Thursday, 15 September 2011

The beginning of Small Dreams

I keep blogging about my novel but haven't really shared much about it. This is the beginning of the novel. I hope you like it :o)

Chris perched on our porch, knees bent, his back against a rotting beam. He stared intently at something in his hands, and didn’t notice me until I reached the end of the driveway. I winced as he jumped down; our landlord was not known for his stellar repairs, and I half expected the railing to collapse under his weight. It certainly didn't have anything solid supporting it.

“This is for you,” he blurted when I reached him, then he handed me the bag he’d been holding. I took a peek inside. A pregnancy test? I quickly handed it back.

“Chris!” I exclaimed, “Why did you get me this?”

He looked at me as if I were nuts. “You've been queasy all week. You've thrown up twice today alone and your period is late. Why wouldn't I get one?”

“I can't be pregnant!” I replied. “We can't afford a baby!” I could feel tears welling and quickly blinked them back before they overflowed.

His face quirked into a little half smile; one I usually found endearing, and he pressed the bag into my hands. “At least take the test. If you're pregnant you'll need to see the doctor. If you're not you'll need to find out why you're sick.”

He held the front door open then we quietly headed upstairs. I could hear our roommates, Ann and John, laughing and talking in the backyard so I knew we had the place to ourselves. Luckily Ann had been cleaning so I could no longer smell the liver she’d fried that morning. Unluckily Ann had been cleaning so all I could smell was powdered Ajax (only 79 cents a can at Bargoon Land, Jessica) and some heavy duty, catch-in-your-throat industrial floor cleaner. I tried to breathe shallowly.

Chris shuffled his feet awkwardly. “I’ll, umm, wait out here while you take the test.”

I nodded, too nervous to speak. As soon as the bathroom door was shut, I took the test out of its box. It looked easy enough to use but I read the instructions three times first. Then stood in front of the sink and stared at the test. The first line popped up right away and almost instantly a second line appeared; the pregnancy line.

I started to cry as I looked around the bathroom at the chipped paint, grimy windows, and cracks in the wall. I looked at Ann’s hairy razor and the rust stains in the tub and felt sick at the thought of bathing a baby there.

The bathroom door opened a crack and Chris slipped inside. He picked up the test gently and stared at it in amazement. His expression said it was Christmas and Santa just showed up with a Porsche. Then he looked at my tears and his smile dimmed.

“You don't want the baby?” he asked forlornly.

I rubbed the backs of my hands across my eyes before replying. “It's not that,” I protested. “What are we going to do with a baby? What sort of life can we give it? Our bedroom is tiny and looks like it held a war.”

“Could you imagine bathing a baby in here?” I gestured around the bathroom, “Or feeding a baby in the kitchen with Ann glaring at us and John's dog growling through the door?”

“We won't live here forever,” Chris solemnly assured me. “We'll make a better life for us and our baby. Things will turn out; I promise.”

No comments:

Post a Comment