Her ex-husband had told her she should find a new person. “You can’t give up on yourself now. It’s not time for that yet.” Henry was a kind man, always, and he had repeatedly assured her that it wasn’t her fault, the demise of their marriage. “We have grown apart.” The infamous irreconcilable differences is what ultimately wrecked their home, he told her. Cecilia had nodded, because she knew she hadn’t asked for an orgasm in almost a year. She longed only to be held during Christmas eve onto Christmas Day. The strongest vows were ill preparation for this kind of life.
Yet, when she sometimes dialed his new number and listened to him breathe on the other end of the line, it was a strange comfort. Henry’s breath kept her present in her apartment (new, because she could not afford the three-bedroom by herself), and he knew this. It was all he was prepared to give her, now.
It was not lack of effort, on her side. Cecilia had tried meeting new persons. She joined clubs. She went on dating websites and agreed to exchange messages with good-looking strangers who all seemed to want to know only if she had children. She told them yes, she did, a son, and 90% of the men grew silent. Cecilia wouldn’t say herself that she had given up. But where was she supposed to find this ominous person who managed to keep her present in her new apartment, and who would hold her that one night of the year?
Cecilia has a child, a son, but his absence fills her with a ferocious pain that all the breaths in the world can’t contain. Henry once yelled at her to get rid of the necklace with their son’s face on it. “You are carrying around his ghost all day, it is unhealthy. It won’t matter what you do now!” And Cecilia had nodded, she was aware of this. The fact was, nothing she did mattered. The omission of Hunter, however, only caused her to stare into an eerily solid, vast field of all gray. Not admitting that she had once let this ball of cells grow in her uterus meant listening only to static.
Instead, she took up baking. What else was there to do?