A shiver ran down my spine and cold sweat covered my entire body. How stupid could I have been all these years not giving this a single thought? Was I in denial? Or simply trying to fool myself into thinking otherwise? Is it possible to know something and continue to lie to yourself?
You overheard me in the girls’ room and came in to meet me. You stood in the door way and I looked at you and faked a smile. “The best thing we’ve ever done baby” you whispered, gesturing for me to come.
That night I walked up to you and you kissed me. I kissed back but my mind was on Logan; I found myself comparing the kiss as I walked away pretending to be really sleepy and you offered me some chamomile tea like you always do before I go to bed. I didn’t want to take my usual bath before getting into bed—I didn’t want to wash him off— his touch and that kiss. Though I couldn’t wait for noon the next day, I was scared to death.
Wills, our last four and half years was spent strolling through life; I can’t honestly say that I have any memorable thoughts about us. But I do recollect a million with my girls…when it comes to them we work rather well together. You are right—they are the best thing we’ve done so far, but are they, really?
Morning could not come soon enough and I woke up as usual, ready to get the twins off to school. They were their usual talkative selves that morning and as much as I paid attention to their goofing around, I could not wait for them to walk to the bus stop. As I watched them eat breakfast, the more I looked the more of Logan I saw. At one point I had to leave the kitchen, I simply could not choke back the tears much longer.
Hurled up in the restroom, I splashed water on my face. A thousand scenarios played in my head…each boiling down to the pleasure you would take in taking the moral high stand. The years have worn us both down, I more than you and I know that anything I do out of the norm does not sit well with you. This thing, this truth finally coming to light would destabilize all you have worked really hard to preserve, as much as I would not want it to.
All I had to do was put on a bit of charm for you and escape for the day. I was not due at the restaurant until later that evening so I had the whole morning to consider my call to Logan.
“Let’s play hooky today baby,” you suggested, “I have little left to do” before you grabbed my waist. You had that look in your eyes and I knew what you wanted. This we had perfected over the years; a look, touch or movement that translated into desire for us but meaningless to others. I obliged you that morning, It never took you long to get me in the mood. Your problem was finishing what you started.
This morning was different. Something about me got you all fired up. Did I become more desirable? You certainly went the distance and then some more. “There’s something different about you today Zee, you chuckled mischievously…not complaining here baby, but whoa!” The difference was Logan,I was making love to him.
Afterwards you pulled me into the shower with you, and for that moment I forgot my fears. All I saw was the old you again. The fun filled wild guy everyone loved and my eyes filled with tears. What happened to you? What happened to us? Instead of the love I once felt, a void filled its place. My heart now yearns for another. Everything I do with you has become an act. So I put up yet another one until I had to leave home today. I told you some story about my accountant and taxes and you kissed me and called me a killjoy.
I did finally call Logan, and he had a lot to say…
“Zizi I don’t know where to start, but I must first apologize for the other day. I don’t know what got into me. I don’t know why I never looked for you, I would have found you; but the way you left my office five years ago was so traumatic, I didn’t think you would even want to see my face or hear my voice again. What happened was unprofessional on my part and I crossed a line that should have cost me my license. I never did practice after that…at first I went on as if all was okay; but it began to haunt me…you began to haunt me—your face, your voice, your crying and most especially that day. I think I was lucky because Molly’s dad died and her mother needed her back in Georgia, it could not have been better timed. I happily agreed to move and poor girl, she was always too clouded to see or suspect anything.
All that interested her was maintaining our life style, “You can’t quit your practice Logan, you don’t know how to do anything else than be a psychiatrist!” She was panicked but I reassured her money would never be a problem; I always wanted to write anyway…this would be a good time to start. I suppose running away was the safest thing to do then, but even that did not last.
Molly and I settled in Georgia and she soon included herself in the right social circles; me…I found peace in writing children’s books Zizi, and he laughed a sweet genuine laugh. “Who would think a 38 year old man would be a children’s author.”
The thing is, Logan no longer wanted a life with Molly. He was fed up with the cruises and short trips to Europe, her dinner parties and brunch at the country club. My recorded therapy sessions with him is what helped get him through each day.
“Your world, my world which had become a poison to our souls became my obsession to rescue you from. I always wondered what that poor man did to make you so sore; it took you two and half months into the session to voice it out. “He stole my spirit!” You screamed that day…he stole everything from me, the very essence that made me Zizi which was all I had left, Wills snatched this from me!” I froze at the coldness of your words, you hissed out those words and you cried for exactly twenty-six minutes and twelve seconds…that was the longest steady cry you ever had and all this while in my arms.
It was in my garden shed in Georgia that I realized that the same thing had happened to me. The euphoria of diagnosing the poison that was sucking the life out of me was so relieving, and for the first time in almost two years I went out for a drink.
I smiled because when he quit drinking is when I started. I began to understand where he was going with his tale and my heart began to thump louder now. “Molly never wanted kids and I adore kids. I wanted my own kids, Zizi but she was more interested in her body and what having kids would do to it. I saw a total stranger, not the sweet girl I married with daisies in her hair. Now she was all about people and places and zip codes and keeping up appearances.”
Wills, can you begin to see the parallel in our lives? He wanted children but could never bring himself to impose such a decision on her. He knew he had no right to make her choose. He suggested adoption as an alternative. Would you have agreed to this Wills? Molly did refuse outright though. It took Logan several weeks to convince his wife this would be a good thing to do. He told her she would not have to do anything but answer mummy and make their child pretty like herself. She liked the idea of a mini Molly.
Six months after our initial search began, we got our daughter Megan; she was 3 months old and everything I ever wanted! Megan became my muse and every story I put in print was inspired by her. She’s 3 years old and spends all her time with me. Twelve o’clock every day is my special time with her, and she’s right here with me in the park. He paused and asked if I was still there and I said I was.
He continued, “The thing is that Molly didn’t get the model baby she wanted or hoped for. The home made an error but it did not matter to me; Megan is blind and has special needs. Just one look at her face and I was smitten. Molly cringed in shock and refused to bond with or have anything to do with her. Life with Molly has never quite been the same since then, but I don’t mind…I now have Megan. Afterwards I found myself thinking more about you and your similarity to Molly in not wanting children, but your reason was a little more legitimate in my opinion.
I don’t know what to say other than that I can’t seem to get you out of my head Zizi, I suddenly realized that I knew nothing about you! I tried to trace you, oh I tried, but paying cash for your sessions and refusing to even give your last name made it more difficult. I went through hell with my accountant for that one, he said with a laugh.
Celebrating our 15th anniversary at your restaurant last night was a godsend and a reprieve to an otherwise prison sentence. The only reason we came back to Houston is because of your restaurant. She just had to have this dinner here because her friends said it’s the best place to eat right now.
Always one to be where the action is, she railroaded me here, baby and all. I couldn’t care less; I may very well be in hell for all I cared. The only thing appealing about Houston was you. I was hoping what are the odds that I ran into you. Luckily for me, Molly being the showboat that she is wanted you to be the one to toast us. And she wanted to personally thank the wonderful head chef responsible for making her evening a success.
When that woman moved out of the way and you stood there, oh Zizi I thought I was hallucinating! I just needed to see you, talk to you, and know you. I don’t know if all I’ve said the last twenty minutes makes any sense to you or not, but please throw me a line here…I need to know if this haunting of the last four and half years will end or not.”
Wills it seems there is a strong force out there determined to bring two lost souls together. I did not know what to say or do. A kaleidoscope of emotions pulsed through me, rendering me immobile. When I did speak, I almost did not stop. My lips took on a life of its own, professing and confessing my heart’s longing and yearning for him…
“Oh Logan I too have thought of nothing but you! I hear your grunt when you disagree with my vent, the rare times you even bothered to react. I smell your cologne Cool Water…I always wondered what decided that choice of cologne for you. And I drink whiskey now. There are days when the hurt is so bad, I find the nearest mall and head straight to the perfumery counter and get my fill of your smell.
He laughed loudly, a mixture of sheer bliss and relief. He simply murmured my word! My word!
We had a lot of catching up to do and set a date for the next day.
Speaking with him lifted the lingering heaviness in my heart and fear that my girls were his or not didn’t seem to matter much; in fact everything in me told me right there and then that though you are about the best daddy in the universe Wills, you most definitely are not Pippa and Jojo’s father.