I manage avoiding one-on-one talks with him over the next few months. After all, I had a lot to do before graduation in May. When we were together, we were still rarely alone. He had reappeared from the dead, and that tends to make someone pretty popular. On the rare occasions we were alone, I distracted him by letting our bodies do the talking. He didn’t seem to mind very much, until the day he finally got his leg cast off.
“Let’s go for a walk Charlotte. The April weather is finally cooperating and I would love to finally stretch my legs, so to speak. Plus it would give us proper time to finally catch up, with our words this time,” he said teasingly. “Not that I mind the other catching up we have been doing, but you are a writer after all, and I miss your words. Our letters were the best time about my service.”
Truly nervous to be alone with him, I nodded. We decided a leisurely stroll through the park would be a good way to ease his leg back into commission. He still required a cane, but just like Jacob, he took life as it came and didn’t let it get him down. Maybe I could share my secret with him, and he would be able to understand and look past it. We could grow because of it, and it may help me finally move on from all the guilt I felt.
As if he could hear my thoughts he said “Tell me what went on with you while I was away. I know about school, but you had to of gotten into some kind of trouble other than that. It was months after all. You didn’t just sit in your room and avoid life because of me. Right?”
Hearing my sigh, he stopped walking and grabbed my shoulders to turn me to him. “Ok time to spill. Why do you look like you are so stressed out, you could just pop at any moment?”
Looking into his eyes I see the concern, and I know that I cannot hide this from him any longer. Nodding once again, because it seems that is all I can do anymore, I gesture to the bench behind him. Acknowledging my gesture, we move over and sit.
Knowing that I would not tell him if he spoke, he just waited patiently until I was ready. Forever the compassionate person, I could not keep myself from telling him anymore. So, I began.
“We haven’t really discussed the side effects of what happened to you,” I said.
“Charlotte, I have come to terms with the kid thing. As long as I have you, we will figure something out. We weren’t having kids anytime soon when I left. We don’t need to think about that yet now.”
“You don’t understand.” Deciding to wait me out once again. He sat quietly watching me deal with my whole life right in front of him. I begin again. “I had a really hard time dealing with your disappearance. I am still trying to grasp you being here with me now.” Jacob shakes his head trying to understand how I must have felt. “Shortly after your funeral, I found out I was pregnant.” Stopping to let that sink in, I watch the different emotions in his face.
“What happened to the baby Charlotte?” Apparently unable to grasp this new information, he broke his own silence.
“Well like I just said, I was having a lot of trouble dealing with your death. Trying to figure out who I was without you. It got so bad I had to seek out professional help. I have been on medication since.”
“Oh, Charlotte,” with such pity in his voice I look up at him again unsure of what I was seeing. “Did you have a miscarriage?”
Suddenly aware that he thought the pain and stress had taken its toll on our unborn child, I had to take a deep breath just to hold the impending tears from falling. Once again I fell to non-verbal cues to answer for me unsure how steady my voice would be and I shook my head.
Confused, he looked at me and his face became more stern. “What happened to our child Charlotte?”
“Jacob…” was the only word I could get out before the tears started to fall. Beginning to understand what had happened, Jacob moved his hands from me.
“Just say it. I need you to say it.”
With very little composure, I turned from him. In barely a whisper I said to him the four words I had a feeling would be the end of us forever. “I had an abortion.”
With no other word spoken, I sit and watch as he walks away. I wonder if I will once again be forced to go on alone without him. Will I be able to live knowing that I was the reason that he is no longer with me this time? He came back from the dead before. Maybe he will come back to me again this time too. This decision is not mine to make, and all I can do now is wait.