One day, I woke up earlier than my husband. I slowly stretched, opened my eyes, and suddenly realized something shocking. Lord, I thought, I’m sharing one bed with a stranger! At first, I thought it was a bad dream…
Why are you up so early?” my husband Mark asked as he opened his eyes. “It’s Sunday, anyway. Just go back to sleep and rest.”
I threw the blanket and stood up. “No, I don’t have enough time. There’s a lot of work to do.”
Mark gave me a disappointed look and turned around. “Time goes by, but some people never change!” he muttered.
His voice was low, but I heard him. “What did you say just now?” I asked angrily. “Some people never change?!”
Mark pulled the blanket closer to himself. “Come on, Claire. Don’t overreact. I just said good morning.”
I don’t know why but I felt like crying at that moment. There was this weird feeling I couldn’t explain. And it wasn’t sudden. It happened every weekend. I felt like Mark didn’t love me anymore. I felt like we were strangers who were just staying together.
Anyway, I somehow controlled my tears in front of Mark and ran to the kitchen. On the way, my daughter Mandy saw me. She was just nine years old, but she knew that something wasn’t quite right between her parents. She came up to me and asked, “What happened, mom? Why are you crying?”
I quickly wiped my tears. “Everything’s fine, sweetie. Don’t worry,” I told her, kissing her on the cheek.
She didn’t seem satisfied with my reply. “Are you sure you’re okay, mom? Aren’t you tired of arguing and crying?”
At this point, I lost my cool. “Don’t teach me how to live this life. You’re still a kid!”
You’re probably thinking to yourself what an awful mother I am. Well, maybe I am. But I felt terrible for lashing out at Mandy that day. I know it wasn’t her fault. She was just concerned about her mom, but I couldn’t control my anger.
I wanted to apologize to her as well, but she had already left the kitchen before I could say anything. Family life is painful and complicated, I thought to myself.
Suddenly, I looked at the clock and realized it was time for Mandy and Daniel’s painting class. I got busy preparing breakfast, and Daniel ran to our bedroom to wake Mark. “Dad, dad, we have to go to painting class. You promised you’d drive us to class today. Are you planning on sleeping?” he told Mark.
No, Dan,” Mark replied, “thanks to your mother, I’m already awake
Yay, it means you’ll take us to class today,” Daniel exclaimed cheerfully.
Well, Dan, we’ll see about that,” Mark stretched and added, “I might have to go out for a meeting today.”
Daniel’s excitement faded away after Mark’s response. He came out of the room dejected and told me everything. I consoled him and gave him breakfast.
Half an hour passed since breakfast time, but Mark didn’t come out of his room. In fact, he waited for me, our daughter, and son to have breakfast and came out when I was about to leave the house for Daniel and Mandy’s painting class.
“Oh, thanks for dropping the kids today, Claire,” he told me. “I would have taken them if it hadn’t been for an important meeting I had today.”
I was pissed at Mark. I didn’t want to look at his face. “Yeah, no problem,” I murmured as I walked away.
After dropping off the kids, I just sat in my car for some time, thinking how distant Mark and I had become in recent years. I opened Facebook and began scrolling through the photos we had shared a few years ago.
We looked so happy, and everything seemed so perfect. What happened to you, Mark? Why can’t things go back to the way they were? I thought to myself, and soon my eyes filled with tears. Then, while scrolling through the pictures, I noticed a post by Mark’s friend, Alex. He had tagged Mark, and the date of the post was today.
Mark’s important appointment turned out to be a meeting with Alex. They had gone to watch a match at the stadium. Why did you lie, Mark? It’s not like I would have stopped you from meeting your friends. Don’t you trust me anymore? I got lost in thoughts like these.
Suddenly, I heard the grinding noise of a car barking. A sedan flew right past me and crashed into the bus stop. I dashed over to the sedan to check if the driver was okay. Unfortunately, the collision was severe, and he was completely covered in blood.
That sight was terrifying, to say the least. My hands started shaking, and the next thing I remember, I was in an ambulance.
“It’s a shock,” said the ambulance doctor, “she’s safe.”
I slowly opened my eyes. “She’s awake!” another medical worker exclaimed.
“Are you feeling better now?” the doctor asked me.
“I can’t move my head,” I said and tried getting up, but the doctor stopped me.
“Please don’t move. You need to rest.”
“But doctor, what happened to me? And how did I get here?” I asked.
“There was an accident, and you had fainted at the site,” the doctor replied.
“Oh yes, the sedan. Is the driver alright?” I asked him, concerned.
“Thankfully, a passerby noticed him and called the ambulance at the right time,” the doctor explained.
That’s a relief,” I thought to myself.
“By the way, will you be able to call your family members?” the doctor asked. I shook my head in denial. “Then please give me the number. I’ll call them,” he said.
I took my phone silently and showed my husband’s number.
“Dad, Dad, your phone…Mom met with an accident,” Mandy yelled as he picked up the call. The phone was on speaker, and I could hear everything.
Mark quickly took the phone from Mandy. “Yes, it’s me! Would you please stay with her? I’ll be there in 10 minutes,” he told the doctor. I could tell Mark was worried by the tone of his voice. I wanted to assure him I was fine, but I couldn’t talk because I didn’t have the strength.
Mark, Mandy, and Daniel arrived in fifteen minutes. Seeing two ambulances, the children and Mark ran even faster. “Mom, mom, mom,” cried Mandy. “Are you okay?”
I cuddled Mandy and Daniel and started crying.
“Tears are good,” the doctor said. “The shock will dissipate faster now.”
Can you walk?” Mark asked, looking at me. “I don’t know,” I said quietly. Mark turned to the doctor for advice, and he handed him a piece of paper and said, “Make sure she doesn’t take a lot of stress. The shock was very strong.”
Mark took me out of the ambulance in his arms. I put my arms around his neck and closed my eyes. When we arrived home, Mark gently placed me on the bed and took my hands in his. “Claire, how are you?” he asked.
“I feel better, Mark,” I replied in a low voice. “Please stay with me for a while.”
Mark lay next to me and hugged me. Our kids also joined us. No one said a word. I can’t explain how relieved I felt that day. I was happy that Mark actually cared about me