“My ex left me after our son’s funeral”–except he was her “ex” before the son was conceived
Shorter version: We had a lot of sex, so he was supposed to marry me.
The rest is a blur of us falling in love between vacations, dinners, jokes, conversations, and hours of dreaming with each another. I thought I was having the time of my life, and a poolside, tropical proposal in Jamaica turned into a wedding date with a shiny Tiffany’s band. Soon, there were move-ins, naming hypothetical children, shopping trips with his mother, and a complete intertwining of our lives. I helped build his business, and I built my career. It was perfect … until it wasn’t.
Soon came the calls from other women, the Facebook messages, and even some actual women confronting me. We broke up one morning when he told me he didn’t want to get married anymore. I kicked him out of our apartment and then left the state to take a job opportunity I didn’t carefully think through. The separation was short-lived. We spent the next several months chasing each other across the country on red-eye flights. Several months later, after a first-class flight and a lavish Ritz Carlton suite, our son was conceived.***Mark called me only to yell and berate me until I cried. He didn’t want me to keep the baby (and promised me the world if I didn’t) and then threatened me when I told him I was planning to keep our baby. I cried, waddling into doctors’ appointments two to three times a week for my high-risk pregnancy. But then there were days filled with hope, when I realized that my son was fighting all of the physical obstacles my body laid out for him. Some days, Mark wanted to not only be a part of the baby’s life, but mine, too. When he’d fly in to see me and hear his son’s heartbeat on ultrasound, he’d soften toward me. But fear of him becoming a dad brought back the same emotional abuse days later.***
When I called him to tell him I had given birth to his stillborn baby, he didn’t rush to see me or change his previously-booked flight, which arrived a couple of days later. Sure, he did a lot of things right — taking care of me after my mother and sister left, making arrangements with the funeral home and even paying for the casket, dealing with my night sweats and milk-laden breasts as my hormonal body tried to understand that I was no longer pregnant. We got through the big family event that was our son’s funeral and we even went on a much-needed vacation following my maternity leave. “I’ll see you soon. I love you,” he said as he boarded the plane back.
That would be the last time I saw him in person.
Several weeks of delayed phone calls later, unanswered texts and hard-to-understand answers to difficult questions, that call in September came. I knew it would come: He ended it. To this day, he doesn’t call on Christmas, Mother’s Day, our deceased son’s birthday, not any day. In two weeks, it’ll be an entire year since we spoke.