A virtual appointment has been scheduled with my doctor for tomorrow. I need to talk to her about the side effects of the medication. “How the hell are we supposed to conceive if I feel numb every time he touches me?” It’s been so frustrating for me and I can only imagine how hard it is for him. I wish he’d let me take care of him more often for his sake but then again, I understand the aggravation of not getting to touch me and make love to me. I really hope my doctor will be able to help me find a solution because this is taking a toll on me, on both of us.
Max stops to take a shot of the sun shining through a tree. “Would you mind if I bring my camera tomorrow so you can teach me? I love taking pictures but I’m still an amateur,” I’ve been hesitant about asking him, knowing how talented he is compared to me. “Of course! We can go get it now, it’s a beautiful day out,” he offers.
We had only been walking for a few minutes, going back to pick up my equipment was easy.
Learning the compositions of photography is the base according to Max. He then goes over the different settings such as the F-stop and the ISO options. “You’re a good teacher, Max!” I tell him after getting a shot of some flowers. He mentions being able to help me with my photoshop skills sometimes. The day goes by quickly with us sharing a passion.
Dinner is in the oven when Ryan walks in dressed in black jeans and a black polo. He’s looking so good. I would typically get aroused but nothing is happening right now. A wave of anger rushes over me. I walk to the kitchen grabbing plates so I can start setting the table for us. The plates are clinking in a loud sound as I drop them onto the table without care. I do the same with the utensils in exasperation. “What the fuck is wrong with me? My eyes are liking what they see yet my body doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to,” I reach for the glasses when his fingers wrap around my wrist from behind. My whole body is taken by trembles leaning back into his. I don’t know how to control what’s going on inside of me. His presence is helping although a need to express the rage that’s consuming me is still there. The beeper on the oven goes off startling me. “I got it,” he momentarily lets go of me to get the dish out. Taking 2 glasses into my hands I turn around walking to the table. His arms wrap around my waist before I get there. “What can I do to help?” I hate hearing the gloominess in his voice. “What can he do? Why should he have to help me again? It’s not fair to him! But I need him.” The voices in my head are so loud I wish they’d stop. Without even thinking, I throw the glasses at the wall, yowling. His arms tighten around me preventing me from slipping to the floor. “I’m sorry! I’m so sorry! Please forgive me,” I cry turning around into his embrace. “Breathe. Baby, it’s okay. I’m here. Breathe,” he runs his fingers gently on my back soothing me. Resting my forehead on his chest, I take shallow breaths, my hands are fisting his shirt. After a minute, the smell of food comes as a reminder that my tantrum is delaying him from eating. “Have a seat,” I tell him as I step back. I bring the dish to the table when I see him about to clean the mess I’ve made. Running over, I stop him. “Please don’t!” I plead with him. After a glance into my eyes, he nods and sits down to eat. New glasses are set on the table for us. My throat feels tight giving me a hard time swallowing the food. He’s watching me, I know he can tell I’m struggling. The feeling slips away when his hand makes contact with my thigh under the table.
He’s sitting on the couch after dinner, I bring my laptop over to him taking a seat. “Can I show you the pictures I took with Max today?” I say in a small voice. The guilt from my outburst is still haunting me, and I’m hoping to share something positive with him. To help put my mind at ease. “I didn’t know you guys were taking pictures?” he looks at the flowers on the screen. “Yeah, we only started today. I asked him if he would give me tips to improve myself. He still has to help me retouch my favorites into photoshop. But I want to show you the raw version, if… Well only if you’re interested?” I don’t know why I’m nervous about my pictures. “Baby, I’m always interested in the things you love, show me more,” he brings his arm around my shoulders. I go over more pictures of flowers, skylines, random houses, and a puppy we met at the park. “The dog was so cute, and she was giving me kisses, and she wanted to follow me. My heart was melting! I wish I could have a dog one day,” I say, excitedly. She was a mix of german shepherd and husky, only three months old. Ryan enjoys my pictures saying I did a good job and he can’t wait to see the finished product once the retouch will be done. His hand absently runs through my hair once we turn on the tv to watch football. He’s watching, I’m just enjoying the moment. I’ve been worried about him forgetting how much I love him from our lack of sexual activities. “I love you, babe,” he turns to me, I smile, cuddling into his chest.
The next day
My heart is racing as Ryan and I sit here waiting for my zoom consultation to begin. He was lucky to have a day off today. “Why am I freaking out?” My doctor appears on camera asking me how I’m doing right away. I go over my concerns about my sex drive being so low. “Ella, I know it’s hard but it’s common for the treatment which is confusing because the goal is to be active. However, if you can stick to it, other patients have seen improvements around the 3rd month. You’ve been on it for a little over 2 months meaning it should get better soon. If you were to quit the pills, we’d have to look into other more invasive options. The decision is yours,” she explains. Glancing over at my husband I’m trying to read his mind. “Ella also seems to go through a rollercoaster of… emotions. Is this normal?” he asks. “Yes, her hormones might be unbalanced because of the treatment, again, chances are it’ll get better. There’s always a small percentage of patients that won’t see any changes and eventually have to quit,” She says. Ryan and I exchange a look, both of us seem to be unsure about what’s best for my body and our goal. “I have to specify if you talk to your therapist about your mental health, she shouldn’t prescribe any anti-depressants, it would interfere with the treatment, unfortunately,” she’s giving me a sympathetic smile. The consultation comes to an end. I sit there staring at the screen blankly. “Hey, do you want to talk about it?” he says, softly. “Not right now, can we go for a quick workout session?” I suddenly want to punch a wall and kickboxing might help.
Niall takes one look at me before offering to go to one of the private rooms this time. The boys follow us there, most of the equipment they use is also available there. I also suspect Ryan wants to keep an eye on me. Once my gloves are on, I start punching. Niall is giving me tips on how to move my feet and the angle I should use to kick and punch. I’m so angry at my brain for reacting the way it is. “Why can’t I be normal? Why must I experience all the shitty side-effects?” I feel trapped in a body that hates me. Like last time, grunts and screams are coming out of my mouth in frustration. Giving Ryan a baby would be the best gift, he deserves it for all he’s done for me. The dark cloud over me has its hooks draining all my energy but I push through until my legs give out on me nearly falling on my face feeling weak in the knees. Niall has to help me.
Once we’re all sitting in the car, Max driving, Cooper on the passenger seat, and us in the backseat, I lay my head on his shoulder. The car is quiet, I guessing from everyone’s exhaustion, Ryan’s thumb is running on my leg. He tells me to wait for him as he goes around to my side picking me up. “I can walk!” I try to protest. “I know but I’m allowed to take care of my baby,” he says. My heart melts at the gesture. “I love you,” I say, yawning as he lays me in our bed a few minutes later. I hadn’t realized how tired I was until now. It’s mid-afternoon but it’s been a long day already. “Have a nap,” he removes my sweatpants and t-shirt leaving me in my underwear. “Only if you lay with me,” I pout, desperate for his arms. With his help, I settle under the blanket pulling on his torso making sure he’ll join me. The way his strong arms hold me is comforting, his lips lay a gentle kiss on my cheek right before nuzzling his face into my neck.