“I could eat this whole thing.” Alice cradled the dill dip as I crunched on the last carrot. Actually, Grace had the last two carrots, since she couldn’t chew them up with her 4 little teeth, though she tried. “Ooooh, I wish I had Ruffles! The crunch would be so good!!!”
I doubted it was the crunch she desired. “Are you craving salt?”
“…maybe.” She eyed the dip dreamily.
“Don’t do it.”
“I’m not going to.”
“You’re thinking about it.”
She did this thing where she chuckled almost bashfully, it’s pretty cute. “I did eat half a cabbage yesterday. And a cup of red wine vinegar….” We looked at each other.
She came back into the room, flustered. “I’m confused, what do you think?” She handed it to me. How was she confused? “It looks faint, so-”
“Hon. That’s not faint.” I matched the lines to the label. Oh $#!t….
She tore open the second package. “I did get the cheap one. It wasn’t the twenty dollar one, it was the seven dollar one that comes with two…” We compared the variable and the control, examining them like scientists.
“That’s not f***ing faint,” I repeated.
We looked at each other with half shock, half dread, half euphoria. Three halves make an overflow and it poured into a commotion, a word we were teaching Gary today. “Oh $#!t,” I repeated. “We can’t tell Bailey yet.”
Bailey and Ed have been working really hard for her to conceive. She prayed for a baby and I got one. It was like the story of Jacob and Rachel for a while, but she finally made peace with it. To help I started knitting a pair of baby booties in her favorite color, specially for her baby. “I think Bailey will have a baby next,” Edward had told Alice earlier that day. More like “I sure hope she has a baby first.”
“Not that you’re not welcome,” I start saying to Alice’s tummy.
“Five kids in six years. I wonder if this one will be a boy, or… will I have five girls.” Grace tried to stick the test in her mouth. Alice gave her the wrapper to play with instead.
I warned, “You’d better take it from her before Ed gets home.” As if by premonition, we hear the front door open. Alice snatches up the tests, I grab the box, and we both shove it in the corner. I remember to grab the wrapper from Grace’s mouth and crumple it into my fist. Grace looks at us wide eyed from the rush of action and starts to cry, sharing in our panic. “It’s Steve,” I try to reassure Alice, remembering that we have a smoker roommate that probably went out into the cold. The second I relax the bedroom door opens and our fears are realized, and I slip my fist into my pocket.
“How was your dinner?” we ask.