The air was crisp, the coolness of Fall fast approaching. This was probably one of the last warmer days we would be having. The leaves already started turning bright oranges and beautiful reds. This is the first day we’ve spent together outside of the house. We’ve both been working a lot since it happened. I’ve been working in the office more instead of at my desk at home. Distancing ourselves from each other seemed the only way to survive this. He doesn’t understand my reasoning at all, and what’s worse is that I did it behind his back and now I know he doesn’t trust me any more. I love him so much. Kyle was the first man I had ever said “I love you” to. Growing up the way I did, I didn’t make that decision lightly. I was head over heals for this gentle giant of a man. I just wish he could understand. I love him more than anything but I wasn’t ready to be a mother. I didn’t want to end up like my own parents, neglectful and abusive. I suffered enough black eyes and bruised ribs to know I was scared to have a child of my own. Those things are hereditary they say. They call it “the cycle of violence.” It has nothing to do with us or our marriage or how much I love him. But we are still young and I just wan’t ready. I hope he forgives me some day.
We are walking along the path at the park. The grass is still green but fading slightly with the changing of the season. Our hands are latched together but not in the way they used to be. Our fingers are interlaced but his hand doesn’t quite hold on as tight as mine; indicating that he is still angry and I sigh with the weight of a heavy chest. I open my mouth to say for the millionth time that I am sorry but I decide against it. I close my eyes while we walk and picture Kyle in his plaid pajama pants with no shirt on, sitting on the couch with a toddler in his lap. Im standing at the kitchen counter drinking a hot cup of coffee watching them together. They don’t see me looking. He bounces the baby up and down and it giggles until it drools. Even the drool doesn’t stop Kyle from giving the baby a big kiss and cuddling closer. I rub my stomach and feel a sudden longing. I want children, especially Kyle’s children I realize, and think I may have made the wrong decision.
I don’t know why but I sit here and continue to knit this bright red sweater that is too small for anyone but a child. I never had any grand children and sadly my kids are all grown. I loved having small babies around. I may be an old lady know but the giggle of a baby makes me feel young inside. I miss taking care of my little ones. I never felt more important than when they would waddle down the hallway saying “Mama!” and reach up for me with those chubby little arms and fingers that kids always seemed to have. Watching them grow up was a wonderful miracle but it was so sad for me when they were grown up and moved out. That’s when I started teaching, I remember. I wanted that feeling of being so important again. First graders have this way of looking at you like you know everything. “Why” this and “why” that, they want to know everything and think you are the answer to everything they could ever need. I’m long since retired though, so I spend the nicer days at the park instead of at home or the library.
Today I picked up my old knitting needles, yesterday was Susan’s 38th birthday and I spent the morning daydreaming about when she and Patrick were still little. I thought I would knit a sweater. In all my nostalgia I knitted a child size, it seems. That’s okay thought, I had a wonderful day enjoying this fall weather at the park. I love watching all the happy families frolicking with soccer balls or playing fetch with their a new puppy. I see a man and woman on the path walking towards me. She is rubbing her stomach in small circles with her eyes closed, leaning on his shoulder. How wonderful, she must be pregnant! A perfect use for my creation. “Excuse me miss, would you like this sweater for your baby?”
“What did you just say?” I am having a hard time believing what I am hearing but it seems to be true. This old disheveled woman with too big corduroy pants, white orthopedic sneakers, turtle neck, and one of those sweater shall things just asked my wife if she was pregnant. I’m not the crying type, I mean… I get sad like any other man and have cried once or twice but never like this. I’ve been holding in everything since I heard what she did. I’ll never forget the taste of sour burning vile rising in my throat when Mia told me she got an abortion. I locked myself in the bathroom and took a scalding shower for over an hour. When I came out, I gave her the silent treatment for two days. I was so shocked. We are young and moderately successful at our jobs. I am an engineer working my way up with American Airlines. She manages a small fashion boutique in the city called Lola’s and has an online fashion column for some web-zine that’s pretty popular. We live in a spacious loft and could definitely afford a house with plenty of room for a baby. I didn’t understand her decision to get rid of it. I wanted nothing more than to have a family with her. We’ve been married for two years, I was so excited when she told me I went out and bought her roses and made a reservation at her favorite restaurant. She seemed distant through dinner, I noticed. I couldn’t tell what it was. She said it was just nerves and I was too excited to realize she was lying.
The next day she got home before me which was unusual, and her face was puffy and red from crying. When she told me she got an abortion I nearly lost it. We haven’t had a real conversation in weeks, just small talk. I’ve been trying to keep my distance because I love her too much to argue all the time. I know she had a bad childhood but I wish she would have talked it out with me first. I would have done anything to convince her this was good, and she would be a great mother. Now here we are walking through the park on our first Saturday home together in a month. I agreed to try and forgive her but it’s so hard. I don’t know what prompted this old lady to assume she was pregnant but it just reminded me how much I want a family. I know we can still have kids in the future but it was real. Our family had started and now it’s gone, ripped away. I feel so empty. I told her I would try to forgive her but this old lady just jerked me back to reality. My wife was pregnant with my child and she aborted it without telling me or caring how I would feel. I let go of her hand and walk away crying.