“I want to be single again,” she said.
“What do you mean?” he asked.
“You know… after the baby and all the rush of settling down to save face, to cover up sins, and to justify our relationship before people, I miss being single. I need to be single again”
“But that’s not as easy as it sounds. You can’t just drop your married life and live like a single person again – not with a toddler to mind, you can’t.”
“Oh, but I can, you see. You will let me, won’t you? If you truly love me, you will let me fly away for a while and search for myself.”
“I can do that, yes. But I shouldn’t. Not with our son in mind. It doesn’t look right. The baby needs his mother more than his father.”
“But he’s not a baby anymore. He’s a toddler. Sure you can take care of him for a while.”
He hesitated. Then he finally said, “I suppose I can.”
It was a dialogue which Gael Bravurachos could not forget. How could he? It was the last which he had with his beloved wife, Gwyn. There was a promise there somewhere – a promise to return. He kept repeating the scene in his head over and over, in search for that promise he believed to be in existence. Perhaps it was truly there – somewhere… between the lines.
“In time, she will remember,” Gael mused. He convinced himself of the more positive outcomes.
It has been three months since they last talked. Gael had been waiting, day in; day out, for a change of heart from his wife. He kept telling himself, “I love her…. I love her!” like it was a balm to his aching heart.
Gael has always been the unselfish sort among his peers. He is not easily angered and is easy to be with.
“He’s a harmless fellow, that Gael,” a certain peer named Ella observed. “He wouldn’t hurt a fly.”
Gael looked at the scratch paper where he drafted a computation of his monthly budget. “Just enough,” he thought. “Baby and I can get by on our own”.
Gael remembered the money he once splurged to gratify his wife’s wants and “needs”. These “wants” and “needs” seemed endless. She was a bottomless vessel – impossible to fill. Nevertheless, Gael loved his wife.
“But where did all that money go?” he wondered.
Gwyn used to be one of the pretty muses in Gael’s eyes – that certain girl whom guys wanted to date and possess. He was proud to have been the “lucky one”. He believed he won a rare treasure and that he was convinced other men were secretly jealous of him.
“She had many suitors,” Gael remarked. “She said to me once that six other men were in pursuit of her besides me that summer of 2013… and that’s after she dumped Ermac.”
Gael laughed. His own voice was a reverberating ridicule of his isolation – an outbreath of his reminiscences of his bygone “victory”.
“I can’t believe that I triumphed over Ermac – that bloke! Haha!” and relished that tad of spastic mirth. “… and I was so certain she would go for him! But she didn’t! She settled for me! Haha!”
It was a moment of pure elation for Gael when a memory, so grim, dawned on him: Those two lines in that small stick which determined that Gwyn and he, should take a shortcut to that stopover in life that is conception and pregnancy. Gael recalled how he felt at that moment. There was a slight pride of having been able to sire a child. He felt strong and powerful – as if the true essence of a man was finally revealed to him.
Despite the disadvantaged circumstances they were in at that time and the foreboding situation that drags along with the stigma of a child born out of wedlock, it was decided upon by a collective whole of well-meaning folks and concerned others that they should get married right away.
“For the sake of the child,” people advised. “It is the proper and decent thing to do… to save what’s left of the woman’s dignity.”
Gael had no problems marrying Gwyn back then. They both were capable of working and securing an employment anyway and they could live in a small apartment where rent is cheap. The bulk of their combined income was intended for the baby, of course. They were supposed to manage survival with the extra. It was necessary to consider living frugally.
Gael and Gwyn thought that their needs weren’t as important as that of the child’s, and so, they proceeded with the wedding, with little knowledge and grasp of the whole concept of “wants and needs” in the context of marriage. Both their eyes were filled with empty hopes and sugary sweet promises of forever and living through thick and thin… in sickness and in health… ‘til death do they part.
They were certainly in for one hell of a ride!
Such were the reminiscent thoughts of Gael while finishing up the computation for his monthly budget.
“I should have bought my own vehicle for an Uber business instead.”