Tuesday, January 10, 2006

5 Seconds

My tenants are pregnant. Well, the female one of them is anyway. I found this out a few months ago, and only because I happen to notice the obvious changes in the young woman's body when we walked up the path alongside the house together one day.

Not wanting to embarrass or insult her, I didn't say anything. Not until her husband came up the following week to give me the rent money. He confirmed that she was indeed pregnant and was due mid January.

I don't have a lot to do with these particular tenants. Basically I only know they're home because their car's in the garage. They've always kept to themselves, don't seem to be the type to socialise with their landlady...but that's ok, cos their landlady has a life of her own anyway lol.

At the start of dinner this evening, I stood up to slide the door closed and saw my tenants standing in the yard, I'm assuming they were on their way down to the garage.

The young man was standing tall, holding his wife against him, she was leaning into him, head back and moaning. It was THAT moan. The primal moaning of a woman working her way through another contraction.

I stood there looking on for less than 5 seconds before stepping back to give them their privacy. Such a small amount of time, but plenty enough to have affect. The expression of helplessness on his face as he looked down at her...the sound of her pain.

I was back at the dinner table for less than 30 seconds playing with my food. I put my fork on the plate, stood and walked to the bedroom, quietly shutting the door behind me. For the next few minutes I sat on the bed crying. It felt like it was taking me ages to get it under control. What I really wanted to do was let loose and fall to pieces sobbing my heart out.

As I've mentioned above, I don't know these people very well at all. They've been my tenants for the past 12 months and have recently given me notice. They've bought a house and are moving out in a week's time. Besides the occasional meeting on the path and the weekly rent payment, I barely ever see them. Yet what I witnessed during those fleeting seconds had me aching in empathy for both of them.

Amazing isn't it? How we pass people by on a regular basis, smile or wave a hello/goodbye daily and still remain seggregated in our own worlds. But then the miracle of a new life....so beautiful and precious....experienced by millions...and will continue to be so for all of eternity...can touch us with an understanding that is felt by every race, creed and religion.

Isn't it wonderful that there is still something in this world that has us all united in such a heartfelt way?
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