace. He was my best friend, and I missed him so much. It felt like forever since we’d talked, really talked. I went to him for everything, and now that we had our separate lives, I didn’t realize how much I needed him.
Pulling back, Jeremy slightly lowered his head to look at me. “Hey, what’s the matter?”
Wiping the snot off my nose with the back of my hand, I looked at him. His piercing blue eyes were warm and allowed me to relax. “I’m fine…I just missed you, that’s all.”
He flashed his perfect smile while pulling me in and kissing the top of my head. “I’ve missed you too.”
A screeching noise from the kitchen startled me. When I turned around, Marcus’ chair was farther away from the table, and he was nowhere in sight. Before I could react, I heard a door slam shut. With our arms still wrapped around each other, we looked at each other and without a second thought we unlocked our hold. Marcus was angry. I know him: he’d always been jealous of Jeremy and my little “welcoming” display probably set him over the top. Sighing, I fixed my gaze at my mother who was still seated, staring at us.
“Maybe I should go. Do you think we could meet up sometime this week? I would like to maybe treat you to lunch or dinner. We could talk more?” She asked as she stood from her chair. Digging in her purse, she removed a pen and piece of paper. After scribbling something down, she made her way to me. “Here’s my cell and home number. I moved here a month ago. My address is written on there as well.” She handed me the info. I looked at it. Should I give her my information as well, or should I just leave it at that and contact her when I’m ready?
“Thank you, I’ll call you tomorrow,” I said. She gently smiled and walked over towards the front door. I watched as she opened it, and looking over her shoulder, she smiled once again before leaving.
“Who was that?” Jeremy asked as he searched in the fridge.
“Long story, are you staying here tonight?” Now leaning over the kitchen island, he bit into an apple and nodded. “Well I have to fill you in on a lot of stuff. First, I’m going to check on Marcus.”
I debated before opening the door whether I should give him some more time or not. We were doing so well today. Ugh, I hated this about us. We were always up and down. Though, no matter how many times we’re down, I still truly loved him. He was everything to me, and I didn’t want him to ever feel in any way insecure or jealous. The last thing I wanted was another argument. I don’t think I had the strength to fight back. Taking a deep breath, I walked into my room. Marcus was lying on my bed, hands behind his head, legs crossed, and eyes shut. I inched over to the edge and noticed he was listening to my iPod.
Kneeling on the bed beside him, I kept my distance. He popped opened an eye. Smiling, he took off the earbuds. With one hand still behind his head, he reached the other out to me. I took it, and he pulled me into him. I fell on chest and giggled. “What are you doing?” I asked, lifting my head to him.
“Chillaxing.” I burst out laughing, my mixed-use words sounded funny coming out of him, especially with his slight Boston accent.
He raised an eyebrow, and his smile grew crooked. “You find that funny? You should hear how it sounds when you say it.”
Slapping his chest, I yelled, “Hey!” Chuckling, he shifted his body so that I was flat on my back. He was on top of me with his stomach pressed against mine. He was searching my face, lost in thought.
I wonder sometimes what goes on in his head: all he has seen, the secrets he must keep, the dark path he’d chosen and refused to break from. Would he ever leave it…would our love be enough for him to walk away from it? Or will this be his life even twenty years from now like his father’s? If that’s the case, then what am I doing … can I truly live this way? His face grew sad, and he wiped the tears that I unknowingly shed, two simple drops that rolled down the side of my temples and onto the pillow.
“What are you thinking?” he asked. I didn’t want to answer him. I didn’t want to argue anymore. I just wanted to finally be happy, to be a family. I have to stop thinking about what tomorrow will bring and live for today. Tomorrow isn’t promised, and I can’t think of any reason why we shouldn’t be together at this moment. The love he’d shown me was deeper than most. Right then, at that very instant, I couldn’t imagine my life without him.
“Ask me again?” I whispered.
His brows creased questioningly. “Ask you what?”
“Ask me again.” His eyes brightened when he realized what I was asking.