Emily hated being alone in the still, silent house that should have been full of laughter and baby babble so she spent long hours in the park, trying to walk her sadness away. The fresh air did her good and some nights when she got home, she felt more like the old Emily. One evening, she bumped into someone she was least expecting.
“Oh my God, Emily! It’s been years!! Look what’s become of me!”, Leanne, now with hair as black as it was the day she was born, pointed at the small, spit-bubble blowing, baby boy she held in her arms.
“I heard you were pregnant too? Already out and about without the baby? I wish I could get this one, off of me! Wish I was you!” Leanne continued giggling.
Emily looked at her for a long minute, her hands on her sagging belly. “I lost her…” she whispered. “Still wish you were me?” She was unfairly enraged with the happy woman standing in front of her.
“Oh! Oh my God! Emily, I had no…I’m so sorry. I…Emily, I’m…” Leanne stammered.
Emily dismissed her and turned the other way. The conversation had made her so uncomfortable, she was sick in a trash can on the way out of the park. She couldn’t handle another chance meeting like that. She wasn’t strong enough yet. She wondered if she ever would be. So, she gave up her walks in the park and remained within the confines of the house once more.
Emily had finally reached a stage when she felt ready to share her heavy load with Ethan, but it seemed as though she was too late. It appeared that he had found consolation in his research and didn’t need to talk to her anymore. He had thrown himself into his work and was spending long hours at his lab. He was hardly ever at home and whenever Emily tried to talk about their loss, he would quickly change the subject.
Emily made several attempts to bridge the gap that had come up between Ethan and her. Out of character, she initiated physical intimacy with him. If Ethan seemed like a man who didn’t think sex was important before, now, whenever she gave it a shot, Ethan would say he was too tired and head off to their bedroom to sleep leaving Emily alone with her thoughts again. His complete lack of interest in her made her feel worse about everything that had happened and finally one evening, frustrated and spiralling deeper into depression, she shouted, “I need a change. I think I’ll go to my parents’ place. Not sure for how long. I need to go.”
Ethan who had been on his way to the bedroom whipped around and said, “That’s a good idea. I think the change will do you good. You should leave as soon as you can. Do you need me to book your tickets?”
Emily shook her head and clenched her fists. She would not let him see how much his apparent indifference was affecting her. She watched him walk into the bedroom and cried softly as he closed the door. She thought about staying where she was and wondered whether Ethan would be forced to talk to her eventually if she remained in their flat. On the other hand, if she wasn’t there Ethan would possibly miss her and want her again.
There was no other way. She didn’t want to go. She needed to go. She had to get out of the house that had once held so many happy dreams.
The next day, she packed the few clothes that still fit her in a duffel bag and took the bus home.
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UBC: Post 24