“It feels like we are kissing goodbye to last year.””I suppose we are,” he said. A ships horn blew from along the harbour wall. “It’s time.” He said, kissing the tear that illuminated her cheek with a frosty light. It was New Year’s Day and Dylan was returning early to his job at the university. Gill would remain with their baby, Jacque.
Dylan was a good dad. His job paid the bills, just. He was funny and they shared the same taste in most things. But it wasn’t the way she had imagined it would be. She had assumed, when Jacque was born, everything would change. Or rather she was so preoccupied with her pregnancy, she expected, once baby was safe and things had settled, life would be different in some way. That wasn’t the case. Truth is, she dreaded looking out the apartment window knowing she couldn’t leave. Knowing Jacque might wake up anytime and scream the block down. That Mrs Hilda would bang on the floor with her walking stick, yelling: “Quieten that baby! This is not a place for a baby!” She didn’t do this when Dylan was home. But as soon as he left, the banging and complaining started.
“Look, as soon as I get the promotion we can move to the City. You’ll be ok until then won’t you? I mean, I send you everything I earn.” There it was. The knife. When we depend on someone we hand them a knife and we ask them to throw it at us, just like a circus act. Sometimes, we even blindfold them and spin ourselves around to make it extra hard. ‘Dependence’ is an ugly word, she thought.
Mrs Hilda banged 5 times before Dylan returned. That’s 3 times less than the pre Christmas term. “How have things been love?”
“Better.” She said, holding his hand as they walked home. Dylan played with little Jacque nonstop. That night, the night of Dylan’s return, the couple made love. A few months later, Gill announced to Dylan, over Skype, that she was pregnant. She remembered the ferry horn sounding from across the harbour as they spoke. She remembered Dylan’s smile and the sunset reflecting off her computer screen.