He called it destiny. We were partnered up in class to do a video project. We worked well together. I took charge and he followed through. I felt like Spring, suddenly growing up.
Destiny. Like in any chick-flick, after our meetcute, we flirted, dated, met the parents, endured our own drama and fights, got married, and found the Summer nights (and sometimes the mornings), just wonderful. I heard him in every sappy song, saw him in the best movies, and dreamed his voice, his face, his hands.
It was 18 months later that I began to anticipate the aches, the swelling belly, and the glowing joy to enter my body as I had seen friend after friend enjoy and endure. But every month, the tests showed the same results.
Destiny. As adept at delivering bad news as he was delivering babies, he was kind, but dispassionate. His eyes, so dark and kind. My vision made waves around me and he stood there, unaware and detached. I wilted, faded, and began to fall, damning his kindness.
I spent some days falling into a chasm, barely aware as my husband hugged me, led me home, as he urged me to cry, to shout, to react. I couldn’t. Ever reliable, he brought me whatever I needed. He sent texts, emails, brought me flowers, chocolates, my favorite meals. Just as I felt myself smiling, I looked down at the sword in my gut, slowly twisting and remembered it was his hand that had placed it there, slowly, ever so slowly over the years.
Destiny. I felt his embrace as an iron maiden, stabbed in all directions at once. Liar, I screamed. Cheat! This wasn’t how it was supposed to happen.
You fall in love, you get married, and then you have kids. That’s the progression of love. Okay, maybe not in that exact order, but that was the recipe for success. Love, marriage, babies. I had seen the childless couples and the couples with babies not their own. I had always pitied them, never thinking I might join them.
Destiny. I began to despise that word and God and anything and anyone that told me I couldn’t have what I wanted. I know, I know. It’s selfish. But hey, not everyone hears from a doctor that their husband can’t have kids. He snores next to me as I stare at the ceiling. Damn destiny. Damn him.
He was young, he said. Young, stupid, and absolutely sure he would never marry nor want to have kids. I saw it as a way to have meaningless sex with strangers. He had known I wanted to be a mother. I wanted children, and several. And because he didn’t want to use protection, I can’t have the children I want. At least, I can’t have children with him.
Destiny. I stare a the sword in my gut and consider placing a similar one in his intestines and twist. Maybe see how he liked the sensation.
I remembered our first anniversary. He had brought me daisies. He knew I loved daisies. I remembered him confronting his mother for me. His jokes that angered me and stripped me of my anger with the same ease. I remembered the songs, the movies. And, more selfishly, I remembered the fights, the compromises, the adjustments that came with the first year of marriage and making your own traditions. Did I want to go through all that again with someone else?
The sky was lightening outside and I snuck out from the bed, wondering how he could be sleeping so well. I pulled on my slippers and robe, suddenly remembering when we had bought hose robes, feeling so old school and adult. I sniffed, considering ditching the robe, but it was too cold to go without, so I tied the knot and kept it.
I turned on our laptop and started the kettle. After the initial warm up, I was surprised that a window was open from the last time the computer had been open. The site was regulations about adoption. I saw a few articles about how to deal with infertility, one about something called intrauterine insemination, and several about adoption. So my husband wasn’t entirely unaffected.
Destiny. There’s nothing like it. It forces us to rewrite our dreams, to make compromises, and to change our plans. It sucks, but… I smile wryly as I look around at the home I’ve built and hear to my husband’s snores. It could be worse.
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay.