note from Heather: This is part one of a five part series. It’s about a girl. and a guy. and a handful of experiences with tomatoes. It’s about a family of ducks. and trusting yourself. and the truth about hope. enjoy. xo.
Hope & Mild Indigestion: Part 1
by Megan Orcholski
Peggy, mother of five, teaches at a high school about 10 minutes down the highway from where she lives. One night on her way home there was an adorable mama duck and her babies were trying to cross the busy interstate. Peggy missed them but knew that the giant semi behind her would hit them. A movement made her look to see the semi make a giant swerve, risk tipping over and miss the ducks! She really thought they were going to make it, they were almost at the median. But then a white car ran right over them. He didn’t swerve or make any effort but instead plowed right into the ducks. Peggy started screaming and couldn’t stop. She called her husband and what she kept telling him over and over was, “It wasn’t that the ducks died. I knew the ducks were going to die. The car killed my hope.”
I don’t like tomatoes, never have. When I receive tomatoes on my salad, I give them away. In all of the years I have purchased my own groceries, I have never bought a tomato for self consumption. I can handle tomato sauce, I love ketchup. But raw tomatoes have always been something to avoid. It isn’t that I had one once as a child and never tried again. I have made an effort throughout the years to enjoy the fruit. I can remember my grandmother carrying a plate of big juicy slices and I purposely tried one. I hated it.
When I met Bobby*, a friend of a friend, I didn’t even consider him a legitimate person, let alone entertain the idea that I should be interested in him. This was mostly because of his looks; I had heard he was good looking, but when I finally met Bobby, I was shocked at how attractive he was. I put him in movie star category–not real. When we ended up at the same party a few weeks after I met him, I still didn’t think anything of it. It wasn’t until he came back home with a friend to watch a movie and we ended up sharing a blanket and I thought his leg was purposely pressing against mine that I had to start considering the reality that this could be something. Even if it was a one night something. When everyone left and it was just us, we kissed. We kissed and touched most of the night, pressing our bodies into each other, trying to believe that we had found something that gave us a physical high we couldn’t achieve on our own. It has been a really long time since I had felt that right with anyone.
That first night he said something so striking. We were lying in my bed, entwined, talking about his son, and he said that he would never want to have any more children. As someone who craves children of my own I asked incredulously, “Never?”
“Right now, I never want any more. But I am wise enough to know that I may not always feel like this.”
I am constantly trying to explain that concept–the current, infinite belief with that realization that change may be inevitable.
I remember trying to explain to him that he could come back; I knew I wanted this again. The intimate connection of people is always delicate but I find that it becomes increasingly difficult to make sure everyone involved is on the same page. I feel as if I am always fighting the perpetuated stereotype that women want an immediate relationship and that we are clingy. Yet I would never want something that isn’t mutual, thus there is no risk of one-sided want. Why couldn’t we just keep doing this? If more develops, it will. But how do I explain to someone I’ve just met my current beliefs on romantic and physical relationships? How do tell him that I purposely waited until I was 24 and had acquired the perfect equivalent before I had intercourse? How do I make my detailed reasons for not having sex with him that night understood? How do I illustrate that I was almost married twice and have pretty much given up on having expectations of a monogamous relationship? How do I reassure him he can come back and I will be rational and thoughtful, with no risk of forced commitment or binding behavior?
I don’t. I give him my card the next morning and hope he calls. Surprisingly, he texts me within minutes of leaving my door.
to be continued…