One evening, the other Pruett couple decided to take a break from caring for everyone else and steal some time alone.
“I love you, Asia. I’m going to cherish you forever,” Jared said, caressing his wife’s cheek.
“I know that, Jared.”
“Yeah, but I like telling you. I don’t want things to get old and stale, and then we get bored with each other and end up like my brother and Maliyah.”
This was the first time she had ever witnessed him actually being affected by the divorce. She knew there had to be a deeper issue beneath that statement, but she didn’t know what it was.
“Hey,” she said, gently grabbing his shoulder, “we’re not them!”
“I know! But anything can happen,” he said turning away from her. “Jayden just knew things were going to work out, but they didn’t. I dunno. I guess their situation rattled me more than I thought.”
She grabbed his hand and pulled him back to her and said, “But you love me, right?”
“With all my heart!”
“And you trust me?”
“You’re always honest with me?”
“Then what do we have to worry about?”
“Nothing,” he replied, still looking worried.
“So, there! What’s the problem?”
“There is no problem. I just think about things sometimes,” he said with head hanging down.
“Sometimes I wonder how you’ve been affected by all this. I mean, I know we speak about it occasionally, but I wonder if sometimes you withhold your true feelings just to preserve mine.”
She was taken by surprise because he was right about her. He always was. She did have feelings, hopes and desires she hadn’t shared with him. Between the two of them, she knew best of all how familial strife affects everyone given what she went through in her own childhood. She thought it would be best to keep certain things to herself for the sake of keeping the rest of her little family happy. She didn’t answer his question. He knew.
Jared continued, “There is something, isn’t there? I can see it in your eyes.”
“Well,” she said, looking away from him, “there is one thing.”
He gently placed his hands around her troubled face and drew her back to him.
“Please…tell me! I want to know everything.”
She took him by the hand and led him outside to sit. Kolby was nearby playing on the jungle gym. She watched him for a few minutes before she spoke.
“I always wanted a daughter,” she said with her eyes still on Kolby. “Most women do. I had a name picked out for her and everything.”
“More kids. Of course! I don’t know why that never occurred to me before.”
“I never brought it up, so how would you have known?”
“I know, but still. I take pride in knowing you so well. I feel like I should have known or at least asked you about it. I can’t believe that never came up!”
“Don’t beat yourself up, Jared! I’m ok. I got over it.”
“We could still do it, you know.”
“I know, but I think it may be too late. I mean, we’re both well into our adult years…I don’t think I want to be a 60 year old with a 5 year old.”
“Yeah, I know what’s like. It’s nice in a way because older parents have matured completely and have a different worldview. But at the same time, the parents never get to see the kid grow up and the kid loses the parents way too early. But I would go through that for you! I don’t want to deprive you of your dreams. Gosh, Asia! Why haven’t you said anything??”
“Well, I…I don’t know. I mean, things have always been crazy here, and the house was always crowded and then Maliyah didn’t react too well with the news the first time….”
“But all of that could have been worked out, Asia! We could have moved out and gotten our own house! We had options! Man…I really wish you would have said something. I feel terrible now.”
She was sorry she even brought it up. She hated to see her husband so down on himself.
“Awww, Jared. Please don’t be angry with yourself! See…this is why I never said anything. I knew you would be this way.”
“I just love giving you the world. I could have easily given you a daughter. I feel like I failed you.”
“Your love and Kolby is all that I need in this world. That was a young woman’s dream. Yes, I still think about it sometimes, but that’s not my dream anymore! My dream is to see Kolby grow up and start his own life. I want to grow old with you. I enjoy my life as it is. I don’t want anything else.”
“Are you sure? Is this something that’s gonna come up later in the heat of some crazy moment?”
“Good heavens, Jared! You said yourself that you pride yourself on knowing me. Don’t you know me well enough to know the answer to that?”
He looked deeply into her eyes and searched them for any shred of doubt. He knew everything she said was true, but the divorce situation made him insecure and he doubted himself. She saw that in him.
She took both of his hands and said, “Stop doubting yourself! What happened to them happened to them. That will not happen to us! Put your faith in what you believe about us.”
Asia’s unwavering faith was very comforting to him in his uncertainty. Jared’s hobbies and profession taught him to trust in science, facts, figures, numbers, etc. He had never had any dealings with faith and didn’t give it any credence. Faith was not tangible. You can’t prove it. There is no formula for it. Faith was an unknown in his world of knowns, and it was scary. But he found himself open to trying something new because he now knew that sometimes you can’t trust the things you can see, and life was definitely not something you can predict. He broke down into tears and embraced her.
“I don’t deserve you,” he cried .
“No, Jared. I don’t deserve you.”