Two Weeks Later
The doctors asked to see his parents first, and so, here I am waiting alone outside his hospital room to see my not-so-dead husband. You can imagine the thoughts racing through my mind. The strongest emotion is guilt. Since I received that letter two weeks ago, we have discovered how extensive Jacob’s injuries were. Among them was a side-effect from one of his surgeries. We have been told that even though Jacob will completely recover from everything that would be detrimental to his day-to-day life, he is unlikely be able to produce children of his own. How can I ever tell him that for a brief moment in time, he had a child and that I took his only opportunity away from him.
The click of the door handle brings me out of my head and back in the moment. I look up and see the doctor and Jacob’s parents coming out of the room.
“Charlotte, you can see him now” the doctor says to me.
I nod and proceed slowly into the room.
“Hey” Jacob said with a small smile on his face.
“Hey” I say back without coming any closer.
His smile begins to fade and I can tell he sees the stress on my face. “The doctors explained it has been close to a year since I was reported missing, and that everyone thought I was dead. I know that a lot can change in that time, so if there is something you need to tell me, please just be honest with me.”
I continue to stay put and just stare at my shoes. How do I even have this conversation with him? I don’t know if I can put this on him. He has been through so much.
He says to me, “Don’t tell me you have already moved on and that I am going to have to fight someone to get you back. I don’t know if I could win just yet.”
“No! Jacob, I would never!” but as I look up at him, I can see he was only trying to relieve some of the tension. His eyes are lit up and I can tell he is laughing at me. Despite my stress, I smile back at him.
“Come here” he says stretching his arms out to me. When we finally connect, I feel safe and content. I haven’t felt this way since that dreaded knock on the door. He pulls me up into his arms and I lay with my head on his chest. For a few moments, we lay quietly as I listen to the calm, steadiness of his heartbeat, and if only for a moment, my concerns are forgotten. Jacob is alive. He is here with me, right now. I hear a sigh, and I realize it is from me.
Stroking my hair, Jacob finally breaks the silence. “You smell amazing,” giving me a gentle kiss on the top of the head. I can’t help myself, I actually giggle. “It seems we have a few months to catch up on.” And just like that all my guilt and pain resurfaces. What am I going to do now?
To be continued…