Waiting

For the third time this week, Tom is at the pub twenty miles away. He left home just before 5pm. He planned on coming back sometime after midnight. Usually, he’ll come home on the last train, stumble through the door, pour himself a glass of wine, maybe a second, before staggering up to bed and snoring next to me. He’ll wake the next morning, still exhaling the fumes of the night before, still not quite sober. Tonight, he’s gone out because he said that I ordered him to stay home.

I was in the early stages of labour when he left home. I can feel the baby moving deeper into position. My body has been wracked with a constant profound ache which I know will become the first flutterings of labour imminently. I asked him to stay home to support me, to help me look after the other children so I can rest, to preserve my strength for the task ahead. He said no. He said he deserved a pint. I showed concern about him holding the baby when he’s had a drink, or seven. He screamed in my face, “I DON’T FUCKING CARE! FUCK OFF! FUCK OFF! FUCK OFF! FUCK OFF!”

It’s 9.35pm. Tom is at the pub finishing off his last pint. Tonight, he won’t be boarding the last train home. He’ll be here in an hour or so because my pain has become a constant and the midwife wants me to get checked out. I can’t drive and he won’t be in any fit state to take me. My sister is here to babysit the children, my Dad is here to chauffeur us. We’re all just waiting for him to finally show up. I’ve been waiting for him to show up for too long. And so I wait. For my baby girl and for her Daddy.

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