April 29, 2017, by Patrick Starks
Not many people in life get to meet their soul mates. Not many even get to see a wedding for that matter. I know I still haven’t. And for Miss Darby, time was ticking. She had just entered into her thirties and to make matters worst, all of her childhood friends were getting married—it was the dream they had all dreamt. Yet, the dream was still just a dream for Miss Darby. Miraculously, all of her friends would be pregnant at the same time, with each one of their bellies forming in the shape of bowling bowls as the months went on. The baby shower was going to be one of the biggest ever thrown, and the most expensive—Miss Darby’s wallet cried and she along with it. She was lonely, however, one would be a fool to think that she had not been loved or had someone special in her life.
It wasn’t long ago Miss Darby had stumbled upon the man of her dreams. Although, he wasn’t quite the dream her mother expected. He was Abercrombie handsome and wielded a smile that would make any miserable old fool smile again. Regardless of his stunning features, it would seem he was not a man of wealth and for that Mother Darby would disapprove.
The man worked for a local grocery in the town as the lead cashier—where every Monday through Friday he would open and closed the store—exhaustingly falling into the arms of Miss Darby when he returned. No matter his job title, Miss Darby’s friends who she envied so, adored the man. In fact, they praised the man—it made them all have regret of taking another’s hand. Their husbands all had money of course, but it was the man’s heart that they treasured the most. And it wouldn’t take long for the husbands of those women to form a rebellion. It was easy to say that the men were not fond of Miss Darby’s future husband.
In the beginning, Miss Darby and her soul mate whom everyone called Nova, were depicted as the ideal couple; just like the ones in romantic films or novels. Even though the two were not wedded yet, they had thoughts of children—at least Miss Darby did for that she was getting no younger. The pressure from her mother and her friends could not be any more stressful than it was then.
“My dear when are you and that whatever going to give me some grandbabies?” said Mother Darby as she stirred inside a boiling pot.
The smell was so hypnotizing that Miss Darby almost ignored such a rude question. She was starving, yet still would not tolerate that sort of disrespect for the man she loved.
“Come on mom he’s a great guy. And his name is Nova for your information,” said Miss Darby chopping away the vegetables in front of her.
Her mother grinned. “Whatever. I told you, you should have stayed with Berry, Brian, whatever the hell his name was.”
“You mean Brandon…”
“Yes that’s the one,” nodded mother Darby.
Miss Darby was in no need to get into a discussion with her mother. Her mother did not know the whole truth to the story, as in life most do not. Brandon had lots of money, he ran his own business, he was good-looking, but he was unfaithful to Miss Darby every chance he got. Alcohol on his breath, perfume on his clothes, and faded red lips around his neck was enough to verify where Brandon might have been, more so, what he might have done. And Nova was none of that, except the good looking part.
Not long after Miss Darby and Nova would have one of the most awkward dinners any could have. Mother Darby sipped on her bowl of soup but her eyes did not leave Novas’.
“Um… T-thank you for the soup Mother Darby. I have to say it’s the best I’ve ever had,” said Nova shaking his spoon all the way up to his mouth.
He was nervous and mother Darby loved it. She replied. “Oh, you say the best eh?”
Nova nodded, and a soft hand from underneath the table rested on his knee for assurance that everything would be alright. There were many uncomfortable words spoken that night. Luckily for Nova, it went by fast; however, when they had gotten back home he would find that the night had just begun.
“Ah-h’m,” puffed Miss Darby. “ So, do you want to have kids or not?”
Nova sighed within his reply. “Honey, where not even married yet. Plus we just moved in together just a few months ago.”
His words were valid. Although, any other man would have known to put a little more icing on those words, for their own sake of course. Miss Darby then ran into their bedroom with tear after tear clashing against the hardwood floor. The door slammed and, behind it sadness and sobs.
Nova felt awful afterward. He wasn’t the smartest man in the world, but he was no fool, he knew exactly how women in her situation felt. Miss Darby reminded Nova of his sister he had not seen in years. His sister experienced the same, and in some ways to Nova, much worst. It still felt like yesterday his sister had told him how she felt, the reason why she left.
“You just don’t get it Nova. Men have no idea what women go through every day. The pressure we face. You all walk around like roosters with your chest out knowing you have all the time in the world to have a child, so long you have someone young. But for us it’s not like that, we can’t all have children in our fifties or sixties. Neither would I want to. Mom pressures me every day but all you do is laugh and do nothing. You tell mom I don’t want kids, and I don’t want this family. Goodbye Nova!”
Nova at the time was so young he thought his sister was joking. He laughed. However, he did not laugh after seven years had come to pass.
A couple of hours had now gone by, Miss Darby came out of the bedroom with eyes still teary like the stars. “I’m sorry…” said Miss Darby. No reply was given, the room was empty and there was no Nova.
A letter written like a child was left on the back of an old photo of the two—their first photo. Nova’s handwriting wasn’t the best, but Miss Darby cherished it more than life itself, she laughed tearfully. Nova had already packed a few things and set sail, and made it clear to Miss Darby on the photo that he would one day return to marry her, to impregnate her, in his own words. And Miss Darby would laugh at that too. Nova explained everything and his reasoning for leaving. That he would not and could not marry her if his sister was not one of her bridesmaids. He had planned to find his sister and bring her back home as he felt she needed him more than ever. His intuition called, and it was his intuition that was never wrong. He did not want to fail his sister again.
Miss Darby cried even harder and then held the letter close her heart. She was just twenty-three when she met Nova and now was on the brink of hitting her thirties. Little did her mother or her friends know, that she had not forgotten about Nova and his promise, yet it seemed they had all forgotten. Again, they did not know the truth to the story.
No matter what anyone said Miss Darby would not hate it. No matter how many debated.