Sitting in the back seat of the white Lincoln Town Car my Dad had rented for the occasion. As my hands, clad to the elbow in white satin, slid apart no matter how tightly they grasped each other. As my dress – so much more satin meringue than I had ever imagined wearing – billowed around me, the train cocooning my legs. I knew, in that back seat, hands wringing, satin wrinkling, praying my most fervent prayer:
“Please, God, please. I promise not to doubt you again, if anyone says one worth that suggests I don't have to go through with this. Please, God. Make them speak. Make mom turn her head and see my horror and regret. Make dad feel my pleading eyes burning into the back of his head. Make my maid of honour comment on my most unusual silence.”
I knew - as the Town Car pulled into the church parking lot filled with satin and silence - that the vows I would say that day were a lie.
As the first birth control pill circled the drain. Within weeks I knew, as I felt my breasts ache and stretch and then felt BBs first fluttering movements. I knew that he didn’t want a baby, yet. That he didn’t feel the same unbearable ache of loneliness in that frozen damp village we’d landed in. I knew, as I planned and dreamed and sewed and read What to Expect When You're Expecting.
I knew that ultimately I’d be raising that baby alone, so it was my decision to make.
Staring absently at the marriage counsellor's ugly yellow teeth. As I tried to ignore that he was talking to my chest again. As he rattled on about wifely duties, and commitment, and not saying yes unless you mean it. I knew as my husband reiterated his favourite highlights of that pointless conversation on the drive home. I knew. At long last I really truly knew.
And after ten years of knowing, I finally stopped waiting for permission and left.
*remembeRED is a weekly memoir writing prompt from Write on Edge that will now be a regular part of this blog