It didn’t surprise me one bit to find out that Agnes had been married before me.
What surprised me, was to find out that she was a mother.
I read David’s email several times, taking in the information he’d given and letting it simmer in my mind.
I had always wanted children. But Agnes told me she was infertile. She could never have children. I loved her, so I gave up on the prospect of fatherhood.
Once a week, we would take a long walk around a nearby park. After the walk, we would sit on a particular bench in the shade of a tree to rest. Agnes would sit cross-legged and bent over her sketchbook, while I would watch the children at the playground in front of us.
I watched those kids, playing and screaming and laughing, and I longed for one of my own. I wanted to swing someone up over my head in a widening arc as he squealed with excitement. I wanted to teach someone to play catch, ridge a bike, climb a tree. I wanted to raise someone that would carry my name and work with me. I wanted an heir – someone to be my legacy.
As much as I loved Agnes, I knew in my bones that motherhood would not suit her. She did not admire children, could not handle their noise or their questions. When the curious ones would venture to our bench and ask to see her drawings, she would snatch her book close to her chest and tell them it was not good to talk to strangers.
No, I could not imagine my lovely wife as a mother. And now, it turns out, she had been one.
This piece was written as a part of my fictional work-in-progress, Finding Agnes. I switched it up specifically for this prompt, trying to show Henry’s point of view. You can find more from Finding Agnes here.
Red Writing Hood is a weekly writing meme from the Write on Edge community. Constructive criticism is appreciated.
This week’s Red Riding Hood prompt: This week we’re going to play Victor/Victoria. If you typically write from the male perspective, switch it up to the female. And if you generally write female, go for the male. While this is going to be easiest for those writing fiction, if you’re writing memoir, share a memory from a brother/husband/father’s perspective. Keep it under 300 words.
Photo credit to edenpictures. It has a Flickr Creative Commons attribution license.