Saturday, January 11, 2014

A Certain Man, IX

At first I was determined not to go back, but in my more vulnerable moments, I realized I couldn't be so cruel. I couldn't possibly rob my child of its father (or him of his child), no matter how justifiable I thought it was. So I went back, tail between my legs, and a week later we got married.

Our wedding was a sad spectacle. His family all smiles behind him, and not a single person beside me. To invite anyone to my wedding was to acknowledge it as a real marriage, which it definitely wasn't. I had made it very clear that I was only marrying him because I had to, because it was what society deemed 'right', and he agreed to it all, though I knew he was ultimately hoping for reconciliation.

We spent our new-wedded bliss going about our business, completely avoiding each other. At first, he was keen on mending things between us, but after I made it clear to him that the best he could do was stay away from me; he stopped. I did feel a twinge of guilt, at times, when he looked at me and I saw such sadness in his eyes. I hated what we've come to be, but I still couldn't forgive him. With time I managed to move past it; my wounds ignored but not forgotten, and we lived in peaceful coexistence. We would have our meals together; anxiously counting down the days to my delivery. It was really astonishing how in the span of several months he went from being my lover, to my ex, to my husband, to my friend; and finally, the father of my child.

And when I finally gave birth to our son, it took all the strength in me not to fall in love with my husband all over again. Fatherhood brought out the best in him; all those things that I adored about him. But whenever my heart would weaken to him, I would remember that day; and all the weakness in my heart would soon drain out. How he could be so kind, and yet so cruel, was beyond me.

The gods, in their cruelty, decided that our son would be the spitting image of his father. It both warmed and struck fear in my heart; my husband and my son, side by side, looking at me with eyes bright as the afternoon sun. Father and son, so much like each other that it made me question my own existence. I would search my son's face for any trace of my eyes, or my father's nose, or my mother's smile; but nothing, nothing. I would condole myself that physical appearance wasn't the last of it, but even in temperament, he took after his father.

But he won't be his father, I would assure myself, god can't be so cruel.

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