My name is Faith McKenzie. I’m the daughter of a well-respect doctor and his wife, Ben and Sarah Hawthorne, who were pillars of our community. I grew up in this beautiful five-bedroom house in Southampton, New York. My parents had high hopes for me when I began training as a psychiatric nurse. Then I met Calvin, and after a whirlwind romance we were married within the year. When my parents died Calvin decided it would be best for my brother that we move back to Southampton. Darryl is much younger than I am and my husband is a psychiatrist. He specializes in post traumatic stress so I trusted he knew more about the affects of uprooting my little brother at such a delicate stage in his life than I did.
Our house is built on a corner plot, it’s surrounded by gardens and I spend my days tending to the many plants and flowerbed I have spent years perfecting. We have an enormous lounge where Cal and I spend time snuggled up together after the children are asleep. Cal has an office where he works on evenings and weekends. It’s comforting to know that, even though he’s a very busy man, he wants to be at home and not at the office so on those many times he goes away I know he can’t avoid it. The kitchen is where we congregate as a family. Our little ones play at the table at all times during the day while I prepare food or read the newspaper. The dining room is only ever used on holidays or for entertaining. I pride myself on keeping our house and gardens in tip-top shape all day every day. It’s not easy with the little ones under my feet but Cal has outgrown Daddy’s shadow and is well-known and respected in his field and our community. He’s likely to bring guests home unannounced. It wouldn’t be good for him to be embarrassed by an unkempt home. I mean what else do I do all day? Yes, I trained as a psychiatric nurse, that’s how Cal and I met. But before I completed my training I became pregnant with our eldest daughter and I never went back to work. Calvin doesn’t want me to. He makes more than enough to keep us in a comfortable lifestyle and he prefers that I’m available for the children, just in case of an emergency.
Our twenty years of marriage hasn’t gone without its ups and downs. Calvin is ten years older than I am and his first wife and son have caused a few problems for us. So does my brother. We were his guardian after all. Cal and I have also four beautiful children of our own, none of them were planned. Our oldest two are in college, both studying their pre med degrees and our two youngest, they were a real surprise for us, are barely in preschool.
Since having the younger ones it’s difficult to spend time with my friends, I’m not as available as I used to be and we’ve drifted apart. Calvin wasn’t a fan of the ladies I played tennis with, had lunch with, or went shopping with anyway. It caused many arguments between us. Since our little ones have come along we fight over other things, like nutrition, appropriate safety wear, and the benefits of hobbies at their age. He really is a worrier, but he’s a man who doesn’t like to show what’s really going on inside. Even after all this time I still find it difficult to get things right sometimes, it’s not always easy to know what he wants. But he gave up so much after my parents died. All the plans we had were abandoned to move here, to take care of my brother and take over the family business. Cal’s turned Daddy’s Practice into a success, my brother is an all-star state football champion and about to finish his medical degree and my children are thriving. I couldn’t ask for anything more.
I shouldn’t want for more. But if I could have one day to do anything at all, it would be a day just for me and Calvin. I would have a day when I knew what his moods was like, when they darkened so suddenly I would be able to change them back. I’d have a day that when he said ‘we need to talk’ those words didn’t fill me with fear. I’d have a day when my husband whisked me into our bedroom for something other than a stern talking to… or worse. I’d have a day where it was just me and the man I fell in love with. Because those days are becoming so few and far between I think I’m losing him to this other guy… the one that hurts me so easily … and I think he’s starting to enjoy it.