Lilly opened the door to the screened porch. The first thing she noticed was the chill. She grabbed her purple shawl and wrapped it around her thin shoulders before stepping outside. The tiles were cool against her bare feet. A streak of gray flashed by as Thomas ran up his scratching post and sat on the top with one leg dangling over.
The sound of birdsong was everywhere, but the feeders were quiet. This was an in-between time for the birds. They didn’t need to eat as much. Their babies were born and natural food was available. Only the hummingbird continued to feast. With a buzz and tiny squeaks, she dipped her elongated dark beak into the sugar water, fattening herself for her journey to Mexico.
Lilly sat down in one of the green wicker chairs, watching as a few yellowed leaves drifted to the ground in the breeze. She took a sip of her coffee and grimaced. She’d always loved her morning coffee, but lately it hadn’t tasted very good. It was another sign. Just like feeling nauseous and the heaviness in her breasts. Panic rushed through her again. No way, this could happen! She was forty-seven and supposed to be in menopause.
They were barely managing to pay for the kid’s school. With their other bills; this was the last thing they needed. She and Stan weren’t at the best place either. He’d been staying late at his office, giving all sorts of excuses. The other day, her fear got the best of her and she actually searched his phone messages, but didn’t find anything.
Rubbing her tummy, she begged, “Oh, please not now. I’m so afraid.” She brushed away her tears with her hands. Thomas rubbed her legs. Lilly picked him up, holding his warm body close to hers. With an annoyed “meow,” he struggled free and stalked away, making Lilly feel even more alone.
Before she picked up the kids at school, she stopped by a pharmacy they didn’t use and picked up a home pregnancy test which allowed her to test any time of day. She stuffed the plastic bag in her big purse so the kids wouldn’t notice. As she fixed dinner, Stan called and told her he’d be late again.
Lilly went through the motions with the kids – dinner, homework and bed. When the house was finally quiet, she pulled out the plastic bag and read the instructions for the home pregnancy test. After she saw the results, Lilly sighed. She left the test stick on the bathroom counter, near Stan’s toothbrush and went to bed.
Someone shook her shoulder; Lilly opened her eyes. Stan was looking down at her. In his hand he held the pregnancy test. His voice was shaky as he asked, “You’re pregnant?”
She nodded and whispered, “I’m so sorry, Stan.”
He pulled her into his arms. His breath was warm on her ear as he said, “We’ll be okay, Lilly.”
Written for the Write at the Merge challenge, Week 38, based on this quote:
“August rain: the best of the summer gone, and the new fall not yet born. The odd uneven time.” ~ Sylvia Plath