Emily: Chapter Fourteen

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…THEN COMES MARRIAGE, THEN COMES…

Days passed by in a calm happy manner for almost five years, by which time, aunties with noses much too long for their own good began asking Emily why she hadn’t had a baby yet. It annoyed her at first. Then as she thought about it, she realized that she was ready to have a child. Perhaps Ethan was too. So, one evening, with no preamble what-so-ever, she sat down with Ethan after dinner and said, “E, I think we’re ready to have a baby.”

Ethan, who as usual had been reading something on the computer about the newest advancements in surgery, looked up a little startled and ran his fingers through his wavy hair. “Say what now?”

“We’ve been married a while. I’m ready to have a child. Aren’t you?”

“Erm…”

“Look, there is never going to be a perfect time to have a baby. Something is always going to be wrong with the world and we can’t wait for everything to be all peaches and cream. If we do, that baby isn’t coming. We’ve got to have her and raise her right, so she can grow up and make the world a better place. Or he can; whichever it turns out to be.”

Ethan looked at her and opened his mouth to ask her where the desire for a child had suddenly come from then shut it abruptly, changing his mind. Instead, he began mentally calculating the possible expenditure a child could bring with it. As the numbers grew, almost as if she could read his mind, Emily said, “I know it costs a bomb to have a child, but we can afford a baby. We don’t have to give her the world, just lots of love, care, and joy.”

Ethan smiled a closed lipped smile and thought to himself that it was exactly like Emily to naively ignore the financial aspect of having a child. They could perhaps afford one child. If they had twins it would be a financial nightmare. Plus, most women wanted to be mothers. He also thought about how he would have to rework his schedule to fit a baby. It would not be impossible, just extremely difficult.

He sighed.

Out loud he said, “Sure Sweetie, let’s make a baby.”

Emily threw herself into his arms and after years, the two of had another night to remember.

******

Emily’s back today. Hope you’ve been following along! To catch up, please click here.

UBC Post 18!!!

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Emily: Chapter Thirteen

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HER NEW LIFE

Emily had to resign from her job when she got married and so for the first few months after the wedding, she enjoyed her time off and loved her new role as ‘Mrs. Mendonca: Wife and Homemaker’. She found joy in the littlest things, like being introduced as Ethan’s wife to his colleagues, or arranging the photo frames and cook books on the shelves she had put up by herself. It was such a drastic change from the mundane old nine to five routine that she had been used to that she had a lot more fun than she thought she would.

There were many times during those initial months when meals were left half eaten as even something as small as a gentle caress of the shoulder or an accidental touch or even a certain look would catapult the two of them into each other’s arms and into their bedroom. On some days, the ones she loved best, they weren’t able to restrain themselves till they got to their bedroom.

However, all good things come to an end and that phase didn’t last as long as Emily would have liked. Once Ethan got involved in his work full-time again; he became very busy at the hospital and was on call all night at least four times a week. Emily spent most days with only the oven for company and meals that had once been left uneaten thanks to urges of the flesh, were left untouched because Ethan was home only in time for breakfast.

During the day, when she had very little to keep herself occupied, Emily went for long walks in the park near their apartment. One afternoon, she chanced upon a group of women playing basketball. Wonderful memories of matches she had played all through school and college came flooding back and without really knowing what she was doing, an otherwise reserved Emily called out to them. “Can I play?”

“Sure! We could use another player. We’re usually two against three – would be good to even up the odds.” A tall young woman, the others called Leanne, with short hair dyed deep purple shouted back.

Emily ran onto the court to join the game. Her team lost, but she had more fun than she had had on her own in a long time.

A great camaraderie formed among the women in a short time even though they were all in different places in their lives. Emily was able to escape a little of her loneliness thanks to their company. Yet, she was bored at home the rest of the day and it wasn’t long before she was wishing she was back at a desk in front of a computer screen again.

After about six months of refreshing her e-mail every half an hour hoping to see a response from one of the companies to whom she had sent her resume, it came. Emily made it through a grueling three rounds of interviews and landed a great job. She loved being back at work, even though it meant that she had to give up her trips to the basketball court. Sadly, with time, she lost touch with almost all the women with whom she once played.

Life fell into an easy, pleasant routine. On the commute back from work, Emily would think about what she could make to tantalize the taste-buds and would scour the internet for interesting recipes. Whenever Ethan was at home, he enjoyed her culinary masterpieces and slept on a content stomach. Unfortunately, he was usually at the hospital.

Being as busy as he was, Emily noticed that apart from everything else, even their love-making began to follow a schedule – once a week, on a weekend and sometimes not even then if Ethan was at work. She had got the idea that men spent a lot of their day thinking about sex from all those sitcoms and soap operas she had watched over the years. Ethan appeared to be an exception to that general rule. She was finally forced to conclude that for him, a relationship was much more than sex and his work, she thought despondently, was probably a little bit more important to him than that. Besides, she reminded herself, the passion he had for research in his field was one of the reasons she had fallen in love with him in the first place. So, she didn’t question but accepted it, as the priest had advised in his homily on their wedding day.

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Still more Emily to come tomorrow. Hope you’re enjoying the story so far. Click here to catch up!

Post 16! UBC…I’ve gone past the halfway mark!!

Emily: Chapter Twelve

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THE FINAL FAREWELL

Emily was so excited about starting life as Mrs. Mendonca in a new city that she had all but completely forgotten that she would be leaving behind her old life. With all her bags packed, she found that it was physically difficult to get out of the taxi at the airport.

“What is it, Emily?”

“I…I can’t breathe E. Another city? Keeping house? Just you and me? Let’s…let’s stay here a little longer. Your mum could teach me how to stack old newspapers properly.” Emily said panicked.

Ethan got irritated at Emily’s apparent dig at his mother. “Come on Emily. You’ve got to be kidding right?” he said, exasperated.

When Emily didn’t react to his retort or get out of the car, Ethan got back in as the driver banged the roof impatiently and cars honked behind them.

“Emily? You were excited even when we left the house. What? It’s going to be alright. We’ll screw up a little and fight a little. Make up with each other?” And he grinned. His irritation forgot, he stroked Emily’s knuckles and in as soft and soothing a voice as he could manage said, “We’ll survive. I’m not so hard to live with, most of the time you won’t even know I’m there.”

Emily looked at him and then looked out of the car window to where she saw her family waiting. Dada was with Ma who was trying unsuccessfully not to cry and little Luke was snug in Clive’s arms. Abbey stood holding Ma’s hand. “What about them?” she whispered

Ethan looked long and hard at his in-laws and then back at Emily. “For you, that will probably be the hardest part. This is the first time you’ll be living away from home.  But, you’ve got me. Your new family. Besides, doesn’t your telecom provider give you free minutes every day? And what about those two hundred free SMS that you used to reserve for me? You can use them all on your parents and Abbey now. You’ll be in touch so much it will almost feel like you never left.”

When Emily said nothing, Ethan asked gently, “Don’t you want to be with me?”

Emily looked at him and realized she was being very selfish. “Of course I do E. I’m so sorry….”

Ethan smiled. “Then let’s go Emmy, or we’ll miss our flight.”

Emily nodded and got out of the car. She walked over to her family as Ethan pushed the trolley and gritted her teeth as she went to say her farewells. She made sure she didn’t catch anybody’s eye and tried to sound upbeat. She did quite well and only faltered when she heard her father’s voice break as he bid them good luck. She squeezed his arm and ran towards the check-in counters leaving Ethan to follow her trail. She only cried once the two of them had boarded the plane and her family could definitely see her no longer.

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More Emily tomorrow! Click here to read the story so far.

Post 15 of 31! UBC…I belive my discipline is improving thanks to you!

Emily: Chapter Eleven

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WHAT MAKETH A MAN

Ethan and Emily spent the first ten days after their wedding at the Mendonca family home. Mrs. Mendonca who had thus far been the only woman in Ethan’s life thought it would benefit the couple greatly if she saved time and told Emily exactly what Ethan liked and didn’t like. She took to following Emily around and making what she thought were helpful suggestions on how to improve Emily’s efficiency and effectiveness as both a wife and, for the time being, home maker.

One afternoon, Emily stormed into the bedroom she shared with Ethan and threw some freshly laundered clothes on the bed in frustration. Ethan raised his eyebrows at her as she folded his vests with undue ferocity. At first, she shook her head. Then, “She thinks that I fold socks wrong Ethan. SOCKS!” she blurted out angrily.

Ethan laughed and said, “Well, she has been doing it a certain way for thirty years now….”

Emily shot him a cold look. Ethan quickly said, “You know how I love research and academics?”

Emily nodded frowning, “What does that have to do with anything?”

“I’m getting to it Em. Give me a minute. Have I ever told you about my dad?”

They had discussed a lot of things in great detail but Emily had never asked about Mr. Mendonca and not because she didn’t care. She always feared it would be insensitive and the timing was never right. So, softly she said, “No.”

“It’s got to a point now when I don’t really remember a great deal about him, so I don’t need your pity.”

Emily frowned again, confused. But, Ethan was still talking.

“I was quite young when he passed away – only in the fifth grade and Mummy had been a housewife till then. Almost overnight, she was in charge of making ends meet. We spent months at different relatives’ houses living off them, if you will. While I was too small to truly understand what the problem was, it was something that made Mummy extremely uncomfortable. She finally got a job as a receptionist at a lighting company. She worked there until she retired a couple of years ago. It was good, honest work, but it wasn’t easy to pay the bills on that salary, especially when she started out.

It was shortly after I was admitted to the sixth standard that Mummy was called to the administrator’s office. They wanted to suspend me for non-payment of fees. I was outside the office and heard her begging for a few extra weeks to get the money together. I was ashamed that she had to grovel like that for my education. I vowed that I would never let that happen again and threw myself into learning. Over time, I grew to love it and since the seventh grade, I’ve always been a national scholar.” Ethan couldn’t hide the pride in his voice.

“If my father was still around, perhaps things would have been very different. Perhaps I would have been different. Perhaps Mummy would have been different. She has had a hard life. The only way she feels comfortable is if she is in control of as many variables as possible. I understand that can be a little tiresome until you get used to it. She wants to make a hundred percent sure that I’m happy. That’s Mummy for you.

That being said, Mummy is the one who made me see that I had hit the age when I could use a partner even though I was reluctant to get into the whole marriage scene in the first place. So, it’s quite obvious that she’s been dying to have a daughter-in-law for a while. I’m sure she has your best interests in mind as well. Having said that, overbearing is part of her personality so don’t fight her. She’s my Mummy. For the longest time, it was just the two of us. Do you know what I mean?”

Emily nodded silently and thought about what Ethan said for a long time after their conversation had ended. She had new-found admiration for her mother-in-law and remembering what her mother had advised, promised herself that she would try to make sure she treated her with love, kindness, and respect. Emily also looked at her husband in new light. She was just starting to learn what made him Ethan. She smiled as the thought of the wonderful journey ahead.

For the first time, Emily was beginning to truly understand what being the product of one’s circumstances meant.

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More Emily tomorrow! Click here to read all that’s happened so far.

Post 14!!!! UBC…maybe I’ll actually complete you this time!