by Belinda Brady
I stand in the street across from the house and wait. It has become a nightly ritual for me, and I know I am the source of town gossip, but I don’t care. I will keep coming back to this spot every night until he comes out and faces me.
Faces what he has done.
I know he has seen me. He peeked out from his window one night and we made eye contact. His eyes grew as wide as saucers as he realised who he was looking at, before quickly retreating behind the safety of his curtain.
I should have read the signs, but I was young and in love. He seemed distant. He was not as excited as I was at the news. “Why so soon?” he whined. “We are young. We have all the time in the world.” I pictured a wedding, a family, the white picket fence; the whole nine yards. His picture, it turns out, was a lot more sinister than I ever could have imagined. Had I known or had any inkling of what was coming, I would have run a mile, but I didn’t. He hid his true intentions well.
We had driven this particular stretch of road a thousand times over; it was long and winding, and at the end of it was our favourite pub. He had offered to take me for dinner on that bitterly cold and wet Sunday night. I could not wipe the smile from my face. He seemed happy, excited even. I was hopeful that he had come around to the news. How wrong I was.
As we drove, talk turned to our impending situation. He brought it up for once, prompting an overexcited response from me. I spoke of my expectations, my hopes, and how nervous, yet excited, I was. I so was looking forward to it. It was then that he turned to me, face deadly serious and said in a distant voice, “I’m sorry, but I am just not ready; for any of this. Please forgive me.” With that one sombre sentence, he increased the car’s speed, aiming for a huge tree in our path. It took a moment to realise what was going on, but by then it was too late. We hit the tree with force, my side of the car taking the full impact.
He got off, of course. Police ruled it a horrible accident, a result of poor night vision and slippery roads due to the weather. The town opened their hearts to his “grief”. His inconvenience was taken care of, and as a result he became the town’s favourite, tragedy-stricken son.
His life went on; mine did not.
As for me, I will stand in front of his house night after night, cradling my belly, until he acknowledges me and his unborn child. The ones he killed in that car “accident” that gloomy evening.
Thanks to him, I now have all the time in the world.