When we were dating, I thought it would end when we got married. I thought I could solve the secret of his unhappiness. Then we got married and it didn’t end. When we had our baby and it didn’t end, I knew it would never end but I didn’t leave. We’re still like kids in love. It wasn’t every day, and he could be so kind and nurse me back. I hadn’t thought of it like that until I said it, like he was the mommy and I was a crying baby and my world ended right there in his eyes. I didn’t so much decide to stay as not decide how to leave but the time was never right. A man will never understand the importance of the right time. It was stupid of me, of course, waiting, caring how he would feel. I was stupid about everything, wasn’t I, a worthless fat animal cow crawling the kitchen floor, good for one thing only and not much good at that and if that wasn’t the secret of his unhappiness I never knew a thing and because I stayed and didn’t leave and didn’t kill him, our baby learned about family. It wasn’t because of anything that changed, the day we left. We raised our eyes and saw the door open, saw the dogwood tree in bloom, and out we went and caught a bus like going to the zoo, not that we’ve ever been. I hope we never see him again. I’m not sure we wouldn’t go back. My baby is complicated. He pitied me for staying. For taking him from his home he resents me. His unhappiness I understand. What I don’t understand is the look he gives me when I tell him how Daddy loved me.

Copyright © February 8, 2007 David Hodges

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