Define sorrow:- A feeling of deep distress caused by loss, disappointment, or other misfortune suffered by oneself or others.
Sorrow has followed me around for a while now. I try not to let it, but it lingers. It appears in the quiet times, making some days so much harder than others. Can someone else feeling the same help, or hinder me?
One year ago....
I love to people watch. And I've decided by the look on most people's faces walking by me that they probably feel the same as me today. Angry, confused, hurt, disappointed. It's not every day, this feeling, lets just say probably half my day. I know that sounds extreme but lets face it your awake for two thirds of a day and I feel it half the time awake, so okay a third of a 24 hour day then. I wonder if I attempted to paste on a permanent smile it would make their day a little better. So I try, and it's a piss-poor effort. Then I hear happiness before I see it and unfortunately it's coming straight for me. It's a little girl skipping joyfully beside her mum, together they are giggling, swinging their arms, smiling at each other. Ok, so she doesn't feel like me she's a kid, adulthood hasn't bitten her yet. I bet if I took away something away from her but, something she loved then wham, sorrow would hit her. The difference between her and I is she can throw herself on the ground and have a drama about it, weep into her mums arms seeking comfort, shit she'd even get a complete stranger walking by to stop and try to fix her pain. What a stupid thought. Why would I even think like that? I'm actually thinking I'm jealous of that little girl. I shouldn't feel like this just because she is happy? Because I'm feeling sad and no-one seems to notice doesn't give me the excuse. Ok, so there isn't many people in my life to actually take notice but still I'd just look like a crazy women if I sat here crying. Then if someone actually did notice I wouldn't be able to explain exactly how I got to this point anyway. No-one chose to take him away from me, he knew what he was doing, he knew the risks, but he still took himself away, away from me. And now I'm left to put up with this broken heart beating inside of me alone.
"Hey, you look like your having a serious conversation with yourself there" Jasmine says leaning down to give me a kiss on the cheek trying to lighten the serious look on my face. She is one of my few friends, but I seem to always watch what I say around her. Silly really seeing she is a psychologist, and a good one at that She'd probably easily get me out of this funk.
"Just people watching. Ok, I suppose a little bit of arguing going on inside this head of mine also" I say smiling at her.
"Thinking like usual girl, no need to tell me, I can see it's written all over your face" she tells me making me annoyed.
"I'm sorry. I thought time would heal or at least reduce the pain I have here in my heart" I say putting my hand to my chest surprised I just said that out loud. Before I would've cried along with this thought so maybe I'm getting a little better.
"I don't think just time will do it, I think it takes a change in that beautiful head of yours too" she says stroking her hand down my head, tucking my hair behind shoulder tenderly. I just nod, words just can't seem to express how I feel. But I'm not going to cry anymore I know that much. I look down at my growing belly, gently rubbing the baby within.
"Maybe meeting this baby will change the way I feel. Hopefully I won't look into the babies eyes and see him. But who knows, this could be what I need, a good part of him with me. I really need to work this out, I know I do, especially before the baby is born" I say looking at her trying to stay brave.
"Soon Leah, soon you'll have another person to share your heart with, then time will go by fast, and that pain in your heart will become a memory, you'll have to remember just the good things about him so you can tell the baby" Jasmine says to me in her professional psychologist way.
Jasmine and I became friends when her husband Matt and him became friends during military training. She's like a big sister, and the only person who understands the thoughts that run thru my head on a daily basis. Matt didn't stay close to him, stepping up ranks quickly but Jasmine and I stayed close friends, almost like we need each other. I've never asked and she's never indicated she wants kids, so I think she is living my pregnancy thru me, god knows the way she keeps rubbing my belly seriously makes me think this anyway. Our partners are never home long enough to contemplate a normal life, so kids is the last thing they would want. A kid was the last thing I was thinking about also so I know exactly how she feels.
"I don't want to be sad anymore, I've got to let it go. Say goodbye to this sorrow, find happiness again" I say nodding, half reassuring myself but talking out loud so she knows what I'm thinking about without actually telling her.
"Yes you certainly do, besides Matt is still over there so I need you to help me, we need each other to stay positive especially with this little one coming into the world." She puts her warm hand on my belly affectionately for the third time today. She's right, I know she is. But it's a hard pill to swallow. It's not just the fact that he will never be coming home but I feel so much anger towards him also.
"Everything changed after he signed up. The man I fell in love with became distant. Then when he came home he wasn't around for me, and finding out later after he's gone the reason why, well that shit is locked inside of me down deep."
"Then keep talking to me, let it out, I'm your friend here in this cafe Leah, I'm not clocked on, I'm just here to listen as your friend" she says, her hand squeezing my arm softly.
"I'll admit, I was busy working also, being a chef takes up most your night so our time together was strained. In the very short time, and only the few times we actually got to see each other, talking took a back burner, neither of us thought about the consequences, so neither of us are to blame of the pregnancy but now only one of us is left alone to manage the repercussions of our stupidity" I look at her pleading for advice.
"You better stop thinking about it so negatively Leah or that baby is going to come out with a frown" Jasmine says trying to make me laugh. I smile at her but deep down all I feel is sorrow. We both sit back knowing the conversation is getting heavy.
"So how much longer are you going to work for?" she says trying to change the subject and taking a sip of her coffee.
"Probably try to manage it right up until I go into labour, I need the money" I say concentrating on my bottle of boring water.
"Will you be fully qualified by then?"
"Just, I might need to do a couple of written test at college, then I'll have to think about my next move, I'm pretty sure I won't be able to work nights and manage a baby during the day, I need to sleep some time in a 24 hour day."
"But your family is helping right?"
"Yeah I have no doubt they will try to help me out, but I'm not planning that far ahead and I definitely don't want to rely on them" I say knowing I sound like a bitch, but my parents are elderly, there is only so much they will be able to do.
"What does Eric think about losing his side-kick?" Eric was reluctant to employ a women, a young one at that, but after nearly 4 years with him now I know he couldn't manage the kitchen without me. I've been hiding the pregnancy, but I know my time will be up soon. I love my job, I never thought I'd become a chef, turns out I'm pretty good at it. Maybe I could do day shifts and bring the baby with me. Wow I'm actually thinking about the future and not thinking about how I'm feeling as much.
"I just had a epiphany" I say smiling at Jasmine.
"Really, it looked like you just had a orgasm" she says giggling at me.
"I've just suddenly realised I'm wallowing in this sorrow, I've indulged too long in self pity, your right I need to wake up and get on with this."
"Bravo! I'm not going to ask what suddenly happened to make you think different" she says knowing perfectly well I'll tell her, I tell her everything eventually.
"I'm angry at him. Firstly, he never said he was going to join the army."
"And he never told you he was engaged to another women either" she says. I just keep talking.
"Secondly, I ruined my dream, you know, the white picket fence and 2.5 kids, I know that was my dream and not his and it pisses me off." I'm on a roll, I keep talking.
"Thirdly, I've talked myself into thinking he didn't love the other woman like he loved me, he was doing that to make his parents happy" I say sounding like I'm making an excuse for him. He came from a well to do family, I know I wouldn't of been good enough.
"Maybe. But it doesn't make it right Leah and besides you'll never know the truth now he's gone" she says pissing me off.
"That's how I need to think about it to move forward but. I need to concentrate on me and the baby now."
"Yes you do, but don't go blaming every man in the world for his stupidity either, there are still some good ones."
"Well I won't be looking for a long time, not until I've been on my own for a while" I answer her confidently.
Jasmine kisses me good-bye, promising me we will meet up again same time next week-end. She has also promised me to be there for when the baby is born, of course another thing once again that will happen in my life to drag all these feelings to the surface, especially when I look into the babies eyes and see him. But I will have to work it out when I get there, this is the only way I can live my life now, hoping and praying it just falls into place. And preferably never running into his family ever again. The first and only time was when his mother came into the restaurant where I work, pulling me aside to tell me he's been killed overseas. Letting me know because I was a friend of his apparently.
"Here let me hold him while you go order" Jasmine says reaching her arms out to hold Cody. I already know what she wants so I get up and stand in the queue watching her coo and snuggle with my baby boy. Cody did end up with his eyes, but he has curly blonde hair like mine, and smiles all the time, something I very rarely saw him do the last time I saw him.
"He's such a smoochie boy, just smiles and laughs at everyone" I say smiling at Cody but speaking to Jas as I sit down beside them both.
"He's such a gorgeous boy Leah, your doing a great job. How's the job search going?" Eric didn't like the idea of a baby hanging around but allowed me to work right up until a week before I had Cody. He said there will always be a job for me just without a baby in tow, besides that I just can't seem to think about leaving Cody with anyone else at the moment either.
"Nothing's come up. I should give up the little place we have and go back home but I feel like I'm going backwards then."
"Ok, so are you willing to accept my help now?" she says still cuddling Cody close to her chest.
"Depends" I say knowing she isn't going to let up until she's at least told me about the job she's found for me.
"It's just...see there's this man I know."
"Stop right there. I'm not interested in you setting me up with a man Jas, I haven't got the time nor patience at the moment" I grumble at her. She holds up her hand to shush me.
"You didn't let me finish. So, there is a man I know who needs a house-keeper slash cook. I know you can do both, it's only half days, you can prepare the dinner each morning. He won't even be at the house, so you never have to see him, you can even take Cody and put him down in one of the rooms, it's perfect Leah, you need to think about it before you answer me or give me that dirty look of yours."
We both just stare at each other until Cody whinges for his bottle. I get the bottle out and prepare it, Jasmine pulls him into her chest and feeds him. Our food and coffee comes just as Jasmine is laying him in his pram to sleep. I pick at my food thinking about what she just offered. The silence is deafening. She knows I'm thinking. She's a good psychologist, and can read me easily.
"Who is this man then?" I ask. She smiles. I'm interested, I mean who wouldn't be, it sounds too perfect.
"My brother Jesse." I look at her in shock.
"I didn't even know you had a brother."
"He's been away overseas for the last 5 years, I even forgot I had a brother" she says looking as surprised as me.
"What's the story then" I ask her curious more than anything still picking at my food.
"He's been part of the pro-surfing circuit mainly. When he isn't competing he's involved in everything else to do with competition. But he's back now and needs someone to help with the extremely huge house he's bought. He'll be good to work for because he's sworn off women, having his heart broken recently, so when I heard that, I thought how perfect you two would be together."
"Together? I don't want a man but."
"I didn't mean together like that, I thought more like nothing will happen because you both hate the opposite sex. He asked me to find someone for the position and I can't think of anyone more perfect than you, especially seeing he likes fancy food and you like cooking it" she says not looking at me in the eye but glancing down and tucking Cody's blanket in.
"Just as long as that was your only motive Jasmine, I know you and your conniving ways."
"What do you even mean, I haven't once tried to find you a man."
"Oh really. What about the cute doctor that looked at my vagina more than my face? Or the real estate guy who tried to talk me into renting one of his rooms after he knew I was a chef? Haha it was priceless seeing his face when I turned up with Cody in my arms. Or even that guy who told you he wanted a woman who already had a kid so he didn't have to have sex ever again" I say making smart arse faces at her.
"I'm sorry, maybe I did try a few times. But just look at you. Your gorgeous. I know you don't want or even need a man Leah, I've watched you the last year do it completely on your own. I just wish...anyway Jesse won't even look your way, he's very anti women so your safe."
"Cool then, sounds like a great job, seeing I can't do nights or long days any more, does he want to meet me?"
"No. I have his credit card and the key to his place, after we're finished lets shop for food then go round, check it out, see how you feel about working there."
"OH, ok then, so I start like today? You knew I'd take the job then?" I say widening my eyes, letting my face tell her off for assuming. Jasmine doesn't take no notice, getting up ready to push the pram to the grocery shop across the road.
"Lets just say he's desperately sick of take out, and your desperate to find a job, once again a match made in heaven" she says crossing the road beside me. I just shake my head at her for even thinking I'm remotely interested in finding a man.
We walk around the store, her pushing the pram and me basically filling a whole shopping trolley, a perfect complete weeks food plan has already invaded my head so I know what I want and had a limitless amount to spend on the credit card apparently. I knew Jasmine came from money but had no idea she had such fancy taste, obvious it runs in the family seeing what she's picking out, not any cheap brands. She had always seemed so casual with me but she already knew what Jesse would prefer quality wise. Luckily the restaurant I trained at was upper class so I knew a fair few meals that would suit his taste. Me, personally I'm more of a burger and fries sort of girl. By the time we got to the huge house on the beach Cody was awake.
"I'll take Cody down to the beach for a little while, you pack the food away how you like it, maybe prepare something for him tonight, I'll let him know we're here so he doesn't come home and get surprised. He's a little uptight at the moment" she says before I can answer. I put away the food, leaving out the ingredients for the chicken meal I'll leave simmering, not even sure if he's eating on his own or what. I end up cooking enough for him to freeze for another day, if it doesn't get eaten all today. And I realise how much I've missed cooking for someone else.
Later that night I get a text from Jasmine. 'Far out! What did you cook for Jesse? He hasn't stop ranting on about it! He had a few mates around that all devoured it and want to know if they can keep you haha.' I smile as I lay in bed, my head finally able to think about what I love doing besides being a mum. I lean over and write down a meal plan for the next 2 weeks, then sleep very well that night seeing it's been a very interesting day.