I woke up to screaming. Happy screaming, not macabre screaming. I opened one bleary eye. I sighed and rubbed my eyes. Four hours of sleep – not enough in anyone’s universe. And it was a Saturday besides.
“WE DID IT, WE DID IT.” She bounded over to her side of the bed and slapped my face playfully.
“Whadduayousayin” it came out all jumbled. But she knew what I meant. She KNEW me. She understood.
“WE are having a baby!” She screeched the last word. She was staring at the pregnancy test in her hand, eyes wide.
And her shock was no surprise. We had been trying for so long. It seemed like forever. I rubbed my eyes and let the happiness wash over me. We had done it. I had succeeded.
The breathlessness of joy washed over the two of us. Or three of us, as it were.
They left me for work that day. “Please, please stay home. We can celebrate!”
She grinned at me, the big gap between her two front teeth visible. She ruffled my hair – hair that hadn’t been washed in several days.
“Honey, I have to go in. Besides – I want to brag about what a miracle giver my husband is!” She giggled. Her mood was infectious. I almost didn’t think of the thing we swore never to discuss. The thing that had happened twice before when we were this happy.
It didn’t happen that day, or the day after or even the day after that. But it did happen. The doctor asked me for a word, outside the room. She walked – I followed. I knew what was coming.
The euphoric face of my wife looking at me through the glass window. I looked back at her. Not sure what face to make. Not sure whether to let her live in happiness for a little longer.
It didn’t last long. She read it from my eyes. And the steely smile that was fixed on my face. The same steely smile I had worn only twice before.
Soon after she got the news, I watched her through the third floor window of the Georgian building we lived in, as I always did when she left for work. I didn’t want to leave her on her own – but she had insisted on going back to work almost immediately.
She quickly looked behind her, straight at me before she drove off. Like she always did.
The next day, I was sitting at home alone, playing with the pink baby booties she had bought that first day, that day that seemed like an eternity ago. The day that she had her third positive pregnancy test. The day where everything was normal. The day where everything was better than normal.
That day had repeated for three weeks. She rubbed her stomach daily, read poems to it, and bounced around the apartment like it was Christmas every day.
And it was, in a way. She had prayed and prayed to Jesus and after two let downs, he had chosen to grant her a baby again.
And maybe in His way, he knew that she couldn’t live without a baby. That she would be miserable for the rest of her life.
When I went to see her, I stroked her cheek, and I thought about all she had lost. She always said that God had a plan. And maybe this was it. He had planned for them all to be together for always.
But later that day, that thought – rather than reaffirming my faith –did the opposite. In fact, I made a conscious decision to forget about God completely. Because maybe he did have a plan for her. But what about me?
Nainsi is a writer from Carlow who has just completed a course in Creative Writing from the South East Technological University. She is fond of psychology (particularly to do with family relationships and mental health), mythology and foreign affairs. Not previously published.