Neighbourhood houses lit in a warm white glow, failed to catch Tansy’s attention, as she trudged up the driveway, her head bent against the elements, doeskin boots shuffling thru the mud spattered drifts along the road.
When was it going to end? The hurt, the pain that gripped her heart in a vice grip.
She reached the house, summoning a smile to her near frozen lips, as the door was flung open, two pyjama clad children running out to greet her.
“Mommy, Mommy. You’re home!”
How could she refuse their exuberant greeting, pulling five year old Tim and two year old Janey into her arms, nearly catapulting back off the porch.
Laughter danced in Janey’s eyes, tugging at the stray strands of blonde curls that had snagged on Tansy’s pearl drop earring.
Settling back on her haunches, Tansy swiped a smear of strawberry jelly from Tim’s rosy cheeks. “How were my two favourite people for dad today?,”she asked, letting them lead her into the warmth of the indoor foyer, closing the heavy door against the blowing snow, stomping snow from the cleats of her boots.
Before she could stop her, Janey had plopped down at her feet, swirling her fuzzy socks into the water droplets pooling off her mom’s boots. “We was good,” she said around the thumb, stuffed into rosebud lips, looking far too innocent for her toddler years.
“Ahh, Janey. Now we gotta get you in the tub,” Tansy said, lifting her daughter out of the wet socks, a large wet spot on the seat of her pj’s. Tim trailing behind, they wandered down the hallway. “Let’s go see what daddy’s up to” and why he didn’t come to greet me, she finished silently. It was becoming the new normal. He’d get home from the evening shift to watch their children, while she escaped to the office, barely a few words exchanged between the two of them, words of necessity at most.
Gone were the cutesy, flirty text messages that had made her smile in the past, the occasional phone call from Dan that he’d reserved a place at their favourite restaurant, to wear something pretty and meet him after work…She didn’t remember the last time they had gone to bed at the same time, when he’d hold her through the night making her feel safe and secure.
She had suspicions of his faithfulness, though she didn’t have the heart or desire to know maybe, and confront him. To his credit, there was nothing she could point blank, accuse him of. He adored their kids, poured his love and attention in them, and it was downright embarrassing to admit she envied their time together. But why was he pulling away, shutting down, closing her out?
When he and the kids snuggled on the couch, each of their children on either side of him, happily cuddled into his arms, there was a hitch in her throat.
What kind of wives begged their husbands to touch them, speak with them, include them?
She dashed angrily at the tears threatening to fall, taking a deep breath as she and the kids rounded the corner to the den.
“Daddy, Mommy’s back,” Tim sang out happily, seemingly unaware of the tension building between his parents, looking excitedly from one to the other.
Dan looked up from the computer briefly to make eye contact with her, emotions unreadable until their son launched himself into Dan’s lap. He ruffled the sandy blonde curls. “Hey bud,” then to Tansy, “The kid were good today. They’ve been begging for confetti waffles tonight, so I promised if they were on their best behaviour…”
Tansy forced herself to hold Dan’s gaze, refusing to look away as the moment grew more and more uncomfortable. There was so much she wanted to say, ask, rant and rave about and she stood there, frozen to the spot, unable to speak.
Nodding, she shifted Janey on her hips, wet socks crumpled in her hand. “I can do that, but first I need to get little Janey here in a bubble bath. She decided to play in the foyer puddle.”
She turned to go, Dan’s voice stopping her in her tracks
She whirled around, keeping her voice even, calm, knowing their children were looking on. “Yes, Dan?”
He shoved a hand into unruly black curls. With a defeated sigh, he shook his head. “Nevermind, we’ll talk tonight.”
Source:Marriage and romance