Chapter Fourteen: In the Deep
But it’s impossible! She couldn’t have kids…. That was the reason her marriage had started to fall apart in the first place!
She counted the days again. No mistaking it, she was late.
She chewed her lip and obsessively tugged at her hands all the way to the drugstore, where she grabbed a handful of pregnancy tests and tossed them on the counter, no doubt alarming the lady behind the register with her rabid expression. Half-formed thoughts and anxieties plagued her as she sat in the taxi to get back to the hotel. Traffic lurched along at mind-numbingly slow speeds. A Romanian version of “Hotel California” played on the radio, and the mish-mashed English grated in Ginny’s ears, as she was no Eagles fan even on a good day. She entertained thoughts of hopping out and running to the hotel instead.
When the taxi finally arrived at the hotel, she hopped out, throwing bills at the driver without a care for change. She had only thoughts of getting to the privacy of her hotel bathroom. She tore open the packages, which proved more difficult than usual, since she was in such a rush. Then she sat and waited for her body to get on board with the test requirements. Which it didn’t. She ran to the hotel room fridge and chugged a bottle of water. Then she went back to the bathroom and waited more. A minute. Two. Two and a half. Finally!
Then she waited for the test results. Her hands trembled under the sink faucet. She splashed her face with cool water and stared at herself counting the seconds in her head until she reached three minutes. She did it again to be sure. Then she dared to look.
There was no denying that bright pink plus sign.
Ginny blinked at it, sitting there in her hand. She was struck by the irony of the whole thing: years of trying with Michael, years of being blamed for her infertility, and all it took was one night with Eric.
She waited to feel dismay. She waited to feel angry. Sad, frightened, worried, upset, a sense that life was officially over, shame even.
What she wasn’t expecting was total, complete happiness. Ginny felt blessedly, unabashedly happy. Thrilled. As if, in this one little pink plus sign, her life was made complete. She imagined a baby, wondered what it would look like: this miniature blend of herself and Eric. She felt relief that the father was Eric, rather than Michael, and laughed at herself for it. It felt right, that this man whose spirit she admired should always be with her, in this little charm he’d left behind.
So it was, on the following day, with a smile on her face and with dreams of babies and bed & breakfasts that she crossed over into Bucharest. After a long trip full of breakdowns and wrong turns and wretched, luckless eventualities, Ginny finally arrived in Bucharest. The last jaunt of her trip was smooth and problem-free, save for the biggest eventuality of her life. It seemed the minute Ginny stopped fighting herself and chose to meet the world on her own terms, was the minute the world stopped fighting her.
She reached the end of her journey and felt nothing so surely as that this end was, in truth, the beginning. She wanted nothing more than to turn right back around to Sibiu to claim the house as her own.
And so she did.
She handled the practicalities of getting a visa to stay in the country, to purchase the property and to set up a new life with remarkable ease and aplomb. She sent an email to Michael, politely requesting the finalized divorce papers, taking care to make clear further communication between them would be unnecessary. She finally called Dee and, after many shrieks and exclamations of “No way!”, they immediately made plans to fly Dee out for a visit. Then she began shopping for things to fill her home and turn it into a business.
She walked past a shop selling baby clothes, and when she spied tiny baby booties, her heart melted. She entered the store and came out an hour and a half later, toting three full bags.
Was her heart happy? Did she ever worry about the enormous task of raising a child on her own? The answer to both questions was yes. Yet she never questioned the rightness of her decision. As unorthodox as it might be, it was the first honest decision she had made in a really long time. It was the first decision that came from her heart and not from her fears. She wondered, if she had a way to reach Eric, would she tell him? A large part of her jealously guarded her new life, sensing this path was one to take on her own.
For the first time in her life, she felt strong and capable enough to do it.
When Dee came a few weeks later, she brought Ginny’s cello. Ginny pulled it out of its case, lovingly dusted it off and adjusted the strings. She sat back in her chair, closed her eyes, and began to play.(Stay tuned! Next week is the finale!)