I got home at five in the evening. There was no one in the living room when I got home. It was a ghost town.
“Hadley, Dick and Tammy, Dad is home,” I had said. There was no response. I had gone to the kitchen hoping to find Stefi there. No, she wasn’t there. I had to go to the bedroom. And I saw nobody there too. This was when it struck me that I was home alone. Then I went back to the living room where I sat on a couch and yawned a couple of times, my mouth wide open, my teeth flashing, like I was about to become a hippo. It was exhaustion that made me do that. With a sudden spike in clients’ requests, I had a much busier day of chiselling, cutting and hammering at the workshop. Yes, I’m a carpenter and that is what I do.
Stefi had been out with the kids. Their destination, I did not know because she did not bother to inform me she had planned to go out with our kids. I had become so inconsequential at this time that consulting with me for a husband and wife decision had become something she saw as a complete waste of her time. I got a brand new reply that shook me to my bones when I confronted her on this.
“You know what?” She had said. “Why should I bother when your mind is so unstable?”
“And what is that supposed to mean,” I had responded.
“You know what it is,” Stefi said with intent to malign, oozing in her tone. “Stop being an unfit father figure.” What? I shook that off like Taylor Swift, just like I wasn’t hurt. And the truth remained that I was.
Silence in the living room haunted my mind and made it jam my head with words about how many ways my marriage had gone wrong and how far Stefi’s acts had gone way out of control. You’ve lost control. Are you really married to Stefi? Don’t think you do! Do you really have kids? Stop deluding yourself! There’s no man in this house except the one that comes from outside. You’ve lost it all. You’re nothing. You’re nobody!
“I’m somebody!” I had to scream to stop words in my head I thought were out to take me hostage. With that, I walked straight to the bedroom and flung myself into bed. And guess who came talking to me. You already know whom it was. It needs no introduction by now.
Is all messed up right now for you, but you don’t need to be in this mess, said the voice. There is nothing in this for you. You don’t even have kids.
“Don’t even go there,” I said with a little bit of anger in my voice. “Unless you’re blind, you should know that I have children.”
How could you say that, Jan? When you refused to go see a doctor.
“How did you know that?” I asked, intrigued.
I know everything about you and I’m waiting for you with love.
“So what are you saying?”
I know you believe you have kids and can make more kids if the woman with you agrees.
“That is my wife you’re talking about. I have a wife.”
I’m not saying you don’t. All I’m saying is that you need to see why you’re in this mess to be able to see where you should be heading.
“And that means…..”
At first you couldn’t make her pregnant and later you did.
“How is that supposed to be any of your business?”
You haven’t asked yourself why. Seeing a doctor holds the answer. Don’t tell me you don’t dream to get your life back in one piece.
And with that, the voice spoke no further. It was gone. And for the first time, it left me feeling it had made some sense. It had dropped a seed in my mind. That seed was a question that began to tug at my mind in need of an answer. That was how I started to dwell on why I could not make Stefi pregnant at first, and later I could. I thought the why could lead to an interesting find. Maybe something as revolutionary as the theme park idea for Dinosaurs in the Jurassic Park novel, I thought. But what I did find was quite revealing in a shocking sort of way I would never have imagined. Oh my word! Did I hear somebody ask what that was? It was biological. It was ugly. I couldn’t believe it.