I Knew

By Ronald Pelias

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I knew when he said, “I told you I didn’t want any damn books in our house,” and I replied, “I know you don’t like having books around because they make you feel dumb, and I’ve told you a million times that you’re not dumb, that I wouldn’t have married a dumb man, but this one is different because it’s a book about what I should expect during pregnancy, and what to expect after our baby is born,” and he just said, “Just get that thing out of here,” which made me think that maybe he is pretty dumb after all, not allowing any books at all, even ones about me and our baby’s health; and I wasn’t even asking him to read it, and what if he kept saying no books in the house when our baby grew up and started school, and what if our baby loved to read and couldn’t because of his dumb rule, and I surely didn’t want to raise my child who didn’t ever have a chance to read at home because I knew, without reading anything, that wouldn’t be a good thing; and I thought about how bored I got watching sports on television every night, pretending to enjoy it because he wanted me to; and how when I brought home those travel brochures for the vacation he promised he would take me on, he wouldn’t read them, and we never took that vacation; and how I’ve tried and tried to take his feelings into account, but he never once considered mine; and then I wondered if I was being unfair, because I believe that a good wife tries to make her husband happy, but I knew that no matter what I did, I could never make him happy, that he would always find fault with something, find something that I was doing wrong; and I remembered how I lived in fear, even though he had never hit me, but I felt that he might, and I felt myself feeling tired, tired going on like I was, tired of all the tension of trying to do everything right, tired of him, and it wasn’t just because I was pregnant; it was because of him, and in that moment I knew I would never be happy as long as I stayed with him; so I prayed that God would give me a sign of what I should do, and when all I heard was the silence, I knew God was telling me I didn’t have to be silent anymore; and I packed as much as I could in the one old suitcase we had and left him a note on the table where he would be expecting his dinner: “No need to read a book to get this: I’m leaving you. Bye.”

Ronald Pelias