I have to be honest. I’m over having a baby in the house. I’m over the crying in the middle of the night, the smelly diapers, the endless line of visitors that want to coo over her. I miss my semi-grown up children. The ones that can make themselves food if they’re hungry in the middle of the night, that can go to the bathroom on their own, that only cry when something’s really wrong.
Arizona has been amazing, almost surprising, honestly. She’s up at the first sound of tears, sometimes even before that. Has been really passionate about her job, really getting into cooking. Calls me her guinea pig and makes me try all her weird recipes. She’s been really affectionate too. Honestly like, perfect girlfriend, given the circumstances… Especially since her father died.
But I’m still miserable. I still miss my wife. My children. I thought it’d get better once the baby was here. Once I had something to occupy my time. I think it’s actually gotten worse. Now that I see how happy Arizona is with Delilah, how excited she is to get home from work…
I thought I was hiding it well. Or at least well enough. But Arizona cornered me one night after she’d gotten home from work.
“Are you unhappy, Dom?”
How do you answer that? How do you tell your girlfriend that your entire life makes you miserable. That your baby doesn’t feel like your baby. She stared me down, and I instantly knew why she’d gotten away with everything when she’d lived at home.
“I’m not happy…” I answered quietly, staring at my shoes. I felt like a child being scolded.
“Do you want to leave?” She looked sad. My heart tore in two. I promised her I’d be there for her. I even suggested getting together when she was pregnant. That was my idea. “You can leave if you want to leave.”
“I don’t want to leave. I’m sorry for upsetting you.” I looked her in the eyes and lied. Either she believe me, or she wanted to enough that she pretended.
“Okay. Just checking.” She smiled, hugging me and kissing my cheek. She paused there for a moment, a long moment, before Delilah cried out and she scurried over toe the crib, cooing at her.
“I’m sorry princess, Daddy and I were just having a wittle chat hmmm? Yes we were – just talking about grown up stuff. Too big for your itty bitty self.” Arizona tickled Delilah, who let out a happy shriek of laughter. The sound made me cringe.
I’m unhappy. How am I unhappy?