Don't get any funny ideas!

©2016 Glory Lennon All Rights Reserved

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Brief Encounters

Allison’s diner was always a welcome spot for the weary traveler serving great food around the clock, but what mostly brought the truckers and especially Bobby was Allison herself. She was sassy. She was sexy. She was sweet. She was to die for. And he was irrevocably in love with her. Too bad she had no clue about this.

Bobby had it bad for Allison yet she was oblivious to it. But how? One of her disarming smiles was enough to knock him off his stool. He sat at his regular place at the counter gazing at her as usual when the door jangled announcing a new customer. He turned in time to see a nice looking couple. They headed for a booth directly behind him.

 “I’ll be right back, Bobby,” she told him as she took two menus and went to them. “Good morning, folks,” she said brightly.

The couple exchanged looks then smiled. “Morning?” the man asked.

Allison shrugged. “It’s passed midnight,” she said.

“Is it?” the young woman said looking dazed.

“Lost track of time, haven’t we? You do that to me,” the man said gazing into his girlfriend-wife-lover’s soft brown eyes.

“Danny, you really ought to stop doing that. You make me melt,” she replied dreamily. He kissed her softly.

Allison melted too watching such intensity, such devotion. After a few minutes it became apparent they had forgotten she was still there waiting for their order. She delicately cleared her throat. They drew apart slowly and glanced up at her with bedazzled expressions.

“Sorry, I’ll have coffee and… spearmint tea, Rebecca?” Danny asked the woman beside him. She smiled and nodded.

“Coming right up,” Allison said. Within minutes she was back and they were once again kissing between sweet murmuring. An ache started in her chest. She ignored it and placed the two cups in front of them without disturbing them. She had the sneaking suspicion their drinks were to remain untouched and allowed to grow cold.

She returned behind the counter and fiddled needlessly, straightening napkin dispensers which required no attention, lining up ketchup bottles, salt and pepper shakers and ash trays and cleaning already spotless surfaces. She tried not to look over Bobby’s broad shoulders to watch the couple behind him, but they had an unnatural draw for her.

“Allison? Did you hear me?” Bobby asked.

“Huh? I’m sorry. What is it?” she asked, hurriedly snapping out of her reverie.

“The group back there just came in,” he told her pointing at the corner booth. The once empty booth now contained a rowdy bunch of college kids and they seemed intent on making themselves noticed by being as obnoxious as possible. How had she missed them?

“I’ll be right back,” she told him again, casually touching his hand. She paused for a mere nanosecond feeling tingles run up her arm. She looked into his brown eyes. She never noticed they were tinged with green and gold flecks. She never noticed the way they crinkled at the corners when he smiled. She never noticed how nice that smile was.

“Get a room!” shouted one of the kids. Allison jumped. They were snorting with alcohol-induced laughter and pointing to the love birds who immediately modified their behavior.

“Blasted college kids. You’d think they’d find something better to do than drink themselves silly,” she grumbled as she removed her hand from Bobby’s. What was wrong with her? Why was she staring at two kids kissing? They were just like any other couple. But even as she told herself this, she knew it wasn’t true.

She sighed with a longing all her own when she saw the way Danny kissed Rebecca. Allison hadn’t been kissed like that since...who was she kidding? She had never been kissed like that and she’d been around the block a time or seven.

She marched over to the back booth. She quickly told them to behave or they’d get ousted on their rumps. She had the reputation for being tough so they toned it down. She got their huge orders for everything from bacon cheeseburgers and the pancake breakfast deluxe to mounds of fried chicken and mashed potatoes.

 “Where do you guys put it all?” she asked shaking her head in amazement. She gave the order to the cook and sighed as she got their drinks together.

“You must be tired, Allison. Want me help with something?” Bobby asked hopefully.

“Gosh, you’re sweet, Bobby. But no, I’m not tired. More like… weary I guess,” she answered, feeling suddenly dejected. Her eyes moved of their own accord back to the booth behind Bobby and saw Danny caressing Rebecca’s cheek as if she were a fragile, antique porcelain doll.

Her heart jumped into her throat and started dancing the conga. “So in love,” she mumbled, not realizing she spoke aloud.

“I’m sorry, what?” Bobby asked.

“What?” she replied. He smiled. It really was a very nice smile. He then stood up, took the tray out of her hands and went to the back booth. He handed out the drinks and returned before she came out of her trance. “Bobby, you didn’t have to do that.” she said breathlessly.

“No big deal. I used to be a busboy back during school,” he said.

Just as she was about to thank him a faint ding sounded. “Oh, my cinnamon rolls! Want one, Bobby?”

“Love one. They’re my favorite. Everything you make is my favorite,” he said sheepishly.

A funny flutter erupted in her chest. She tore her gaze from him and went into the kitchen. She remembered being in love once. It kind of felt like that. Strange, she thought she had given up on such foolishness. Tom had made sure of that. It took seeing two crazy, star-struck, lovesick kids to make her remember, make her believe again.

Allison smiled as she took a heavily laden tray to the college kids.

“Awesome!” one kid said grabbing fries off his friend’s plate.

“Dude, get your own!” he retorted punching him in the arm.

“Boys, be nice.” Allison said, to her dismay sounding just like her mother.

“Thanks. Miss Allison. You’re the best,” a third boy said apologetically. He appeared to be the designated driver. Thank God they had one. He was alert, sober and trying in vain to keep his friends in order.

“GET A ROOM!” the drunkest and loudest of the bunch shouted before dissolving into giggles. Allison smacked the top of his head. It only made him laugh more. She rolled her eyes and shook her head in exasperation.

 “I’m sorry about those kids back there,” Allison said to the happy-in-love couple. “Would you like some cinnamon rolls fresh out of the oven or some pie? We have cherry, Boston Cream, pumpkin...”

“Strawberry-rhubarb?” Danny asked hopefully.

“Sorry, that’s for springtime. Come back then and I’m sure to have it,” she said brightly.

“Then we’ll take two cinnamon rolls,” Danny said.

“They’re great,” Bobby interjected. “Allison makes them herself. She’s the best baker around. Puts that silly dough boy to shame,” he said winking at them. Rebecca giggled.

“Thank you, Bobby,” Allison said beaming at him. Her blood seemed to be rushing around her veins at top speed. She felt flushed and warm under his penetrating gaze. What was up with her?  She whisked off, returned quickly and placed one in front of Bobby with a special smile. A funny look came into his face then he smiled, too. How had she missed that smile all these years?

She went to the couple and placed the cinnamon rolls in front of them. Before she could stop herself she asked,  “How long have you been married? My guess is three weeks and you’re still on honeymoon.”

 They exchanged dreamy smiles. “Actually, we only just got engaged. We just have no ring to show for it,” Danny said as he rubbed Rebecca’s fingers as if eager to get one on there.

“The ring is merely a symbol in the grand scheme of things,” Allison said philosophically. “It’s love that matters and you’ve got that in abundance. Lucky you,” she added wistfully. She smiled and returned behind the counter.

“Something funny? ” Bobby said.

“No, it’s just good to know love still exists. Just because it didn’t work out between me and Tom doesn’t mean there is no more love out there,” she said.

His heart skipped a beat “I never doubted love was still out there. It just seems to hide from us occasionally,” he replied. She spotted Danny motioning for the bill and she blinked stupidly.

“Did you not like the rolls?” she asked anxiously.

“On the contrary, they are every bit as good as the gentleman told us. Would you mind wrapping them up for us? We have somewhere very important to go,” Danny said barely containing his  excitement.

“Sure, I’ll be but a minute,” Allison rushed off. She wondered if they were going to start their honeymoon early or perhaps elope. She giggled and went into the kitchen. She dropped their two virtually untouched rolls into a bag and then decided to give them four more. Whether they were going to elope or start their honeymoon they would need fortification.

Allison returned just as Danny helped Rebecca up from the booth. “Here you go,” she said handing them the bag. “If I never see you again I wish you a wonderful life.”

“Thank you,” Danny said warmly. He suddenly hugged her and bid her farewell. She watched them leave with a quivering lip and watery eyes.

“Friends of yours, Allison?” Bobby asked curiously.

“No, Bobby, just a…a brief encounter to restore my faith in love.” 

When she turned to him he knew this was his chance.

 “Would you to join love?” he said awkwardly. “We could ...”   He never got to finish. She grabbed his shirt and kissed him. He wrapped his arms possessively around her, and pulled her to him.

 Shouts of, “Get a room!” and laughter ricocheted off the walls, but they ignored it. Several minutes later they emerged breathless and dazed.

“Allison, you’re a dream come true,” Bobby whispered.

“We said get a room!”

“Shut up and you’ll get free pie,” she shouted back. “I believe I just found love again.”

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Dating someone over fifty

She stared at him looking bewildered. “I don’t even know what that means,” she admitted.

Ray smiled. “That’s what is so good about you, Kelly. You’re not afraid of admitting ignorance.”

“I’m not ignorant,” she said, uncertain. “Am I?”

He laughed. “I didn’t say you were. You’re extremely bright. It’s better to admit when you don’t know something than pretend you do and sound like an idiot later on,” he said.

“Well, then, Professor, what does it mean? Notwithstanding. I never heard that,” she said, for all the world as if they were back in the classroom.

“In my opinion, you are brilliant, very intelligent, my suggestion of you not being afraid of admitting ignorance notwithstanding. Does that help?” he said watching her over his coffee cup.

She stared off into space for a minute contemplating. Then she gave a mischievous grin before saying, “Will I still be brilliant if I say no?”

He laughed again. “You are adorable, Kelly.”

“You’re not so bad yourself, Professor,” she said lifting her tea to her lips and sipping carefully.

He cleared his throat and took a few calming breaths. “Kelly, may I ask you something?” he said nervously.

“Will I be graded on it?” she asked.

“No, funny girl. I’m not your professor anymore. School’s out, remember?” he said sadly.

It was a sad day indeed, for him at least. For six glorious weeks he had been seeing this amazing woman twice a week at the creative writing course he taught as part of the adult education program at the high school. Today had been the last day and because of his reluctance to let go he got the nerve up to ask her out for a cup of coffee. That she agreed so readily thrilled him beyond belief. He was almost certain she would refused. But perhaps a coffee wasn’t anything in this modern age of dating and she didn’t consider it such. Yes, that was probably it.

“Yes, I remember it’s the last day, but I didn’t know if you did. You might be one of those who never stops working or in your case teaching. Case in point, you trying in vain to teach me notwithstanding. Or, for all I know, you may be getting early on-set old timer’s disease,” she said brightly.

His smile faded. “I guess that answers that,” he muttered ruefully.

“What answers what?” she asked bewildered.

“You think I’m old and I have to agree,” he replied staring down at his drink.

“Old is a relative term. We’re all old compared to something younger. The pyramids are ancient but not as old as Noah’s ark,” she stated happily.

Reluctantly he chuckled. “Well, at least I’m not as old as either of those,” he said.

“So, what was the question, Ray?”she asked.

He stared at her, her wide-eyed, fresh-faced innocence compelling him to do something stupid like kiss her, but he knew better than to do that. She was so much younger than himself. Fool he may be, but insane he wasn’t, not yet anyway. Although he must be nuts to think this young girl would want to date him. Fifty-one years old he was and getting older by the minute. Over half a century gone in a blink.

He certainly felt as old as a pyramid but oddly not when he was within sight of Kelly. She was like a breath of fresh air to a man long confined to a damp, dark cave. He felt new in her presence, alive, vibrant. She was so sweet and funny, too, without meaning to be. She was a bit naive, perhaps but charmingly so. And she was brilliant in her own special way. She was a mass of contradictions and he’d like to spend the rest of his days on earth unraveling her secrets.

It had been a most happy day when he saw her for the first time. She wandered in looking delightfully flustered, nervous and excited all at the same time. She spoke briefly to some of the others in the class but as soon as Ray closed the door to signal the start of class she propped her chin in her hand and stared up at him with rapt attention, her eyes only on him. It gave him a pleasant jolt to the stomach to see her large, dark eyes following his every movement. Last time he felt something as thrilling he had been on the Tower of Terror ride at Disney Studios theme park. Only this was far better. After all, he didn’t have his kids screaming in his ear this time.

He was used to people watching him as he taught a class, but somehow Kelly’s gaze gave him a warm feeling as if she exuded sunshine with every blink. He found himself looking toward her far more than to all the others combined. He hoped no one would notice, but after a few classes he didn’t care. To him it was virtually a class of one, one very pretty, very likable and very young lady.

Kelly wasn’t the most talented nor brightest in the group, but she was eager to learn. She questioned everything and asked for his advice and his opinion on her writing. Others may have thought she was hogging all his attention, but for the most part the class consisted, as it usually did, of writers who thought themselves far above all the rest. They were mostly in this class for feedback on their current project, but after getting this feedback they usually do as they please anyway. Writers were an amusing bunch, he knew, being one himself.

Why these people were at a creative writing class when most of them were already published baffled Kelly until Ray explained to her one night when only they remained after class that most of them probably had a finished manuscript with a pile of rejection notices about as thick as a dictionary. Her reaction to this was precious. She threw her head back and laughed and laughed. 

Then she excitedly grabbed his arm and said, “You know, you’re right. Lap-top guy was telling Grandpa Simpson exactly that.”

“Who’s Grandpa Simpson?” Ray asked curiously. He loved it when she gave nicknames to the other students on the pretense that she couldn't remember names. Lap-top guy was the scrawny man who sat at the back of the class typing away on his lap-top who only stopped long enough for the occasional sneering remark, contemptuous look or a snort of derision whenever Ray said something that didn’t meet his approval.

“He’s the really old guy that looks just like Homer Simpson’s dad on TV. He told Lap-top guy that he should  rewrite the whole thing if nobody liked it. Lap-top guy didn’t much like that, “ she said giggling.

Ray felt his stomach swoop again. Oh, he was smitten but good. But the classes were now over and he was crushed. He might never see her again. All right, so he was too old for her, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t get her to take another class.

“Ray? Are you back yet?” she asked watching him curiously.

“Back?”he said,  realizing he had been staring at her as his thoughts drifted away.

“I’m thinking you went to Juniper or Neptune,” she said nodding knowledgeably. “I go there occasionally.”

“You mean Jupiter,” he said chuckling.

“What did I say?”she asked innocently.


“Silly me! I must have been thinking of the bushes I’m planting this weekend,” she said making a funny face. “So, are you going to ask me?”

He took a drink, collecting his thoughts. “Did you like the class, Kelly?”he asked.

“Oh, yes! I’ll never be Beatrix Potter, but I may be able to write a cute children’s story one day and if the kids aren’t too smart they might actually like it,” she said brightly.

He laughed again. “Then maybe you should take another class,” he said albeit casually. “You’ve done so well. You should continue with my next class.”

“Oh, I can’t, Ray,” she said shaking her head. “It’s basketball season now.”

He gaped for a minute then raised an eyebrow. “You don’t strike me as a basketball fan,” he said.

She giggled. “No, funny boy. My babysitter just so happens to be the captain of the girls varsity team.”

“Oh,” he said, his hopes completely dashed with that one statement. “You have kids.”  He knew kids usually came with husbands or at least boyfriends.

“Just one, my sweet angel, Melina. She’s six,” Kelly said proudly.

“I remember six being a nice age,” he said, feeling his heart slip down to his toes. Something told him to stop, just quit while he still had some dignity, but he couldn’t. “Surely, a sweet little girl won’t be too much trouble for her father.” 

 He regretted saying it as soon as the words rolled off his tongue. He hated the haunted look in her eyes and his careless words had done it.

“No, she wouldn’t be if he were around,” she replied sadly. “He died when she was two.”

“I’m so sorry, Kelly,” he said grimacing.

“Thank you,” she replied then lifted her tea and drank from it.

What possessed him to persist he couldn’t say, but he couldn’t stop himself.“Maybe we can find you another sitter,” he suggested.

“Well, I can’t have just any sitter. They have to be trained in CPR and such.”

“Naturally, all babysitters should,” he agreed readily.

She smiled. “No, you don’t understand. Melina has seizures. Most people get a bit nervous when they know about it. The medication she’s on now has really helped. She rarely gets them now,” Kelly explained quickly seeing the concern on his face.

“Well, then you could bring her to class. She can sit in a corner with some toys and books and then you won’t have to worry at all,” he said excitedly. He thought that a perfect solution.

“Ray, I couldn’t do that. It’s adult education. You’ve heard some of the stuff Grim Guy reads out to us. It’s too gruesome for me let alone Melina,” she said with a mock shiver.

He got it now. She was letting him down easy and using her child to do it, if she really had a child. “Do you have a picture of her?” he heard himself say.

“Well, of course I do,” she said fishing in her purse. “What mother doesn’t have a picture of her baby?”  She pulled it out of her wallet, smiled at it, then handed it to him.

He smiled too. “She’s you in miniature. A perfect angel,” he said wistfully.

“She’s all I have,” Kelly said a tiny catch in her voice.

“Must be tough being a single mom,” he said sympathetically, handing the photo back.

“Tough is a relative term. Some things are tougher than others and some easier. Tough is as tough goes or something. That make any sense?”

He grinned. “It does. You have a most delightful attitude, Kelly. I’m going to miss you terribly. But at least I got to meet you and have fun with you during class.”

Her smile faded. “You talk as if we’ll never see each other again.”

“Well, if you won’t take my next class...”

“Is that all you wanted to ask me tonight?” she said obviously disappointed.

He gazed at her with such longing. “I already know the answer, Kelly. You think I’m too old for you,” he said sadly.

“I never said that,” she retorted.

“Yes, you did. Not in so many words but...I got it.”

She frowned. “How old are you?”she asked.

He grimaced and said, “Fifty-one, last week.”

She gasped. “It was your birthday and you didn’t tell me? Bad boy! Well, brace yourself. You’re getting a late birthday present.”  She then sang the Beatles Birthday song complete with air guitar and air drums. She was precious. Then she shocked him with a tiny kiss on the corner of his mouth.

The air rushed out of his lungs. His heart started dancing the jig. Delighted, he smiled broadly and knew he was desperately in love. “Best present I ever got,”he mumbled. “Makes me wish I was your age.”

She frowned. “How old do you think I am?”she asked curiously.

He didn’t like this question, not one bit. No good could come from it. He gulped. “Please, don’t be any younger than twenty-five. I already feel like a dirty old man just talking to you.”

She burst out laughing. “You are kidding, right?”she said, incredulous.

“You have to be at least twenty if you have a six year old kid,” he said getting more nervous.

“You are not seriously telling me that’s how young you actually think I am,”she said, astonished.

“It’s impolite to ask a woman her age, Kelly.”

She shook her head in amazement. “Brace yourself, Professor. I’m thirty-four for only two more months. Can you handle that?”

“No, you’re not,” he said stupidly.

She laughed and rummaged in her purse again, this time pulling out her driver’s license.

“,” he said dazedly. “And here I thought you were younger than my kids.”

“You’re married?” she shrieked.


“Oh,” she said with relief. She gave him a funny look. “So, tell me, Ray. Am I too old for you now?”

He laughed nervously. “You realize I was sixteen when you were born.”

She propped her chin in her hand as she did the first day in class. “I’ll bet you were as cute then as you are now,” she said a mischievous grin on her face. “I always wanted to know what it would be like dating someone over fifty and now I know. It’s a lot of fun. You know why?”

He couldn’t imagine so he shrugged.

She leaned forward and poked him playfully on his nose. “You think I’m a hot young thing. Sounds good to me.”

He grinned, a weight suddenly lifting off his chest. “Someone very dear to me once said old is a relative term,” he said lifting her hand to his lips and kissing it. “I think she’s right and brilliant, too.”

Saturday, September 10, 2011


“We’re friends, Jack.” she said as she worked Amour-all on the recently scrubbed-to-a-squeaky-clean wheels.

 Jack paused in rubbing wax on his vintage ‘68 Camaro, cocked his head to the side and gave her his typical crooked grin. “Something on your mind, Vicky?” he asked eying her curiously.

She hooked her short blonde hair over her ear and it promptly fell over her face again. She never should have listened to Mallory about getting it cut. Jack had told her she’d regret it. He had been right. He was right about everything. He was rather annoying that way and yet she knew that’s what she liked best about him.

“Just the same thing that’s been running through it  for  five years,” she admitted.

Jack sighed. “Vicky, you have to get over Tim. He treated you like crap. You’re so much better off without him.  Please, move on,” he pleaded.

“I have. I don’t think about him anymore and I definitely don’t miss him. You and Mallory helped with that.. you especially. I’ll always be grateful to you. You’ve been the best friend I ever had,” Vicky said, her voice quiet though with a hint of emotion.

He smiled. “That’s saying something. That honor used to go to my sister. Guess when Mallory and Garret moved to China to teach English she forfeited that spot. Did I tell you she sent me an email last night? She’s going to have a...”

“A baby. I know,” she said grimacing at the bitter reflection in the ultra-shiny hubcaps.

"Yeah," he said frowning at her.

“Wax on, wax off... sand the floor... paint the fence...what’s the last one? Side to side, is it?” she asked trying for casual and failing miserably.

“I think so,” Jack answered carefully watching her.   “I thought Mallory making me an uncle would elicit more excitement than Karate Kid instructions from Mr. Miagi.” He swiftly moved around the car, grabbed her hands pulling her up then removed the chamois cloth from her grip and dropped it.

He placed both hands on her shoulders and stared her down. “You and me will be that snot-nose brat’s Godparents. We should at least pretend we like him or her. Aren’t you happy for Mallory?”

“I would be if I wasn’t consumed with envy,” she said fighting the urge to cry.

He made a weird face. “You wanna live in China with a wimp like Garret? It ain’t all it’s cracked up to be.”

“Jack, you know I want a baby. It was the only thing Tim could have done to make up for everything else but he was too selfish to do even that.”

“And good thing. You actually want a kid with his defective genetic code? I pity any kid unfortunate enough to be his seed,” Jack growled.

“I wouldn’t have cared. I just want someone to love, a baby,” she said pressing her quivering lips together. She took a deep steadying breath then added “I’m getting so old.”

“Old?” he shouted. “If you’re old that makes me ancient.”

“It’s different for men. You can produce viable sperm until you’re a cranky old geezer,” she retorted bitterly.

“You’re just in your thirties, Babe. Women are having babies well passed that. You’ve got plenty of time.”

“I want a baby before I’m too old to care for it. Think I want to go to school conferences at retirement age?”

“So, what are you saying? You want to adopt?”

“They’ll never give a single woman a baby without a man on the horizon.”

“ Maybe you should try some online place to find husband material,” Jack suggested.

“I don’t have any intention of wasting precious time dating someone in the vague hope one day in the not so near future he might consider marrying me and possibly have a baby,” she replied.   “I looked into in-vitro fertilization. It’s so expensive, though, and they told me it could take three or four tries before it takes, if it takes. There’s no guarantees.”

“Then it’ll have to be adoption,” he said gently. He caressed her cheek with a forefinger and smiled. “You’re a great person and anyone can see you would make a wonderful mother. They let gay men adopt so why not a sweet girl like you?”

“There’s one other way.” she whispered, nervously licking her lips. She took his hands, squeezed them and looked him straight in the eyes. “We’re good friends, Jack.”

Taken aback he grinned. “What’s that got to do with the price of green tea in China?”

“You could help me.”

“How? Give you money for the in-vitro?  Help you adopt?” he asked befuddled.

“No, Jack, this is totally, completely free and no strings attached. All I want is your ... genetic code," she said carefully. She quickly continued in earnest before he could do anything other than widen his eyes in surprise. “I’ll do anything you want, Jack. I’ll pretend to be Brittany Spears in a school girl outfit, I’ll do a strip-tease, even watch porn with you, anything. And you don’t have to worry about the baby.  I won’t expect anything from you. Not money, not even acknowledgment. It’ll be totally my baby, my sole responsibility and I won’t even tell anyone who the father is. You wouldn’t have to do anything, not even take me to the hospital. I swear it. I’ll put it in writing and everything.”

He stood quite still, stony faced. He tried in vain to keep his emotions in check, but he felt his core temperature rise,  blood thunder through his veins and the rage of which he never knew himself capable bubble to the surface. He pulled his hands out of her grip and formed fists.

“What kind of man do you take me for?” he hissed through clenched teeth.

She stared at him, pleading. “The best kind. That’s why I would only ask you for this huge favor. You’re everything I would want my baby to be. You’re wonderful in every way, Jack. Kind, considerate, loving, loyal and so many other things. It would take me hours to say them all. And even those things others dislike about you, I find charming. If I could get a carbon-copy baby of you I’d be the happiest person alive.”

“You don’t know me at all,” he muttered, in credulous.

“Of course I do!”

“No, Vicky, you don’t if you think I go around spreading my seed to the corners of the world without giving notice to who I might be producing,” he retorted angrily.

“I... I never said that. I know you don’t. You’re the last person who would do that.”

“But you expect me to make a baby with you and drop out of sight,” he spat.

“Well, I just wanted to make it easy for you.”

“Easy, is it? To never see my own kid?”

Shocked to the core, she gaped open-mouthed until she found her voice.  “You mean you would want to see my baby, be a part of his life?”

“Don’t you mean OUR baby? You may be the mother, the one that carries him inside you, but he would still be half mine.”

“You want to see him or share custody?” she asked bewildered.

He made to put his hands around her neck and got to within two inches and shook them violently. “Right now I’d like to throttle you,” he snarled.

“Okay, Jack, if that’s the only way for me to have a baby, okay. We’ll share. Half is better than nothing. I’ll do anything. Please, Jack,” she said desperately.

“You keep saying that, you’ll do anything. But would you, really?” he asked suddenly drained of anger.

“Yes, absolutely anything. Just name it.”

Before she knew it, Jack grabbed her and pulled her  hard against him and kissed her like she’d never been kissed. Shock first stole over her, but that swiftly vanished. She clung to him. Demanding as the kiss was she relished every moment, wishing it never would end. As foreplay goes, WOW! That baby was as good as conceived.

But the kiss did end and breathless, thrilled and utterly confused they stared at each other. “Why didn’t I ever think of that?” he muttered in a daze.

“I don’t know. Feel kinda stupid,” she whispered, still clutching his shirt.

“One way to fix that. Marry me,” he said.

“  But we’re just friends...such good friends.”

“That’s all married couples are, good friends with a dash of passion. We just proved we got that.”

“But is it enough? Are you sure?” she asked bewildered.

He kissed her again tenderly at first but escalating slowly until they were quite out of breath again. He pulled back and whispered, “Yeah, I’m sure.” 

 He abruptly opened the car door and held it open for her. “Get in.”

“Where are we going?” she asked, stunned.

“China. Mallory would kill us if she didn’t get to see this in person.”

“She’ll think we’ve gone over the deep end...doing this just for a baby.”

“I’m hoping for several babies, if that’s okay. Nine months from now we won’t be sleeping much. Ready for it?”

She smiled and kissed him before slipping into his car. “We should practice that not sleeping thing.”

He grinned too and sailed across the hood Bo Duke style. “Sounds good to me, Vicky. But before the babies, let’s get hitched.”

Saturday, September 3, 2011


They had only been married three months, three wonderful months and now she found herself pregnant. She hadn’t thought it possible not after all the trouble she had getting pregnant and carrying a child to term when she had been married to Charlie. Six miscarriages and then little Taylor, the only baby that had made it almost to full term. He had been born sickly and died barely two years later. She still could see the devastation on Charlie’s face. He took Taylor’s death worse than she did or perhaps she was merely better at hiding it. She suspected Taylor’s death contributed to Charlie’s own early demise. His faulty heart was surely weakened by grief.

But what now? Here she was with an unplanned pregnancy. She and Mark had never discussed the possibility of  having a child. How would he feel about becoming a father? He and Patty never had children, but she never asked if that had been planned. What if he resolutely didn’t want the responsibility of a child? But she might not have to worry about that nor to worry him yet, she thought sagely. She would probably have another miscarriage and Mark need be none the wiser. She should spare him that. She would try not to show her disappointment of losing  yet another child.

She turned her head on her pillow and watched Mark sleep, steadily breathing, barely making a sound. How different he was from Charlie whose snores could have easily called to ships out at sea. And she had thought Charlie so handsome but Mark was exceptional and such a joy to be around. She had never laughed so much. Charlie had been the brooding type, far too serious. But then that came from all the disappointments of having no progeny to leave to this world. He had so wanted that as much if not more than Trudy.

Just then a surge of nausea attacked her stomach in a violent wave. She rushed to the bathroom and barely made it. Her swift movement, however, shook Mark awake in an instant. He heard her awful retching and grimaced.

“Trudy, you okay?” he asked starting to climb out of bed but she reemerged and sat solemnly at the end of the bed with her hand on her still queasy tummy. “Sweetheart, you said you were better yesterday. It can’t be food poisoning as you said. I should take you into work with me so you can see someone at the hospital,” he said anxiously. He peered into her face concern furrowing his brow. “Have any other symptoms?”

She smiled ruefully. How silly of her to think she could actually keep a pregnancy from a brilliant surgeon like Mark. “I don’t need to see anyone to know what this is,” she said quietly.

He raised his eyebrows. “Gain a medical degree in your sleep, have you?” he said smirking.

“Women have rarely needed a doctor to know,”  She took his hand in both of hers. “Mark, I’m sorry. We never talked about this, the possibility of it, but... I’m pregnant.”

The emotions that crossed his handsome features were many and varied.  Astonishment, wonder, disbelief and a fleeting look of happiness could all be detected but the predominant one was concern .

“Oh, my love, I’m sorry. I never said it was virtually impossible and... oh, what will this do to you?”he said with self-reproach.

“Don’t worry about me, Mark. I’m used to...”  She stopped and attempted a smile which collapsed upon the realization she wanted this baby beyond all the others. She was in her forties now. Surely, this  would be her last chance.

“Trudy, no one gets used to losing a child,” he said gently. “How far along are you?”

“Two months, maybe three,” she replied stoically.

“Three? Why haven’t you told me?” he shouted angrily.

“I figured I would spontaneously abort  like always happens and I didn’t want to worry you. I didn’t want you angry at me,” she said timidly.

“Well, I am. You should have told me right away, as soon as you suspected. You need to see a doctor right away so you don’t lose this one.”

“So, you’re not angry about the baby itself?” she asked apprehensively.

“About the baby? Why should I be?” he replied dumbfounded.

“Well, we never spoke of it. I thought you and Patty never wanted kids.”

“We  just never got around to it. Too busy with careers. We didn’t want to bring a child into a chaotic life like we were living. But I always thought we would eventually. But then she died so suddenly last chance went with her. At least I thought it did,” he said smiling.

Tears welled in her eyes and her lips trembled. “But you’re not going to get a chance with me either, Mark. I’ve failed each time. Taylor was as close as I got and...” Tears spilled onto her cheeks

“Trudy, no, don’t cry,” he said taking her into his arms and holding her gently, “You won’t fail this time. I won’t let you. We need to get you in to see Gail Broderick. She’s the best in maternal medicine. She can help you.”  He suddenly looked at her frowning. “You do want this child, don’t you?”

Did he really have to ask?  “I’m afraid to hope, Mark. I don’t want to do to you what I did to Charlie. Each time killed him a little.”

“A little bit of hope never went to waste. Let’s get dressed and go see Gail. She’ll tell us and who knows? A few months from now we might be holding our own little cutie,” he said happily.

“But what if...”

He cut her off. “None of that. If the worst happens and we lose him or her...would you consider adoption?”

Her eyes widened. “Really?” she asked, incredulous. “You would want to?”

He smiled indulgently. “I think you’d make an awesome mother and I might not be so bad as a dad. What do you think?”

She smiled and put her arms around his neck kissing him. “I love you, Mark.”

“Not nearly as much as I love you. Let’s go see about our baby,” he said getting up and pulling her with him.