It sat there between us. And, for something so small, it had created such a big problem. I stared at the ceiling and held my breath. I didn’t need to look. I knew what he would be doing on the other side of our chestnut coffee table. His tree trunk arms crossed over his chest. I could almost feel his cool blue eyes drilling into my face with anger and animosity. His broad shoulders lifted slightly with each shallow breath that panted in and out of his big chest. I shook my head. A little sideways wobble of incredulity. I couldn’t believe we were doing this. Like children. Not talking. Refusing to try to mend the break between us. I lifted my hands to my face, rubbed my eyes and slowly lowered them to my lap. I lowered my chin too. But, like a coward, I closed my eyes. Not wanting to share with him how upset I was. I moved my chin downward until I felt the tickle of my cashmere sweater and opened my eyes so that I could stare at the back of my hands. The living room light glinted off the diamond ring on my left hand. Mocking my choices and I gave a snort of derision.
“I just cannot…” I started, but the anger grew like a giant knot in my throat and I couldn’t finish. My voice trailing off at the end with a squeak and leaving us once again in the silence that was broken only by the sound of our breath.
“Come on love.” He said. His deep voice filled with emotion. Is it regret I can hear? It better be! I thought with a bright and fresh flash of anger. I held my breath again and squeezed my eyes tightly closed. “We have to work through this.” He continued gently. The anger filled me up again, swelling irrationally through my chest and squishing my lungs until I thought I would allow an anguished cry to escape my throat as it pushed all of the air outwards. Instead I managed to puff my cheeks and sprang a slow leak of air that wouldn’t even have blown out a birthday candle. It felt like it took hours to expel that one breath. Slowly hissing out of me at a steady rate. Distracting me from the swelling of anger but not from the need to cry. I felt the tears start to leak through my eyelids and squeezed my eyes tighter but despite my efforts the tears managed to seep out and slowly slide down the side of my face.
“You don’t understand.” I manage to squeak out. “I’ve been thinking about this all day!” And I had! From the moment the microwave pinged that my breakfast was ready. 14 hours of trying to think about something else and failing. Struggling through a full days work. Distracted from my swollen feet. Almost ignoring every time the baby kicked me in the kidney so hard I gasped. All of it fading from importance. Knowing this was coming! And then I heard it. A small laugh. The tiniest of titters.
“Don’t…laugh…at…me!” I managed through sobs. My anger, having filled every inch of my insides, needed to escape. And like all the good girls I can only express my anger through sadness. Horrible sobs wrenched themselves from my chest and blotchy red patches grew on my face. The tears no longer slowly seeped out from between my lashes. They fell fast and heavy. Rivers of them falling onto the top of my stomach. Round enough at the end of this pregnancy to allow me to balance a small plate. At least, until the baby kicked the bottom of it and made it topple to the ground. Nathan laughed a little louder but managed to slide the tissue box across the coffee table towards me.
“Come on honey. It’s not that bad.” He gently stated. I snatched at a tissue and pulled away only a corner and felt the anguish of my tears intensify. I heard the crackle of the plastic as he picked up the empty Tim Tam packet from the table. And then his heavy steps as he took it to the recycling bin in the kitchen. I took in a few deep breaths and tried to calm down. I asked myself, and not for the first time, why pregnant ladies are so insane? I felt his large hands rub gently across my shoulders and circle me lightly to hug me over the back of our couch. How did this happen? How am I a pregnant lady whose kitchen has no chocolate? How did I choose a husband who could eat the last of a pregnant lady’s Tim Tams?
Nathan shook his head and felt Sarah cry. Her shoulders bumping into his chin with each in-drawn gasp for breath between her sobs. Her last few weeks had been so hard. The sizzlingly hot Australian summer combined with being 9 months pregnant had caused her feet to swell until they barely fit into her shoes. Not that she could tell. She had opined on many occasions how she couldn’t even see her feet anymore. The baby was growing so well that she couldn’t reach her feet and she had resorted to getting Nathan to put on her shoes. Two more days and she could at least finish work. Perhaps even find a way to nap in the afternoons to try and make up for the lack of sleep in the night. So in this moment, where she was so overwhelmed with carrying her first child, how could he tell her she was the one who ate the last of the Tim Tams? How could he tell her she was the creator of her own demise? The source of her own distress? She was so upset she probably wouldn’t believe him anyway.
“I’m just so sorry love.” He murmured into her ear. Falling on his sword seemingly the only solution!