Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Thirteen: Sons and Daughters

   I stared at the lines in the test, my heart feeling heavy. It couldn't be right. I didn't want this. We'd been so careful -- we'd had sex once since Willa was born and used a condom -- this couldn't be true. I leaned against the wall of the bathroom, attempting to hold back tears. Willa's cries pierced the air, as I stated back down at the test.
   I didn't want to be pregnant. 
   I wasn't emotionally prepared to deal with the stress of pregnancy, nor could Harrison and I afford the financial burden of another pregnancy and infant right now. 
   I didn't want to be pregnant. 
   So I wouldn't continue the pregnancy. 
   I'd have an abortion.

   The minute I made the desiccation, I felt lighter. I'd have to go through counseling, when I showed up at the clinic there would be protestors, there would be a waiting period, they'd have to show me an ultrasound... Why did people who claim they were pro-life not care about the emotional or physical well being of women? Why did they not care about the life of women?
   If have to tell Harrison I was doing it, talk to him about it. Some may say it's a rash choice, that once I was into my second trimester, my apprehensions would disapate or I should just put the child up for adoption, however adoption wouldn't solve the problem of me being pregnant for nine months. It wouldn't solve the problem of me not being able to emotionally handle another pregnancy so close to my first one or not being able to afford another pregnancy. 
   A sigh escaped my lips, as I entered the nursery. I picked up my baby girl, holding her closely.

   "Hi, darling. You're my little girl and your daddy and I love you so, so much." I gently kissed the top of her head, before sitting down in the armchair and adjusting my shirt so she could begin feeding. "You know, I want you to grow up in a world where you get to decide what's best for you and your body. I don't want you to have to face protestors who call you a murderer. Okay, baby girl? Well love you no matter what."
   Harrison found the pregnancy test as he got ready for bed; I absentmindedly hadn't tossed it away. We talked, I confided in him my worries and how I wanted an abortion. He told me he would support me, since it was my body and my choice. 
   Two weeks later -- after Harrison's payday -- we drove a few hours to the clinic. I talked to bright eyed, lovely, hospitable employees. Everyone was so kind, so non-judgemental. They told me this was an incredibly safe procedure, it wouldn't effect my fertility, and the foolish law  would mean I'd have to go through a waiting process. So I did. After I returned to the clinic and went had the termination, Harrison drove me home. 
   I didn't regret my decision. As I held my baby girl that night, I knew I'd made the right choice. As Colin asked me to read him a bedtime story, I knew I did what was best for me and my family. 
   I didn't want to be pregnant, my husband and I had used contraceptives to try and prevent pregnancy, but they failed, so I had an abortion. It was nothing to be ashamed of. 
   As time wore on, I watched my baby girl grow older: she started eating solid foods, began crawling, then walking, began speaking. On her third birthday, we broached the subject of having another child. I was emotionally and physically prepared to go through with a pregnancy and Harrison and I were ready to raise another child, as a team. 
   I stopped taking my birth control pills and we started trying, a few weeks later I joyfully saw the lines on the test appear. 
   I wanted to be pregnant. 
   And I was. 
   Nine months later, we welcomed our darling little Salem Christina.

   As our children aged from bubbly, bouncing babies to terrific, inquisitive toddlers to cute, carefree children...

   I knew that I'd made the right choice, all those years ago. I didn't regret my abortion. My husband didn't admonish me for having an abortion. I was loved and supported and I knew that if I did the same -- cherish, love, and support my family -- everything would be lovely.
We supported Colin when he decided to go on tour with his band, Blitz and the Boomerangs, instead of going to college. (Granted, we encouraged him to sign up for online college and got him to register for a music teacher education program!)

   We supported Will when he confessed to us that he felt like he was born in the wrong body and he was a boy, not a girl and his name was Will. On Christmas day, we gave our baby boy his first dose of hormones, so he could begin his transition. He burst into tears of joy, hugging us and claiming he'd never let go.

   And, we supported our four year old, who proclaimed he was going to be the grow up and be a professional cart wheeler/president/puppy dog, 'cause cartwheels were really fun, the president probably didn't have to wait in line at Disney World and they could give all the puppies and kitties homes, and our dogs didn't have to change out of their PJs to go to preschool!

   I loved my family and everything was lovely. 
Note: This is the last chapter of generation two! I felt like it was so muddled, because I didn't decide on an official heir and I went on an unofficial hiatus in the middle of it. I was just ready for a change, a new voice and this felt like a nice stopping place. Annnnnd, Colin will probably be the heir, 'cause I have the most compelling story line for him.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Literally Just a List of Potential Character's Names

Potential girls names:
  • Vivienne
  • Catherine Cordelia
  • Shannon Elliot
  • Tara
  • Gwendolyn Bellatrix
  • Isadora Chrysanthemum
  • Lyla Blair
  • Eden Astrid
  • Willow Rhiannon
  • Beatrice Sophia
  • Tesla
  • Inga
  • Evangeline
  • Cynthia Harlow
  • Bria 
  • Helena Gayle
  • Indigo Echo
  • Salem Delilah
  • Ivy Ash

Potential guys names:
  • Jude
  • Jackson
  • William
  • Benjamin Thomas
  • Shiloh Flynn
  • Lincoln
  • Augustus Finn

 Potential last name:
  • Ashworth
  • Lawrence
  • Tarnich
  • Wray
  • Catalyst

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Twelve: Apologies, Willa Maureen, and Wanting Motherhood

   "Thanks for coming over."
   "No problem." I smiled, hoping Harrison's mood was so cheery that even my dreadful, guilty secret couldn't ruin it. I asked if I could come over under the guise of concern. I'm still filming in New Orleans and Katie was heavily pregnant, surely she shouldn't be moving heavy nursery furniture! Let me help, it's the least I could do. "So, do you think it's a boy or a girl?" We were decorating the nursery in gender neutral primary colors, since Katie insisted she wanted to be surprised and didn't want to receive a bunch of foolishly gendered products at the baby shower. 
   "I'm not supposed to be speculating, but I think it's a girl."

   "Really? Why?" A niece would be adorable! I could get her a little pink princess dress and a doctor's coat and a batman costume and we could play dress up and Auntie Ronnie would be the coolest aunt ever
   "She has the same cravings mom had when she was pregnant with you and..." He trailed off, not mentioning my twin sister. I never thought about her, I didn't consider myself to be a twin, nor did I consider myself to have two siblings. It made me an awful person, probably, but I just couldn't do it. One of my coworkers had a miscarriage and my heart broke for her, but I didn't understand why she said that she was having baby number two, when she got pregnant again. Not that a heart problem was comparable to a miscarriage. Pregnancy and baby talk terrified me; I knew so little, I could offend someone so easily. 
   "What would you name her?" I quickly changed the subject, not wanting to dwell on the thoughts of death for long. 
   "We were thinking Willa Maureen if she's a girl or Theo Augustus if he's a boy."
   "Cute. Unique." He shrugged, as if to suggest the names weren't that outlandish. "I, um... Harrison, I have something to confess."
   "What?" Worry molded him face into one of wrinkles and apprehension. 
   "It's nothing terrible, just... I-" How could I delicately phrase this? We'd just kissed, but still. "Had relations with Avery." Had relations with? Who the fuck, was I  Bill Clinton? Why did I phrase it like that? 
   "Relations?" He raised an eyebrow. "Seriously?"
   "I'm sorry! Look, she's bi and we were drunk and we just... We kissed! And you're the one who suggested I take her out for a girls' night! And, and it's been killing me keeping it from you, but I'm not telling you to be judged! I'm sorry. It hasn't happened again, I just wanted you to know, because..."
   "Look, Ronnie, it's no big deal. You just kissed, Katie told me how drunk you were... What did you think would happen if you told me? I'd exile you from my life?" He chuckled, shaking his head. "You're my sister and we all make mistakes."
   "Wait? Seriously?" I'd been fretting for so goddamn long and he was perfectly fine with it?
   "Yeah, now it's like eleven and Katie's already in bed, I think I'm going to hit the sack, too..." He sighed, gesturing towards the twin bed that was going to be Colin's soon. He and Katie had decided to try and fight for partial custody. "It's made up and everything, the bathroom's across the hall... Hell, I'm talking to you like you've never stayed here."

   "Harrison..." I leaned forward, hugging him. "Thank you."
   "For what?"
   "Just... Being a great brother."
   "I couldn't be a great big brother if I didn't have such a great little sister."
   "Stop, you're making me blush." I playfully swatted at him. He paused, glancing towards the door.
   "Do you hear that?"
   "Hear wha-"
   "AAHH!" A yelp interpreted my question.
   "Katie!" He screamed, bolting out of the nursery, towards the master bedroom.

   Everything turned into a blur, Harrison was rushing Katie to the hospital, I was catching a cab and calling mom and Avery. I walked around the waiting room, anxiously waiting as news, as Harrison occasionally popped in, telling me things I didn't want to know about my sister-in-law's vagina. Five, six, six and a half, seven, eight, nine, then ten centimeters dilated. She'd be being told to push, push, push! And breath. Remember to breath. I once played a character that went into labor. I had to fake I couldn't imagine the treachery of childbirth. When I was in that role, I decided I would never go through that in real life, but as Harrison burst into the waiting room, his face elated as he announced that Katie had a smooth and relatively pain free delivery -- thanks to the epidural -- I felt a shift in my heart. I wanted a child. I didn't think I ever would, but as I walked into the hospital room, seeing Katie holding my niece, her and Harrison's daughter, the brilliantly beautiful Willa Maureen, I felt my heart aching for someone to love and care for. Someone who could teach me things I'd never dreamed of learning, someone who I could nurture and teach things to. I wanted a baby. I wanted motherhood.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Eleven: Paternity Tests and Girls' Night

   I stood outside the two story home, hoping I didn't mix up the address. The front door opened to reveal an attractive, petite brunette women. "Hi, um I'm looking for the Coltons, I'm sorry, do I have the wrong address?"
   "Oh, oh no! You don't. Sorry, I'm just visiting them." She looked at her feet, awkwardly shuffling them. "I'll go get them."
   "Okay, tell Harrison it's his sister." She turned away from me, I could hear her calling to him.
   "Ronnie!" He exclaimed, hugging me tightly. "I didn't know you were in town."
   "Surprise! I'm shooting scenes in New Orleans for that movie I'm in, figured I might as well drop in, since your town was on the way. Hopefully you don't mind, I didn't realize you were having people over."
   "Of course I don't mind, you're my sister. My family. Speaking of family, I think... I think you should come in and sit down for this."
   "Is everything okay?"
   "Yeah, yeah everything's fine." I followed him into the house, sitting down in the living room. "Ronnie, this is Avery." The woman who opened the door smiled and waved. "She's visiting from South Carolina."
   "Oh, cool! I filmed a tv pilot there."
   "What show?" She asked, as she reached for the hand of the little boy that sat next to him. 
   "Catalina Carolina, it was about some Nancy Drew-like detective girl. It wasn't picked up." I'd been in a string of unsuccessful films and tv shows since my first movie, With Love, and my first tv show, Baby Makes Two, which ran for four seasons. Now I was twenty-eight, still trying to make it big. At least my career wasn't so bad that I had to resort to doing infomercials. "So, who's this little cutie?" I gestured with my chin to the little boy.

   "I'm Colin Percy Colton." Colton? Colton wasn't an uncommon last name, but it wasn't like Smith or Jones where you knew a thousand of them. I glanced at Harrison, who opened, then shut his mouth.
   "Well, Colin Percy Colton it's nice to meet you. I'm Veronica Violet Colton."
   "Are you my aunt?"
   "Your aunt? Harrison, can we talk?" 
   "Sure." He stood up, leading me to the kitchen. "I... Colin's my son."
   "You're what?!" He had a son? A son who was clearly nine, ten, eleven years old?
   "One night stand, she and I hooked up when I was in Pittsburgh, the night I convinced you to go to community college..."
   "And she didn't tell you until now?! Are you sure it's... It's true?" It could be a scam, I wasn't an untrusting person, but then again it seemed really odd to wait ten years to announce the paternity if your kid.

   "Here." He pulled a slip of paper from his back pocket, handing it to me. "It's a paternity test. Ronnie, he's my son. And she's... She the mother of our child. My child." How was I supposed to react to that? A secret kid... 
   "Does mom know? He does have her eyes." Dad had passed away two years ago, may he rest in piece. Damn smoking from his youth caught up with him, lung cancer took his life. 
   "I haven't told her. I didn't know how to tell people. And, um... I'm not supposed to tell anyone, but Katie's pregnant. Eight weeks. We're not supposed to tell anyone until the second risk, in case there's complications, but oh my God, I've been so hesitant and she's wanted to be a mom for so long, I just... I'd do anything for that fetus, you know? I love it so much and it's just a clump of cells right now. And I love Colin, even though I've only know him twenty-four hours." I glanced down, listening to him talk about how much he loved his family. I'd dated Lyla on and off since college and we'd broken up a few months ago, for good this time. Our relationship wasn't mature enough, she said. I wasn't focused on the future enough. I didn't know the type of love Harrison was describing and for the first time, I wanted to. "Would you mind taking Avery out for a girl's night with Katie? She hasn't had a break since Colin was born, her parents pretty much shunned her when she told them she was pregnant and dropping out of college... I'd love for you and Katie to get to know her, she's going to be in my life and I hope maybe you'll accept her into yours, too."
   "Okay..." I sighed. Nothing says fun like a girl's night with a pregnant, married woman and some chick my brother hooked up with. I loved my sister-in-law, but she wasn't exactly a fun party girl. 
   "There's one thing that I want you to promise me."
   "I don't want Avery turning into a Lyla situation." A Lyla situation? What the hell was he thinking? What did he mean?
   "Pardon?" I clenched my teeth, rolling my eyes. Sometimes my big brother was a complete imbecile. 
   "I mean, I flirted with Lyla and then you dated her. She was kinda an ex."
   "She was not an ex! You never dated. And she wasn't straight, she was a lesbian. You better not be insinuating that I turned her gay!" Avery wasn't even an ex, for him to think he somehow had a right to dictate who she or I fucked...
   "No! No, I know you're born like that, I just... Never mind. Forget I said anything, just please take her to girl's night?"
   "Fine." I came to town to visit my brother and instead I was going to spend time with Avery. At least she was attractive and seemed fairly nice. 


   "Ooo, you, oh! You oh!" Katie sang, off key, as Avery and I danced along to the mediocre karaoke. "Thank you, very much!" She smiled and waved, as the song ended. She stepped off the stage, smiling wide. I supposed this was probably the first time she'd let lose in awhile. "Hey, we've been here for a few hours and I'm feeling a bit tired, wanna come home?" I shook my head, as I continued gyrating my hims. "Come on, you guys are clearly drunk." She rolled her eyes, trying to pull me towards the door. 
   "No-o, I'm not dr-hic-unk." Avery giggled, her words slurring together.
   "I'm not drunk, neither. Either. So what if Imma dancin' with no music?" Katie sighed, in resignation, realizing she couldn't argue with two stubborn people who'd had one too many daiquiris.
   "I'm going to head home, please call a cab, okay? Or call Harrison or I if you need a ride." Katie was our designated driver, since she technically couldn't drink.
   "Byyye!" I waved.
   "Thanks for bringing me out, Veronica. I kn-now, you prob-ly don't wanna party with some borin' daycare teacher mommy."
   "Nah, it's no big deal." I giggled, as she blushed.
   "I haven't had fun in sooo long, like the last time I went on a date it ended with me and Jack Daniels. Stupid date said sh-hhee wouldn't go for my shit."
   "Whaaa? What shit?"

   "Well," she gestured over dramatically, thrusting her hand onto her hip, "see, she said I had ta picka side. Lesbians reject me and straight people reject me or sleezy guys ask me for a thr-reesome. And nobody will say bisexual, like I'm treated like a unicorn." She was bisexual. She was attractive. I needed to get Lyla out of my system. There was a chance she might be attracted to her. A small chance, but a chance... But, I couldn't... Why not? I searched my brain, a warning lingering in my mind. Something I was forgetting.
   "Thass dumb, 'sides you're hawwwt."
   "Haha, right. I still haven't lost all the baby weight, been working two damn jobs tryna get through college, now I'm a glorified babysitter."
   "You don't hava believe me." I shrugged, glancing down at me pedicured toenails.
   "And..." She leaned forward, taking my hands.

    She looked straight at me, her eyes were stormy skies dancing before a hail storm... I leaned forward and-
    We were inches from one another, I could feel her body heat and spell her sweet perfume. "Can I kiss you?" I asked, as she nodded, closing the gap between us.

   The memory of my first kiss with Lyla haunted me.
   "There's a photo booth upstairs." She winked, taking my hand.
   "No... Avery, I can't-t."
   "Why not?"
   "Because... Because..." Harrison had asked me not to. Yet I did. I just had. Dammit. Dammit, dammit, dammit. How was he going to react? Did I have to tell him? I supposed I didn't... What would a good sister do? And what did Avery think about this? What was this? The beginning of a tragic romance? A cheesy romcom? She was my nephew's mother, I'd probably see her again... Dammit. I had to go film in New Orleans soon, I couldn't stay for long. Maybe time would make things better? Wasn't it better to ask for forgiveness then permission? There were so many questions in my life, it was almost like I was a character in a poorly written dramedy that was desperately trying to create enough suspense and intrigue to make people tune in next week. "Because I can't." And with that, I turned, stumbling my way to a cab that was waiting outside of the bar.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Ten: Our Happy Little Family

Did I mention Harrison's the heir for this generation? This chapter happens immediately after chapter eight, only it's from Harrison's POV...

   "I, Katie... Wait."
   "What?" She looked up at me, her gaze inquisitive. "You are ready to have a baby, aren't you?"
   "Yeah, yes I am. There's just... I don't know how to tell you this." I had to tell her before we started trying to have our own child.
   "Harrison, what's wrong? Oh, God, did you lose your job? Are your parents sick? Is it Veronica? Is she not handling the breakup with Lyla very well?"
   "No, no, my family's fine... I mean, Ronnie's as okay as she can be and my parents are experiencing the normal woes of growing older, but other than that, they're fine." I took a deep breath, attempting to figure out how to tell her. "This afternoon, I... I got this message on Facebook. From a girl that I hooked up with."
   "You, you bastard-d! You cheated on me? I don't believe it... God, I love you, how could you?"
    "No, no! It was eleven years ago. Before I began my junior year, before I met you. I'd never cheat on, I love you and our life, I'd never be so crass, so inconsiderate, so stupid to ruin that, to do that to you." This news may ruin our life together. I hoped it didn't. "Look, I just want you to remember: I love you."
   "I love you, too." She sighed, gazing steadily at me. "Can I read the messages?" I nodded, handing her my phone.

   "You... You have a son?" 
   "I, I do... I was foolish and drunk and twenty-one and she was eighteen and then I went back to college and she moved to South Carolina for college and I just want to do what's right. I want to have a child with you, but I also have a child with her, apparently, and I don't want to isolate him. I want to be a father to him, if you're okay with that. I know, it's rash, we'll do a paternity test first... He's ten. I missed out on a decade of his life and I don't want to miss out on anymore. I'm sorry."
   "Harrison... I love you. It's, it's... You'll do a paternity test first?" I nodded. "Promise?"
   "And will they fly here to meet you?"
   "I'm sure they can." I could tell she was thinking, her husband had just announced he already had a child and he wanted to meet up with him and his one night stand. Our marriage was already strained; we were living in a state neither of had a connection to, because of my job, Katie was having difficulty finding a job, I'd been procrastinating having a kid, because I was worried we might move again and I wanted to know we could settle in and raise a family here, I had just been a real asshat about her adopting Romy, now I was throwing in another twist. "Look, Katie, I know this is insane, it's a complete bombshell, so whatever you want to do, we can. If you want to meet them in Barcelona, I'm down, I just want you to be happy and be able to meet Colin."
   "Barcelona? I've heard Spain's lovely this time of year..." She smirked, leaning closer. "Harrison, I'm not going to keep you from meeting you son... My step-son..."
   "Thank you. God, you don't know how much this means to me."
   "I might, after we have our own child..." 
   "You know, we can't have our own child if we don't..." I leaned forward, slowly kissing her lips. I wrapped my arms around her, lifting her onto the dryer. Our clothes fell onto the floor, carelessly cast aside. It didn't matter how many barriers we faced, it didn't matter how stressed we were, we still loved each other after ten years of marriage and we had enough love to welcome a new soul into the world, into our happy little family.

Nine: Colin Colton

Eleven years ago... Avery Demetry's Point of View...

   I slept with some premed student. He was back in Pennsylvania for his parent's wedding anniversary or something like that. It was sloppy and quick and fueled by alcohol. What was his name? His sister, his younger sister, was a grade below me. I'd just graduated from MENA, where his mom taught... Colton. Surname Colton. I needed to know who he was.
   Because I had some news for him.
   Dammit, how could I have been so stupid?

   "What are you doing here?" I glanced down at the stray cat that was on the deck. I couldn't afford a cat. I'd moved to South Carolina, since I got into college here and now... Now, I don't know. Could I go to college like this? I couldn't afford college and... And this and the cat. "Look, baby doll, I can't take care of you."

   "Oh, baby doll, you're so cute... I. Damn hormones. I can't afford you, you know that? I really can't." But she was so cute and so innocent and so, so... Damn hormones, making me want to be all motherly and not abandon some dumb stray. "I guess you can stay with me, keep me company."
   I named her Baby Doll and she kept me and my actual baby company. I knew Colton had to be the father, I had a boyfriend in high school, but we'd decided to part ways after graduation. The last time he and I had slept together was on my eighteenth birthday, in April. I supposed my baby would be due in February. I'd be an eighteen year old mom. A teen mom. Great. I had to find out, remember Colton's name, I couldn't do this on my own...
   As the months passed, I spent more and more time going to the library to read pregnancy books and research Coltons...

   Going to the thrift shop so I could barter for baby supplied and pet supplies...

    Until my little bundle of joy finally arrived: Colin Colton. Born February fourteenth, six pounds, three ounces, eighteen inches. Mom Avery Demetry, dad Harrison Colton. I just didn't know how to contact Colin's daddy.

Sorry this chapter's so short!

Eight: Louisiana

Ten years later... Katie's Point of View...

   It's eleven-thirty in the morning and I'm just waking up. A sigh slowly escapes from my lips, as my mind feels heavy. I went to bed with a headache yesterday, Harrison told me that an aspirin and a good night's sleep would help, yet it hasn't. He had to go into the hospital at four this morning, he'll get home late, we'll have dinner, and he'll go to bed. I won't mention my headache, because he works all day and I shouldn't complain when I'm stuck at home.

   I slide out of bed, reluctantly, and straighten the duvet. If I don't clean up, it'll feel I lounged around all day, watching television or online window shopping. I should get dressed. There isn't much point to it, considering I'm not planning on going anywhere, but a bath and clean clothes might help me feel better.

   Thirty-three years didn't look bad on me. No wrinkles on my face, no signs of aging... People killed to look youthful, why? It wasn't like it got you anything. Least, it didn't get me anything here. Two degrees, internships, a wonderful work history and I was still unemployed. Even if some sexist asshole hired me to be eye candy, at least I'd have a job.
   I slip out of my robe, quickly going about my morning routnine. Not that I have any place to go.
   I feel so repetitive, the same thoughts are constantly bouncing through my mind.
   I'll find a job.
   I will.

   I need a job.
   As I climb down the stairs, I contemplate what I could do around here. I wasn't technically unemployed, because I quit. Harrison received an amazing offer in some middle of nowhere Louisiana town, in Chicago, where we settled for his med school and my master's program, our combined salaries got us a mediocre at best apartment. In a tiny town, our savings got us a nice suburban house and let us be classified as upper middle class.
   Unfortunately, in such a small town, there weren't many or any nonprofits that were hiring.
   At Harrison's work party three months ago -- we'd lived here a total of seven months, it was now October and we moved here in March -- someone asked what I do and I shrugged. They interpreted that to mean housewife.
   A motherfucking house wife, like I was in the racist 1950s.
   Why did people idealize the 50s? We still have sexism, racism, and milkshakes, you don't need to go back in time to experience those things.
   I went into the kitchen, glancing around.

   I'd taken up gardening as a hobby, since I didn't have else to do. It allowed us to have fresh produce: apples, lettuce, bell peppers. In order to use said produce, I was working on refining my cooking and canning skills. Like a damn housewife.
   "Cordelia!" I glanced around, looking for our Schnoodle. We'd adopted the schnauzer poodle mix shortly before we moved away from Chicago, we thought maybe it'd help prepare us for... Prepare us for... I pushed the thought from my mind, as I went into the living room, seeing my cute little baby girl curled up on a chair napping.

   "C'mon girl, let's go on a walk!" She woke up, her tongue sticking out of her mouth. I fastened the leash onto her collar, trying to decide where to walk to.

   The autumn leaves were gorgeous, admittedly. I couldn't garden in this weather, but I could walk, enjoying the slightly brisk weather. Not Chicago brisk, but still, I could use that word and have it sorta apply. After ten minutes or so, I glanced up, trying to figure out if I should go to the dog park or the pet store.
   "Cordy!" I gasped, pointing to a sign. "Whadya think? Should we do that?" She looked up at me, happily yapping in agreement. Pet store it was.


   "Honey, I'm home!" It was nine-thirty and Harrison was just no arriving home.
   "In the kitchen!" I replied. 

   "I think we- What's... What's this?" He glanced down at the Saint Bernard, who was staring up at him with the saddest, most adorable puppy dog eyes.
   "There's a dog. In our kitchen."
   "Well, we do own a dog."
   "A dog. Cordelia, not this..."
   "Her name is Romy."
   "Romy? Really?"
   "I didn't name her, that what the pet store said her owner's named her." The pet store was hosting a fundraiser for the kill shelter, they were trying to get as many pets as possible adopted. I couldn't resist saving her, she was an owner surrender and who knows what would have happened to her if I hadn't impulsively brought her home...

   "You can't make these kind of financial decisions without consulting me! Vet bills, food, Jesus Christ, what were you thinking? I mean, I'm the breadwinner-"
   "I'm sorry, financial decisions? Breadwinner? What the hell, what do you think- Is this the, the... The 1950s? Fuck that decade."
   "I'm just saying, you're unemployed-"
   "Because I decided to uproot my life so my husband could have an amazing career advancement! Besides, your salary's plenty, plus our savings, it's not like we're pressed for cash."

   "I'm sorry, I'm just under a lot of pressure." Pressure? I knew he was, he was allowed to talk about the stress of work, but I couldn't because my problems paled in comparison.
   "Your job?"
   "Baby?" I paused. We were thinking of starting a family before the relocation, then with the new job, new town, Harrison thought we should settle in first. Seven months had passed and still no baby, no talk about it. Every time I tried to bring it up, he avoided the subject like it was the plague. "Are you ready, to have a baby?"
   "I, I... Uh... Yes. Yeah, yeah, I.. I'm ready." Oh my god. A baby! I, if I was, I... Motherhood. Perfection.