When you closed off your heart to me, you ended our relationship so casually and so callously. In the time since, my hours have been consumed trying to separate the you I knew, or thought I knew, with the decision you took to close the door on myself and our unborn child so decidedly. I wonder what you meant the countless times you spoke of ‘values and principles’. Are these just words you heard on tv and thought wow, this are the best words to woo a girl. And with them, woo me u did. I valued those words when you said them to me, i believed you were right for me, the right companion through thick and thin. And as days turned into months, and months into years, i believed you trusted me as much as i did you, and you valued me in your life.
When i look back at your behavior, i realize i was trying to stay in love with a man who was busy falling out of love. I wish you wouldve let me know, then i wouldn’t be in the situation i find myself in. I thought u cared for me genuinely. I asumed you thought of our future together and would want to protect that vision. But it seems i was jus an experiment, a conquest for u to cross off your list as you move on. I always believed a real relationship sprung from history and devotion. But now seems your devotion is to a life you built behind my back.
I don’t know the what led you here, the thought processes meandering through your head like tributaries to the ocean, all taking us to this final fact: your apathy. I won’t know if you lay awake in the small hours justifying your decision to yourself. My own thoughts have taken me to a more rational understanding that, for the majority, the necessity of making such a decision will happen only once in your life, if at all. If you choose to absolve yourself of all knowledge of me behind your emotional laziness, i cannot force u. The man who said would be my companion but now treats me like a burden of a woman with a even bigger problem growing in her belly.
Having consulted my own male friends, many of whom are fathers themselves, I take some level of comfort in knowing that they understand your behaviour but cannot justify it. Which leads me to my next question: what do your own friends think? Do you think I put this on myself? Does the fact that your close relatives are coparenting make you dismiss the idea of giving us a try? is it pride that snatched you away from me or pure meanness? Was i so blind to the fact that you didnt care for me? So dumb that i gave my body over and over again to someone who didnt appreciate it at all?
You complained to me how i made you cry, once! As if your tears are never to be shed, they must be packed in their ducts until death. Well, you may be glad to know that i cry almost every day. People may like to think its hormones but i know what it is. Hurt, anger, sadness and mostly betrayal. Such intense emotions i never thought you would let linger in my heart. So deep that they scare me, but I believe they act as a protection for me.
Time and again your face swims to the fore of my mind and floors me. What are you doing and who are you with? I wonder if you’re with another woman now, someone who will know nothing of me and your baby and the history we have shared. Are you rolling over in bed, sleepily snuggling close to her whilst, down the road, I lie awake, alone, with our baby kicking so furiously into my soft belly. Does she know just how quickly you dismiss your heart and everything that goes on in it?
Now that we arent together i still want you to check on me from time to time. I want you to know and to understand the reality of life for me now that i have a growing belly. The look of worry and sadness my mother gives me as she knows how hard this journey will be for me alone. The hurt I feel in my heart when she asks me if you have called to check up on how i am doing and the baby and i must respond with a painful no. The knowing glances from the midwives on clinic visits, now that you’ve forcibly put me into that stigmatised bracket, the hated demographic of ‘the single mother.’ Those boxes on the forms I never thought I’d have to tick, the debate as to whether I will put you on the birth certificate.
I know you will never receive the bitter, biting comments that I do, the blunt inference of promiscuity and irresponsibility. Though I know it’s not your fault, that it’s indicative of society’s ingrained perceptions of women and sexuality , I wonder, if the tables were turned, if I walked away from my baby after birth to leave you picking up the pieces of my selfishness and flagrant disregard for others, a mewling baby in tow, would you be treated the same? Would your aunties raise their unkind eyebrows at your irresponsibility? Would your friends mutter slyly to each other that perhaps you should have used a condom? I suspect that you would be lauded a hero, a magnanimous human being who took on the responsibility of parenting alone with no complaint.
Most of all, though, I think about the impact of your choice on the life of our baby. I worry endlessly about the space you will leave behind, what your absence will create in this child and what it will take away. The thought of our son or daughter, aged five, asking where daddy is and why doesn’t he come to watch the swimming gala, haunts me daily. That when I think of how her history, her sense of belonging and her identity will only ever be half sketched I’m filled with a level of rage towards you that I never thought possible in meek, mild me. The wonderful, human parts of you, your patient, gentle kindness loyalty like when you massaged my back when i had painful cramps or always showed up for me to pick or drop me from somewhere. Will my parenting, my character, and the fierce love I already feel for this child, ever compensate for the bits they wont be able to take from the beautiful parts of you?
I want you to know that your absence is felt even though you think because the baby isnt here your not already a father. That I will do this because I have to and based on my principles, i couldn’t kill our child conceived out of love. But it hurts to know you are so close, yet so far. Always so quick to dismiss me when only a few months ago i couldn’t sleep without telling you good night. Now as you weigh your options in your burdened world, I am empowered by how i feel. I am proud to be a woman and wouldn’t trade these flutters in my tummy for anything.
My conscience is clean, how is yours?