I am awakened by the sting of the sun’s touch as it hits my face and the cool morning breeze as it blows across my skin. The comforting sound of silence endorses that my children are still enjoying the warmth of their beds. The cold and undisturbed side, of which belongs to the man I gave my hand in marriage to, tells it wasn’t greeted by the warmness of a body. An unspoken sign of another fight not mended. I ignore the jab it struck me with and force myself to leave the sanctum of my bed. The steam and heat of a shower was the wake-up remedy I just needed, and the smell of my lavender body wash was the key to a happy remembrance of my favorite field with a bedding of flowers. I wish that this moment of relaxation would last forever, but reality would never allow for this state of retreat.
As I treated my body with lotion, my eye caught the image that was me in the full-length mirror. I suddenly realized what my husband saw. I suddenly realized the horror that was me.
My body itself could tell my story.
There were scars of pain that covered this sacred temple. Each scar had its own individual story. Each scar defined me. I did not need to see the physical marks when I carried the causes respectively in my mind. I knew the reasons that caused the fighting between my husband and me. The walls I have built around my personal Pandora box will not easily break. The eagerness that my husband holds to dig through the tombs of my soul only urges me to build stronger walls. It was only recently discovered that we have fallen into questionable loyalties. Our changing ways have become apparent and to stay on neutral territory, we have put our issues into the hands of a marriage counselor. I am not a believer of sharing issues with untrusting ears and definitely not fond of being analyzed. I am a hard code to crack.
I have a great appreciation for the things I own, from the fine silk blouse to the feel of my six-inch heels. Every article of clothing I wear is put on with care. I apply makeup on as if I am creating a masterpiece, with steady ease and complete concentration. I finish my look with the delicate scent of vanilla and succulent fruit, carefully applying the fragrance to my neck and wrists. As I am sitting at my stage of which I refer to my vanity, I could feel the burning stare of my opponent in this lover’s war I have found myself fighting.
There are never any words exchanged when we appear in the same room. My husband, Luis, just looks at me as if a stranger occupies this house we share. The cause being words written on paper made to destroy my name. I couldn’t confirm or deny to my loving Luis the words that cut so deep. I never thought he would ever understand the things I hold so far within my soul. I get up, wanting to touch him and kiss him, but every try is denied. I watched as he turns his back and disappears. I watch from the window as he gets in his car and drives away. My heart breaking more and more as Luis distances himself from me.
My mood brightens as I make my way downstairs. There at the table, eating lucky charms and frosted flakes, were my twelve-year-old daughter Alexandria and my five-year-old son Daniel. I could always count on my children to put a smile on my face.
“Mom, I hope you did not forget about my concert today,” said Alexandria. Alexandria has the love of the piano and ever since she was taught at eight years old, she excelled to perfection every year. Although she is twelve years of age, she has the soul of an old wise woman.
“Now, Alexandria, you know I would never miss your performance sweetie. Did you confirm if your father will be there?” I replied, knowing Alexandria hated the mushy talk. I swear that my eldest and I are twins.
“Dad said he had a late meeting. I just wish for once he would not work all the time,” she answered.
I knew it disappointed her. I was the cause of his no shows. When Luis is mad and hurt, he uses the avoidance method.
“You know your father gets real wrapped up in work and he only does it so you and your brother can have the best.”
I try my hardest to shield my children from the unnecessary coldness of my marriage. I have nothing but respect for the man who took on the title of “father”. Father is a word with a powerful meaning. A father is the one who physically and emotionally takes care of a child. One is not called a father because of his sperm breaking the seal, but because of his commitment to see to the end. Luis is not Alexandria’s biological father, and he never refused to take the position on. I was twenty-two years old when I met Luis and Alexandria was still developing in the womb. The story surrounding the man who gave me the blessing of a beautiful daughter is not one of simplicity. I know deep down Alexandria wonders and can see that she holds no features of Luis. She never asked about her biological father and has always accepted the love she is given. One day she will ask that heart dropping question.
“All right, kiddos. Let’s grab our bags and get ready for school. Do not forget your lunches,” I said as I put the dishes from the table in the sink and grabbed my travel mug.
I enjoyed the morning rides of dropping my children off at school. It was a task I never minded doing. We all packed in my Cadillac CTS-V and hit the road of expected traffic. I wouldn’t usually endure the loud blast of music this early in the day, but my children were enjoying the melody of Black-Eyed Peas “Boom Boom Pow.” As I watched the little spirits in my back-seat dance, I couldn’t be prouder of what I created. My existence would not be with fulfillment if I was not consecrated with the ability to generate life. Motherhood is the greatest passion I have ever stridden in. I could never imagine my greatest joy ever being snatched from underneath me.
As I pulled up to Alexandria’s school, my mind had hit a crossroad. To satisfy the inquisitive need of Luis, will I be sacrificing the safety of Alexandria and Daniel?It was no longer my life I had to worry about. I had two innocent angels and a blessing in disguise to look after. I pushed that thought aside and watched Alexandria wave goodbye as she caught up with her friends. Seeing Alexandria laughing and smiling with her friends made me yearn for those worry-free days back. We only get one childhood and mine was based on unwise decisions.
Further down the road, I dropped Daniel off at elementary school.
“Bye Mommy!” said Daniel as he gave me a big squeeze and proceeded through the doors.
The feeling of being unconditionally loved can never be replaced and the notion is indescribable.
The calming part of my day was over and now came the exasperating drive to the office. I turned the radio to the “Steve Harvey Show”, which is stimulating and amusing, and continued onto the highway towards the city.