You jump, I jump Jack !
– Trisha Sunderajan
“ Do you trust me ?”
“ You jump, I jump Jack.”
My parachute opens up behind me as I take the plunge into the cool Australian sky. Recently graduated from Harvard, the chirping birds and limitless blue of the ocean welcome us into the world of limitless opportunities. My ecstatic expression mirroring yours, the ground miraculously doesn’t seem as steep with your hand squeezing mine tight.
“So when do you know ? How long till you find out ?” Five weeks of amenorrhea sure can amp up the decibel levels in your tone.
The frown lines on your forehead mask my favourite dimpled smile. Bitten fingernails and perfectly tailored lapels hide the ring. The adrenaline rush from the last forty minutes has started to wear off like a cocaine crash, or maybe it was just the buzz from the three coffee’e earlier or maybe it was the sight of those two small lines on a stick in your hand. Your hand, the ring, your proposal, you.
You. The heir to the Hasselberger’s throne, the mollycoddled prodigal son. Da Vinci’s casually line the hallway of your three storied family home. Silver spoons and golden chariots adorn every childhood story, you spin tales, date everything. You carpe diem’d your way around every one of my orchestrated pro’s and cons lists. And the cons, so many cons! Your recklessness just charming enough to almost never have to bank on that smart wit and natural talent. You- friend, boyfriend ( your first time on the dark side), lover and now….husband ? Father to my child ?
“ I have to go. I’m sorry. Its not about him. Even if there weren’t a him, you and I. We were so well on paper. I have dreamt of our life together since college. Thought up every scenario in my head where we finally do end up together. The what if’s and the could be’s have made my head hurt until my pillow turned more foe than friend. All the times I thought you would not marry her, finally stand up to your father. Disinherit everything at the risk of us, inherit our life together. We were so good, weren’t we ? You let me be me. You gave me the freedom to spend my nights in the library while your were off partying, drinking. You introduced me to a life of risks, adventure. You showed me that I should chase my dreams no matter what, no matter how hard the fall. Cause you were always right there, my beacon of light. I am so much better for having known you. You need to know that it was real… you know that right ? Promise me you believe that. You have to believe that I want to want this so bad. This would be the perfect fairytale ending right ? The two lost souls who beat every god damn circumstance to find their happily ever after ? But I don’t. And its not cause of him. Its cause of me, cause of this newly built wall of trust issues that now blanket us. I can’t have you leave again.”
“ I know. I wish I would have realised these things sooner. I wish I would have done more then. I’m so sorry. What if he doesn’t provide for the baby ? What if he isn’t there?”
“ Then I do it by myself. I pick up the pieces and string them together. Just me and the baby, in this together .”
“ Oh…. Hi.” I hope you didn’t hear the slight crack in my voice. After all these years, Jeez!
“ Why didn’t you tell me ? You should have told me. I deserved to know. I should have known that baby was mine. How could you have kept this from me for seventeen years?” The house seems to have shrunk by ten times as your bellowing voice reverberates off every surface.
“ I didn’t know until much later. Until he made me take the test to determine paternity. Until I told him about that one time.That one small slip in judgement, that one time when I thought we were so safe. Maybe we were too drunk to check after ? I really didn’t think it could be you. And when I did find out I wanted to reach out to you. But you were in London, and then Switzerland and then..there was that picture with her again.You put your divorce on hold. It broke us, he’s gone. He’s never coming back and I can’t say I blame him.”
“ YOU SHOULD HAVE TOLD ME.” The silence in the wake of your exit seems too loud for even the shrunken space.
“And I promise to love you for whatever part of forever we have left together. I promise to spend the next twenty years of my life repairing all the mistakes and damage that we made in the ones we lost. And most of all, I promise to never run. Never again. My feet are rooted in us, buried in you and I and are eagerly waiting to make up the miles of all the mountains we can climb together. Always and forever.”
My white dress is bursting at its seams with happiness. I look into those golden eyes now aged ( with wisdom? ), every line on your face carving a memoir of a year we lost, those dimples. God damn those dimples! They had me at Harvard, and they still got me now, at forty two.
“ Do you trust me ?”
“ You jump, I jump Jack.” You slide the ring on my finger and I’ve never felt more assured to dive into the deep end. The plunge doesn’t seem as steep with your hand squeezing mine.