Dark Redemption Ch. 07byBarbraNovac©
I woke realizing I'd overslept.
Peter's side of the bed remained in tact. He'd stayed in the other room all night. The grinding in my belly told me I was right. The truth loves me. It finds me and whispers in my ears.
A glance at the clock told me it was ten thirty. Shit! Work, kids to school... I bolted only to see a note next to me on Peter's side of the bed.
"Darling, I thought you needed the sleep in. I'm taking the kids to school and have rung downstairs to tell them you are sick and I've left you in bed. Take the day and sleep! You'll feel better for it.
That was nice I thought ironically. Cheating on me seems to suit Peter. It makes him such a nice husband.
All the feeling came crashing in on me. Not twenty-four hours had gone by since my world completely turned upside down. And it was not even twenty-four hours since it was perfect.
Well, sort of perfect...
The days of wild sex and untamed discoveries were past. Peter and I settled into the domestic life when we discovered I was pregnant with Jane. It wasn't a planned pregnancy and it wasn't even something that we had talked about strangely. Pregnancy wasn't our style.
Our lives filled to the brim with each other. So concerned with the business of getting deeper and deeper into each other were we, that another person hadn't occurred to us at all. Not our own family, nor a new one that we could potentially start together. We visited with our own families a little, but they lived far away, which was convenient. We only had to include the love of others in our world at Christmas time. Peter and I were obsessed with each other. And that was just fine for us.
I was so out of touch with the idea of us having a family that pregnancy came as a complete shock to me. That trip to the doctor because I felt 'strange', not sick but weird, was meant to be routine, and because my period was two weeks late. Even with those tell tale signs I had nothing in my mind that told me pregnancy.
But there it was. I had fallen pregnant to Peter.
When I came home and told Peter, he was euphoric. I wasn't sure about keeping the baby, but he said that it had been given to us and we must care for it. I agreed, although hesitant. I was uncomfortable about doing it without planning, but when I sat and gave it some thought there wasn't much to do. In retrospect I think I feared losing the world that meant so much to me.
We'd been married now for three years and we lived together in the cottage. We had plenty of money and because I ran my own practice, I'd easily hire a small team of accountants and therefore keep my job and keep earning. Together we saw me in the office one day a week for the morning meetings at first and slowly blend my way back in, as the child grew.
My distress started when I noticed the cottage was too small, and other premises needed to be found. The best solution was a large warehouse that was for sale in our street. The lower floor could easily be converted into our offices, with room for our little home on the upper floors. Even though the space was perfect for our art and collectibles the foreboding cloud never left me.
Peter was thrilled. He loved the idea of decorating the warehouse. He had such a passion for interior design I'd become roped into it long ago. Now, together we threw ourselves into the project of designing our new house. I found that I was five weeks pregnant, and seeing as the baby was due in just under eight months time, we had to get going on the whole idea. We purchased the building, and prepared the other one for sale.
If Peter leapt into this with disoriented enthusiasm, I did it with quiet resolve. I looked at our little love nest and I was horrified at the thought of someone else living in that space. That space where so much happened to me. Where one of the greatest love affairs of all time (as far as I was concerned) was being played out day by day, through lust, passion, hard work, personal challenge and deep committed love. I wasn't so excited about the idea of letting go of that and moving on to the next stage. Strangely, I felt resentful of the little soul in side of me. I didn't want it to disrupt my precious life.
I talked with Peter about my fears. He laughed them off, telling me that my hormones will play all kinds of tricks on me over the next few months. This wasn't like Peter at all and I wondered if my hormones would be playing tricks with him as well. Hurt at first at the fact that he couldn't share my concerns, after a few months, I grew to ignore my instinctive feelings and just played along with him.
We busied ourselves building our nest together. But lots of things were changing. It was not just that we had a new house now. Peter changed his decorating habits as well. Before we had lush tapestries on the walls, thick carpets in different shades of red, and huge fat green indoor plants that threatened to take over everything, as if they were sucking a thrilling life force out of the air. Now Peter wanted cool ceramic tile, and soft colored walls. He wanted gentle clear down lights and sensible furniture with no hard corners. I loved our lush fabrics, our shadowy corners, our working order antiques. Stoically I helped Peter, and together we packed away the trinkets of our erotic life and embraced the sensible family one.
What really frightened me was that over the months, our love life changed dramatically. Before I was pregnant, we were equals in our sex life. Peter played the dominant with me, but it was my beast that set us both on fire. My darkness was crucial to our love affair, it being the inspiration that fed the love and lust. As my belly grew, Peter became gentler with me. Warmer. I tried one night to excite him into erotic play with my pregnancy and he lost his erection. The person growing inside of me was turning me into a wife.
At this point, I stopped him.
"Peter. We have to talk."
He was lying on his back, clearly troubled by the whole situation.
"I know what you're going to say."
"You are turning me into a mother! Soon you won't be able to have sex with me at all. What are we going to do about this?"
"I can't treat you like a sex object when our baby is growing in you. Can you understand that?"
"Yes. But it doesn't mean I accept it. I'm not this baby. I'm your wife. I'm separate from the baby. I know that it's in me, but even at this stage, our child has to leave the room and give us time alone together."
"But my Anna, can you see? It hasn't left the room. It can't. It's in your belly."
"It may be in my belly, but our problem is in your head, and you can't get it out. I'm becoming the mother of our child, but I don't want to stop being your desirable wife."
I could feel the distress rising in me. I wanted to cry. Why was this so hard? Was he right? What was wrong with me?
"Anna, the people that we were have to step aside for a while. We can get them some other day, but just for now, I have to learn how to be a good 'Daddy', and you have to learn how to be a good 'Mummy'. We have got to do it. I know that it's hard, but we have to make this work for our child."
That was the moment that I realized he struggled also. I knew Peter so well, and I should've seen that his enthusiasm was hiding his own deep fear. Neither of us was ready for this, and my wailing was tapping into the very thing that we were both trying to confront. That night, Peter convinced me that I had to let go of the woman he'd called forth in me, and I had to be someone different. I had to put away the selfish life, and put another person ahead of me for the first time.
Five months after that night, I gave birth to Jane. I spent three nights in the hospital, and Peter, fussing and braying over us both, brought us home to the huge converted warehouse that we had almost completed.
As we rode the elevator to the second floor, Peter leaned over the little baby I was holding and kissed me on the lips. He leaned back and smiled into my eyes, tears welling in his own. I smiled as he leaned down and kissed the forehead of the sleeping infant in my arms. I looked at Peter, but the doors of the elevator opened and he'd stepped out. I ignored the soft ache between my legs.
That night Jane slept well in her cot and every night from then on. She was a wonderful baby, thank god, because Peter and I suddenly knew nothing about anything. We stumbled through our first few months in fear and trepidation. Jane only woke a few times in the night and I breast-fed her, sitting up in the bed next to Peter.
I found that breast-feeding was arousing, but I never told Peter that. We had stopped communicating about those kinds of things, because we had no answers and it had become frustrating that we didn't know what to do. I got embarrassed like I used to so many years ago of the way that my body inappropriately responded to the strangest stimuli. Breast-feeding my girl child was not the time to want sex with my husband. I knew, because I had evidence, that it would have freaked Peter entirely.
When Jane was nine months old, exactly four weeks after my birthday (the night I had sex with Peter) I found that I was pregnant with Thomas.
This time was completely different to the last. This time it was planned. We decided that two, close together was what we wanted. That way I could get to work for good when they were in school and they'd have each other for comfort also. I was four months into this pregnancy when we found out at the doctors together, with little Jane in Peter's arms, that we were going to have a boy. It was perfect. It was all just as perfect as could be. Peter was ecstatic, and we decided to put some walls in the open plan house to create separate little spaces for the children, by way of a nesting project for Thomas' arrival.
By this stage, so much had happened that I was not living in the throws of denial or even of disappointment. I just worked hard with Peter on the house and on making our lives wonderful for our children. Even little Jane helped us with some painting and plastering, and it all seemed so nice.
Thomas was born with a little more trouble than my first pregnancy and so we stayed in the hospital for a few more days than I had with Jane. Peter and Jane visited us each night, and went home again. Peter closed the practice for six weeks while we got ourselves sorted. But it was all going very well, and he was only working downstairs anyway. We were so happy and I was coping so well that we opened the practice after just three weeks, and Peter went to work. At the six weeks point, I got the accountants in, and Peter took Monday's off, so that I could go down for my meetings with my little staff and see how my practice was doing.
I almost never felt the ache between my legs anymore. Peter didn't even have an erection in the mornings, a thing I thought I could rely upon forever. Sex between us was warm, comforting and rare and usually ended in a loving kiss and an exhausted slumber. But we had each other and we had our kids. And that was what mattered now. As far as I was concerned that is what he had wanted when we first found that I was pregnant. That was the state we were aiming for.
And that was pretty much how it floated along for the last six years. The kids now in school, and Peter and I domesticated and happy.
Oh, except for that small detail about his having a taken a lover behind my back.
I guess officially I couldn't call him happy anymore.