October 17, 2011
People always say that two wrongs don’t make a right, but on this occasion I think I would have to disagree.
Charles definitely deserved a taste of his own medicine; he deserved to know what it felt like to be humiliated. What he had made me endure for the last three years was nothing short of repulsive. I had always known, in my heart, that Charles wouldn’t allow us to get away with humiliating him like that so easily. We will still have to leave – leave everyone that we know and love in order to save this life growing inside me.
How am I going to tell Johnathon? I wondered to myself as I sat downstairs watching the sun rise. The nerves of telling him – and the constant urge to use the bathroom – causing my insomnia. What if he thought I was trapping him in to staying with me? What if he didn’t want children yet?
STOP IT, I told myself angrily.
Johnathon was nothing like Charles, he would be happy, no thrilled, about our little surprise.
Before I could change my mind I marched back upstairs with a fresh cup of tea in my hands for Johnathon. I would tell him now, no backing out.
“Johnathon? Wake up my love.” I placed the cup on the bedside table as I sat down on the edge of the bed.
“Mmmm?” he mumbled, still asleep, wrapping his arms around me and pulling me into a tight embrace. “Come back to bed,” he grumbled, his eyes still firmly shut.
“No darling, I have to talk to you.” As I said the words I knew I could no longer back out of telling him. My jitters intensified. The feeling of nausea took over my body. I scrambled out of Johnathon’s embrace and rushed to the toilet, reaching it just in time.
“Damn Damn Damn,” I muttered to myself as I blotted my mouth with a washcloth and began to brush my teeth. I couldn’t bear to look at Johnathon as he looked into the bathroom, his eyes wide with worry.
“Esme?” he asked, the concern in his sleepy voice instantly evident. “What’s wrong?”
Johnathon couldn’t see the smile that was forming as I brushed my teeth. Men I thought to myself. They really are oblivious. I placed my toothbrush back in the holder, then turned to face Johnathon and took a large breath.
“Maybe we should go and sit down?” I said taking Johnathon’s hand. I pulled him softly back to the bedroom. Nervously I sat on the end of the bed, unable to make eye contact.
“Esme, are you okay? Is there anything I can do?” Johnathon asked again nervously.
I smiled at him. “Johnathon, I’m fine. In fact I am more than fine.”
Johnathon just stared at me waiting for answers. “Your scaring me now Esme.”
“Johnathon, I don’t know if there is a right way or wrong way of saying this so I’m just going to come straight out with it.” I inhaled a deep breath. “Johnathon, I’m Pregnant.”
I watched nervously at his reaction – he didn’t move for sixty-five seconds. I know this because I counted, every single second. Slowly a smile crept over his lips. As it grew bigger – spreading across his face – I let out the breath I didn’t realise I had been holding.
“What? I – I mean… are you?” he choked, tears starting to well in his eyes. I took a deep breath and smiled wildly, then nodded.
“Esme, this is wonderful!” he cried, leaping towards me and pulling me up into his arms before spinning me around the room. “But when did you…?” he asked, happy tears now flowing freely down his face as he set me gently back down on the floor.
“A few days before Charles got home,” I replied.
“Why didn’t you tell me my love?”
“I wanted to be sure that our plan with Charles would work, and I thought that if I told you then maybe – just maybe – you would have done something you would regret. And also, I knew you wouldn’t let me be alone with him. We needed the plan to work, so now we can finally be together.”
My love couldn’t stop grinning at me; like a child that had just been allowed to buy whatever they wanted from a candy store.
“Are you really happy?” I asked.
“Esme my darling, I have never been so happy,” he answered through a wide smile, wrapping me up in his arms once more.
Our first moment as a family.
Things have been magical since I told Johnathon about our little bundle of joy. As usual we spend as much time together as we possibly can. Everything has been perfect, but it cannot stay like this. We have to leave before it becomes too obvious that I am carrying another man’s child.
Johnathon and I still have to leave, to protect our baby. We are leaving in two days and we aren’t quite sure where we’re going, but initially we are going to stay with some family north of here before moving on and finding a place of our own.
Leaving my family and friends would be extremely painful; I would miss them all so much. But first I had to get through a small dinner at my parents house; mom didn’t want us to leave without having a farewell dinner.
Dinner went well. The evening was filled with laughter and good times, the perfect way to remember our friends and family. Johnathon and I decided to leave at about ten-thirty.
Saying goodbye to everyone was hard, the lump that had now formed in my throat was threatening to grow larger and cause me to choke. I had to hold the tears back. Nobody knew that this was a farewell party; the only people that knew were my Mom and Evie. Everyone else just thought it was a normal dinner party.
“Thanks Mom,” I said, holding onto her tightly. “I really appreciate it.”
I didn’t even realise I was crying until we were almost home, the usually short two minute walk seemed to take forever.
“Esme love, don’t cry,” Johnathon soothed, wiping the flowing tears from my face.
“I’m sorry. This is all my fault. If I had just done the right thing and stayed with Charles then none of this would be happening. We wouldn’t be leaving our families to run away and live a lie.” I choked the words out, unable to contain my guilt any longer.
“Do not apologise for anything Esme. Staying with that monster was never an option. I would never have allowed it. You are my world, you both are,” he reassured, softly placing his hand on my stomach.
“But I-” I choked.
“Have done nothing wrong” he finished calmly, as I fumbled with the keys to the front door.
Johnathon took the keys out of my hand and opened the front door. Silently I walked through the door and sat at the kitchen table, placing my head in my hands.
“But you’ve got to leave your family now, because of me. You’ll never see you parents again. What will your parents think? How will they take it? Losing their only son and not knowing why? Never knowing their Grandchild…” Johnathon placed a finger over my lips to silence me then pulled me into his arms.
“Shhhhh my darling. You have done absolutely nothing wrong. All you did was stand up to an abusive husband and fall in love. And as for my family, you are my family now. We are a family. In a few months when things have settled down and we have found a home, we can get word to them and then they can come visit.”
Johnathon made everything sound easy, it truly was amazing how simple it was for him to reassure me. To soothe me.
“Oh Johnathon, I love you with all my heart. You always know how to reassure me. I honestly don’t know what I’d do without you in my life. I’m ready to leave now,” I told him, the tears finally ceasing to fall from my eyes.
“Okay my love, whenever you’re ready. Now come on you, up to bed. You have to get plenty of rest now,” he said with a smile, wrapping his arms briefly around my waist and caressing my stomach lightly.
We walked up stairs together holding hands. We wandered into the bedroom then changed into our pajamas and got in bed together. Laying my head on the pillow, I sighed with happiness. Out of nowhere, Johnathon pushed all the bed covers off of us, lifted up my nightgown and started talking to my stomach.
“Hello? Can you hear me baby? I’m your Daddy. I promise to look after you and your Mommy, always. I love you both so much and I cannot wait to meet you.”
After he’d said what he wanted, he pulled the covers back up and pulled me into him. Not a word was mentioned about what he’d just done.
“I love you too, Esme. Sleep well.”
“I love you too Johnathon.” I snuggled into his shoulder then drifted off into a peaceful sleep.
“ESME! Esme, wake up dammit!” Johnathon was screaming at me. I eventually woke to find the room filled with smoke, flames licking the bedroom door. A few seconds passed before my brain registered what was happening.
I started coughing and screaming at the same time. “Johnathon? What are we going to do?” I cried at him, desperately searching for an exit route. Hours seemed to pass, smoke was rapidly filling the room now, there was no way we could go through the door.
“Esme? Johnathon?” Someone called. Johnathon ran to the window and looked outside. We were both coughing uncontrollably now, the smoke was so intense.
“We’re going to die,” I cried.
“NO! No we’re not!” Johnathon shouted at me, clearly as scared as I was. “We’re up here!” he shouted to whoever was outside. “We can’t get out. The flames are outside our door!”
I ran to the window, trying desperately but unsuccessfully to get some fresh air into my lungs. I could see my parents, Johnathon’s Parents and some neighbours outside. One of the neighbours ran off back to their house.
“We’re going to get a sheet, then you will have to jump!” Someone screamed from outside.
Are they crazy?
I’m not jumping out of a window.
Johnathon must have read my mind. “Esme, you’re going to have to jump. Think of our baby. If you don’t jump, we’ll die.”
He had a point. I had to think of our baby. We had to survive this so that we could be a family.
“Okay, we have the sheet ready!”
“Esme, my love, you have got to Jump. Please, I am begging you, for me, for our baby. JUMP!” Johnathon pleaded with me.
Nerves were coursing through my veins as I climbed onto the window ledge. I couldn’t breathe; the smoke was filling my lungs causing me to choke. I was so scared.
“Johnathon, I love you so much. PROMISE me you will jump as soon as I’m clear”
“I promise my love. You’re not getting rid of me that easily” He said with a half-smile.
I pulled him into me kissing him with as much passion as I could muster.
Johnathon pulled away and half pushed me out the window.
I screamed as I fell, seconds seemed to turn into minutes. I’m going to die, I’m going to die. I closed my eyes and waited for death to take me. Then I hit something soft, the sheet. It broke my landing, I still landed with a thud but I was alive.
Someone pulled me off the sheet and pulled me into an embrace.
“Esme, my darling, it’s OK, you’re OK now.” It’s was my mother. She was crying. She wrapped another sheet around me and ran back to the sheet they had used to catch me, ready to catch Johnathon.
I looked up at our window and saw Johnathon smiling down at me. He mouthed I love you to me.
“JOHNATHON GET OUT, NOW!” I screamed at him.
“I’VE JUST GOT TO GET SOMETHING!” he shouted down at me, turning his back to the window and running back into the bedroom.
“JOHNATHON!” I screamed at the top of my voice, tears flowing freely down my cheeks again. “JOHNATHON!” I screamed again. “NOOOO!” I got up and started to run towards to the house then I stopped, I was being pulled back by someone.
Johnathon reappeared at the window as quickly as he had disappeared. He was coughing hard. He reached out putting his hands on the window sill. He was holding something in his hand.
“JUMP JOHNATHON” I screamed at him. As I screamed at him to jump there was a loud bang and Johnathon disappeared from sight.
“NOOOOOO!” I screamed again, causing myself to cough. I got up and tried running towards the house only to be held back again.
“SOMEONE PLEASE HELP HIM!” I screamed my eyes searching the fireball that was my home for any sign that Johnathon had found a way out. I begged Johnathon’s Father and my Father to go and help him. They tried, they tried to get in, through anyway they could, but they were being pushed back by the flames that had now engulfed the whole house.
Another bang engulfed the area echoing all around us and then the unthinkable happened. The whole of the upper floor collapsed to the ground.
The arms were still holding me back. I screamed at the top of my voice, kicking and thrashing about, trying to break free of the grip around me so that I could try and get to Johnathon, my wonderful Johnathon.
Then I blacked out, or so my Mother told me.
I woke up at my parents’ house in my old bedroom. My throat felt like someone had attacked it with sand paper.
“Mom?” I called out, my voice barely there.
I could hear mom rushing into the room.
“Esme, darling, are you okay?” Mom asked, her voice smothered in concern.
“Mom, I’m fine. Where’s Johnathon?” I asked, trying to get off the bed.
“Esme, lay back down, you need to think of your baby. Now come on get some rest.”
“Mom?” I asked, wondering why she wouldn’t tell me where Johnathon was. I had to believe he made it out, how could he not have?
“Where’s Johnathon?” I asked again.
Mom took a deep breathe, held my hand and said very quietly, “He didn’t make it, Esme. I am so sorry.”