I later realized that Andrea actually wanted children. He thought my fear was not real and that one day I would change my mind and want to have a baby, just like him.
We got married in a simple but solemn wedding. Andrea did not like crowds, and he managed to convince my mother to agree on a small intimate wedding. You see, my mother's only dream in life was to throw lavish weddings for her kids. But she finally relented. That's how much my mom loved this man to be her son-in-law.
There was only me and him, the pastor and our parents on the private beach of one of my father's hotels in Bali. I had never been happier than I was on my wedding day.
After three years of marriage, we still did not talk about children. I became more productive in my writing and even finished two short novels. It didn't sell well, but at least I managed to publish something on my own.
Andrea said, even though problems and suffering were the most powerful sources of inspiration, happiness could also make me feel the great emotions that help me write. I was sure he was right.
In the fourth year, I began to see the sadness on his face when he saw small children roaming around our apartment building. I knew he would not talk about children at all because he was keeping his promise to me.
However, I was finally feeling touched and decided to secretly visit the ob-gyn and find out information about how to get pregnant and what was the most comfortable way to give birth.
The doctor gave me some tests and told me to come back in three days. The day before my next appointment, he called me and told me to go to the clinic with my husband. I immediately got a bad feeling and instead went there by myself.
My test results were truly heartbreaking. The doctor discovered an abnormality in my uterus that made me unable to have children.
This felt like a curse.
Because of my reluctance to have children for years ... now I was being punished.
I was despondent. I did not know how to convey this to Andrea, I knew he really wanted a child.
When I got home, I found Andrea sitting on a chair in our balcony with a confused look. He was supposed to work, but instead, he was at home.
I was surprised and immediately, a bad feeling was creeping up my chest.
"Wina ... I ..." he swallowed hard as if searching for the right words. "I have a son."
Like being struck by lightning in broad daylight, my sadness was immediately replaced by anger. Andrea stammered, explaining that he had just received an email from his ex-girlfriend.
I knew she was his first love, and they were in a relationship for 7 years. The struggle to get her parents' blessings was futile and finally, she gave up and moved to England to continue her studies. Apparently, what really happened was... she left Andrea because her parents forced her.
The girl was pregnant and her parents were ashamed if their business partners and relatives knew about it, while letting her marry Andrea was not a choice they liked. So, they forced her to go.
The child was now 6 years old. He was born and raised in London. He showed me his son's pictures and their spitting image was evidence of the blood relations between my Andrea and that little boy. My heart was torn to pieces when I remember my own inability to give offspring for this man whom I loved more than anything in the world.
There was only one reason why the woman sent a photo of their child. She still hadn't moved on from Andrea and wanted them to get back together as a family. In her letter, the woman said that now she was an adult who supported herself and could make her own decisions. So, she no longer cared about her parents' wishes. And she wanted her son to know Andrea as his father.
I know I was being selfish, but I didn't allow Andrea to meet the child. I did not want that every time he looked at the child he would see what he was missing out from our marriage ...
I didn't want him to think about the child he should have had - and the perfect family that should have been his.
Andrea was not angry. He respected my decision as his wife not to let him see his child from another woman. But I couldn't stand seeing his sadness getting deeper and deeper.
Finally, when he told me that he got a job offer to join his former boss who founded a cybersecurity company in England and he intended to accept it, I said that I was proud of him and supported him to move to England. But, I chose to return to Indonesia.
I love him more than myself. That was why I relented and let him be happy with the family he deserved.
From the author:
Andrea is not a common name in Indonesia for men since it sounds feminine. But it's actually a pretty common Italian name for men. Andrea is half Italian.