Life Without Parole #9
By Iteti, Uganda:
I was pregnant and wondering how my husband who had never wanted kids was going to take it. Speaking to my mother about it hadn't yielded much fruit. She was the product of a polygamous man; an arrogant narcissist my grandfather was. Her mother was the spitting image of naivety and meekness, bearing him twenty children and taking care of the extra-marital ones that kept showing up at their doorstep. My mother grew up in abject poverty, growing up as the rejected middle child whose soul was sold to the missionaries for rations of food when her parents visited her.
It was no wonder my mother was the strict and ultra religious type because her faith seemed to have kept her sane…until now. I couldn't believe the garbage she was feeding my ears, talking about generational curses and how important it was for me to take Marcus for an exorcism. She said she knew a good priest and would set up an appointment for us. I wanted to hit her upside of the head and bring her back to earth. She seemed to notice the look of disdain on my face because she quickly wrapped it up with a couple of verses and an I'll-be-praying-for-you.
On my way home, I received a text from her with the name and phone number of the priest she had recommended. I quickly deleted it and tried to focus my mind on the one important thing that I needed to do – tell Marcus he was going to be a dad.
I heard the sound of the TV before I found him sprawled across the carpet in the living room flipping channels. I had just side-stepped his briefcase at the doorway, and tripped on one of his shoes as I walked in. I wasn't thrilled that he was home before me and I was even less thrilled that he had left his stuff lying around. He hadn't heard me come in, so I stood there watching him. And I just watched the movements of his arms and his torso as he turned to face me – he must have felt my presence in the doorway. He said a quick “hi”, barely acknowledging my return home, turned his back to me and kept surfing channels. My confidence grew with the rage I felt bubbling inside me so I started to talk.
Talking to Marcus was sometimes like talking to a four-year old during play time. I started really slow, talking about my day and then began to tell him about the doctor's appointment. At that point, my breathing became a little shallow as I felt the weight of emotion (which I couldn't make sense of at the time) heavy in my throat. I knew I was about to cry. He didn't seem to be paying attention to what I was saying until the word “pregnant” came out of my mouth. He dropped the TV remote and slowly turned to look at me.
“Marcus, did you hear what I said? I'm pregnant,” I tried.
“Yeah, I heard you…” he said. He stood up, cast the remote onto one of the sofas and turned to face me,
“Take care of it,” he said before he marched away.
I was livid. I was enraged. I was hurt. I was torn. I felt beaten. I felt heavy. I felt sick to my stomach. How dare he?!
Changing my Husband's Mind
I followed Marcus into our bedroom, praying a prayer of restraint and safety for his soul. Indeed, hell hath no fury like a woman scorned because we argued that night like we had never argued before. He punched the walls and I threw stuff at them. It was all so surreal, but I understood his frustration – his mind hadn't changed about us having children, mine had. It was a little past midnight when we both retired to our respective corners of the house – he took the guest room while I took our marital bed. It had stopped being about the baby and turned into a fight about our marriage. I had secretly hoped that this baby would change things for us – help smooth over some of the rough edges. I had hoped that in the light of creating another human being our problems would be secondary and slowly dissipate, but I was wrong. I fell asleep weeping, knowing that I was in this all by myself. Marcus no longer felt the need to be tied to me by marriage, least of all by a baby.
He wanted out it seemed, and I was going to give the self-centered piece of shit what he wanted – a divorce. If he wanted one, that is.
My life seemed to be crashing all around me and I didn't have a clue on how to put the pieces back together.