This piece of flash fiction was inspired by One Republic's Apologize. It may be a little controversial. I will upload the video soon.
by Wanda M Toby
Inspired by OneRepublic’s Apologize
Jonathan rushed into the small apartment excited to see his fiancé. His stomach fluttered with anticipation as he waited for her to come home from the gym. Nerves had him pacing the living room, so he decided to make them a couple of sandwiches. A million thoughts rushed through his mind about what he would say to her.
He was relieved that his high school football team was able to pull out a win tonight because he was hardly able to focus on coaching them after learning that he, one day, could be coaching his own child. She hadn’t told him yet, but he was too excited at the thought to wait for her to set up some special reveal.
The front door opened up just as he finished putting the second sandwich together. He looked up and smiled at her; she smiled back.
“Hey babe, how was the gym?”
“It was good. I heard you guys won the game.”
His smile broadened. “Yea, they did. I was out of it.”
She rushed over to the kitchen. “Ooo, is that for me?” She took the sandwich he held out for her.
They sat at the kitchen table, eating and talking. He looked at her nervously.
Tactlessly, he blurted it out. “So, when are you due?”
She coughed as if she were about to choke on the bite she just took. He handed her a glass of water. She held up her hand and shook her head. When she looked at him it was with an unsettling alarm in her eyes.
“What?” she asked.
Something shifted warily inside of him. His excitement was churning. “I found the pregnancy test earlier.”
Her eyes bulged at him as she put her hand to her lips, a nervous gesture he knew too well. He continued on with an equally nervous laugh. “You know that red muscle shirt I got a couple weeks ago? Well, the kids had a good laugh out of it. I decided to return it and was looking for the receipt. I found the test. I assumed …”
She looked up at him. He could not read her. He waited.
“Yea, um, no- Wow, you seem so excited.”
He smiled, still unsure of what was going on. “I am. Shouldn’t I be?”
Worry marred his countenance. A thought that he could never imagine entered his head- Maybe it’s not his. He shook his head. Jonathan could not imagine Sarah cheating on him but maybe …
She took a deep breath before speaking. “I didn’t say anything because … you said you didn’t want a child, the timing wasn’t right, it’s not something you wanted to think of. So, I—”
Relief washed through him as he rushed over to her, taking her hands into his as he knelt down in front of her to sooth her. “That doesn’t matter now. Timing is never perfect. It was a hypothetical and I was thinking about everything being perfect, but this,” he touched her belly, “this is perfect right now.”
She shoved his hand away. Standing up, she wobbled slowly to the couch. Tears streaked her face as she turned to confront him. Jonathan’s insides plummeted. Something was definitely wrong. Maybe it was someone else’s after all. He could not look at her, not until he knew. As he walked over to her, he kept his eyes on the wall behind her, refusing to look into her tear-filled eyes.
He saw her bring her hand up to her mouth before she started speaking. He heard her talking from behind her hand. The words were muffled. He strained to here her clearly.
Sarah’s voice quivered. “I was pregnant for months, Jon, but now I’m not.”
He took his eyes off the wall to scan her face. It was small, sad, serene. His heart melted for her pain. He sat her down on the couch as he spoke. “I’m so sorry. Why didn’t you tell me? You didn’t have to go through it alone. Did the doctor say why it happened?”
Sarah was breathing heavily. He could feel the raw pain seeping out of her. He reached over to pull her into a hug but she gently pushed him off, shaking her head as she did.
“I did not lose the baby.”
Indignation seemed to give her strength in the face of his silence. Her voice strong, she spoke as if his silence was her judgment. “It was my decision. I don’t have to consult anyone. You—”
She stopped when he looked at her. His eyes were glazed over as if they had been frozen that way. Jonathan understood, but, at the same time, he did not. He bald his hand, making a fist where he squeezed every bit of energy he had into it. She saw him visibly shaking but did not speak.
Jonathan felt the shock as if a Gatorade cooler had just been dumped over him, except there was no victory, only loss. His inside grew cold with the implications.
“Am I some kind of dog?” he asked evenly, calmly, menacingly.
Sarah furrowed her brows, appearing confused.
He took a deep breath before speaking again. “Am I an animal?”
She shook her head.
He nodded in agreement. “I get it, your body, your decision; but we are engaged, living together. We lo- … we had a relationship. You couldn’t come to me? Am I not man enough to be by your side, to support my family, no matter what?”
The resentment fled her and Sarah cried. She reached out to him, delicately resting her hand on his shoulder.
He tried to make sense of it, of her. Maybe she did not love him or respect him. Maybe she feared him. He knew she could not possibly have any trust in him. She disregarded all things that are necessary in a relationship. The realization broke him. A blistering cold froze his heart. At that moment, he looked over to her, wanting to choke out of her what she took from him, twice over.
She had been lying to him, pretending that their love mattered. He looked away from her. When it really mattered, when life mattered, she blatantly spit in his face. Jonathan could not breathe. As he stood up her hand slipped from his shoulder. He ignored it, ignored her. He walked to the door and before stepping out turned to her. She sat on the couch, her body turned towards him, crying.
“You could have come to me. You could have told me that’s all.”
As he pulled the door shut, he felt it stop and her hand reach out to grab his arm. He looked down at it. “I’m sorry,” she cried. “I’m sorry.”
He looked up from where her hand held on to him to her beautiful face, hidden behind tears and mucous. He nodded his head, placed his hands over hers and said, “I know, but it’s a little too late for that now. Isn’t it?”