Forgive me, not?
Written by: Khara Campbell
I’m two seconds away from a complete, irreversible meltdown. Yeah, I’m gonna lose it! My heart is beating like a freight train in my chest. My palms are sweaty, and I’m starting to hyperventilate. The deceitful lines on the pregnancy test are staring back at me. I’m pregnant! I fall back on the edge of the tub and stumble on it to sit before busting my head against its metal casting. I bend over, putting my head between my legs, trying – praying to get myself together before the darkness take me over.
KNOCK! KNOCK! “Mahari, are you okay?” I hear my husband Jackson ask from the other side of the door. I have been holed up in the bathroom for about twenty minutes.
I lift my head up slightly still trying to come to terms with the three positive test results. We had two children already, a six-year-old and ten-year-old – now I’m pregnant again. But I’m almost certain it’s not for my husband. “G, g – give me a moment.” I stutter to try to put some calm in my voice. God, oh my God! Help me Jesus. My indiscretion, the prayer for forgiveness that I sought and had received from You months ago, is about to come to light. I thought that seeking God’s grace and forgiveness for my sin would be enough, wipe my slate clean, although I knew in my heart, in order to really make things right I would have to confess my sins to my husband about cheating on him. But I couldn’t. I can’t!
“You’ve been in there for a minute. Are you sick? Got a stomach bug or something, babe?” The sexy baritone of his voice and the concern that is evident there, makes me feel lower than dirt.
I get up from the edge of the tub and quickly snatch the three pregnancy tests and the boxes I had flatten and placed them in the black plastic bag they came in. Tied tightly, I put the bag in the long pocket of my sweatpants. I look at myself in the mirror, I almost don’t recognize the deceitful woman reflecting back at me. But my facial appearance doesn’t show any evidence of my lies. Satisfied, I open the bathroom door.
Jackson is still standing there with concern all over his handsome face. He pulls me into his comforting arms. “You okay baby?” His hands are on my back rubbing me.
I’m so terrified to tell him. Not so much that I’m pregnant, but the fact that it’s not his. I know it’s not. What woman cheats on her husband of eleven years? What woman dumb enough, sleeps with her ex because she and her hubby had a terrible fight about his constant traveling for work? Jackson was away on yet another business trip. I was feeling lonely and vulnerable. I ran into Ace at the grocery store. How I ended up in his apartment on my back, among other positions, hours later, I don’t know. But wanna know what’s worse? I kept having an affair with him for the whole two weeks Jackson was away, until guilt and remorse got the best of me. While doing it, though stupid, I felt justified in my actions. I was acting out, upset, feeling rejected by the love of my life. My man. My king. I pleaded to God for forgiveness. I felt ashamed. I’d never done anything so scandalous in my life. And, I loved my husband. I truly do. Now look where I am.
“Must have been something I ate, should pass in in a day.” I muffle into his chest. Being in his strong comforting arms is conflicting. It brings me peace, but also torment from the secret I’m keeping.
“If it doesn’t you should see the doctor.” He leads me over to our bed.
Doctor. I’ve got to get rid of this baby.
“I will. But I’m sure it’s not that serious.”
He kisses me on my forehead after tucking me in the bed like I’m a delicate flower he wants to protect. “I’ll get you some soup and ginger ale, that should help.” I watch him walking out of the room with what feels like a boulder clogged in my throat.
The next day I am sitting in the doctor’s office. It is confirmed I’m definitely pregnant. Eight weeks, exactly the timeframe of when I had my affair. Now, all I can think about is getting rid of it before I get any attachment. I cannot have this baby. I love my husband too much to lose him. I love my kids too much to breakup our home. But God, can I get an abortion? Could I possibly get rid of the evidence of my affair?
I slowly button up my blouse. The doctor and the nurse left me alone to get redressed. No matter how many times I try to convince myself that abortion is my answer. I just cannot see myself going through with it. I have to suck it up and face this. I place my hand on my stomach, and at that moment, even with the fear I have of tearing my family apart, I just know there is no way I am killing my innocent baby. He or she isn’t going to pay for my sin.
I don’t know how I did it. But a month has passed and I still haven’t confessed to Jackson. But tonight I am laying all my dirty laundry on the table. I have been hiding my morning sickness which I don’t know how much longer that could go on. And I am avoiding being intimate with Jackson as much as unsuspiciously possible. I feel maybe by sex he can feel that I am pregnant or something. I don’t know. But I have been living paranoid and remorseful for a month. I am failing my husband and our two kids by keeping my secret – which I can’t possibly hide forever.
“Are you having an affair?” CRASH! The glass filled with water that was in my hand went crashing to the tiled kitchen floor.
I turn slowly around to face Jackson. He has a series of suspicion, hurt, and rage crossing over his dark chocolate face. To know that I am the cause of that pushes the dagger, that is already speared into my heart for the unthinkable I’ve done, deeper into my heart. I am speechless. How does he know?
The answer must be written on my face, because something I’ve only seen when I walked down the aisle toward him and when I gave birth to our son and daughter, falls from his eyes. Tears. Within seconds everything that was on the kitchen counter goes crashing to the floor. I flinch in shock.
“So my going away for business to provide for my family caused me to have my wife cheat on me?” He roars.
Tears are pedaling down my face. My mouth opens to speak but nothing is coming out. God I should have told him sooner. I pray for God to give me the right words to tell my husband what I’ve done and what I am hiding from him. And hope with everything in me that he would forgive me.
“Speak Mahari! Was that what I deserved?” I know he is fighting like hell not to go completely off on me. I’ve seen him unleash the beast on people before, so for him to hold his composure gives me some reassurance. Not that I am afraid he would physically hurt me, I know that he wouldn’t. Him beating the breaks off of Ace? Pretty much.
“I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry. It was a stupid mistake. I swear I was going to tell you. It meant nothing! I’m so sorry Jackson. I love you. I love you so much!” I break down and tell him everything. The affair. The baby. Needless to say, Jackson walks out on me tonight.
He packed as much of his stuff he could and left. He crashed at his buddy house for a while before leasing a condo. I experienced pain like no other that night and the nights that followed. But despite the pain, I knew I deserved it. What I did, the hurt I caused my family was unforgiveable. Asking Jackson for forgiveness for cheating was one thing, but to expect him to forgive and get past the fact that I conceived a child with another man? I knew that was asking too much.
For months I’ve been trying to come to terms with my separation from Jackson. We have joint custody of the kids, but I hardly ever see him, much less talk to him. We communicate via text, through our lawyers or our parents, but that is pretty much it. And to add to all of that, of all the men I could have cheated on my husband with, I chose Ace that could care less about his child I am carrying. When I told him I am pregnant he looked at me like I was nothing. Plus, he was still bruised up from the beat down he received from Jackson. A few weeks later I found out he took a job overseas. I guess he would do anything to not pay child support. If there ever was a time in my life that I needed my Savior, it is definitely now. Knowing that I at least have God’s forgiveness for my transgressions helps me to face each day. Especially when I have to look into my children’s eyes and help them come to terms that Mommy and Daddy are no longer together.
I have been suffering heartburn or something else all day. There has been a consistent off and on pressure in my lower back and thighs, so I have been in the bed watching Netflix and napping for the most part. The discomfort isn’t significant so I figure I am just fatigued. I am nine months pregnant, and remembering my labor pains with my first two, I know when the time is ready, the pain would be significant. The kids aren’t expected back for another two hours from their time with their dad. My belly looks like a mountain from my position on my back. I am having another boy. The feeling is bittersweet. But Bryce would be one of my prides and joys no matter what. I rub my hand over my son incubating.
“Ahhh.” I hold onto the door frame as a pain hit me, it came out of nowhere. But it still isn’t so strong that I feel I am in labor. After quickly recovering from that wave of pain, I unlock then open the front door.
“Hi Mommy!!!” My two kids Caden and Monroe chime. I look up and to my surprise Jackson is standing behind them.
“Daddy bought us fishes, and a fish tank to keep at our house here.” Caden the six-year-old says.
“And Daddy bought us a turtle that we’re keeping at his house. So we have pets at both houses,” Monroe states with glee. I am so glad they are happy.
“Ahhhhh!” I hold onto my belly. “T-That’s great. Go show Daddy where he can put the fish tank.” I move away from the door and go into the family room to sit. I am happy to see Jackson, but the discomfort I am feeling is starting to alarm me. The kids run inside not noticing my pain.
“Are you okay?” His deep voice behind me asks sending a delicious shiver down my spine. I love this man. Just his voice sets me on fire. I still can’t believe I was dumb enough to cheat on him.
I nod my head. “I’m okay.” I hate him seeing me like this, swollen with another man’s child.
I hear him stepping closer toward me on the couch. “Are you sure? Are you having labor pains?”
My mouth is open about to ensure him I am fine, but “Ahhhh, hmmmmmm,” comes out. The pain isn’t as intense like my first two labor experiences, but when I feel the pressure and the need to push, I know I am in trouble.
“Caden, Monroe, let’s go. We have to take Mommy to the hospital!” Jackson scoops me up effortlessly and has me in his arms in seconds. “I know you have a bag ready for the hospital, where is it?”
I look at him dumbfounded. Is he actually going to help me? Assist me, take me to the hospital to birth another man’s child? “It’s in the hall closet,” I respond through the pain. “You don’t have to do this. I can call my Mom to come and take me to the hospital.”
Ignoring what I said, Jackson walks out of the house with me in his arms and carefully places me in the front seat of his SUV. “Hold tight, I’m grabbing your hospital bag.”
I huff a thank you in response, as another pain hit my midsection. I am pleading with my baby to stay put for at least the twenty minutes it will take to get me to the hospital. The kids pile into the SUV. I tell them know that I will soon have the baby, which gets them both excited.
“She’s in labor!” Jackson exclaims, again with me in his arms with Caden and Monroe at his side. The nurses scramble our way, one pushing a wheelchair. From behind, I hear my mother and father voices. I vaguely remember Jackson calling them on the way.
“Is anyone coming with her?” I hear a nurse ask. But the pain is hitting me too frequently to pay attention to anything but Bryce wanting to make his debut.
As soon as they lay me on the hospital bed I am ready to push. Forget the pain meds, Bryce isn’t going to wait for that. “Ahhhhhhh!!!” I push.
“You’re doing great Mahari.” I feel his warm hand on my shoulder. Jackson’s here, he’s in the delivery room with me? I open my eyes and look up at him at the same time I hear Bryce screams for the first time.
“He’s perfect.” Jackson is still by my side and I don’t know what to make of it and I am afraid to say anything. He strokes my cheek from where he stands by my side. “I want my family back Mahari.”
I must have died. There is no way he actually said that. “You, you…?”
“I love you. These past months proved that fact to me more than ever. And it gave me time to think about a lot of things. I had to own up to my part in the demise of our marriage. I placed work and power above you, which left you feeling unappreciated and resentful. For that I am sorry baby.”
“I’m sorry. I’m the one that messed up.”
“We both are to blame for how things turned out. I may not have had an affair with another woman, but I had one faithfully with work. I was too focused on providing for my family, that I left you neglected. Things were unbalanced. And I want to fix it.”
“What about Bryce? Can you really forgive all I’ve done?”
“I forgive you. And he’s a part of you, so I will love him like he’s my own. If you let me.”
Tears well up in my eyes. “Of course! I love you so much Jackson. I don’t ever want to hurt you again. I know if we try we can make this work.”
“And we will.”
Check out my new novel release - Color of Deception available on Amazon Kindle here