A FATHER by Joe Leonardi ©2018
It is so close to the date, yet, your desire will not be denied. We make love, unbridled is our passion. To unimagined climax, we bring each other.
Behind closed lids, your beautiful eyes are now hidden. I lay next to you. My hand, upon the outline of our child. Eager to see the world, he presses against your belly. I kiss your cheek. My love, I proclaim. I am with my family.
We are not asleep long.
A contraction wakes you.
You feel a pop, then a trickle.
It is time. We rush to your house. When we are near, you phone your sister. Within the hour, she will be there.
I am like a kid on Christmas morning. I have never felt such joy. I have never been so happy. A life, one created by our love, will soon be here.
My breathing is rapid.
Our son is coming.
My heart races.
We near your home. Your contractions continue. Less than ten minutes after the last, arrives the next.
Your face turns sad. As you place the next call, you tell me you love me. My excitation dims. At his work, your husband’s phone rings.
Of paternity, he is unaware. I am the father. However, he remains, your husband. My joy is gone, in its place, despair.
It is he, who will witness the birth of my son.
It is he, who will hold him when our son breathes his first.
It is he, who will sit next to you, to share the advent of the life which we created.
I stop in front of your house. There is little time. You aren’t sure when next we will speak. I reassure you–all is fine. Before darting from the car, you tell me you love me and kiss me. As I pull away, the headlights of your sister’s car greet me.
To the hospital, I hurry. I observe you arrive, close behind, so does he. Blissfully blind to the truth, in he rushes.
I leave. For hours, I drive. I am not by your side. I am not there to hold your hand. I am not there to tell you to push. I am not there to wipe the sweat from your brow or tears from your cheek.
I don’t know how you are doing. I don’t know if you have yet given birth. I don’t know if our son has seen his first sight.
What I do know–
It is he, who our son will cry out for in the night.
It is he, who our son will consider his father.
It is he, who my son will call daddy.
Unexpected and unplanned, but not unwelcomed, was his conception. You attempted to leave, but each time you tried, unforeseen events prevented you. Tears fill my eyes.
I will never know my son!
It is that truth, which leads me to the revolver.
It is that truth, I mutter as I press the barrel to my head.
It is that truth, I repeat over and over, as I cock the hammer.
It is that truth, the last words I speak, before the explosion echoes.