I’m lying in bed. Facing up. Staring at it. Willing it to give me the answers I need.
I can hear my wife in the shower. The running water is all the sound I hear. This is unusual because the running water always performs a duet with my wife’s singing voice on most mornings. Not today. The water is singing, but my wife is mute.
And it is my fault. I killed her music.
I don’t know what I hoped to achieve by seeing you, Julie. You broke up with your boyfriend to be with me, yes, but you are not my wife. This thought stabs me in the chest so deep. What exactly did I want from you? Could I bring myself to leave my wife for you? Ultimately, for a child? Are you even capable of giving me one? So what did I expect? To break my wife’s heart? Every time I came to your house, I took off my clothes, I took off your clothes, and as I desperately crashed my body into yours and subsequently crashed your body against the wall, my wife was the furthest thing on my mind. If I was not thinking about her, I was not thinking about the fact that we couldn’t procreate, she and I. Plus, you felt good. And I needed to drown in goodness.
The shower has stopped singing. The ceiling is spared of my stares as I watch my wife walk into the room from the shower.
“Come lie with me for a bit,” I tell her.
Christina looks at me. Considers the request and joins me in bed. We are side by side, facing up. The ceiling has no answers to give, but that does not stop us. I bring my hand to hold hers. She’s warm. Fuck the ceiling with its nonanswers. I close my eyes. I can smell my wife’s freshness. I can feel her warm soft hand in mine. I’m reminded of what I will find should I dare to untie the towel she has around her.
I turn my face towards her and open my eyes. Her eyes are closed too. I lift my head up and bring my face close to hers. I know she senses me. She keeps her eyes closed. I touch her cheeks.
My wife opens her eyes. The flood she was trying to control flows out of her eyes. The tears roll down the side of her head and find their way to the pillow. Those tears, that’s all me. Those sad eyes that are now looking at me, all my doing. A sob escapes her lips. She tries to catch it before it gets out, but all that does is produce even more sobs. She’s trying her best to breathe through all this. She doesn’t seem to be aware of how hard she’s clutching my hand.
Look what I’ve done. If my intention was to break her heart, I should be proud of myself.
She frees her hand from my grip and uses the back of it to wipe my face. Her hand is now drenched in my tears, just like her pillow is. Tears pouring all around us. I really should be proud.
“If I could bear you a child, Jack, don’t you think I would?” The painful stab is back in my chest. This time, it strikes deeper and stays for longer. I wipe the tears from her eyes. How does one unbreak a heart?
I bring my face to hers. I plant a kiss on her lips one time. Then I wipe more tears with the back of my hand. I kiss her again. Then I undo the edge of the towel and use it to wipe more tears. I kiss her a third time. Then her lips part and she returns my kiss. Her tears keep flowing. I keep wiping. Our lips keep locking. My boxers are filling up. I look into her eyes. I see what cheating has done to my wife. I can’t hold her eyes any longer. They make my heart ache. I bring my gaze to her lips instead. To my saliva on her parted lips. She’s breathing through her mouth. Her chest is moving up and down. My hand gets the towel out of the way to feel her broken heart. My eyes get the courage to look into hers one more time. There are no tears to wipe now. One of my legs is now making a wedge between hers and she lets it. I notice her dry lips. They need to be wetted again. I go back for another kiss. My other leg joins the first one to create an even wider wedge between her legs. She takes care of my boxers for me, giving me a chance to repair her broken heart. And also, a chance for me to drown in goodness.
Life is what it is. You think you have it figured out and then it shows you that you don’t. Marriage is the exact same way.
You have been texting me and I’ve been blue-ticking you, Julie. Dick move. I know. Maybe you and I should talk. Maybe I’m not shitty husband material after all. I prefer the man I was before. So maybe you and I should talk.
So I call you and arrange to see you. Fuck you, you tell me, for not answering your texts all day. What do you want now, you ask. I tell you that I’m coming over. You give me one more fuck you before hanging up.
You open the door for me when I knock, which is a relief since I wasn’t sure you would want to see me. You are dressed in shorts and a yellow flowery t-shirt. I have flowers in my hand. There is no card to go with these flowers. There are no words to go with these flowers.
So I give you the flowers. You take them. You ask me to sit down. You don’t seem mad anymore.
“No fuck you, Jack?” I ask jokingly.
“Would you prefer there was?” you ask, as you arrange the flowers in a vase.
“No. Not really. No.”
I sit. You join me on the couch.
You’ve held onto these words for a long time. Because as soon as I sit down, you blurt them out.
“Jack, I am pregnant.”