Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Predicament (03/01/12)
TITLE: The Interrupted Life
By Cynthia Carter
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“I think I know what is wrong with you.” Krista said with a twinkle in her eye. “Just get a pregnancy test.”
“I don’t feel like wasting fifteen dollars on a stupid pregnancy test.” Linda snorted. “I’m on birth control and I’m 44 years old. How pregnant could I be?”
“Well birth control is not always dependable.” Krista said.
“Two of my co-workers are on fertility treatments and they are in their 20’s. My doctor said that a woman’s fertility goes down every year after 29. Getting pregnant is just not that easy.”
“You can get a pregnancy test for a dollar next door. Why don’t you just do it? Peace of mind is certainly worth a dollar.” Krista walked over to the calendar. “When was your last time of the month?”
“Let’s see your fertile time was right here. That was when you were at the beach.” Krista shrieked with glee.
“Don’t forget. We took Mama on vacation with us. That’s the best birth control on the planet.” Linda said with relief. “OK it will be worth a dollar to shut you up.”
Linda set her mail satchel down and rushed next door to buy the test.
The clerk’s eyebrow shot up as Linda plopped the box on the counter. “Oh this is for Krista.” She said pointing next door.
She hurried back, ripping the plastic wrapper off and tossing the instructions to Krista. Linda’s hands were shaking as she dashed into the bathroom. It seemed as if the thing turned purple before she even wet it.
“Purple means you’re pregnant.” Krista called.
The lazy summer clouds drifted over head. A slight warm breeze kissed Linda’s check. The chorus of the birds matched the one in her heart. It swelled in her chest and filled her whole body with delight. She could smell the sweet fragrance of honeysuckle all around. She wanted to tell the world. She was going to have a baby. She heard the angels singing. She put her mail bag in the truck as reality slammed in.
Dennis would be furious. Fear yanked the joy right out of her heart. A crow cawed as it flew over the parking lot. Linda stood with the weight of the world on her shoulders. The smell of diesel fuel assaulted her nostrils and a wave of nausea overtook her. Retirement had been in sight. Did she have enough sick leave? She had given away the baby things a decade ago. The sun ducked behind a cloud as she climbed into her mail truck.
“I bought that test at the dollar store.” Linda whined to the nurse at Woman Care. “I want a real pregnancy test.”
“Their test is as accurate as ours.” The nurse snapped. “There is no such thing as false positive, only false negatives. Now go to CVS and pick up some prenatal vitamins, the store brand is cheaper and just as good. We will see you in August.”
“I don’t have a prescription.” Linda said.
“ They are over the counter now. Things have changed since your last baby.” The nurse sighed and patted Linda’s hand. “It’s really going to be alright.”
How was she going to tell Dennis? She thought about their decision not to have children. They each had two children from their previous marriages. That was enough.
Linda’s mother-in-law, Anne, was the mayor of the small town where they lived. Her store was beside the post office. Linda giggled when she learned that Anne had run for sheriff. She knew that Dennis could handle her strong will. What an act to follow? She adored her husband’s mother. Mother-in-law was a good word in her book. Linda went next door to break the news.
Linda sobbed, “I’m pregnant and Dennis is going to kill me.”
Linda was stunned when her mother-in-law started laughing so hard that she wet her pants. Her mother-in law grabbed her and hugged her. She begged Linda to run home and get her a change of clothes.
Linda grudgingly handed her mother-in-law the dry clothes.
“I’m sorry but the look on your face was priceless. It reminded me of how I felt when I found out I was pregnant with Lori. I was 39. I thought the world had ended. This will be the blessing of your life. Dennis is going to be tickled.” Anne grinned.
Anne was right.
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