Maybe things would have been different had Ruth's father not died when she was fifteen. That's all she could think about when she left Marty's condo the night of his semi-quasi proposal – if that was what it really was.
The grief of her father's death is what motivated Ruth to leave her hometown of Greenville and never return, much to the disappointment of her mother. And when college led to law school and law school is where she met Isaac, the love of her life – although he was a hard-charging, strong-driven, competitive person who was all about his career.
Ruth knew she too would have to dedicate herself to her career if she was going to be with Isaac so that was the sacrifice she made even though at the core of her maternal sensory glands she wondered if it was the right decision. She saw the disappointment in her mother's eyes knowing her only child had decided not to have children and that loss haunted her for years.
The betrayal of Isaac's dishonest unethical scruples only magnified what she had given up and when Ruth's mother died Ruth realized that the family line would now die with her, having forgone motherhood for a career that no longer existed.
Marty's enthusiasm and simplistic attitude about her having a kid at forty-two scared the hell out of Ruth mostly because it felt like Marty was speaking from her mother's grave. That's the sort of thing Ruth's mom would have said if she thought Ruth was serious about The Dog Walker.
'It's never too late' was one of her mother's favorite mantras. But it wasn't just about having a child at her age. Was Ruth ready to trust another man after Isaac's treachery? As lonely and defeated as she felt, was Marty and a baby the answer to her woes?
Marty was right – time was running out. The decision about whether she was ready and willing for motherhood was not a subject of discussion and consideration that could afford all that much measure because it was now a race against the clock – Mother Nature and her own body would make the decision for her if Ruth was unable to decide for herself.
Ruth remembered a client who had herself artificially impregnated at age 52 to have her first child with her second husband. Ruth had admired the woman's courage, commitment and act of love to satisfy her husband who was desperate to have a child and she wondered if she could be as brave as that woman.
And what about Marty? Ruth saw something in him as The Dog Walker long before she met him as Marty. And she had enjoyed their summer semi-courtship and his company. He was a nice guy and a gentleman who made her feel comfortable with herself. She could picture herself spending the rest of her life with him. And he was right – she needed to decide what she was going to do with the rest of her life. That was her mother's primary concern even as she dealt with her own fatal illness – hoping that she would recovery from the end of her marriage and the shame of what happened to her professionally.
Ruth realized that she didn't want to be a fake behind the scenes lawyer doing the grunt work of other professionals. There was no satisfaction or gratification in what she was doing other than collecting a paycheck. Was she meant to be a middle aged first time mother? Would Marty really be there for her if she got pregnant? Were they too old to be raising a child? Was this her delayed vocation and purpose in life? Was her maternal instincts finally kicking in or was she in the first throws of early menopause and a midlife crisis brought on by her failed marriage, ruined career, and the death of her beloved mother?
Ruth spent nearly a week pondering her options, her emotions, her desires, and her future. She missed Marty but it was Hootie that helped her reach her decision. She was amused that a dead dog would show her the meaning of life – it came in the image of a dream – Hootie passing by her house just like the old days, except this time instead of dragging The Dog Walker behind on the leash he was pulling a baby stroller! Ruth took that as a sign, mostly because the dream felt so real that she woke up with a yearning in her breast and a smile on her face.
That evening, it was Ruth who did the walking – to Marty's condo in the former fields of Martin's Farm. She was wearing a simply flowered dress with sandals.
"I'm ovulating," Ruth announced when Marty opened the door.
He smiled. "Would you like to try to make a baby?"
"Yes," Ruth said openly.
She stepped past him and headed straight for the bedroom. Marty followed, surprised that she had already pulled off her dress to reveal that she had no undergarments on underneath. She smelled of fresh lilac and Marty knew she had showered before coming over. She kept her back to him at first, her head turned over her shoulder, smiling at him in a surprisingly natural yet seductive way. When Marty quietly began to disrobe, she turned to face him and a moment later they were both naked.
"Is this real?" Ruth wanted to know.
"I find you to be a gift," Marty stated. "I find you to be special."
"I knew you were special the first time you walked past my house with Hootie," Ruth told him.
"Do you trust me?" Marty asked.
"Yes," Ruth admitted freely, realizing the truth only then.
He stepped close to her, putting his hand to her face. Ruth closed her eyes and let the warmth of his hand sink into her pores. Then he leaned in and softly kissed her. It was their first real kiss not counting a few innocent cheek pecks and polite lip presses good night.
It seemed strange that their first kiss came naked. They kissed and embraced for a long while before finally falling onto the bed. Ruth rested her head on Marty's chest while entangling her legs with his while they continued to nestle and cuddle. Ruth thought she would be nervous being with someone else besides her husband after all this time but being with Marty felt natural and right. She wondered if there had been anybody else for Marty since his divorce but she didn't want to ask the question. Did she really need to know? What did it matter? They were together now.
She let her hand slip down between his legs while kissing his chest, inviting him to move his head down and do the same to her breasts. Ruth moaned with excited acceptance and soon his hand was between her legs as well.
Then their natural instincts, wants, desires, and experiences kicked and they made love with the hopes of creating a baby and starting a new life for all three of them. Marty wasn't sure how many times he climaxed inside of her or how many orgasms she enjoyed but they continued long into the night because they both were aware of what they were doing and they wanted to give nature as many chances to do what they hoped would happen. In between their various 'sessions', they talked in the darkness of the room as they clung to one another.
"I'm here with you like this because I know you care," Ruth told them. "That you are loving and supportive and want the best for me."
"The best for us," he clarified.
"My life wouldn't be the same without you, Dog Walker."
"No regrets?" He worried.
"My only regret is that it took me this long to figure out the truth," she sighed.
They fell asleep exhausted but Ruth was poking Marty awake in the morning dawn light. "We have to do it again," she said.
"Huh?" A confused Marty asked as he stirred awake.
"They say that making love when the sun comes up makes all your dreams come true!" She laughed as she rolled on top of him and quickly mounted his morning erection.
When they finished, Ruth collapsed onto Marty's chest. "Do you think we made a baby?" She panted.
"If not, we'll keep on trying until we do," Marty smirked, kissing the top of her head.
"I'm going to be a mom," Ruth said with wonderment.
"I love you," Marty whispered into her hair.
Ruth felt the tears of joy streaming down her face. "My Dog Walker," she said with complete contentment.