He did not mean to eavesdrop on her conversation as he stepped outside. He simply could not help grinning as he enjoyed the sound of her voice in business mode as she conversed with someone from an office on the coast. He stood just behind her, leaning against the wide column of the restaurant’s portico and waited. She had finished the conversation and was about to turn around when another call came in and stopped her.
“Why are you calling me now? You know I am out with him.”
What the hell?
“I was going to tell him at dinner, but it was likely to be an ugly scene if he doesn’t take it well. I could not risk that. I’ll give him the papers when we get home. Handle it in a private setting.”
Give him the papers? What papers? Divorce papers? Why? They’ve been married forever, well nearly twenty-seven years anyway. He was happy. Had you asked him five minutes ago he would have sworn on a stack of bibles that she was also. Granted she had seemed a little distracted these past few days. He knew they were in a crunch another cycle at her job and she was always a little more tense then. He simply contributed it to that. Taking her out to dinner tonight, to one of her favorite places, just a little something to help ease some of the stress. But this? No, he was not expecting this.
The lovely voice becomes more and more dreadful as he listens to her speak to what has to be her lover.
“I know, hon. It is insane for this to happen now at this point in our lives, but I have to tell him. The sooner the better. It’s past the point where I have a choice and I’ve put it off long enough already.”
His head spins as he tries to quickly process what he was hearing, but his mind can’t do it. He moves to the side and waits for her to turn around.
“Look, he’s going to be out any minute, I have to hang…Oh dammit!” She turns and saw him standing there. He has no idea what his expression looks like, but it must be something fierce gauging her reaction to him as she slowly shuts the cell off putting it in her purse.
There is the most uncomfortable silence as they stare at each other for a brief eternity. Slowly, he holds out his hand.
“What…?” She looks genuinely puzzled by his gesture.
“You have papers? Divorce papers?” He could barely get the words out.
If she was taken aback by his expression upon seeing him, it was now his turn to be so as her expression morphs from surprise, to confusion, to comprehension and then giggles. The giggles quickly became peals of unbridled laughter as she sees the incredulous look upon his face. Unable to speak she simply reaches in her over-sized purse and hands him an envelope.
The envelope had no outer markings, he has no choice but to open it. Inside are what looks like printouts of a couple of Polaroid photographs of orange aliens. No, it was one of those 3D ultrasound images of a fetus, but why would she…? Then he sees the patient’s name on the side.
They had tried to conceive. It turned out they both had medical issues that would make it hard, but not impossible to have children. They went for it full tilt, spending serious amounts trying various technical and medical treatments, homeopathic remedies etc. Nothing seemed to take. When he once suggested adoption she was adamant against it; she had wanted their child or none at all. For nearly fifteen years they tried and failed. As their chances grew slimmer with age, they officially gave up trying a couple of years ago when she went into early-menopause. He mind reels anew at the thought as he continues reading the information on the paper.
Estimated 17 weeks.
No wonder she was worried at what he would think. They were past the point of having a choice, they were having this baby. She stops laughing, for once unable to read his feelings in this, and places a tentative hand on his. He looks from the papers to her, only then remembering how she did not want wine at all during dinner tonight and slowly breaks into self-depreciating laughter feeling incredibly stupid. That is an expression she can read and falls into a gentle teasing laugh of her own.
“A divorce you dolt, really? After all this time, really?” She punches his arm playfully.
“A baby you doll, really? After all this time, really?” He retorts grinning.
“A baby…?” She stops; arching an eyebrow.
He looks at the papers again. Twins.
Oh holy God!!
30 Stories in 30 Days | Day 4