We Make Babies
It’s a busy afternoon, and we both are at work. We are both poring over our screens in our respective cubicles and then a ping on our friends' group chat- somebody has sent a love quote with three red hearts and a couple of Ws after an A. It reads -'I love her, and that's the beginning and end of everything.' Was Fitzgerald thinking of us when he wrote this? I wonder. The apricot sun is gentle, and our managers accept our excuse. Thirty mins later, we are on our way back home. Noodles, yes, I remember, we eat noodles, chili garlic noodles from Bercos, licking the green onion stuck on the corner of your mouth. That afternoon- we make another baby. We are in love, I am certain.
It’s nighttime. Our daughters are in bed, their eyelids shut, the magnolia flowers all over their blanket transcended to the land of Winne the Ppooh and Ariela and Belle. We sneak out of their room to tidy up their half-built Lego castle, broken Hotwheels cars, and the xylophone that starts to ring the moment we dump it in the toy basket. You dart, I dash, and then the music stops. We giggle and lie down on the jute carpet in the living room. I smell of fried sweet potato and you of vanilla, patchouli found in tear-free baby wash. It's magical how our bodies talk and agree. At the apogee of our bliss, we make a baby again. We are in love, I am certain.
It is a crisp morning again, and I am wearing a grey sweater. I need to remember the color of the sun. The girls are off to school, and I hastily eat the leftover oats soaked in milk flecked with half-eaten raspberries. The heavy bags under my eyes, more like ill-arranged sandbags to reduce the flood water damage, make me look old…old enough to be forgotten. I wipe something rolling down my eyes and type hastily-
Alright, ladies, it’s time. I’m getting a divorce. I’ve been trying to make this work for a long time, but unfortunately, I have reached a point of no return: no love, no intimacy, not even friendship. I don’t want him with me in the house or in the same room. How do I do this? Where do I file? How do I file? Who do I need to talk to? He doesn’t want to leave the house and wants our daughters to stay with him… so I will need to fight him for that. Help me, please. Should I leave the house until the divorce is final? I have three children and need to start over and rebuild. I have a good job but need help with investments and planning. Share your bests contact, please. We both need to get out of this…if given a chance, today, right now.
There was a time we were like gentle showers, a good book, and a warm cup of coffee. We were like spring, the cherry blossom trees, and an evening walk. We were like perennials planted on the dirt of life meant to bloom every year- every year bigger and better.
And then came the lashing rain, the winter storm, the scorching heat. I thought we were well insulated, but leaks happen, and soon the flood waters entered our sanctuary and eroded what I thought would stand until eternity. There were times we longed for each other limbs, but our longing was biological. We moved from restless boredom to self-imposed solitude - just when and how is a little murky. In breakups, sometimes, there's no single enemy- everyone bears some culpability.
There was a time you knew the contours of my waist, the fold of my breasts, and the change in the brand of the shampoo. You knew it like people know water and melon, bread and butter, pancake and syrup. Exactly when did the pancake start to burn? Wasn't our world more freshly baked choco chip cookies? When did it turn carbon? Why didn’t we rouse each other from our stupor before it was too late?
Today you and I are no more in love, I am certain. Some canyons and lightyears stand between us. We live under the same roof but have lost the wherewithal to make babies. We uncement bricks of our home, one at a time, and throw them at each other. Each day the bricks reduce, and the hole gets bigger, making us both vulnerable to the impending hurricane. Our children cling to us. They cry, but their tears are not enough. We make war.