Alex, please listen to what I have to say before you react. Your facial expressions and your tone from our last conversation are fresh in my mind. So please, think before you respond. Alex shifts a little in his chair. He doesn’t know where this is going. He’s uncomfortable. She begins. You know I haven’t been feeling well. I’ve thrown up several times. Usually in the morning. I checked the calendar. I’m late. I might be pregnant, Alex.
He starts to speak. Pauses. Asks, how could this be? Did you forget your birth control? No, Alex. I haven’t missed taking my pill once. Well, what do we do now? he asks. We need to know for sure. So, I made a doctors appointment. We’ll know next week. What if I am pregnant? Alex gets up from his chair. Kneels in front of Leelee. Takes her face in his hands and says, we’ll deal with it.
I’m afraid, Alex. About what? That you wont be happy. That you’ll feel forced. You were so firm about waiting. Leelee, can you give me a few minutes to process what I’m feeling? I want to take some time to think this through. I wasn’t expecting this today. Sure, Alex. That’s a good idea. Great. I’m going to take a shower.
As he heads upstairs Leelee has a chance to think too. She wants to be pregnant. Wants a baby. But doesn’t want a baby that isn’t wanted by their father. She knows enough to know, a baby can feel that. She doesn’t want her marriage to go off the rails. She squirms in her seat. Can’t relax. Realistic possibilities stab at her imagination. She hoped for a different posture from Alex. Struggling with the unknown she decides to have a cup of tea.
Settling into a chair at the table, she clutches her cup. Hearing the shower tun off she stares into space. I need wisdom she says in silence. I’ve always wanted the news of being pregnant to be the best news of my life. A strange feeling of calm envelopes her. She shivers. Checks her arms for chill-bumps. Peaceful tears fill her eyes. She hears something gentle. Like some sort of whisper. She had never called on God out of desperation. Her heart is yearning. Without knowing how, God is with her in a different way.
Alex dries off. Puts on his pj bottoms. Stands in front of the mirror and reaches for the comb. Strokes through his hair once. Drops his arms. Looking deep into his reflection he begins to cry with no restraint. He would later talk about the weird experience he had. As if someone or something was in the bathroom with him. I wasn’t afraid, he claimed, but I’ve never felt anything like it before. He wrestles his shirt on. Sits on the edge of the bed sobbing.
He stepped into the shower with near anger. Moments later he’s here with confusion. Acceptance is penetrating. A sensation of turning is so strong inside of him he stiffens to control it. Shattering memories of an absent father flood his mind. He held a seat for his dad at so many events. A seat his father never filled. Alex is afraid. Fearful that he doesn’t know how to be a dad. Alex is mad at his father for what he did to him. He’s also angry at God for letting it happen. Alex is melting. Dissolving into something he can’t recognize. Shaking his head as if to throw off his emotions he stops before he loses what’s going on.
Leelee’s in a state. Her peace isn’t rational. She crosses her arms in an unconscious self-hug. With too many ideas to choose from she leaves them scattered. There is a boom sound from above. Like something fell. She gets up to go and see what the noise was. Alex slid off the bed. His knees hit hard on the floor. He hears Leelee’s footsteps. Jumps up before she can get there. Rushes toward the door. They meet in the hallway. He takes her into his arms. Startled by his weeping she releases her own tears.
Offering comfort she says, it’s okay, Alex. What’s going on? I don’t know what just happened. I want us to have this baby. I want to be the father I never had. I said it was money. The truth is, I’m scared. What are you afraid of, Alex. I don’t know how to be a father. I feel messed up about that. I thought more time would give me a chance to fix myself. What do you mean? fix yourself. There are things I’ve never told you. Things I’ve never talked about. Alex, you know you can talk to me about anything. It’s not you, Leelee. It’s me.
As they stand there, clinging to each other, they both knew their love just went to a new place. I know everything is going to be alright, Leelee. I’ll have to find the courage to share things I’ve buried. Deep things I didn’t want to ever talk about. I trust you more than any person on earth. All I want right now is to hold onto you forever.
Marty rests. This day couldn’t have gone any better. He wallows in Pantokrater’s pleasure.
Marty will return next Friday!