I imagine you go home and he listens to you as you recount your day. He'll put his arms around you and make you feel safe and wanted and loved. The stress and tension of the day melts away as you smile at him. You share the cooking chores and prepare dinner together with the TV tuned to the news channel. You discuss current events with him. You smile, joke, tease each other. You are so utterly content and in love. At dinner, you sit down with him and your daughter and you listen as your daughter tells you about her day. You encourage her, praise her, comfort her. A happy family, all sitting down for dinner. It's your favourite part of the day.
I return home and the house is empty, like a carcass discarded in a desert. There is no sound, no welcome, nothing. I turn on the TV for companionship. I'm not really watching it - my brain is swirling with thoughts and emotions you have stirred up. I know it's time to start preparing dinner, but I'm not hungry and it feels as though I will never be hungry again. But I begin to prepare dinner anyway out of habit, out of the necessity of doing something.
I sit alone in my Lazy boy with dinner on my lap. I watch some sitcom rerun, but I do not laugh along with the canned laughter. I feel as though I would never be happy again. The house is desolate and bleak and reeks of singlehood. I think about the love in your household, the love in other households. I think of couples sharing a meal, of families sitting down together in the warm evening light. The contrast stabs me in the heart.
I have never known warmth and love like that. Never. I have never had a man tell me I am pretty. I have never had a man tell me he is in love with me. I have never had a man make love to me. I have never been made to feel special, loved, wanted. All my life.
I don't know what it's like to love a child. My child. I don't know what it's like to have a child depend on me for everything. I have never had a child snuggle close to me, look me in the eye and whisper "I love you". I do not know what it is like to protect this child, to love this child with every ounce of strength in my body and with every breath of my being.
All my life. All my life I have lived alone. From childhood I was abandoned, and in adulthood I was neglected and cast away. I was never given a second chance at love.
Love abandoned me, and with it, all hope.