It was only a few stitches; I figured Jimmy would only be out of work for a few days, maximum. Even if he wasn’t all the way healed, Jimmy was sort of a workaholic and was known to get restless on vacations. He always had ambition and great ideas for work he wanted to implement.
But something was different this time.
Jimmy seemed to be in no rush to go back to work.
He lounged in bed all day, playing video games, or sleeping for long periods of time. He always seemed a little bit out of it; conversations were stilted like he didn’t really understand me when I spoke, and he laughed a lot for no reason. It was weird, but I figured it was the side effects of his medicine.
I was shocked when I realized he had already gone through his entire supply of painkillers and muscle relaxers. He had even called the doctor once to get refills and had me call a second time for more (he thought if I called and said he was in too much pain to even talk on the phone, and if I vouched for him, they would be more likely to refill the prescription again).
In retrospect, this should have been a huge warning sign to me. I don’t want to make excuses for it, but I want to explain why it didn’t concern me as much as it should have.
Jimmy was always the more responsible one between the two of us. He was logical and made smart decisions. I trusted his judgment implicitly and had no reason to mistrust him.
I really started to worry, though, when a second full week went by, and Jimmy hadn’t yet gone back to work.
At this point, I couldn’t keep taking off from the bakery to take care of him, especially since his injuries were so minor, I had no real reason to. I thought I would leave Emerson home with him to give them time to bond, give my parents a break and save the money from daycare. I also secretly thought spending so much time with a four-year-old would wear Jimmy out, and might be the push he needed to go back to work.
One day, when Jimmy had stayed home with Emerson, I came home from work and found my husband asleep in Emerson’s tiny bed, and Emerson playing with his craft supplies – including scissors, which he was not to use unsupervised. Emerson was still in his pajamas from the night before, and immediately said he was hungry.
Something was very wrong.
I scooped Emerson into my arms and took him to the kitchen, and started to make his favorite, cheesy pasta.
Jimmy, I let sleep while I figured out what to say to him. It was completely unacceptable that he had fallen asleep and left our four years old unsupervised. It looked like Emerson had basically been left alone all day. Who knows what could have happened?
I had to confront Jimmy, and it was time for him to go back to work. It was the first time I felt unsure of my husband like I couldn’t trust him, and I didn’t like it at all.