Drop #5: Transience

Having decided not to have children, and having no nephews or nieces, it was the first time Matt and Sarah had spent time with someone so pregnant. Morgan, Jessica’s husband, said the baby was due any day, but the two expecting parents continued on quite normally, actively preparing brunch, laughing and joking around. ‘We’ll have to cut it short if my water breaks!’ said Jessica, cutting oranges for fresh squeezed OJ.

Her belly was something else though: a hard round mound that defied logic. Sarah and Matt both touched it, impressed by its girth. What a thing to carry around!

They stayed a good four hours, eating eggs and toast with jam on the balcony, asking the appropriate questions, like ‘have you chosen a name?’ (they had but weren’t sharing it), and enjoying a relaxed, cordial time together.

‘We’ll let you know as soon as it comes,’ Jessica said, when they left.

‘Yes, you can come visit us in the hospital,’ her husband added.

 

Morgan called the next afternoon. He was ecstatic. Jessica had gone into labor the previous night, just hours after they had left, and the baby had been born that morning at 6.05. Having spent that last afternoon before the birth together, a certain connection had formed between the two couples, and Sarah decided to visit immediately. Baring presents and best wishes, they arrived at the hospital’s private room less than twelve hours after baby Thomas had entered the world.

He was a cute baby and very quiet. His parents were proud, recounting the birth in some detail, and Matt and Sarah were happy for them. Matt did wonder though, if it was strange to be there so soon after the birth, but the new parents were very down to earth, inviting their visitors to stay in the room while Jessica breast fed the little guy and went on to clean the sticky black mess that had come out of his bottom. Afterwards, Sarah held the tiny baby, which smiled and yawned in her arms. Jessica took pictures and Morgan opened a bottle of champagne he’d been saving. When the couples parted ways, there was warmth in their good byes.

 

At home Sarah looked at her husband. ‘Amazing, right?’

‘Yeah, pretty impressive.’

‘What a cute baby, and well behaved too.’

‘Yes, for now.’

‘Maybe we were wrong,’ Sarah said abruptly, taking his hand in hers, ‘not wanting a baby.’

‘What?’

‘Maybe we’re being shortsighted. Maybe we’re missing out on the single most amazing thing in life.’

‘What are you talking about, Sarah?’

‘I think I might want a baby, Matt. Maybe we should reconsider.’

‘You’ve got to be kidding! I was very clear on this. You were quite sure too.’

‘I know, but something happened this weekend. Something changed.’ She wore a tender look that scared him. ‘I think I want a baby. I really do.’

‘Look. I’ll make this simple. If you want a baby, I want a divorce. Not a discussion or a compromise: a divorce.’

Even if she backed down now, he knew, it might already be over. As she had said, something had happened; something had changed. Here was sudden and devastating proof of transience.

By E.M. Vireo

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About EM Vireo
flooding the world with fiction

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