Here Now ... There The Next Moment (3)

The story begins | Before he met her

“The Approval”





The short vacation they took for leaving the past behind did not help as much as he had hoped it would. In fact, the little things in their marriage which were an essential part of it took a back seat. That night at the cottage when she had put her arm around him was the last time they had really come closer. They hardly had any conversation between them. Both knew it was too early to think about starting a family again. Both realized they were not willing to even consider sex. It seemed as if their relationship needed approval from time.

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Each day would begin the same and ended in the same way. However hard they tried they could not get over the loss. She made breakfast, he ate and went to work. She cleaned the house, did laundry, he took meetings and signed papers. She looked into the mirror while taking a shower and remembered the baby and cried. He saw a pregnant colleague and imagined how his wife would have looked during the late stages of pregnancy but he could not cry. He came back in the evening, his wife welcomed him with a glass of water. They watched television, changed channels whenever an advertisement involving an infant showed up. They had their dinner in silence and then went to bed. First on their backs, then facing each other and finally with their back to each another, they fell asleep hoping that the other would take the initiative to come close. Maybe not for sex but at least a hug. But it did not happen. They both fell asleep waiting for the other.

It went on for days, weeks and months and finally he decided to seek professional help. She agreed. They met with the counsellor twice a week. Sometimes he took the sessions alone, sometimes the counsellor asked his wife to visit alone and the other days they attended as couples. Couples who still mourned the death of their unborn child. Talking helped, crying helped. They stopped avoiding advertisements involving infants. They learned to accept what had happened. That was the first stage. To accept. That was the difficult part. They started talking to each other. The little conversations. What he did in the office. What she did at home. How she went to the market and walked for hours without buying anything. How he sat in a meeting without really listening to the discussion. They started going for a walk again holding hands. They looked around still trying to avoid looking in the direction of the children’s play area. They saw a couple walking hand in hand and laughing. They saw a couple, to-be-parents walking together, the woman with one hand on the bump and the other hand holding her husband’s hand. Then, one day they dared to look at the play area. They watched as children played and their parents kept a watch. The next day they went ahead and talked to one of the parents who cared enough to introduce them to her son.

Spending time in the play area brought back happiness in their life. They knew they could not change the past and they realized they were blocking happiness from their future. It was time they had to move on. One night they decided to give each other a chance. After finishing the dishes he walked closer to her and kissed her on the neck. She closed her eyes. His lips traced her jaw line and finally met her lips. She did not move back but she did not kiss back either. He stopped kissing but did not lose hope. He moved his hand from her waist to her back and then placed it on her neck. He massaged the neck just the way she liked it. Tears escaped from her eyes and he kissed them, licked them dry. The floodgates opened, she started trembling and collapsed in his arms. He held her tight against his chest. His own tears flowing and forming tracks on his cheeks. They stood there in the kitchen, in each another’s embrace for a long time. Then, they sat down resting their back against the counter. She rested her head on his shoulder and they held hands, their grip offering support and strength to the other. It was the beginning. Time had finally given them the approval.