Room For MoreBy: Beth Ehemann
I can’t do this anymore. I’m leaving. Actually, I’m already gone. I listened to you when you said things would be great. They’re not great. They suck. I have no freedom, I have to work all the time, and I never get to see my friends. This is not what I wanted and I’ve had enough. Sorry.
P.S. As a favor, I already paid the sitter and left you $100. Good luck.
I stood in my kitchen, staring down at the black letters, trying to force my brain to believe that I must be reading them wrong. My hands started shaking uncontrollably and my chest tightened as I sprinted to our bedroom and ripped the closet door open—nothing but empty hangers on his side. As I pulled his empty drawers out of the dresser completely, throwing them to the ground one by one, it hit me.
He was gone.
How could he do this? How could he do this now, after three years? Our twin girls were turning one next week. Didn’t he want to be here for that?
The bile started to rise up in my throat as I put my hand over my mouth and ran to the bathroom, getting there just in time. After I was done emptying my lunch into the toilet, I sat back against the bathroom wall and pulled my knees up to my chest, putting my head in my hands.
“Are you okay?” Christina, our babysitter, asked quietly as she appeared in the doorway.
Without looking at up at her, I asked flatly, “Did he say anything to you?”
She sighed. “No. He just paid me and said he left a letter for you on the counter, to make sure you saw it.”
A letter? He scribbled that bullshit on the back of a Lee Auto Parts receipt. That could hardly be classified as a letter.
I couldn’t believe it.
Sure, we got pregnant much earlier than we should have and while it wasn’t planned, we were making it work. It certainly hadn’t been easy so far, but I thought that this was forever. That we were forever. I never imagined he would leave us, and certainly not like this.
Maybe I could stop him, make him change his mind. I jumped up off the bathroom floor and rushed past Christina, heading straight for the kitchen counter where I’d left my purse to find my cell phone. My fingers were shaking so badly, I could barely dial his number.
One ring, two rings, three rings, voice mail.
I dialed again.
One ring, voice mail.
He knew I was calling. He knew I was calling and he was sending me to voice mail. Where was he? What was going on?
My knees felt weak and my head light, like I might pass out, but I managed to make my way over to the kitchen table and sit down. Christina followed me into the kitchen, though she looked like she would rather be anywhere else. She was white as a sheet and nervously playing with the buttons on her sweater.
“Go home, Christina. Thanks for watching the girls.” I was biting my lip so hard I tasted blood, but I didn’t want to break down in front of her.
She let out a huge sigh as relief crossed her face. “Um, okay,” she stammered. “The girls have been napping for about an hour, so… if you need anything, call me tonight.” She started to make her way out of the kitchen, but she stopped halfway and turned back toward me. “Are you going to need me tomorrow?”
I let out a long breath that I had no idea I was even holding in.
“I don’t know… anything. I’ll call you.”
“Okay.” She hurried over and threw her arms around me, but I couldn’t feel a thing. I was numb.
“I’m so sorry, Kacie.”
She let go and turned to walk out the front door, the floorboards creaking behind her as she went.
My mind started replaying all the memories of the last three years with Zach like a movie in my head, scene by scene. We’d met at a bonfire after a football game, and I knew that night that he was the boy I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, or so I thought. We’d had a whirlwind high school romance, full of steamy make out sessions in his truck, sneaking out for late-night walks, and lots of skinny-dipping in the lake. We’d dated for a little over a year before we found out we were pregnant.
Then, when I was eight weeks along, we got the shock of our lives: twins.
I’d almost fallen off the table when the ultrasound technician beamed at me and said, “I hope you’re ready for two!”
“Two what?” Zach said.
I didn’t say anything. I knew. My wide eyes stared at the two little flashing lights on the screen and I needed no further explanation. The next few minutes were a blur as the tech explained to Zach what was happening. I was too busy falling madly in love with the little beings currently occupying about as much space as two gummy bears in my belly. I wasn’t prepared for one baby at eighteen years old, let alone two, but I vowed that moment that for the rest of my life they would be the most important things in it.