Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Kimmydon Week 34: What's to Come


Picture 1

Picture 2

Kimmydon's Choice: both

What’s to Come

I should have known it wouldn’t be simple. Something as life changing as a child couldn’t go smoothly. My own reaction had surprised me. I’d held Jesse and thought how nice it would be to have one of my own. The anxiety and down-right terror that had gripped me when my period was late seemed unnecessary. We could be parents. We had a home, a stable work situation, it shouldn’t be too difficult to fit a child into our family. Our family.

Now, that thought was comforting. Just a few days ago it had me running for the washroom, thinking I would be sick.

I hadn’t. No morning sickness yet. Probably not for a couple more weeks. My stomach had been so knotted, my brain in complete overdrive, it was I wonder I’d gotten anything done. I was lucky no one needed me until the numbers came ‘in’ for the quarter. If they’d needed me to generate those numbers... I shuddered to think on it.

Compared to my terror and agitation, Peter’s reaction was, not expected, but not surprising. His shock had been much quieter than mine. As he drove me home from the high school, he was absolutely silent, brow furrowed. His hair stuck out at odd angles. He hadn’t even brushed it. Had he been that worried about me?

Just before pulling into our drive, he sat back in the seat, easing back. “Well, Mrs. Strauss. You led me on quite the chase. I’m glad Jamie knew where you’d be.”

“Jamie?” I hadn’t told anyone where I was going. Mary and Jamie knew my suspicions and that I was hoping to take a test soon. I had had to tell someone. They were a wonderful mix of excitement and worry. I was happy to take their minds off their own situation. “She’s good,” I murmured.

“What’s going on there?” he asked me, unbuckling but not exiting the car, resting a hand on the back of my seat. “With her and Brian. And Mary. She was crying. Why would she be crying?”

I licked my lips. This wasn’t my story to tell. “She... They’ll work it out. It’s between all of them, Peter,” I looked at him meaningfully, remembering the call from Brian to go to my old apartment and what had been waiting for us when we got there.

“All of them?” he asked, still not understanding. “Is Mary getting in the way?”

Smiling, I seized the opportunity to give him something. “Yes, exactly. Jamie is stuck in the middle, pulled both ways. They need to figure out how to make it work for all of them.”

“Oh. Well, that shouldn’t be too hard.” He kissed my cheek, and I had the feeling he still didn’t quite understand. I couldn’t say I did. Jamie had never brought a girl home from the bar before. I really didn’t want any rumors starting though, so I let him think what he would.

I turned to him, the kiss on my cheek moving to my lips. His hand released the wheel to rest on my belly, his thumb caressing. I looked at it and then up into his blue eyes.

They sparkled and joy shone in them. It warmed and steadied me. He wasn’t afraid. “Ready to be a dad?” I asked tentatively.

He barked a quick laugh. “Not in the slightest! There’s nine more months for me to work up to that, right?”

I chuckled. “Right. I’m going to need them, too.” I put my hand over his, imagining the life growing inside me. It still frightened me. A whole other being, dependent on me, and then us. Responsibility didn’t scare me, not really, but this was so much more than I had ever had before.

“I have a request,” he said, nose stroking along mine.


“Will you help me convert Sarah’s room to a nursery? I won’t be able to do it alone.”

My breath caught. We’d kept the room clean; I’d moved a lot of items to the closet reduce the dust collecting, but we hadn’t actually gone through what was still in there. “Okay.”

I woke in the middle of the night a few days after we’d started packing up the room to find I had the bed to myself. Pulling on a robe, I made my way to the attic and roof, knowing exactly where I would find my husband.

The cigarette was a surprise, only a slight one. He’d smoked with Sarah. I knew that now. It shouldn’t shock me that digging through her life, as accumulated in possessions, would make him crave the time they had shared.

He lifted the glowing stick to his lips and I took the opportunity to lounge in his lap. “Our bed is too empty without you,” I told him.

He looked over my face, my chest, and slowly down, one hand pulling open the tie on my robe. My midriff was bared between my tiny top and low slung satin pants. Both hands rested on me for a minute before he crushed out the cigarette and bent to kiss my skin.

“Does it feel strange?” he asked, lips still near my navel.

“Sometimes, but in a nauseous way.” I put a hand to his hair, pulling it slightly to turn his head to me. “Do you want to talk about it?”

“The jar,” he said. “What do we do with it?”

I sighed. Sarah had kept a jar of her dreams. They were all rolled and sealed. We didn’t know if they were actual dreams she had had at night, or aspirations that she would never get to complete. We were scared to find out. So far, I had placed the lid on the jar to keep dust out, but otherwise left it where it was.

“Let’s leave it. Maybe this one,” I rubbed my belly under his face, “will read them, fill them, live them.”

He seemed to sigh. “I like that idea. It’s so hard, Beth. Seeing everything she didn’t do, everything she wanted. Books with bookmarks still in them. A camera with half a roll of film. Essays, poems.” He leaned forward again, burying his face in me now. I stroked his hair, letting him cry on me. “She’ll never be an aunt,” he whimpered.

I had no answer to that.