Setting Fire to the Rain

I guessed that something was wrong as soon as I saw her. I had studied her face often enough to be able to read her like an open book. She didn’t say anything when we met. When I looked at her, she didn’t meet my eyes. “Are you okay?” I asked her. “I’m alright,” she said, her eyes gazing off into the distance. “No, tell me. I know that something’s up. Something is bothering you,” I insisted, grabbing her arm. She shook me off and kept walking. “I said I’m fine.”

I stopped right there but she didn’t seem to notice. “Baby, wait a second. Hey! Will you wait for me, please?” I had to jog a few meters to catch up with her. “What’s wrong with you?” I repeated. For the first time, she stopped and looked at me. “What’s wrong with me? God dammit, I don’t wanna talk about it, okay?” Desperately, she threw her hands up in the air and dropped them a second later. She looked exhausted, a little scared even and, for some reason that I couldn’t quite figure out, she looked incredibly sad. “What do you mean you don’t wanna talk about it? Whatever it is, I could help you figure it out, you know? You know you can always talk to me.” She shook her head and started walking in the direction we’d just come from. “Just give me some space, okay?”

Desperation started to crawl up and through my body. “Hey, don’t do that!” I called after her. “Don’t do that. Don’t walk away from me like that.” I jumped after her, grabbed her arms and spun her around in a swift movement, wrapping my arms around her rigid body at the same time. She kept her arms in between us like she was trying to protect herself from some kind of danger that I couldn’t see. I tried to ignore her fists that she continued to press against me. It could have been seconds or hours before she finally let her guard down and leaned into my embrace.

“It’s okay, baby, it’s okay,” I soothed her, rocking her body like that of a small child. She started sobbing and I hugged her tighter. “It’s okay. We’ll figure it out.” I felt her shaking her head against my chest. “No, it’s not,” she mumbled. I held her at arm’s length. “Hmm? What’s that?” I asked.  Our eyes locked for a brief moment. Dark brown eyes dove in mine and once again, I felt like I was drowning. I had always loved those eyes. They had been the first thing I had noticed about her when I had first seen her three years ago. I gave her an encouraging smile.

“No,” she repeated, her voice lifeless and low. “It’s not okay.” I felt like she was looking right through me.  “Are you going to tell me what’s going on now?” I asked, shaking her slightly.

It was like I brought her back from that state of trance right then. She blinked twice and her eyes widened as if she had just realised that she was talking to me.

“I’m pregnant,” she said eventually, breaking the silence that had lasted too long. I wouldn’t have heard her say those words if I hadn’t been focusing on her every move this badly. It was only a whisper but I heard every word as clear as ever, and I felt like each one of them drove a knife through my heart, ripping it apart, setting it on fire. My mind went blank. I didn’t know what to say, didn’t know what to do. I didn’t feel my arms slip from her shoulders, but I felt the unbearable weights that pulled me down as soon as they dropped to my sides. I didn’t see the tears on her face, and I didn’t see her walk away. Her words echoed in my head and I felt like I was burning, drowning and suffocating all at the same time because I had always wanted children, knowing that I would never have any.

(Photo Credit: lauren rushing via Flickr cc)

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