She was pregnant. It was the first trimester. We had been on the road for the last two months preparing to settle in Asheville, NC, and were it not for finances we may just have moved to a little town called Waynesville outside of the city. It was a beautiful sunny day, but our spirits had turned to tar in the wake of realizing that we would not pass the credit check the landlord wanted and that we could not prove a steady stream of income. So we drove away from the landlord’s residence with promises to call while knowing full well that we would not. As we sped away without an inkling of where we were headed, I could feel my partner Raina’s seething hormones like hot steam on the back of my neck. She felt ready to kill me or die herself.
“I have to use the bathroom,” she whispered hoarsely, “Now.”
“Okay baby, I’ll pull over at the next gas station,” I replied as we passed a disheveled looking possibility. She immediately turned and looked at me with two bullet point eyes.
“What the hell is that? Are you stupid?! I tell you that I have to pee and you don’t even pull over? I need a partner who can take care of me! Do you even care about this baby?!”
As with most men with pregnant partners, I was completely baffled by her grand reaction to my little mistake, and accordingly responded by acting as an ass. “Will you just chill out? I didn’t stop at that one because it looked nasty. I’ll stop at the next one.”
“Just let me out of the car you freaking idiot!! Why don’t you just leave and I’ll kill myself! This baby doesn’t deserve to be put in this cruel world!”
We pulled over and she bolted from the car and slammed the door with force. I let her go and turned inward with spite for the things she had said about me. I clung to them until my ego lifted and I realized that the woman I loved was nowhere in sight. I walked to the highway we had pulled off of and looked east and west. She could not be found. Mad ideas were lit in my head and I looked more closely around for signs of an accident where she might have thrown herself into oncoming traffic, but could find none. In anguish I returned to the car and felt the weight of my despair wash over me and stay.
I don’t know how much time passed before she returned, but when she did her eyes told me that the storm had passed. She came into the car gently and rubbed my neck.
“I want to show you something,” she said. We drove a small ways down the highway and pulled down a side street that turned once again. “Stop,” she said, and I listened. As we opened the car doors I could hear the deep flow of running water over rocks. She led me to the banks of the stream and we sat by the forward motion. When she spoke, it sounded like purity to me.
“I want you to know that I love you and sometimes I get scared.”
We sat by that stream for a good while, drinking in the ebb and flow of our journey thus far, before deciding to continue onward towards Alabama. But that, my friends, is another story.