Today is a good day. Lillith will be so happy, I thought as I drove home. I was humming to myself as I approached the car park adjacent to our building, smiling about how we’d soon be able to move into the house of her dreams. Lillith will be so happy.
On the way, I had stopped to buy us a bottle of wine and some flowers. It was a Wednesday, so I knew she’d be home, and I arranged it so that I could come home early.
I was skipping out of the car and towards the lift, when I saw her coming towards me, fumbling with her keys; my heart leapt, I couldn’t wait to tell her. I ran over and kissed her, but definitely took her by surprise.
“Oh. Hi,” she said, stumbling backwards a bit.
“Hey sweetheart! I thought you were going to be home all day?”
“Well, I, um, just wanted to go for a drive. Didn’t expect you home. I mean. Didn’t you have work all day?” she asked without meeting my eyes.
“Well, something came up! They let me come home early. I arranged it. I wanted to surprise you! Come on back to the flat, I have something I want to tell you!”
“Well, oh. I’m—okay. Can it wait? I really sort of wanted to, you know, go for a drive.”
“Hmm… I’ll come with you! We can talk on the road… maybe park and get a little snuggly. It’ll be fun! Romantic! We haven’t really been on a date in a while.”
“Actually, um, I have an appointment. Rain check?”
“Appointment? Where to?”
“I’ll drive you!”
“No! It’s all right, I can—“
“Is something wrong, Lovely?”
“No! Well, you know how some of my appointments are! They can get long and quite boring—You’d be stuck in the waiting room forever!”
“Are you—are you okay? Are you sick? What kind of appointment? Which doctor?”
“Oh. A new one. Just ah… don’t worry about me, sweetie! Go to the flat and have some lunch. Take a nap. I’ll be back before you know it!” She kissed me lightly on the cheek and began to move towards her car backwards so that she could still see me.
“But honey, are you sure that–?”
“I’ll make us a nice dinner,”
“We can talk then, okay?” She turned around and began moving more quickly towards the car. I dropped her flowers and reached out for her arm.
“Ah! Let me go!” She screamed.
“Get your hands off of me!” She screeched like she was in pain. I let go immediately. I would never hurt her. I didn’t realize that I had.
“I. I’m sorry,” I whispered, “I didn’t mean—“
“I have to go.”
“I have to go.”
“Please just tell me.”
“It’s just a doctor’s appointment!” Her voice echoed off of the stone walls.
“You first,” Her volume had dropped to match mine.
“I was promoted—we’re getting a pay raise.”
“Oh hun! I’m so proud of you!”
“I brought home a bottle of wine… I thought maybe we could celebrate”
“You shouldn’t? I don’t understand… we don’t have to do it now, afterwards is fi—“
“But. I. But. I—“
“I’m late for my—“
“You cheating little bitch!”
“Thomas! I’m sorry! Please, I—“
“You! I! I —I’m shooting blanks!”
“Thomas, don’t be angry! It’s not what you think; it’s not what you think.”
I couldn’t even think straight, “What is it then?”
Her voice was inaudible “I was raped.”
My world fell. She seemed so alone. So small. So far away, “What?”
Tears began to glisten on her cheek, but she wouldn’t wipe them away, “I’ve never loved anyone but you… Thomas—I was raped; I’m pregnant”
I wanted to hold her hand, hug her, anything. I needed to be close to her; I needed to protect her. But I was paralyzed.
I was finally able to move my arm enough to reach up to wipe away her tears. She stepped back and wiped them herself.
“I’m late for my appointment.”