Today the story is that of Esther, a girl who grew up in a southern province where being able to grow up unscathed from delinquency and perdition, is a privilege as well as a fortune.
“Around me I remember the gray images of anonymous palaces in which brigades of restless teenagers moved. My friends aspired nothing more than to find a man to take them away from that squalor. Marriage seemed the only way out.”
Enjoy your reading. 🙂
Not me. I liked school, I wanted to be an important person.
Love was not enough to complete the image of my future in which I projected myself as an independent and realized woman. My desperate studying was my only means of trying to emerge from the quagmire I was in. I was studying with the greed of those who know that they only have one chance in the game of their lives. One hand in which to play everything. So since graduating, I’ve moved to university while I’ve seen my friends get married and have kids.
Men were a hindrance to me. Some small story had sometimes cheered my student days, but nothing more. The goal of graduation and a job made men and non-sense stories disappear on the horizon.
I wanted to be a lawyer. I knew the road was all uphill for a woman like me from a southern province, no recommendations, no discounts. But that made me even more heinous in my intention to take what I wanted with all of myself.
But when do you plan to get engaged? You never go out….That was the question that relatives and friends were insistently asking me. I don’t have time, I answered resolutely and annoyed at the same time.
Meanwhile, time was passing by. After practicing, I had found a job in a major firm as a lawyer. On the first day I looked at the desk that had been assigned to me with the sneer of an intimate deep satisfaction. I did it. I had sacrificed youth and loves but in the end I made it.
For some time I continued to taste the taste of conquest.
Then came the desire to complete the drawing. The work was there but something was moaning inside me. The lack of someone to share my successes with, my disappointments, my interests. Suddenly the veil that had always obtained in me the image of the male world was torn apart. I looked at them with different eyes, trying to find the sign that pointed me to the right one. My friends’ weddings were starting to make water all over the place. Stories that started with the most overwhelming love had turned into horror movie nightmares. I didn’t want to and I couldn’t go wrong.
As with graduation and work, i now had a new goal: to find the man of my life. Where to start? Where to look for him? In the office for heaven’s sake scorched earth. In the circle of my friendships idem. The feat was not at all easy while my biological clock was 38 years old. And I actually knew inside myself that what I was really looking for was just a son. The real goal behind the search for a man there was the desire of having a child.
I would walk past the shop windows of pram shops and children’s clothes and be enchanted. Time stopped on this desire. On my way to work by tram I often got lost in the dream of two small little feet to kiss.
And the more time passed, the more the thought of being a mother increased in me. Nature claimed his obolo and I could not oppose his design.
Candlelit dinners began, transformed almost into interviews, I might say, for men who were supposed to play not so much the role of companions, but the much more demanding role of fathers. I was looking for a dad for my baby, and none of them seemed up to it. I used to come home every time after those disappointed and bitter outings.
One morning I looked in the mirror and saw a little girl with wrinkles. The lack of pregnancy, the non-absolution of my biological task, had transformed me into an amorphous being, transporting me from youth to the most advanced maturity. The piece of my middle life was missing, the one I should have spent between ups and downs, between untold joys and sorrows, just like my friends, in any marriage, with any man I would then leave holding tight but the spoils: the children. My life had taken a different path. I wanted her to go down that path that had now taken me to a dead end and I had to get out of it.
That’s how my research became obsessive. By now my evenings spent between dance schools, aperitifs in the center, gallant appointments. I started sghembe stories, trying to straighten them out in the course of work. But nothing, they escaped my attempt to redesign them as I liked. So they ended up in the most apocalyptic fury or simply went off like a candle coming to its bottom.
One day, however, he arrived, like a sudden gust of wind. The moment my eyes met his including the taste of happiness, a sweet and unmistakable taste that I had never experienced before. In front of those eyes they lost their sense objective of all sorts. He was the man I wanted in my life without ifs and buts. And I would have taken it. He was husband and father, but that didn’t seem like a hindrance, just a setback. It wasn’t easy at first. It was time for lies and subterfuge, motel getaways and second thoughts, ” or you or me”, furious quarrels, sleepless nights as I knew he was lying in bed next to his wife.
But even more was about to happen.
A delay made me doubt that something had gone as planned. When I was 43, I was having an affair with a married man who wouldn’t leave his wife. A son was off-schedule. Yet a hope was lit. That of finally stroking those little feet I dreamed of in the tram. The one that he would renew by realizing that I was the woman of his life. I began to think that maybe that off-schedule was a sign of fate because it would bring order back to the delirium of our lives: he loved me and would leave his wife to be with me and the baby that would be born.
The pregnancy test I did it myself, on my way home after work, to my bathroom. Urine flowed on the strip as thoughts became liquid in my head. The result produced a rushing hot bow from the tip of the toes to that of the hair: positive. I ran on the phone to call him but stopped: it was evening and he was with his wife, I couldn’t do it. I left him a message, giving him an appointment the next day, for one of our evenings at my house.
It took him a while to respond or maybe I was just so impatient that I could decide to go to his house at the same time. Then came his Agree while I filled a bathtub to take a hot bath trying to tidy up my thoughts. I lit candles and incense and filled me with a glass of white wine. Stripping myself I looked in the mirror: those shapes that I now saw so slender would be filled with life. I immersed in hot water with my glass in my hand. I toasted life, love, my last chance.
I slept very little that night. The best of my life. I already felt like a mother.
The next day I barely held back the emotion and laboriously dragged my hours into the evening.
I had prepared a very romantic dinner, his favorite dishes, the music, the candles. When he arrived, he knew right away that I was hatching something. All he had to do was look at me in the eyes to see if there was anything new in the air. So I decided not to wait until the end of dinner to let him discover a note under the plate that announced to him: you will become a dad.
I’m not going to tell you about his reaction that night because it hurts. He simply told me that he had never thought of having a child with me, that he considered me Out of Time Maximum for a pregnancy that could have serious risks for the fetus, but above all that he intended to recover the relationship with his wife. He had children with a woman he had discovered he had always loved. I would not have lacked his support, however, to get us out of the unexpected. You have a problem growing inside, he told me.
In that moment I realized that I would be alone living what life was unexpectedly giving me.
I suffered a lot from the end of my romance. I still loved him. And I was deeply disappointed with him. But now I had an immensely bigger task to complete: to unearth those little feet.
I spent months trepidating waiting to see him. After the three months I started buying clothes, objects, creams that smelled good. I couldn’t wait to hold him in my arms, I knew it would be a boy, a bullying instinct pushed me to imagine it like this.
One night I fell asleep tired on the couch watching TV. It had been a cold February day, with a rushing wind, I remember it well. I woke up in a storm. I was inundated with blood, copious and kept coming out in a slingshot. Shocked I rushed to get a towel putting it between my legs and ran to the car wearing a coat on my nightgown. In the emergency room they took me urgently to gynecology for an ultrasound. I was crying and hoping with all of myself that it wouldn’t happen to me, it couldn’t be….The doctor’s words came to me from far away, amplified and metallic. They had done other analyses and the verdict was ready to be delivered, for me now at the bar: my baby was gone.
A dark, dusty cloud fell on my lost soul in the days to come.
A few years have passed but every time the cold January wind comes it takes me as a bewilderment. I remember it taking away from me the joy of being a mother, who swept away with the cold lashes my most beautiful dream.
I talk little about my pain, not even with my closest friends. It’s a silent presence, that I’m carrying like a heavy suitcase.
Today I live a new love story with the man who, with patience and self-denial, managed to sooth my wounds. Fate wanted me not to be a mother, but today I no longer feel like a little girl with wrinkles. I am afraid to say it but I live moments of happiness with my new love even if, on a cold and windy day in January, like today, I am afraid of losing everything. One more time.
If you want to tell your story and share it, you can contact me by email or in response to this post.