General Fiction posted July 22, 2014 Chapters:  ...73 74 -75- 76... 

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Sarah is totally distraught over Paul's reaction.

A chapter in the book Enough to Miss Christmas

Go Away, Come Away.

by Fridayauthor

A major bump in the road occurs in the North family. Serious problems demand to be addressed before they can move forward.
            “I’m not sure I can take another announcement like the last one.” Paul pushed my untouched manhattan back toward me from where I’d casually slid it his way.
            “You drink it,” I said. “I’ll drive home.” I added, “Pregnant women aren’t supposed to have alcohol.”
            My husband stared at me, unblinking, while I bit my lip. He said nothing. “Bottoms up,” I said, pushing the glass further.
            “Sarah, is this some kind of a joke?”
            “Anything but.”
            “You just think . . . ?”
            “Nope. I know. It’s confirmed. I saw Karen’s pediatrician. He referred me to . . . the other kind of doctor.”
            “How, Sarah? How could it happen? You said you couldn’t have children!”
            “Doug lied to me. He told Ben, and Ben told my sister. Doug had a vasectomy.  He didn’t want children, so he blamed it on me. There was never anything wrong with me, never; it was my devious husband all along.”

            “You said the doctor told you . . .”
            “That was Doug too. I never spoke to the doctor personally. I was in bed. Doug lied and said he took the message.” In spite of myself, I began to cry. Paul put his hand on mine. It was shaking like palsied.
            “Why would he do that to you?” I just shook my head. “He must have been protecting you,” Paul continued. “He knew having a child might . . . cause serious harm, you said so yourself!”
            I didn’t answer, but I knew Doug. The credit Paul was giving him was pure bull shit.
            “You’ve been to a doctor?” I nodded. “How long have you known this?”
            “Since Karen and I were in Connecticut. Suzie recognized the signs, my nausea. I ignored my stomach problems because I was so positive it couldn’t happen. She understood it might be possible. Doug had joked about it to Ben, years ago.”
            “If Suzie knew, why in hell didn’t she tell you?”
            “Paul, I didn’t speak to Suzie for nearly twenty years! If she had even thought about it, she assumed I’d learned the truth ages ago.”
            “You’ve known you were pregnant since the weekend and didn’t tell me?”
            “It didn’t seem a trans-Atlantic phone call was the proper way to let you know.”
            Paul emptied his glass before continuing, “I’ll be with you the whole time.  Have you made an appointment with the . . . other doctor?”
            I shook my head, “no.”  “Not yet. There’s plenty of time. I just . . . wanted you to know, but I was afraid . . .”
            “The sooner you get it over with, the better . . .”
            I didn’t let him finish! Get what over with? He meant for me to have an abortion! Tears welled up at my eyes and spilled down my cheeks as I stared at him, dumb founded. I jumped to my feet and dashed to our car!
            “Give me the keys,” I demanded after he caught up to me, as I tried to move the damn driver’s seat forward.
            “Sarah,” he pleaded as he slid in beside me, “You can’t mean you want to have it! It might kill you!”
            I refused to answer or speak the entire way home. My husband tried to explain, but as soon as he opened his mouth I told him to shut the hell up. When I reached the house, I ran inside without even turning off the car and bolted myself in my bedroom. I sprawled on the bed and sobbed uncontrollably.
            Paul knocked, pleaded and whispered. He apologized a dozen times, but I wouldn't answer him. I couldn’t stop crying. I’d built up the tears since Connecticut and they finally freely flowed. When darkness engulfed the room, there was another knock.
            “It’s me, Karen.”
            “Go away.”
            “No, I won't!”
            “Go away, Karen. I don’t want to see anyone.”
            “No, I won’t go away. You have to open the door.” She continued to knock. “I command it; honesty session.”
            I could tell from her voice that she too was crying. I couldn’t stay locked away forever, though I fervently wished I could. I opened the door but wouldn’t turn on the light.
            “Look, Karen, I just don't feel like . . .”
            She pushed into the room, closing the door behind her. “Sit,” she directed as she rubbed away tears with her sleeve, “in the love chair.”
            I followed her bidding but began to cry anew. She snuggled against me, put her arm around me and pulled me against her bony young chest.
            “I would have come earlier but Timmy knows something is wrong and I wanted to stay with him until he was asleep.”
            “Thank you,” I muttered.
            “You have to stay here in the chair for hours. You skipped dinner.”
            “May I stay here forever instead?” I asked.
            “Yes, and I'll hold you.”
            “God, Karen, I don’t deserve someone with a soul like yours.”
            “You got lucky, I guess.”
            “Why do I always bawl whenever we’re alone together?”
            “Because you can,” she answered, snuggling closer. “That’s what you told me when I asked the same question.” She hugged and hugged me. I never loved another person more.
            “Are you going to leave us?”
            “I couldn’t. I care for you too much.”
            “He wouldn’t tell me what happened at the restaurant. When you wouldn’t let him in the bedroom, he locked himself in the den. Thatcher called; I answered first so I knew it was him. I listened at the door. They talked a long time.”
            “What did he say?”
            Karen sniffed before answering. “I heard Dad say the word abortion and say something about being discrete. You should leave him.”
            “I already told you; I could never leave you and Timmy.”
            “You won’t let him do it to you, will you?”
            “No. I told you that. No one is going to take our baby.”
            “But you might die. That’s why Daddy doesn’t want you to have a baby. He’s scared.” She added, “So am I.”
            “I’m as sure as I can be that I won’t die.”
            “You’re scared too, aren’t you?”
            “A little.” I hadn’t thought about it enough to be frightened.
            “You can’t promise me you won’t die.” Her words were no more than a whisper.
            “No, but I promise you I won’t leave.”
            “You’re not supposed to save a marriage just for the children,” she said but she’d taken comfort from my answer.
            “I stayed in my first marriage for far less reason.”
            “Wasting those years was a big mistake. You said so yourself.”
            “You’re saying I should leave your father?”
            She sighed. “I don’t know. You didn’t love Doug. You love Dad.”
            “Right now I hate him.” Once more, the tears came. She pulled me a little tighter, but even her comfort didn’t halt my sobs.
            “You hate what he said and what he thinks. You hate his insensitivity.”  What twelve years old uses such a word? But she was right.
            “You love him. And you’re not going to leave us,” she continued.
             “If I did leave, I’d steal you.”
            “You wouldn’t have to. I’d go willingly.”
            “Don’t say that! You’d never go!”
            “Neither will you,” she answered.
            “Just give me my fantasy, for a little while. I need it.”
            “Only if I can come with you. We’ll fantasize together.”
            I swallowed more tears. “We could have a farm in Vermont; with horses and cows and all kinds of animals, and someone to take care of them because we don’t know how.”
            “Timmy could. He’s a quick learner. Woof minds him more than any of us. Woof could run around with the sheep like the Lassie movie.”
            “We’d grow fresh vegetables and harvest maple syrup.”
            “For fresh waffles any morning we wanted them.”
            “And have a cow for fresh milk for the baby.”
            “I’d help take care of our beautiful baby girl sister.”
            “And watch her grow together.”
            “We could ask each other anything and we’d never lie to each other. No one would be there so no one could hurt us.”
            “I’ve never loved another person more than you, Karen.”
            “Tell me more about our farm.”
            “I want to go back to Blueberry Hill. I want to lie on a feather bed, under an old quilt, with the snow falling outside and all the windows painted with frosty pictures, and people I love holding me tight. I don’t want the world banging at my door, delivering problems that don't have any solutions unless they hurt someone I love. I just want to feel as peaceful and content as a Vermont winter morning.”
            Karen stood up and kissed me. I took her hand as I rose and moved toward my bed. “Come sleep with me tonight. I need someone.”
            “No,” she said pulling away and crossing the room. “Not me. I’m not going to lock the door,” she added as she left me alone.

Earned A Seal Of Quality

Enough to Miss Christmas is a family love story, about sisters, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, parents and children. Foremost, it tells the story of a step mom and a precocious young lady and how they bond in spite of overwhelming odds.
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