“I’m done with you,” Samuel’s face was red from screaming. “Either we get couples counselling or we divorce.”
“You will divorce me?” Gina threw back as tears streamed down her face. “After almost a decade together, you’re willing to throw it all away?”
“Don’t turn this on me,” Samuel stepped closer to Gina, glaring down at her. “You knew I wanted kids. I always made it clear. And now what, you’re telling me you never wanted kids?”
“I thought you’d change your mind,” Gina said, softer this time. She broke into sobs and covered her face.
“You didn’t think to give me the option at all,” Samuel turned around and looked away from Gina. He tightly gripped his hair and it looked like he wanted to rip it out. “Ten years. You had ten years to tell me and you didn’t.”
“What are you trying to say, I wasted a decade of your life?” Gina raised her voice this time to scream at her husband. She clenched her fist tightly and her nails dug painfully in her palms.
“Yes, you did,” Samuel turned around and took a step closer to Gina, almost face to face. His nostrils were flaring and red. His eyes weren’t the gentle and calm man’s she loved. These rage-filled eyes belonged to a monster.
“How can you say that,” Gina said. Sorrow turning into anger of her own. “So all that time we spent together means nothing to you just because I can’t give you kids?”
“Not can’t, won't,” Samuel replied. “You could have told me years ago and I could have decided if I wanted to stay with you or move on. You could have found someone who did not want kids either. But you lied to me and wasted my life. You are a liar and a cheat.”
“You think therapy is going to change my mind?” Gina asked.
“If it won’t then we should just get divorced right now,” Samuel said. “I’ve been patient with you for years. I know you had a bad childhood. But that does not give you the excuse to lead me on for years. The choice is up to you.”
“You need to go to therapy on your own,” Samuel said, a hand gently placed on Gina’s knee.
“You keep putting these conditions,” Gina said feeling frustrated. “It’s like you don’t want to stay married to me at all.”
Samuel’s soft expression faltered for a moment and Gina saw annoyance in his face. “I love you, I want to stay married to you. But as we discussed in counselling, I am deeply hurt that you kept me in the dark hoping I would change my mind. I poured my heart out at couples counselling but you haven’t said anything.”
“I have,” Gina replied. “I’ve spoken so much more than I ever would have. You know how bad my childhood was. You know how much I suffer every single day. I’ve told you how I can’t think of raising children after what my parents did. And yet you’re forcing my hand to change my mind so you can play house.”
Samuel’s face turned red and his jaw got tighter. “No, I don’t know how bad your childhood was because you never told me anything. All you talk about in counselling is how hurt you are that I am considering leaving you over your choice. Why don’t you understand that this wouldn’t be a problem if you never lied to me?”
“Now you’re turning this around me?” Gina replied, unable to hide her anger as she pushed Samuel’s hand away from her knee. “I’ve told you thinking of that day brings back my trauma and you still insist. Do you want me to suffer?”
Samuel pushed himself off the couch and walked away from her. He ran his hands through his dark hair and groaned in frustration. “It used to hurt me that you never told me about your past, but eventually I came to understand.” Samuel turned around to look at Gina. “You don’t have to tell me until you’re ready. Although I feel like you aren’t telling our councillor because I am present. I want you to get the help you need so we can work on our marriage. And we can’t do that if you can’t open up to me or yourself. You should go talk to a therapist of your own so I won’t be a barrier to your healing. Then you can decide if you want us to stay married or not.”
“So you felt like not telling your husband the truth would make it go away?” The middle-aged therapist asked. She wore glasses and had a stern face which reminded Gina of a mean spirited librarian. Although sometimes, the therapist's smile would warm Gina’s heart and she would remember the kind-hearted soul her mother used to be.
“I think so, I’m not sure,” Gina replied, scratching the arm of the chair she was seated on. “I thought he would love me enough to change his mind.”
“But you never brought it up to him before?” The therapist asked and Gina shook her head.
“You also have not told him about your past?” The therapist added after a brief past.
“He knows, from looking up the news,” Gina replied in a soft voice.
“That’s exactly what you told me?” The therapist asked. “That your mother was arrested for killing your father and was sent to prison?”
Gina flinched, then nodded.
“You can take your time talking about it,” the therapist said after sitting straighter. “Your husband is not insisting you tell him, is he?”
“He is not,” Gina replied. “Which makes me feel guilty about this. But I can’t tell him.”
“Have you tried journaling as I suggested?” the therapist said.
“I did, but I can’t” Gina answered, then sighed. “But I stare at the empty page with a pen in hand and I can’t bring myself to write. I burst into tears and throw the book away.”
Gina felt herself tearing up.
The therapist bit her lip gently which made Gina ball her fist. She noticed the therapist did that a lot. For reasons Gina did not understand, it annoyed her.
“I think…” Gina hesitated, “I think I’m ready to talk about what happened that night.”
“If it will make you comfortable, feel free to share this with me,” The therapist said, sitting straighter in her chair.
“We don’t have to do this,” Gina told Samuel desperately an hour ago. But his face was stone cold as he walked past her and in the lawyer’s office. And now she walked outside as a divorced woman. Gina did not stop walking till she reached her car, tears streaming down her face. She clicked the button on her car keys and unlocked the door. Without starting the car, she dropped her head on the steering wheel and sobbed.
Moments later, there was a knock on her window. She lifted her head and wiped the tears off her face in time to see Samuel open the passenger side door and enter.
“Are you here to gloat?” Gina asked, not hiding the bitterness and anger anymore.
“I still love you, you know,” Samuel said.
“If you loved me you would not leave me,” Gina said.
Samuel laughed bitterly, “if you loved me you would not lie to me for ten years. You know, there were times over the last year when I thought I regretted the decision and wanted to run back to you. But thank you for reminding me how self-centred you are.”
“You’re leaving me for kids you don’t even have,” Gina replied, firmly. She looked at her hands and noticed eyeliner streaks from when she rubbed her eyes. She did not even want to wear makeup. But she deluded herself into believing that if she looked beautiful, Samuel would accept her again.
Samuel looked directly at her with such intensity, Gina had to look away. “I left you because you did not tell me you never wanted to have kids. Maybe I would have changed my mind while I was in university and starting a family wasn’t something I saw in my near future. But now that I know I want kids it’s too late. I don’t even know what else you might be hiding from me.”
“My therapist said that the trauma I went through…” Gina said, then stopped for a moment. “She said I did not want to inflict the pain on any future children. So I decided from a young age that I would never have kids.”
“You deceived me,” Samuel said. He opened his mouth as if he wanted to say something but closed it again. He looked away from her. “I hope you find someone you can love to share your childfree life with.”
Before Gina could say anything else, Samuel walked out of the car.