Rekindling Passion & Romance Between Husband And Wife This Valentine
To Have And To Hold
How I have Loved You!
Super Target on Tamiami Trail was busy as a beehive, Jamie with her 4 year old twins in tow walked over and pulled out one of those carts with a fancy car attached to it. The twins jumped up and down with joy and without waiting for her to help, they squeezed through the open holes that served as doors and took their places at the black steering wheels inside. She smiled and was relieved because this would keep them busy for most of her shopping experience. Not that she was here to buy anything special. She had been on her way home in Fort Myers after a doctor’s visit at Health-Park hospital when she stopped to get something for the kids. That led to another trip to the gas station and finally she ended up at Super Target. She rarely ever visited this store so she took the time to go and do some rare shopping remembering the variety of condiments they had in that store which she rarely saw together in the same shelf at most of the supermarkets she shopped from.
The twins were making engine sounds and arguing with one another as she headed towards the food section on the western side of the store. There was so much stuff in the store but it did not stop her from making a bee-line for what she had come for. Shopping was a wonderful experience but surely only if one had money. Jamie was not so much into window shopping or looking at things that she knew she could not have. At the condiments shelf, she stopped long enough to pick all that she could being careful to read the labels.
“Mommy, Juan is leaning on my wheel!” Juanita screamed from the cart.
“She is lying, I was just trying to show her how to drive mom!” Juan shouted back.
“Be nice to one another.”
Jamie continued without paying much attention as if nothing had happened. As a stay at home mom she was accustomed to the bickering and had standard reaction and reaction time to handle it. She packed her condiments side by side and dashed out of the food section towards the checkout without as much as looking at the people she was passing on the way. She had one more child to pick up from school in a couple of hours, then there was dinner to prepare and of course it was Wednesday so she would have to drop by the church for the Women’s Bible Study. Without doubt, by the end of the day, she would be completely exhausted. And then of course, there was David! David was her husband of 9 years.
Oh David, they rarely ever spent much time together, it had been so long, she did not even think much about it. He left early in the morning almost every day to go to work, came back later in the evening. If they were lucky that day, he would be home by 7pm. Dinner was always late because they had to wait for him to join them at the table. Jamie preferred that the kids eat early and retire by 8:30 pm but she had noticed that they deliberately stayed awake and refused to eat so they could see their dad, eat with him and then go to bed. Her insistence to the contrary only brought tears and sour faces so she had given up. David on the other hand complained about late dinners.
“How can you complain about that, dinner is always ready by 6 pm but you get home later and the kids want to eat with you, that is why we eat late!”
Being family had become increasingly difficult over time and David and Jamie had drifted apart without even noticing it. What remained was formal relating where they each did things out of habit and it looked normal. At first there had been constant arguments and bickering before it toned down to acceptance and then indifference. Romance was dead in this home and no one seemed to care, not even Jamie herself.
“Are you on the line ma’am?” a young man had just rolled in his cart and noticed the huge gap between Jamie and the other customer now at the checkout.
“Yes, I am sorry, I guess I have to move.”
“Mom, can we have some beanie babies?” Juanita had a packet of those in her hands.
Jamie looked at the beanie babies and realized that a refusal would result in a tantrum and she was not ready for that.
“Throw it in the cart, you will have it after I pay.”
Juanita threw it in the cart and together with Juan dashed down the aisle for something else that had caught their eyes, it was a packet of chocolate kisses, the kind they sell for Valentine.
“Our teacher said to get some of these for our friends at school for valentine!” they screamed.
“Give that to me and I will take care of it!”
Jamie reached for the pack and put it in the cart too. There were red and orange packs with flags reading kisses on them. She wondered why there was always so much chocolate going around on Valentines. Well because love was supposed to be sweet. As far as she was concerned, after nine years of marriage, it was not that sweet after all. There were children, bills, in-laws, fights and all the in-between, which left no room for love at the end of the day. Only a little kind of courtesy, that was all. Then she looked across and saw a young couple walk into the store hand in hand with nothing to worry about, in fact they did not even need to pull a cart or carry a basket. Probably there to view some jewelry for a huge occasion, an engagement or better a wedding! Weddings are wonderful! Jamie thought to herself and lingered on the memory for a little while.
Memories of her wedding day came flooding in. She had barely slept the day before the wedding because of nerves. Throughout their relationship, she had looked forward to living together with David in the same house but she had not thought about the wedding process and all that went with it. It took David’s kindness and encouragement to calm her down. He had been the man, calling almost 6 times that night.
“Honey, you are the most amazing woman I have ever met and I cannot believe that in a few short hours you will be my wife! I am so lucky to have you.”
Then, “Honey, I know our house will be blessed and an oasis of happiness because you smile so beautifully and are so hospitable. I will never let you down my love. I promise that I will work hard to look after our family so that you do not need to keep a job and take care of our household too. I know that you are a very intelligent woman who is capable of so much and you will succeed in everything you choose to do including raising our children while I am gone!”
During their courtship, David had been such a hopeless romantic. Sending her flowers randomly, writing love notes and whispering little nothings into her ears. And what about grabbing her hand while they walked and wrapping it around his waist? It just seemed to come normal to him. He had continued even after the wedding. At first she had been timid but with time, she learned to relax. They were such a lovey dovey couple that once they were voted the most romantic couple by their married couple’s fellowship. It used to be wonderful then but she could not remember when it all stopped.
Was it when the first baby was born or during her second pregnancy, the one before the twins? Or was it four years before, when the twins were born? It had to be earlier than that because things had not felt right for a long time. When they were courting and after their first baby was born, there were picnics, nights out, story- telling and just a lot of fun. But, when exactly did it stop?
She racked her brain to recall but drew a blank. It did not stop all at once. It was some kind of progression, like one morning they could not take that shower together because David woke up late and had to rush to work. Then, it was her not bothering to sit with him for dinner because she was too tired or helping the kids with homework. Little by little, it had all died and what remained was just polite behavior. Somewhere in her heart, she saw the handsome well -built man she had married standing at the door to their house after a long day at work with a sheepish smile on his face. She no longer saw the twinkle that was still in his eyes when he looked at her desirably. She did not think she was desirable after carrying and giving birth to all those babies. Jamie saw herself as all bulky flesh, ceaseless bad hair days and she rarely looked at herself in the mirror because she thought she was unattractive. He still thought she was the most beautiful lady with the brightest smile even if her smiles were now rare, but he kept it to himself.
Jamie pulled her cart out of the line and headed back towards the center aisles with the twins. There was a display of valentine stuff, she would take time to pick up something for David just to let him know he was still the most handsome, kind and promise keeping person she ever knew. She looked at herself in the mirror close to the jewelry counters and saw her unsmiling face looking back at her. She smiled and was amazed at her brilliant smile, the one that David adored so much. Oh, she probably just needed a little make-up for her face, a wash for her hair, a babysitter for her babies and then she and David could spend time a night out in the city relieving the good old days. What? They were only in their thirties so it was not too late to make amends. It would take a while but progressing in the right direction was way better.
Jamie then made a left turn towards the women’s section to get her-self and David some nice clothes, just to surprise him. David loved surprises. What a valentine they would have together after so long!
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