I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…
I hate to admit this but after Bryan’s departure from my life, way too much of my time was spent crying. I was heartbroken, alone and angry. This was supposed to be one of the happiest times in my life but there was this deep, dark cloud over me. I hated how consumed my thoughts were by him. I needed a switch to shut off and erase every memory I had of him in my life…but I didn’t have one.
At my December ultrasound, I was told I was going to have a son. He was growing well, everything looked healthy and he seemed to be very happy. They were able to snap a few shots of this boy, (a “thumb’s up” and a precious silhouette of his left foot) which helped to remind me that despite all of my feelings, I was not alone. My blood pressure was elevated but I had lost 40lbs and the doctor was very impressed with my progress despite the tough road I had traveled. I was told my due date was May 6th… of course it was, that is Bryan’s birthday… it was silly for me to expect anything else.
I spent every evening at my parents house. I would go over there for dinner and stay until just before bedtime. Being around my family seemed to help keep my mind off of things. I did my best to avoid as many uncomfortable conversations about Bryan as possible. There were still some that would come up and they usually led to my parents telling me that I needed to seek legal advice to draft paperwork to block Bryan from having any rights to our son. I would placate them and tell them that I was trying my best but I just could not bring myself to think about that even being a possibility.
It was the nights that were horrible. I would walk into my little house, so quiet and empty and that is when the reality would hit me. Bryan was not coming back. He was not going to knock on my door and tell me how much he loved me. He was not going to be there to watch my tummy grow or go to my doctor appointments with me to check on the progress of our little man. Chances were really good that he had already moved on with his life and I was just some distant memory of this horrible mistake he had made at a dark time in his life. I think that is what hurt the most… we were a mistake.
On New Year’s Eve, I was working the closing shift by myself. It was quiet in the store and the perfect time to get some things accomplished. The phone rang and I answered it. To my surprise, Bryan was on the other end wishing me a Happy New Year. It was so great to hear his voice but almost annoying how bright his mood seemed to be. Here I was, miserable and dying a little bit on the inside and he called me and sounded as if he didn’t have a care in the world. The conversation was as light and general as possible. Most of our time on the phone together was him talking about his new store and how he had enrolled at PBU, focusing on Organizational Leadership. While I was happy for the progress he had made, I was devastated at how simple it seemed for him to move on.
That devastation led me to say something that I regret, even to this day…
Me: “I found out what I am having…do you want to know?”
Bryan: “If you want to tell me.”
Me: “It’s a boy”
Me: “I have spoken with an attorney and I think it is best for you to sign over your rights to the baby.”
Bryan: “what ever you think is best.”
Me: “I think that is best.”
Me: “I will have him draft up the paperwork. I will send it for you to sign and send back.”
Me: *through the tears* “Happy New Year, Bryan”
Bryan: “You too”
I sat and stared at the phone for what felt like an hour. I knew that I had just lied to him about contacting an attorney. Why did that not seem to hurt him? Why won’t he fight for me… for us? Why are we not worth it to him? How can he be so callous? What now? I put away the deposit and turned off the lights. I walked the 6 blocks home that night and gave up trying to wipe the tears from my face but instead, just let them fall.
From that point on, our conversations happened via text messages. That was both a blessing and a curse because 1) the tone of the conversations were always open for interpretation and 2) I was way more comfortable being mean and cold via text message so that my voice would not give away my real feelings. I was noticing that the text messages were coming more and more frequently and they were almost always initiated by him. It was nice… but confusing.
In the beginning of March, Bryan told me that he was going to be coming to CA for my birthday. He had been doing a lot of thinking and he wanted to talk to me about some things. I tried my best not to read too far into what he had been thinking about. I am not going to lie, of course the thought of him riding up on a great white horse to save the day was in the back of my mind. However, I refused to let that be too prominent in my mind because I did not want to set myself up to be let down again.
The morning Bryan was to arrive, I felt ill. I mean really ill. I was so nervous, the anticipation was burning in my chest. My swollen belly gave me the appearance of having swallowed a basketball, which only added to my anxiety. I just knew that when he caught a glimpse of me, he was going to run again. I needed to be prepared for that. There were about a thousand different scenarios I felt I needed to be ready for… none of which I really was.