This is (or at least it should be) the last installment of seasonal themed stories in this blog:
Summer: A Yank at a London Coffee Shop
Fall: Ends and Beginnings
Winter: Home for the Holidays
So here we go!
He sat on the conservatory, coffee in hand. He avoided it during the winter, but now with the spring morning sun filtering through the glass panes, it was the perfect place to watch the bluebells bloom. A thick carpet of flowers created a blue-green sea from which the ancient trees of the Forest of Dean protruded. He zipped his coffee which filled him with warmth from the tip of his mouth to the bottom of his stomach. The rich aroma from the half-filled cup filled his nostrils with contentment. A perfect Saturday morning in every respect.
No work. His latest book was off to the printers.
No shores. Spent all of last week cleaning and dusting.
No worries. None at all.
Beth walked in, with Millie in tow. The spaniel followed her everywhere. He hadn’t notice the change, but it must have happened sometime after Beth moved in. She became the dog’s favorite person in the whole wide world, which consisted on this house, it’s surroundings, the car and the vet’s office. Beth leaned against the glass.
“Do you want some coffee?” he asked.
“No…I’m late,” she said.
“Late, late for what? It’s Saturday. Don’t tell me that boss of yours want’s you to come in for work today?”
She shook her head and left.
Was it something I said?
He went back to his coffee. With a well practiced leap, Skye bounded up to the tabletop and engaged in his preferred past time, staring at his master. The two other cats, Milo the Tomboy and Lady Lily walked in as well. “Hello there,” he said the assembled host. “Come to keep me–”
The sight of a thin plastic stick that appeared out of nowhere and now laid under his nose interrupted his greeting. He followed the hand that held it, which was connected to an arm that lead to Beth’s shoulder. She had a curious look on her face, somewhere between exasperated and defiant. His eyes traveled back down the same path and stopped at a tiny window on the device. Inside there was a blue cross, like a plus sign.
Wait, I know what this is, right? What is this? I should know this. I know this.
It took a few seconds for his mind to figure out what the plastic thing was.
His neck muscle rewarded a quick double take with sharp stab of pain. “Is this what I think it is?”
“Oh…oh…OH! Wow! You mean, you’re–”
“How it…,” she squinted. “Of course, I mean, I was there, so yeah, I know how it happened, uummm, but I thought you were on the pill.”
“No, I wasn’t. Why should I be?” she said.
Five pairs of eyes stared at him, one human, three feline, one canine. “I don’t know what to say, I mean we were not planning this so…Can I be honest with you?”
“By all means.”
“I’m a bit confused, totally surprised, scared and…”His voice trailed off as he thought about what he wanted to say. He felt like an idiot. Then, still seated, he grabbed her by the waist and put his ear on her stomach.
“What are doing?” she asked.
“You can’t hear a thing. I’m not even on my first month.”
He closed his eyes. “I can hear your heartbeat, I can feel you tremble. You’re as scared as I am.” Then something else bubbled up from deep within him. A wild happiness that brought a wide grin to his lips. He pulled her to his lap. “I’m going to be a dad.”
If she lets me.
“What do you want to do Elizabeth? It’s your body, as much as I want a kid, I can’t, I won’t force you into anything. I mean considering our situation…I’ll support whatever you decide.”
“I’m keeping the baby. I’m going to be a mum,” she said. Her eyes moved back and forth scanning his face.
The smile turned into a toothy grin. “Good, great, then I’m a dad. We…we are going to have baby. Well, you’re going to have a baby and I’m going to do the best I can to help, which won’t be much. Did I mention I feel a bit helpless too?”
Now it was her turn to smile. Her head nestled on the crook of his neck. “I’m going tell my mum today. Dad will go bananas when he hears the news.”
“Yeah, I’m going to have to tell my parents. That will certainly make my mother happy. Or as we should call her from now on, grandma!”
A new wave of anxiety washed over him. He moved her so that she would be face to face with him. Her long crimson hair cascaded over his face. He parted it carefully, revealing brilliant blue eyes within. “You know that my folks are going to insist on us getting married, for the baby’s sake.”
Her eyebrows knitted together,”Yeah?”
“I don’t think that would be good idea. We should concentrate on the baby. Boy or girl. Doesn’t matter, but the baby comes first. I don’t want to get married because we’re having a baby. I wouldn’t be right. In fact, once we settle down into a nice routine, then and only then we will talk about it. I’ll propose on a bended knee and all. No big dresses to hide the baby bump or anything like that. No shotguns in your wedding. We should do it because we want to spend the rest of our lives together as a family with the baby as wonderful addition to that, not a burden or cause. I’m not going push you into it. I love you to much to do that to you.”
He hoped she understood what he was trying to tell her. Her eyes flooded with tears, “I believe you. You worry because you care. You’re going to be a great dad.”
“As long as the kid has your genes. I mean, red hair on a girl with your blue eyes, perfect. Screw all those people who don’t like ginger kids. Screw them to hell! Red is wonderful color.”
She kissed him. “What if it’s a boy?”
“We shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves. I mean I want a boy, as the first, unless their twins.”
“See we shouldn’t get ahead ourselves. We got to the doctor, make sure everything is order, by the book. We already kitten proofed the house, but kids can be much stronger than kittens so will have to deal with that too. And the nursery…..”
They spent the rest of the morning talking about what came next.
That spring morning was the beginning of their lives.
The three that would make one.
Well, there it is. I hope you like it. And now for some music: