I started creating mini stories recently – my soul needed to create a hope of sorts.
The Monster started as a moment in a larger book, but I found it more profound on its own.
This is Zara, Aaric, and Emela. There is so much more to their story, but I hope you enjoy this moment of their journey 💝
“Can we talk, Zara?”
I looked back at my husband, his fingers rolling his wedding band around his ring finger. He wasn’t looking at me, he was staring at the counter.
“What’s up?” I leaned against the counter, my mind racing at the next words from his mouth.
His leg bounced in speed, his nerves made his chest rise and fall at a different speed. “It was me,” he blurted out.
I pulled my hands out of my pocket and crossed my arms in front of my chest.
I didn’t speak, but the feeling like I was going to pass out ached in my heart.
“For about a week before, I had called to talk about us working things out. It was a long shot. I knew it, especially since I left after the miscarriage. I said some things I could never unsay, did things I could never undo, but I had to try.”
I wasn’t ready for this conversation. I wasn’t ready for his confession when I already knew it was him in that park.
“I saw you with him the night before and then again that day. I was angry. Every time I tried to call, you wouldn’t answer. No texts. No snapchats.”
I remembered every call and message that week. I ignored them. I had decided to move on. He ignored me for weeks and I was being a bit petty. I decided to meet with some friends at a cafe, Colin walked me home.
“I saw you leave your usual spot. I didn’t know where you were staying so I went to the bookshop in hopes of catching you, trying to get you to talk to me.”
I felt the urge to turn around, my back towards him. I didn’t want to cry, but it was just falling from my eyes.
“I was calling you, and I saw you look at your phone and ignore my call.”
“Okay, you need to stop,” my voice cracked.
The baby’s wails started through the monitor. I moved from the room and up the stairs. I pulled the little one into my arms and her cries stopped immediately. My little siren, saving me from this conversation.
I pressed my lips against her head and controlled my tears just as I felt him enter behind me, standing close to the door.
“Is she okay?” he asked.
I just moved around to a beat to the diaper station, my little one smiling with her sleepy eyes.
“I can help,” he offered. “I think it’s my turn anyways.” He was quiet, trying to make light of diaper duty.
“You have that dinner with the partners. You should probably go.”
“Zara, please talk to me.” The plea in his voice was sad.
“Aaric, I know. I’ve known for a long time.”
The room went stale. I finished changing Emela’s diaper and redressed her before picking her up.
I moved past him and headed down to the kitchen. She was in need of a feeding, but I needed water and a towel from the stack I hadn’t put away yet. I put the ring sling over my shoulder and placed Emela inside exposing my breast to her as I slipped into the rocking chair outside on the porch.
He came outside and sat on the steps in front of me, turned and leaned on the banister behind him, his knee up to his chest.
“Why don’t you hate me?”
“I forgave you a long time ago and here we are.”
My eyes landed back on my precious one suckling from my breast, the ease of her and breastfeeding relaxed me.
“You don’t hate her?”
“She isn’t about that night. She doesn’t know that night. She wasn’t a part of that night.”
He put his head back, his face glowing under the bright moon.
“You never hesitate with her. I never see you look at her with anything but joy.”
“She has only love surrounding her.”
I switched sides knowing I was nearly out. I needed to feel connected to her, my little Emela Sunrise.
“Even when you agreed to try again, you didn’t let what I did, how I ended things, did things after; you never held that over me.”
I wanted to say that was true. There were moments when all I wanted to do was throw it back at him. All of it. Those moments when we were working on things and it brought out the pain I went through.
“What’s going to happen now that we both know what happened?” he asked.
“Why did you want me to know?” I asked.
He tucked both legs towards his chest, his elbows on his knees, his hands in his hair.
“This time around has me scared. Things were so messy before and now they’re great.”
“You don’t want me to leave.”
“I’ve been so scared of losing you again.”
I let out a heavy sigh as I covered myself back up, and headed inside and back up the stairs