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Chapter 1

Henry

 

“Judy, can’t you let me in? For old times’ sake?”

Judy shakes her little head and looks at me with her beady eyes. She goes on typing on her computer, the clacking of the keyboard echoing in the large waiting room. I’ve been standing in here for two hours, a bouquet of sunflowers in one hand and a weary heart on my sleeve.

“I can’t let you in Mr. Cavishaw,” she says. “She doesn’t really want to see you and it’s my job as her secretary to stop you from barging into her office.”

I let out an exasperated sigh and place my hands on her desk, causing her to stop typing and look at me from under her horned-rimmed glasses.

“Look Judy,” I say. “I haven’t seen my wife in six months. I want to fix our relationship. I’m sure you don’t want to get in the way of that?”

Judy looks hesitant but she sighs and tilts her head towards the door, telling me to go ahead.

“Thanks,” I say to her as I walk to my wife’s office door and push it open.

“Mrs. Welsh, I don’t think our appointment is –”

Callista Cavishaw turns around in her swivel chair and stops when sees me. She’s just as beautiful as the last time I saw her. Long wavy brown locks hanging by her shoulders, her green eyes looking surprised, and she’s wearing her white pediatrician coat over the blue-green dress I bought her for our anniversary a few years back.

“Henry? What are you doing here?” she stands up and places the clipboard on her desk.

“I came here to see you,” I answer and hand her the sunflowers.

Callista hesitates before she takes it and places it on an empty vase beside her table.

“Henry,” she plays with her fingers, something that she does when she’s anxious about something “I’m sure Judy told you but I don’t really want to see you right now.”

“Please don’t be like that,” I gently reach for her shoulders and give it a little squeeze “I haven’t seen you in six months. You’re my wife, Callista. A man has to see his wife.”

“And whose fault is that?” she asks me.

I sigh and nod my head.

She’s right.

It’s my fault why I wake up each day to a cold and empty space next to me.

“You know I had to do it,” I defend myself. “You know, even before we got together, that it was one of my dreams.”

“Yes!” she scoffs. “The youngest senator in US history – twenty-seven year old Henry Cavishaw! I know that Henry, I have my dream and you have yours. But what about the both of us, our dreams?”

“That’s why I’m here,” I move in closer and wrap my arms around her “to make things right starting right now.”

Callista turns away with her back to me but I don’t let her go.

“Why would now be any different from last time?” she snaps at me. “I don’t why I’d torture myself with another missed birthday dinner, missed anniversary trip, or even an empty bed space next to me, only to see you in the morning going again for work.”

“Because I’ll be there,” I insist. “I promise you that if you give me this chance, I’ll do everything to make it up to you. I’ll do anything and I mean anything, if it means making you happy.”

She turns around and looks at me with her big green eyes.

“I’m not someone you can buy Henry,” she hisses. “I don’t need diamond rings, Gucci bags, or a mansion at some tucked away mountain resort.”

“I know that,” I place a thumb over her lips, caressing it softly. “I know what you want and need, my only regret is that I didn’t do it any sooner.”

She sighs and presses herself against my chest.

“If you want to, we can renew our vows,” I continue. “I want to prove it to you Callista that I love you and I’m committed to you.”

“You would do that?”

“Of course,” I whisper. “There’s nothing in this world I wouldn’t do for you. How about we go on our second honeymoon, that special place you’ve always wanted to go to? And then maybe we can start our own little family?”

“But what about your job? I thought it’s important to you.”

“You’re more important to me because you’re my dream and top priority,” I plant a kiss on her forehead “I’ve missed you so much. I just want to be with you always and I don’t know how I managed to survive six months without you, so please give me another chance.”

“Won’t they need you at work?” she asks.

I lift her chin up to face me and whisper. “Darling, I’ll always be a senator, that’s my job, but they can take that away from me and I can just decide to stop being one. But I can never, ever stop being your husband because that’s who I am.”

“You promise to be there every step of the way?” she asks again, her eyes filling up with hope.

“Yes, when the baby comes, I’ll be there every diaper changing, every ride to school, and every soccer practice or ballet recital. It will be exactly like you want Callista, and maybe even more. I just want you back in my life because I can’t operate without you,” I answer.

Callista returns my hug, even tighter this time, telling me I’ve finally convinced her. I hug my wife back, her small body enclosed between my arms, my heartbeat right next to her ear, reminding her of the love I feel for her.

Six months we’ve been separated, but now’s she’s granted me a chance to win her back. I can’t be the absentee husband again and I definitely can’t be a ghostly father when the time comes.

My job has taken me away from my wife, but this time, I’m not going to let it happen.