She was breaking up with me for something that was not my fault, punishing me for something for which I had no control: a tragedy, an act of God.
She had had a miscarriage. The pregnancy was intentional, not the kind of “accident” many of our friends had — and like her first child was when she got pregnant with her ex-husband when she was 20.
She and I had known each other for seven years and had an off-and-on thing. Things got serious when she told me that she wanted to have another baby because her daughter was 12 now and, according to her, “needing me less, the way teenagers do.” Kelly had always wanted a large family, but circumstances and economics had not made it feasible. She was almost 35 and believed that if she was going to have another child, now was the time.
I wanted to procreate as well. I was hearing the male bio clock, and it was ticking loudly. I glanced at couples and singles with their newborns and toddlers in public and wondered, When will I have that? So when she suggested that possibility, as well as a possible marriage, I was excited.
She was surprised. She thought I would back away, as other men in her life had. According to her, men always thought she was trying to trap them into something. “I’m happy!” she kept saying over the next five months. “I’ve never been this happy!”
Conception came easy. “I’m Myrtle the Fertile Turtle,” she said. She knew the child was a boy. She said that he came to her in a dream. He also visited me in a couple of dreams. When it was confirmed by an ultrasound that the baby was a boy it only strengthened the metaphysical and spiritual sensations we had been experiencing.
It all came crashing down when she miscarried. In the hospital room, she looked like a stranger to me. She looked 100 years old. She had cried and cried until she couldn’t cry anymore.
I tried to touch her, to hold her, but she rejected me. She hit me in the chest. “You bastard!” she yelled. What did I do? She hit me again, this time in the face — a punch in the mouth. I tasted blood. “Get out of here,” she demanded. “Get the hell out!”
She punched the buzzer for the nurse. I didn’t want to leave. Two orderlies showed up. I was told that it was best that I go. The nurse said she would give my “wife” a sedative.
Kelly said later, “I know this is not fair, and I’m sorry, but it’s how I feel. I can’t see you anymore. It’s too painful. When I see your face, I imagine what his face would have looked like. His hair...I know he would have had your hair. I can’t do this.”
She changed her phone number and wouldn’t respond to email. Every day I had to stop myself from going over to her house and demanding better treatment, a better explanation. I understood her emotions; I felt the same sense of loss. But I didn’t want to give up. Many couples had made it through this tragedy before.
I was angry — angry at her for doing this, angry at the universe for taking the baby away. I felt betrayed by her and betrayed by God. I was angry with every person I saw in public who had an infant or small child.
Everywhere I went I saw parents and children. It seemed that a lot of the parents were in their late teens or early 20s. Many of them looked unhappy — they looked stressed, trapped, confused. I surmised that their young lives had changed with the birth of a baby, and now their hopes and dreams were derailed, replaced with economic worry and all the burden of being a young parent.
I looked at them with envy and resentment. Here were these people who did not seem to be happy about being a parent.
Two months later Kelly sent a text message: “Eye mizz u.” Then she called. She wanted to get together. She wanted to talk. She was still quite depressed but said, “I’m dealing with life better.”
We met for lunch at our favorite restaurant in Del Mar. We had a few drinks. She was drinking fast. It was meaningless talk — we were avoiding the obvious. But I could see it in her eyes: I knew she was going to break down soon, and so would I.
The food arrived, but we didn’t touch it. I reached over the table and grabbed her hands. We started to cry. The people around us gave quick, embarrassed looks. We didn’t care.
“Let’s go,” I said.
“I can’t do this,” she told me. “I wanted to find out if I could. I had to know, and I know I can’t. I’ll never be able to.” She couldn’t even look at me. She stared in the opposite direction, her arm out, keeping me away. Then she ran out of the restaurant and jumped into her car as if she were in an action movie, fleeing from the bad guys.
That was two years ago. I am still grieving. No parent can get over the death of a child. There has been no healing.
Tell us the story of your breakup and/or date from hell and we will publish it and pay you ($100 for 500-2000 words).
E-mail story to
Or mail to:
San Diego Reader/Dumped
San Diego, CA 92186