August 5, 2012: Was it remorse?
Regular reader and terrific writer Lindsay sent in this response to Daily Journal Prompt #200:
Of course I know. How could I not know? A milestone become a millstone around my neck. All that stuff in magazines. And my friends already there – all of them, some on their third. And my mother always phoning and asking how things are with Kevin, or Tom, or now Ed, and I know what she’s really asking. I know.
‘Clock’s ticking,’ someone said once, and ‘Isn’t it time?’ and ‘I should get my skates on if I was you.’
But the thing is, they’re not me. Ok, Kevin was special, and I did think that maybe he could be the one. He made me laugh and smelled of lemons and took his socks off in bed – which they don’t all do. I really thought he could be it. He was a teacher. Science, I think. And he played football for an amateur team on Saturday mornings. He ticked so many boxes. But then he got serious, and he talked about us moving in together, and once we were out walking and he stopped to look at engagement rings in a jewellery shop window.
Tom was next. He was someone from work. We’d kissed once, at an office Christmas party and his hand down the front of my skirt. We’d both been a little drunk that night and afterwards we never spoke of it. Then, quite out of the blue, he asked me out on a date. He wasn’t Kevin, but I could have settled for him. But then he wanted me to meet his parents and he said they’d really like me, and, well, I wasn’t looking for that.
Now there’s Ed. He’s tall and handsome in an angular way. He’s sweet, too, and he has a certain manner, all polite, and attentive but not in a way that speaks of commitment or long-term. In fact we agreed early on that we’d see how things were and we’d not put pressure on the relationship. Sometimes he doesn’t call for days and that’s fine and he isn’t all clinging when we do meet up again and never asks what I have been up to since we last met. It’s almost casual. He seems almost perfect.
That’s why I have stopped taking the pill. I haven’t told Ed. There’s no need. A few months and he’ll be moving on, I am certain of that, and I’m ok with it too. By then, fingers crossed, the ticking clock will no longer be a concern. I lie next to Ed when’s asleep in my bed – though he doesn’t ever stay over. And lying next to him, I stroke the small rise of my belly and make-believe it’s already happened and I imagine all my friends knowing and my mother telling all her friends, too, but not mentioning that I will be doing it all on my own.
→Thanks once more, dear Lindsay, for sharing the work you are inspired to write. – PMc←