My Other Half

Did you know that I am married? That I share my life with a wonderful husband, and father of our five boys?

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I write about me all the time, even when I write about other people. I’m inside my head; seeing my distorted, depressive view of things, and that’s what ends up painted all over this blog.

But… there are more sides to this story than mine. I owe my lavish, stay-at-home lifestyle and this very blog to my husband. He is my patron. He’s also a devoted spy, reading what I write and ensuring no one’s comments get too frisky.

Yet I rarely specifically mention him.

Me: “Did you see what I wrote on my blog?”

Him: “Oh. Yeah. That story.”

Me: “…Sorry.”

Him: “It’s okay. You always write about me after we fight.”

My one-sidedness has been niggling at me. I haven’t been fair. I haven’t been honest. I love the guy, after all, and think he needn’t be misrepresented.

I’ve loved Kevin since we were 16 years old. One month or so after my birthday, I came out to the front porch of our house to find it decorated in paper cutouts. I knew the signs, and yelled inside that my sister must have been asked to the upcoming school dance. I was wrong; I’d been asked.

Amongst the paper décor was a page of instructions: to sing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” at the top of my voice, say the alphabet backwards, go to a Geocities website, and call a phone number at the bottom if I needed ‘technical support.’ He’d also included an envelope of the letters of his name.

I ended up succeeding in solving the puzzle, thanks to a little reverse phone number searching in our school directory. They wouldn’t have that these days…

The day of the dance, we played Capture the Flag in the school hallways, ate in our finery at a friend’s house, and attended the dance itself at the State Capitol Building. Neither of us could actually dance, so we talked a lot and pretended we could.

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By Andrew Smith from Seattle, WA, USA – Utah State Capitol, Salt Lake City, CC BY-SA 2.0

Although Kevin and I attended the same junior high school as well, that date was our first interaction. I went home, determined to set up that LAN party he’d proposed during our pretend-dancing. He went home and told his sister he wanted to marry me.

Kevin’s an interesting person: extremely intelligent and analytical to many extents but also creative and artistic. His sense of humor is a lot like mine -or mine’s like his.

My mother: “You two have the same odd sense of humor. Do you know how I know?”

Me: …

My mother: “When someone says something, you both crack up, but no one else is laughing.”

She’s mostly right. Kev and I diverge a bit with morbid humor (him) or slapstick (me). We’re both right up wry alley, however, and enjoy intelligent observations.

Star Wars Text

From April of 2016, shortly after Disney released the first “Star Wars” film they made after acquiring the franchise rights.

He’s an excellent singer. His main career is a software engineer; his side, the dice business. In his free time, he likes computer games or interesting shows and films.

Our talents and interests crossover more often than complement, but it makes choosing a movie to watch easier. After all, what other guy choosesPride and Prejudice,” or what other gal choosesThe Matrix?” I believe our disagreements stem from the similarities; but maybe all couples fight, and fight over other things.

On the whole, I sure love my Kevin. And now you know a little more about him; about us.

This is the point at which I tend to ask the audience a question, like What’s something you want to know about Kevin? but he’s mine mine mine and so you can’t.

Instead, who’s your other half? Who supports or shares your writing journey? Does he or she read what you create?

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Check out what I wrote this week:
Friday, January 3: “Old Year, New Year – Old Me, New Me,” an update on what’s been goin’ down in the last month, and some resolutions.

Saturday, January 4: Announced the 53rd Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is a commercial jingle. PLEASE ENTER!

Sunday, January 5: “Memories Within the Old Hutch,” in response to Carrot Ranch‘s prompt.

Monday, January 6: An inspirational quote by Thoreau.

Also, “Postpartum Depression: Why Mental Health Surveys Suck” over at The Bipolar Collaborative Blog.

Tuesday, January 7: “Baby Blues (Eyes),” a poem.

Wednesday, January 8: Today.

I also posted on my motherhood site. I wrote “I Had My Baby” and “Sharing, a poem.”

 

©2020 Chelsea Owens

Wilhelmina Winters, Seventy-Six

“Not that I knew much about being a dad,” Rob continued. He looked at his hands, his wife, his children, his hands. “I was …pretty freaked out about the whole idea but I knew I couldn’t have someone out there…” He paused. Cynthia leaned a little closer to her husband and squeezed his arm.

Rob breathed in deeply, the air sounding ragged at the edges. He released the breath slowly through his nose. “I just… thought I couldn’t let a kid, out there, had made be …well, be killed -or, to think another guy was raising my kid.”

Wil sat back upon her ankles, stunned. “People,” she said in a hoarse whisper, “people kill their babies?”

Jakob responded first. “Duh, Nina. Happens all the time.”

Cynthia cleared her throat carefully. “While I don’t know what you’ve heard or learned, Jakob, I think that’s a bit exaggerated to say it ‘happens all the time.'”

Shrugging again, he settled back to his original position of half-closed eyes and slouched posture. “Seems like it.”

“So Gwen- my moth- the woman who actually had me wanted to get rid of me?!” Wil asked, her voice rising in anxiety and pitch. “Like, permanently?!” Tears pooled in her wide eyes and she felt them run down her cheeks. Of course I won’t respond to Guinevere Greene! she resolved. Who would do that to her own child -to me?!

“Wil,” Cynthia said in a beckoning tone. “Wil; come here, Sweetheart.”

Wil complied; how could she not? Rising and stumbling over Jakob’s feet, she walked to her parents and sat at the available edge of couch to the side of her mother. With a gentle, loving touch, Cynthia brushed Wil’s loose strands of hair away from her tear-streaked face. Wil turned to face the mother she knew and loved. She sniffed dramatically and Cynthia bit back an amused smile.

“Wil… Guinevere, your mother, did want you.” Her mother paused, stroked at Wil’s hair, took Wil’s hand beneath her own. “Your father was only trying to explain his thinking at the time.”

“Then why,” Jakob, the statue, asked, “Didn’t this Guinevere keep Meanie?”

Wil closed her open mouth, surprised that her stepbrother had voiced the question before she had.

Now was Rob’s turn to clear his throat. “Erm, well, you see…. she wasn’t trying to get rid of you, Wil.” He rubbed at the back of his neck. “I think she just was a bit upset at things at the time and felt… well, maybe she felt like she would have to try to take care of you all by herself and just …um, well, maybe didn’t know how to do that.” He faced Wil and gave her a sheepish smile. “I lov- I liked Gwen a lot at the time we …were dating; but, honestly, she was a bit much for me to understand.” He coughed a nervous laugh. “Now that I’m older and can look back, I think she didn’t really understand herself either.”

They all paused to consider this, though Jakob may have been considering someone else of similar temperament.

“Anyway,” Rob said with more confidence, “I was saying that I told Gwen I would take care of you.” He sat up and smiled. “I didn’t quite know how to do that, and that’s when I went to the truck stop, and saw-” pausing, he caught Wil’s eye. His own eyes were twinkling with an unusual humor. She smiled, catching on.

Together, he and Wil chorused, “…The ugliest and scariest person I’d/you’d ever seen.”

 

Continued from Seventy-Five.
Keep reading to Seventy-Seven.

Wilhelmina Winters, Seventy-Five

Breakfast and cleanup passed without incident or smoke alarm, although the whole family kept eyeing Rob as if he might break out into spots.

“I suppose,” Rob began, once they settled in the living room, “I thought I could start by telling you all the truth, Wil. And you, Jakob …but I always told you the truth about your mom -my sister-” He seemed flustered, rubbing at his cheek enough to make it red, and blinking around at his attentive family.

“Not that your mother didn’t love you, of course, Jakob -” Cynthia added.

“S’okay, Mom,” Jakob said. “I’m over it.” He shrugged from his leaning posture against the armchair and looked bored.

Rob cleared his throat. “Hm.” He frowned as he studied his stepson, then turned back to his daughter. “Wil, you like hearing the story of how I met your -I mean, of how I met Cynthia.”

Wil nodded, and then realization flashed in her eyes. “Oh!” She sat up from her kneel upon the floor. “That -that -that’s how you met Mom, I mean- Cynthia, but then you, you…” She faltered; looking up at her father, then back to the woman she’d thought of as mother, then to her father again.

That story is true,” he said slowly. “But I don’t tell you a few things.” He paused. “Like, how I was out of work because I …well, I didn’t plan on needing to work so early in life.”

Jakob laughed, which startled Wil. “Were you f***ing around?”

Jakob Clair!” their mother exclaimed.

Jakob stopped smiling and looked down at his clasped hands. “Sorry, Mom,” he mumbled. After a pause, he added, “Sorry, Wil.”

Their father cleared his throat again. “The point is, I …hmm. Well, Jakob’s point is accurate in a way..”

Cynthia placed a hand on his arm. “Maybe you could just say that you were overwhelmed with some responsibilities you weren’t expecting.”

Rob smiled gratefully and sheepishly up at his wife. “Yes. That sounds good.”

“What do you mean?” Wil asked, her confusion coming across in her tone.

Her father met her gaze and gave her a half-smile. “How about I just tell you the story you know, with a few additions?”

Wil smiled in return; hers a full face-lighting that, unbeknownst to her, unearthed his memories of her birth mother like a sudden slap.

“Wee-e-ell,” he began, and composed himself. “I had just started a new job, at the factory I work at today. Just the day before I went to the truck stop, I had learned that I had …that I was a father.” No one even dared breathe to fill the silence. “But Gwen didn’t want to be a mother and wondered if I wanted to keep you.”

His eyes met Wil’s again. “I told her, ‘yes.'”

 

Continued from Seventy-Four.
Keep reading to Seventy-Six.