The Brightest Sunset(85)By: Aly Martinez
Minutes later, the tears stopped and she backed out of my arms. I fought the urge to regain my hold, forcing her to stay. But her sad resolve as she hurried to the mantel and then to the door made it clear it’d be a wasted effort.
Never in a million years had I thought I’d be standing there, watching her walk away.
But, then again, I’d never expected her to have the urn of our only child cradled in her arm, either. A reminder of just how much I hadn’t been able to give her. How much I’d never be able to give her.
My past, present, and future were walking out of my life, and I stood immobile as every fiber in my being screamed for me to drop to my knees and beg her to stay.
To take her in my arms and tell her that we’d figure it out.
To reclaim my life once and for all.
But how would that have helped her?
Staying wouldn’t magically bring back her smile. Nor would it make her look at me with those bright-green eyes that made me feel as though I could conquer the world.
It wouldn’t give me back the crazy woman who argued with her whole heart and loved with her entire soul. No. Those days were gone.
I’d lost that woman somewhere in the bitterness between grief and blame.
We’d been happy once.
But we’d gotten greedy and tried to start a family.
That was her future. Not mine. Regardless how desperately I longed to give it to her…and then selfishly take it for myself.
Sex. That’s how babies are made. Children as young as elementary school are taught the simple biological facts of reproduction.
But what they never tell you is that, for one in six couples, having a baby goes a little differently.
For Elisabeth and me, it looked more like this:
Thirty-six months of crushing disappointment.
Hundreds of tests our insurance company refused to cover because the inability to reproduce was not considered a health condition.
Her broken heart.
My empty chest.
Thirty-seven thousand dollars we didn’t have.
In vitro fertilization.
A sperm donor.
A handful of hope.
A positive pregnancy test.
Five months of utter bliss.
A funeral for a child I would never get to see grow up.
A job that became my only reprieve from reality.
And now…losing the only woman I would ever love.
I’d always been amazed by how much punishment a heart could take. I was broken, battered, and destroyed. And yet, much to my dismay, as I watched the front door close behind her, my heart kept beating.