Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Experiment (02/16/12)
TITLE: What's Good for the Goose Isn't Necessarily Good for the Gander
By Laura Manley
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It was an experiment she had developed over the past few months. Now was the time to implement it.
In July 1970, Bernadine learned she was with child. She was so excited to tell her husband. But the day she told him was one of the worst days of her life. They had been married just one month, had talked about having a baby right away, so Ralph’s reaction came as a huge surprise and a deep disappointment.
The two worked at the same insurance company so they drove to and from their office together. Every morning she would sit in the passenger seat and belt out her rendition of her favorite tune. Today her heart was singing; no orchestration needed.
As they drove home on this particularly warm day with the sun still prominent, Bernadine told Ralph about the baby they could expect in April of the following year.
“I don’t know how we can stay together,” were the words she heard from her husband. She was absolutely devastated and began to cry. Those few words would never leave her!
“Why? This is all we’ve talked about since we got married,” Bernadine cried out through her tears.
“Don’t you get it? I can’t live with one child while I have two others living in another city,” Ralph firmly stated.
Ralph had been married before and his children meant everything to him and to Bernadine, as well. In fact, they were one of the things that drew Ralph to her early on. His devotion to them was appealing to her. She never thought they would be the reason Ralph and she couldn’t remain together.
Bernadine was not one to stand up for herself, so she went along with what Ralph said and from that day forward, she was heading home to…her thoughts came to an abrupt halt! What was she going home to…or for? To her, nothing made sense!
It was a very sad nine months for Bernadine as she carried the baby she had always wanted. She had wanted to be a mother since she was ten years old. And she was going to be a good mother, with or without her husband.
Ralph would stay in Seattle and she would return to her childhood home in Spokane, Washington after the baby was born. She accepted it early on…or did she? In her heart, she couldn’t understand why it had to be that way, but she would comply.
Amaya arrived on April 3, 1971; a precious gift from God. Her birth was bitter sweet because now Bernadine faced separation from her husband.
Ralph, Bernadine and Amaya were a family for ten weeks at which time Bernadine moved back to Spokane to live with her family temporarily. Bernadine had no expectation of divorce and Ralph visited Amaya and Bernadine once a month, as he did his other two children
One night as Bernadine tossed fitfully in her bed, it struck her…if her husband could not live without his other two children living with him, Bernadine could do the next best thing. She would move to Vancouver where his other children lived. Then her husband would move to Vancouver; hence, the problem would be solved. All his children would be in the same city!
It was a risky experiment, but one Bernadine believed could work. Life without her husband was unbearable and she wanted Amaya to know her father and live in a family environment.
One day when Ralph called Bernadine, she announced she was moving to Vancouver. Ralph acknowledged her move, but gave no indication that he would follow her. She wondered if her experiment would backfire on her.
Bernadine went to Vancouver and stayed with Ralph’s parents for a short period of time as she searched for a home for her and Amaya. She found a nice two-bedroom duplex and moved in with the hope that Ralph would see the window that had been opened for him. She hoped her move meant they could be a family again, but she also knew it was perhaps more than Ralph could deliver.
Bernadine and Amaya spent the next month getting used to their new home. One night, after that first month alone, Ralph called to tell Bernadine that he had quit his job and would be “home” in two weeks. Those words were just the words Bernadine had longed to hear.
Her experiment had worked!
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