Once inside her living room, Bethany threw her bag on the table at the center of the room and slumped unto the couch on the left.
A fish smell permeated the air, and her stomach rumbled. But the young woman behaved like a dog mourning a beloved fellow canine. No appetite.
Instead, she powered on the flat screen television before lying back on the chair to watch a second television set.
In her mind's eyes, she saw herself standing on a porch and watching her husband's blue Chevrolet come into the driveway. She walked down the steps to the garage and opened the car door.
The young man with a goatee, dressed in a blue and black suit, with a blue bow-tie on a white shirt, came out. She kissed him, took his briefcase, and led the way into the magnificent living room.
Vegetable salad, spaghetti and stew, and fruit awaited him on the dining table. But first, she took off his jacket, shoes, and socks, and gave him feet and head massages, a delightful welcome-home package she reserved for him each time he returned from work.
"Honey," George said when they sat at the dining table, "what's up? You've had that smile since I came in."
She giggled, waited some more seconds, and when his stare widened, she said, "Someone will soon be a father."
George dropped his spoon. "Did I hear you well?"
"Yea. I found out this morning when you'd left for work."
George pushed back his chair and rushed to her side. Holding the sides of her tummy with both hands, he placed his head on her belly. Bethany supported his head with both hands.
"I can hear him," the husband said.
The wife cracked up in laughter, turning her head towards the ceiling.
"O, baby, thank you." George got up and stared into her dark eyes. "Thank you for making me a husband and a soon-to-be father."
"Thank God, honey. He brought us together."
"Yea, I know. You know what? I'm going to smother you with affection. Tell me whatever you want, and I'll get it for you."
Bethany laughed again. His promise reminded her of the day he’d proposed on the beach in Beachmond under a coconut tree, with the breeze from across the Atlantic Ocean bearing witness to that eternal bond.
On bent knee, with a gold ring in hand, he'd promised her a haven of matrimonial paradise. Now in their umpteen years of marriage, he lived up to every word of that promise and beyond.
"Anything, honey." Bethany came back to the imaginary living room. "I'll appreciate anything you buy for me."
Some months later, still in the mental movie, George returned home to a heavy wife lying on the couch. Coming to sit on the carpeted floor beside the chair, he held her hand and kissed her forehead.
"Baby," he said, the affection in his voice so thick that a saw would not tear through it in a minute, "I regret the fact that I can't share in this pain with you. I wish I could somehow transfer the baby to my own tummy even just for a month. But you know that I love you, don't you?"
Bethany nodded in slow motion.
"See what I got for you and our baby." George pulled a paper bag closer. Apples, oranges, blueberries, mandarins, and, of course, a large bar of chocolate.
His wife's big smile quantified her appreciation for the chocolate, whose yummy silky texture she could already feel on her tongue.
George went into the kitchen and returned with a knife. While Bethany enjoyed the deliciousness of a fleshy red apple, his tender hands massaged her swollen feet.
"George," Bethany said aloud, waking up from her fancies. "I love you so much. I can't wait for our marriage to become a reality."
She rechecked her phone. “Honey, please, call me.”
Janet is a Christian with a knack for writing. She's passionate about encouraging the pursuit of God and a life of purpose.