I stop packing long enough to blow my nose. The tears make me angry and I’m glad no one is here to see my moment of weakness. How could I be so upset about leaving when it is my own idea? After all it’s the best thing for everyone. Especially him.
It was my own stupidity that got me into this mess so leaving without involving him is the least I can do. I know it’s the right thing to do, but the thought of never seeing him again makes me sadder than I thought possible. It’s only fair that doing the right thing is so very hard.
I’m not sure where I’ll go, but I know if I don’t leave soon I never will and that just won’t do. He is too good a person to be dragged down with me. Not to mention that this town would ever let him live this down. Some things still aren’t done in small Southern towns and an illegitimate child is definitely one of them.
Of course he would want to marry me and help raise his child but I would always wonder if he would have done so if I hadn’t gotten pregnant. I know he loves me and I love him. Yet marriage is not something either of us has ever considered or even discussed. He doesn’t need any more responsibilities and I’ve always prided myself on my independence.
With renewed resolve, I go back to packing. I need to be packed and on my way as soon as I can. The longer I wait the harder it will be and it’s already hard enough.
Mentally I begin making a list of all the things I need to take with me. I can’t forget anything. Whatever I forget will get left behind. Sadness threatens to overtake me again when there’s a knock at my door.
Nervously I open the door and am surprised to see him standing on my doorstep. Instinctively my hand moves to my lower abdomen. His eyes follow the motion then meet mine with a defiantly possessive gleam. My heart flutters but I simply step back so he can come inside.
I turn from closing the door and find him staring at the growing pile of luggage and boxes. He turns towards me in disbelief. “You were really going to leave and not tell me?” he asks sadly. My idea suddenly doesn’t sound like such a great one.
“You already have so many responsibilities. I just didn’t want to add to your burden.” I find I can’t stand the pain in his eyes and drop my gaze to my feet. After a few minutes I see his feet join mine and raise my watery eyes to his. The first tear slowly rolls down my cheek when I see the tears in his eyes.
Softly he caresses my cheek and says, “You could never be a burden to me. Either of you.” As his arms go around me he begs, “Please give me a chance to prove to you that this can work. I love you. I don’t want to marry you because you’re carrying our child. I want to marry you because you can make me laugh, make me think, and make my heart race all at the same time. I want to marry you because I can’t bare the thought of you not being in my life. Please don’t make me spend even one day without you.”
After his speech I could never again doubt why he wants to marry me. Tears begin to flow in earnest as I search for the right words to tell him how I feel. “I love you,” is all I can manage before emotion puts a lump in my throat.
“Is that a yes?” he teases. All I can do is shake my head in affirmation. Laughing, he kisses me softly. I melt into his arms as my own arms go around him. “How soon will you marry me?” he asks and it’s my turn to laugh.