It's the first afternoon all spring that can really be considered hot. The temperature is in the eighties and there's only a slight breeze. Not necessarily expected in Kansas in April, but not surprising either. Here in Kansas, it could snow in the morning, have a tornado at lunchtime, and be sunny and cloudless by dinner and we wouldn't blink and eye.
He and I are laying on his bed; my head is on his chest and I have one leg thrown over his body. His callused hands move softly up and down my arm. I love this feeling. Well, really, I love any feeling where his skin is touching mine. It makes me feel as though the world is complete and I'm right where I should be. Enhancing that feeling is the baby sprawled out on the other side of me, his long eyelashes more prominent when his eyes are closed. His face is peaceful and angelic; his chest rises and falls in an even breath. It's late in the day for him to be having a nap, but at least he's taking one today.
He's watching the History channel. He loves the History channel. I've learned and retained more since I started dating him nearly a year ago than I probably did all throughout my high school history courses. If it's not the History channel, then it's Discovery - maybe the Military channel. We're avid A&E watchers as well. We both hate school, but any program that we can learn from is fascinating to us.
My human pillow makes a move somewhere in between a twitch and a muscle spasm, and either end of my mouth curves upward. I don't even bother to look at him and see if there's something wrong, or if something has startled him. I know this to be the tell-tale sign that he's just fallen asleep. The twitch-spasms will continue throughout his nap. The smile gradually falls from my face, and with a large sigh, I fall into a state of contentedness.
In the time that he and I have been together, these two have become my heart and soul. The literal ten-year crush that I had on him preceding our dating relationship has evolved into love; the kind of love I didn't know existed. The kind of love that makes me realize I wasn't ever really in love before. He and I have both known from Day One that this is it. We've exchanged those cheesy comments like 'My life began when we met.' The difference between us and a Hallmark greeting card? The words truly came from the heart - this is better than it's ever been. I'm certain by your actions that it drives you insane knowing that someone else is holding his heart and his attention the way you wish you could.
And the baby boy in his cherubic slumber. I've really got to stop calling him a baby; he's two-and-a-half, a toddler in all technicalities. Still, he's my baby. I'll always think of him as my baby. If his father and I were to ever break up, I'd feel as though I had lost my child. I'd miss the incessant repetition of questions, the endless requests to play race cars or dirt bikes. I'd miss getting up with him in the morning and getting him juice, and then laying him back down with Daddy while I cooked breakfast. The little guy has been learning more and more words lately, piecing them together in sentences we might as well keep a notebook of for how often we repeat the cute little things he says. Sometimes it doesn't even seem that he's the same child I met after his father and I had been dating for only a couple of weeks. He's so smart and it's impossible to pull the usual parenting tricks on him. I wonder if you realize this. I know you realize how much the little boy loves me, otherwise you wouldn't be so worried about me being around him.
His mother and father are in their room, doing the same as we are, I assume. His brother is gone with a friend of his to the lake. The house is quiet, for once. As I listen to the narrator tell about airplanes in WWII, I think to myself that I wish I could freeze this moment in time and revisit the security it's wrapped in any time I wanted to escape everything chaotic in our lives.
A strange sort of chirping comes from the corner of the bed, near his head, and he startles awake. I am moved from my comfortable spot and the baby - toddler - whimpers a little before rolling over, his chubby cheeks out of my view, and falls back asleep. I sit up and sigh; this time not from contentment, but rather from frustration.
I think from the look on his face that it's you with one of your infamous, untimely text messages. At least it wasn't a call this time. He throws his legs over the side of the bed and inches near the window to pick up better signal. As discreetly as possible, I look at him to see what might be happening. He doesn't volunteer any information, and I don't bother asking. He takes the phone to his parents' room, leaving me in silence. This is my confirmation.
It is you. The other woman. The girl who just won't get the hell out of my life, or his. I know all about you. I know how much you love him, I know about your attempts to have him to yourself. I know all the nasty things you've said about me that you think I don't know about. I know that there is another woman in his life. He'll never actually leave me for you, but you'll still be able to top me in ways that hurt worse than anything else I can conjure up in my vivid imagination.
First of all, you gave birth to his first child. Although it was accidental on his part, we all know that the purpose of it is questionable on your end. You knew you were losing him. How you would have managed to be successful in your method to keep him around I don't know and I don't care to know. All I know is that maybe his life and my life began the night we went on that first date, but you have taken from me the privilege of giving him his first child.
Furthermore, you have birth to his first son. You had to have already known that the beautiful baby - toddler - that I would give my life for, the one laying next to me, the one who wants me when he's with his daddy and cries for mama - you had to know that I was speaking about your son. No, biologically he's not mine, but he is still our son. His father has let the words fall from his own mouth. Still, whatever children I may conceive with his father in the future, the gift of the first son has already been given.
The brown haired, brown eyed man who has held my heart for so long comes back in the room, a look of disgust on his face. At least for today he's not giving in to whatever it is that you think is best. He curses out loud and starts telling me everything. I have to remind him that the baby is sleeping. He nods, apologizes, and kisses his son on the temple before falling back onto the bed beside me. I'm sitting up now, so his rough-skinned fingers are now grazing the skin of my thigh.
He told me once, before the big fight he and I had about how he was always comparing me to you, that one of the things he loves about our relationship. You would never let him cuddle with you or touch you just because he could. I suppose I should give him credit that of all the things he compared in us, I always came out better; he was always comparing things that he liked that I did that you never did.
And I still can't help but think of you as the other woman. Because you gave birth to his first child, his first son, you will always have some part of his love. You will always have that connection to him - a connection I do not have, and a connection I will never have. Even if he and I have ten more children, you will still have already had him before me.
And it's you, this other woman, who has been the cause of so many interruptions to our otherwise close-to-perfect relationship. How many date nights have there been that the mood is completely changed because of your text messages or calls? How many weekends have he and I spent in with the baby while you went out and partied and drank and drugged it up?
We walk on eggshells so as not to upset you because you might use his son against him. You've made it crystal clear that you do not like him being with someone else and you're willing to do whatever you can to win him back or make his life miserable, even to sacrifice your son's happiness. What you don't know - or maybe you know and refuse to acknowledge the fact - is that he would be far more miserable with you than enduring your ridiculously selfish maneuvers to keep yourself at the center of his life.
You know how fragile his self-esteem is and yet you insist on continually tearing him down. You think he's a horrible father, you think he's horrible to you. The truth is, it could be so much worse. He could not even give a shit and you wouldn't see the difference. Your self-centered, immature lifestyle leads you only to see that you don't have what you want.
I've never met you face-to-face and, quite frankly, I dread the day that happens. You, the other woman, have a certain way of manipulating the situation to make yourself the victim. I can only fathom the amount of drama that will ensue when you and I are in each other's presence.
He gets to the end of the explanation and I sympathize with him and label you with a couple of vulgar names; I'd be able to keep myself composed in front of you only because I know it would perturb you even more. With you absent from the physical situation, however, I let my tongue fly. Oh what sweet therapy.
The text messages do turn to calls, and this time the child actually is awake. As he walks out of the bedroom to talk to you, I hear you ask why the hell the baby is crying. I'm sure the following question asks what we have done to him. The poor child is inconsolable so I take him in to his grandfather who rocks the two-year-old back to sleep.
He is out on the porch talking to you now, and I can't hear any of the conversation. I go back to the bedroom and try to get comfortable. It's a nearly impossible feat without him around.
The program on the television has changed, but I pay no attention to it. I'm too busy thinking about how our lives revolve around you, the other woman. I glance to the chest next to the bed and catch a glimpse of the court papers. After all these months, he's finally got the money to take you back to court and call your bluff on every little trick you've pulled in the last year. It's the only sliver of hope I have that our lives will one day be at least civil where you're concerned.
After a few minutes and a few tears that I quickly wipe away before he can see, the bedroom door opens and he just shakes his head. He sits next to me and pulls me into an embrace, burying his sweaty face into my neck. I squeeze him back, not sure exactly what's going on, but knowing that when he just needs to breathe for a few minutes, this is usually the position that we find ourselves in. He pulls away and explains that you've decided you miss the baby and although we were supposed to have him at the house for the next couple of days, you're on your way to come get him. Since it's not our current court-ordered day to have the baby, and you have primary custody, what else are we supposed to do but let him go?
I mumble something about the sun rising and setting at your beck and call, but he ignores it. He's too busy gathering the clothes - the mismatched, oversized shirt and undersized shorts - that the boy came to us in and grumbling about having to wake him up from his nap.
All in just a few short minutes, my perfect afternoon is gone. That moment I wished I could freeze and use as an escape, well, this is precisely the circumstances in which I'd need that escape.
The baby - toddler - cries from his grandparents' bedroom and I have to wipe more tears from my eyes. Once again, the other woman has come in and rustled up the leaves in the nice, neat pile that was our life, the three of us lazing on the bed.
I stay in the bedroom when you come to the door to pick up the baby. He's screaming because he wants to stay with daddy and me, but you, of course, ignore it. I suppose I could tough it up and finally make the inevitable introductions, but today there is more likely a chance that I would be jailed for assault than act as the adult in the situation.
My love comes back to the bedroom and embraces me again. I hug him back and wish fervently that once the paperwork is completed, the attorney can work quickly and proficiently so that you no longer have the legal right no play this cat-string game with us anymore. You're pushing your limits now and may be facing the possibility of having your son taken away from you altogether. It makes me a little sad; as much as I want to just wring your neck for the things you have done against these two - one man and one boy - who have become my heart and soul, I know that the baby needs his mother.
It briefly crosses my mind that you might consider me the other woman; you might consider me to be the home wrecking hussy who is keeping you from your perfect family. It really is the briefest of thoughts, momentarily followed up with the thought that our little family, split and non-biological though it may be, is a perfect family.
Once he feels that he can breathe again, he resumes his place laying back again the pillows, and I lay my head on his chest. I drape one of my legs over his body. It's still quiet, still warm, but the mood is gone. It's been interrupted by the other woman in his life. The one I know all about and the one who will never go away. There is no getting rid of you.
There's a twitch-spasm under my leg, and although not quite as big as before, I do smile. Maybe our relationship isn't perfect. Maybe we will always have to fight you for the baby or just for control of our lives in general. Maybe you will always want him back. None of it matters. No relationship is perfect. We love the baby and we love our lives and we will fight as hard as we have to against you so that you are not running things.
The thing that really makes my heart sing is that he will never want you back. You may be the mother of his first child, his first son, but he will always want me. You may always be the other woman in his life, the one that I cannot get around or get rid of, but you will never have him again. That son that you bore and me - we will always be the ones to keep his world afloat.
The contentedness comes back, even though I'm already missing the baby - toddler - as I sum it all up in my head as one thought.
You will never be anything but the other woman.
A/N: Another of those one shots borne of writer's block on my current story. I came up with it yesterday; it's spawned from a real-life experience. I realize the content is a little controversial - rather that it is usually the child's mother who the victim and not the new girlfriend her baby's father finds after her - but it's just another perspective on the situation.
Thanks for reading. : )