“Emma came out of the house. She was in a great mood; she was getting married today. Suddenly, the phone rang. When Emma answered it, she heard the upset voice of her fiancé, Sean. It turned out that his car had broken down, and he had already called a cab for both of them. Sean was very apologetic, saying that there was nothing to be done; they would have to get to the place of the marriage registration separately.
Emma was in shock, standing in her wedding dress in the middle of the street, waiting for her groom.
They had not planned a big celebration, and after the ceremony, they just wanted to hang out in a cafe together with Shawn’s best friend and his wife. But to go to the wedding in a cab was a little too much. In general, this whole idea of a super economical wedding that even her only relative, her grandmother, wasn’t supposed to be at, upset Emma from the very beginning.
Soon, the cab driver arrived and only increased Emma’s irritation. The guy made several unsuccessful jokes, but the girl was not in the mood to maintain the joking tone. “What a humiliation,” thought Emma, sitting in the back of the cab. “If we weren’t so poor, if Sean had a full family, then everyone would be jealous looking at us, and I wouldn’t have to ride in a cab to the wedding.”
Emma had always dreamed of a life without poverty. She grew up without parents and knew what poverty meant firsthand. She had only her grandmother, who turned 70 last year. Sean’s situation was not better; his father died when the boy was only 10 years old, and his mother was ill, and it took a lot of money to cure her. Sean got a profession as an electrician and just started working, so he could not boast of a high income.
As for Emma, she really wanted to travel around the world, buy fancy clothes, and find foods, but before this cab ride, she had not given much thought to the fact that having married Sean, she would not soon fulfill her dreams.
Looking at herself from the outside, it was as if Emma had sobered up. “Do I need all this? Am I really ready to go on living like this? And do I really love Sean?” There were so many questions that Emma was even frightened unexpectedly for herself.
She ordered the cab driver to turn the car around and go back. She thought about what she had done the entire way back.
Had she done the right thing, and deciding not to come to her own wedding? Was it right to leave Sean and not even explain anything to him? The girl honestly admitted to herself that she was just afraid to look the guy in his eyes, afraid that she would give in to his entreaties and change her mind. So once the decision was made, she had to act quickly.
The first thing Emma did was to turn off the phone, so her fiancé couldn’t reach her. Once she got into a dorm room where she lived the past two years, the girl hurriedly changed clothes, threw some belongings in a bag, and pulled out a stash of her savings. Then she hurried to the train station, where she boarded the first train to the capital.
Emma rented the cheapest apartment in the suburbs, and on the first day, she rushed to look for a job. The first week in the city didn’t bring its results, and Emma began to slowly become disillusioned with her plan.
But suddenly, she lucked out at one company. Pretty face of a provincial girl who came to get a job as a secretary attracted the boss. Emma also immediately liked Stephen; he was like the man of her dreams – quite young, stylish, and educated. He was totally different from the Shawn she had left. Soon enough, they began a stormy romance. Emma was crazy about her boss. Finally, her life was everything she had dreamed of.
With Stephen, she saw Paris, Rome, and London for the first time in her life. After six months of their acquaintance, she already had a new car, a gift from Stephen, and she herself moved from a rented apartment to her lover’s luxurious suite. The only thread that connected Emma to her past was her grandmother, who Emma constantly sent money to. However, she rarely dared to call; she was still afraid to hear about Sean.
Stephen, meanwhile, was madly infatuated with his new girlfriend. When one day, at a dinner at a luxurious restaurant, he got down on one knee and asked her to marry him, Emma felt like in a fairy tale and realized that life was successful. Soon, there was a fancy wedding. Emma invited her grandmother, but the elderly woman decided not to come and was happy for her granddaughter from a distance.
Right after the honeymoon, Emma realized she was pregnant, and Stephen was happy. She began to furnish the baby’s room, and father-to-be spared no money, wanting his heir to have the best of everything.
The idol ended when the birth began. From the first minutes in the delivery room, it became clear that something was going wrong. Emma felt so bad that through the faint state, she almost didn’t understand the voices and only faintly grasped the images of the fussing midwives and doctors. Then she finally lost consciousness.
“Where’s my baby?” were her first words when she regained consciousness. “I want to see him.” Stephen stood beside her, white as a wall and unusually tense. “Listen to me, Emma,” Stephen’s voice sounded strange. “Our son died. The birth was hard; it was the day before yesterday. The doctors fought for your life for almost two days, but the baby could not be saved.”
Emma could say nothing in response. She was gulping for air with her mouth like a fish thrown on the shore and could not squeeze out a sound.
For a moment, she thought it was just a horrible dream, one of those nightmares that sometimes plagued pregnant women. Emma even tried to close her eyes again, and then when she opened them, she pinched herself forcefully. Alas, nothing changed.
She was still lying in a room; there was a strange Stephen, and her beloved son, whom she carried under her heart for nine months, was not there. From the realization of all this horror, Emma began to scream like a wounded animal. A worried nurse came into the room and gave her an injection of sedatives. Emma felt that she was falling back into oblivion, and darkness was coming from all sides.
Days went by, and nothing changed for Emma. She lost all desire to live; for hours, she stared out the window, behind which the wind swirled the yellowing leaves. She was transferred to a psychiatric department where long conversations and medications were used to restore her interest in life.
Her legs had fallen off from the stress, and now there was nothing to remind her of a cheerful and carefree girl. Eventually, Stephen took Emma home, and his attitude towards her changed, noticeably. The wife in the wheelchair and with a faded look bored him. Adoration was replaced by anger and irritation. Stephen went to her room less and less frequently and soon began to seek solace on the side.
After a couple of months, her nurse quit for family reasons, and Stephen didn’t hire a new assistant. Now, no one cared about Emma, and the woman felt abandoned and unnecessary. One day, Stephen informed Emma that he was leaving on a business trip.
He didn’t know that the day before, she found out by accident that he had bought tickets to the French Riviera, where they had once spent their honeymoon. Undeterred, Emma caught her husband in a lie. “Ah, so you know everything,” he responded indifferently. “So much the better. I’m sick of everything. This year you won’t have children, so I don’t need you, and I’m not your nanny.”
Emma asked at least to hire an assistant for the time her husband was away, but Stephen refused, remarking sharply that it was time to stop playing the dying swan and learn to take care of herself. So the woman was left alone.
She didn’t understand whether her husband wanted to put her on her feet in such an extreme way or, on the contrary, dreamed that she would do something to herself, and he would get rid of her that way because the divorce from her promised him a huge expense. And so, in such reflections, suddenly Emma had a desire to survive at any cost and awakened forces that she had never suspected until the critical point.
These forces pushed Emma to the top with unimaginable speed. If it had not been for Stephen’s cruel words, perhaps she would have simply gone to her grandmother without claiming or answering any calls, as she had once left Sean. But now, Emma did what her husband deserved.
Stephen’s romantic vacation with his new paramour was in full swing. He had never once in all two weeks contacted his wife, didn’t know what was with her, and whether she was alive at all. And one fine morning, his lawyer called him and told him that Emma had filed for divorce, division of property, and compensation for the moral and physical damage she had suffered in the marriage. Stephen was stunned and immediately flew home, where instead of his paralyzed wife, he found a wheelchair in the middle of the hall and a note on the table.
“Stephen, you’re right. I will never have children, but I hope you will have them, and I will have my own penthouse, car, and compensation in the hundreds of thousands. All’s fair.” Stephen was tearing his hair out, but there was nothing more he could do.
Attempts to reach his wife were unsuccessful; he didn’t even know where she had gone because during their time together, he had never even once asked where her grandmother lived, although it would have made little difference. All the facts were not on Stephen’s side. The man put up with this financial loss in his divorce and made a vow not to marry until his new woman gave birth to a son.
Emma returned to her grandmother, full of determination to rebuild her life. The grandmother was overjoyed that her granddaughter had arrived, and when the first emotions had passed, Emma began to ask what was new in town.
Of course, she wanted to know about Sean. Emma had no intention of renewing her relationship with him, but wanted to ask for forgiveness. But what she found out about her ex-fiancé shocked her. It turned out that he was in prison. Sean had a car accident through another’s fault, but the other driver didn’t survive, and alcohol was detected in Sean’s blood, so he was sentenced. The dead man left a younger daughter, Maya, who he raised alone.
After hearing the whole story, Emma decided to get a visit from Sean, and so they met, two young but already thoroughly beaten in life. The conversation was not easy. Emma concealed nothing from Sean, including the fact that she was no longer destined to become a mother, and he asked her to visit the orphaned girl at the orphanage and found out how she lived there.
Two years passed when Sean was released on parole. He went out of the prison gate, and there Emma and little Maya were waiting for him. The two broken-hearted people became each other’s support and decided to give care and affection to the little girl so that she wouldn’t get lost in this cruel world like they did in their time.”