When Mike first laid eyes on her, he knew it.
He just couldn't resist the way she tilted her head to the left, each time she laughed, appreciating his quirky sense of humor
It was love at first sight
He was a simple man, of no great monetary means, but hard-working and reliable. An electrician by trade.
Mary was a practising nurse at a local hospital, showering love and care on each patient that came within her contact.
They met in the hospital cafeteria. She was having lunch. He was replacing the light fixtures over the food displays.
They had a first date.
She awaited his truck on the bottom steps of her three storey walk-up apartment.
He took her to his favourite intimately lit Italian restaurant , lower Manhattan.
It was in the restaurant, sipping red wine before dinner, that he knew for sure. She was perfect. He whispered something in her ear, his cheek brushing her's.Reaching into his jacket pocket, he produced a tiny velvet box, took out a small gold ring, and placed it on the fourth finger of her left hand.
“There is something that I must tell you”, she said quietly, touching his right hand. “I am eight weeks pregnant.”
“I don't care” he said, kissing her on the cheek.
"The father of the child is no longer in my life."
"I don't want to know. I love you. I'll always love you. We will raise the child as our own.”
In the suburban community of Croton-On Hudson on the shores of the Hudson River, a small dream home was purchased. It surprisingly featured a nursery room decorated in rose and blue wall accents.
Seven months later, little Erik arrived.
She had been told of the prognosis, and negated any possibility of abortion. After all, she was a nurse, and would work on any of her son’s defects. Her husband Mike was in total agreement. He would take on double shifts to make up for Mary's loss of nursing income.
Both of them agreed that an institution would never do what they could for their son.
Ten years later, Erik was too heavy and too large for Mary to lift in and out of the hand-crafted crib that Mike had built for him on his ninth birthday. Each night she would have to await Mike, who would only come home well after mid-night.
Mike arrived home worn and tired. The construction business had slowed down considerably, more so in the dead of winter. He would have no time for conversation with Mary. He headed straight for bed.
As he lay looking up at the ceiling, he could hear Mary reciting nursery rhymes to that 'thing' in the nursery. When she finally opened the bedroom door, he blurted out, “I need help. I'm working sixteen hours a day, six days a week. I can't manage it any more. I need help! Who is he???”
"The father. Who is the father? He needs to contribute!"
Mary's face softened, and taking his hand in her's, she whispered quietly, trying not to be disturbed by the sharp goose honking sound coming from the nursery.
“You didn't want to know then. You're not going to know now.”
© lionel walfish, 2019. All rights reserved.