“You are manipulating me again!”
Well, hello, here is Wren’s ‘broken dam and yelling everything that has been bottling up for weeks stage!’
You’re staring at his face. He smirks. He is bloody smirking, smug fuck!
You squeal, “You are saying that you are giving me choice, that it’s my life, but at the same time you just proposed to me and tell me we should bring up this… child together! How is that letting me decide?!”
He’s very calm, and you hate this look on him! It means that it is going exactly the way he bloody wanted from the start.
“Of course I’m manipulating you, Wren. The woman I love and who is potentially carrying my child constantly has one foot out of my door. I’m protecting my love life here.”
What? Is he even hearing himself? And he’s so chill! God, you are going to punch this lopsided grin off his face!
“I don’t have one foot out of the door! What are you talking about?”
“Wrennie…” He sounds like he is talking to an unreasonable child – in that pointedly even tone, fake warm voice. “Do you honestly think I can’t see how uncomfortable you are in this relationship? I understand that every step on the way is like walking on broken glass for you. Let’s face it, you have every reason to bolt. You are not dating Philip or Killian here, for that matter, where you have common interests and go for a pint together.”
Ouch, here we go. You lasted eight weeks without talking about your transgressions with both his nephews. Fuck you, John!
“Have you considered being a bit more flexible maybe?” you ask in a shaking voice. “Make it less bloody uncomfortable, to fit me into your life better?”
“You don’t fit in my life, Wren.” You really didn’t need to hear it fucking articulated clearly like that! “There’s no room in my life for a woman. Never was, since I really wasn’t planning on letting anyone in. You just have to grow up and realize that it is not about fitting into it at all.”
“Wren, you are trying to be with me, I can see that you really are, but at some point it will become too inconvenient, and hard, and painful, and you will flee. Inside the frightened lonely girl you have this free spirited, stubborn woman who will eventually rebel and dump me. So you just have to decide now, whether you are planning to make it work. Pity, you can’t take a few years for that – like I thought initially – but as they say, hard times…”
You are silent. You might be still the stupid schoolgirl with a crush on her teacher, but in the last year you learnt to actually listen to him and hear what he says.
And then you ask, “Forgive me here…” Your voice is gaining its strength back. “Are you telling me you were purposefully making it worse for me to see if I would snap and leave you?”
“Quite the opposite.” He folds his arms on his chest again. “I was hoping you would explode like you always do, and start yelling and demanding what’s rightfully yours.” For a second you ask yourself whether he might be enjoying it?. Probably not, this is his ‘pretending to be calm smile.’
“And what would that be?”
“Wren, you can’t be the submissive one. It’s just not in your nature. Trying to change your whole life to accommodate me is an insane idea, and you’ve been trying to do it for eight weeks. I just thought you needed to snap out of it.”
“Are you sick?” You’re shaking your head.
“Wren, what you were trying to do was unhealthy. Have you done anything you personally wanted in the last eight weeks? I tell you we are going to the most obnoxious restaurant in the city, and you obediently buy a new dress. Don’t get me wrong, I especially appreciated the lavender silk one…” He smirks – suggestively this time – and you clench a fist. “And then you drag yourself there. You diligently eat foie gras and talk to me about Kerouac…”
“I like Kerouac!”
“You are too young to like him!”
“And you are an ageist! I am not dumb, or uneducated! I do actually love Kerouac!”
He looks… pleased. Oh… So, he wanted an explosion?! You are giving him a fucking explosion!
“You are telling me I am shaping my life to fit yours, but have you considered that you are just seeing what you expect to see, John?! You think of me as a little girl, and you expect me to be amenable and then grow into the role you want me to! It doesn’t work this way! It’s a mutual giving and compromising that works!” You climb off his bed. “You were hoping I would snap? Here is me snapping! And leaving you.”
You start getting dressed.
“Get back to bed, Wren. We haven’t finished talking.”
“I have.” You are very calm and not crying. You consider that an immense progress.
You pull on your jeans and sweater.
“I will let you know the gender of the baby, of course.”
You are heading to the entrance hall when he catches your arm.
“Wren, we are not done talking.” His voice is low and menacing.
“Or what, John? You will yell and frighten me again? Slam your fist into a wall? We’ve been there, remember? I am not afraid of you anymore. I am also getting increasing less afraid of being without you.”
You can see almost imagine cogs swirling in his brilliant mind – calculating and evaluating his options.
You put on your shoes.
“No, Wren, please…” His eyes are panicked. You guess his giant brain hasn’t come up with any elaborate way to trick you into a particular behaviour. Interesting… You stop in your tracks and look into his face.
“Yes, John, what is it? Is there something you wanted to say?”
You imagine that your calm tone right now is like pushing a knife sticking out of him just a little bit deeper. You can’t say you are not enjoying the agitation splashing in his eyes. You are guessing it didn’t go the way he planned. Pity for you, John. Was he planning on happy sobbing and post-engagement sex? And then another thought comes.
“By the way, since you think you are such a self aware person, John, have you considered that subconsciously you were actually trying to make me dump you? So there would be no blame on you but you would be free again…” You’re looking at his face. He jerks.
“I love you, John, I really do, but I don’t particularly like you at the moment.”
“I don’t particularly like myself at most times, Wren.” He’s staring at the floor. “Please, don’t go…”
You really should be leaving him now, walking proudly to the lift. Let’s face it, you would be sobbing uglily and wiping your snotty nose with your sleeve, but that’s what a dignified girl should do. Or should she?
Because John is right. There’s a smart grown-up woman buried somewhere underneath your hysterics and panicked decisions. And that woman knows that leaving him in tears, agonizing over it at home for days to come, dealing with it alone, screaming and running around – just doesn’t cut it anymore. Besides other things, considering that there is potentially his child growing inside you.
And it dawns on you finally. It is a child, a baby, a person. You are its mother. And he is its father. You are its parents. And you have been thoroughly cocking up your relationship for the last few hours. Possibly for the last eight weeks. Even more possibly from the start, from the night in the bloody tent.
You take off your shoes.
“Let’s go to the kitchen, John. I need a cuppa.” You walk past him. You think you see his mouth fall agape.
You climb on his stupid bar stool and wait. He puts the kettle on the stove and turns to you again. The dark blue eyes are cautious but hopeful.
“So, John, we seem to be in a pickle here…”