©Rejoice Denhere 2014
The buzzing sound of the alarm clock jolted me awake. I slowly opened my eyes, got up and walked to the window. The sun was shining, the sky flawless, the temperature cosy with a slight breeze and I thought to myself, “’Wow, I’m so grateful for my life.” I could hear my two boys in the next room already wide awake and playing computer games.
Saturday was Mummy’s day. On Saturdays I got to sleep an extra hour and my lovely husband Paul would bring me breakfast in bed.
“Good morning luscious,” Paul said as he walked in with my breakfast tray. Paul has an amazing way with words and knows how to make you feel like you’re the only thing that matters in his life.
“Morning baby. I know you’re only being nice because you want me to be nice and not beat you at the Bowling Alley later,” I teased.
“Well, is it working?” he asked winking at me. “No, of course not,” I laughed.
The breakfast-in-bed tradition started by accident really. Paul and I had just started dating when he came over to visit one cold winter evening. We spent a lovely evening together. At about midnight, as he got ready to leave I remember secretly wishing I was brave enough to ask him to stay the night. Well, somebody up there must have been listening because when we opened the door there was a snow blizzard and there was no way Paul was going to drive in those conditions. It just wasn’t safe. So he stayed the night.
The next morning when I opened my eyes Paul was not there. I panicked. He’d gone. I quickly got up, trying to stop the tears welling up in my eyes.
“Get back into bed!” I heard a voice behind me. “What?” The relief I felt was mixed with confusion as I wondered why I was being ordered back into bed. He read my mind. “Hey, don’t look so scared. I’ve made you breakfast.”
And from that day on Saturday became my breakfast in bed day. And later, when we were married and had started a family it also became mummy’s day.
Now as Paul stood there with the tray, I couldn’t help falling in love with him all over again. He has the easy good manners that come from being raised with them. He opens doors, buys flowers and chocolates/remembers birthdays and anniversaries. He follows the Mideast crisis, speaks three languages, raises beautiful children and trusts his instincts. Most importantly, he rides the roller coaster of my moods. He has my favourite face.
As he placed the tray on my lap the smell of eggs and bacon wafted up my nostrils. I breathed in. Suddenly I was overcome by a wave of nausea. I pushed the tray aside and bolted for the bathroom where I was promptly sick.
“Baby, are you okay?” Paul sounded worried. “I’ll be fine, sweetheart. I think I’ve just been working too hard,” I lied. He must have known I was lying because since when did hard work make people nauseas? I’d been feeling like this for several weeks and there was no denying that I was pregnant.
I could hear our eldest boy screaming. “Daddy, what’s wrong with mummy? Is she sick?” Our youngest boy, not to be outdone, screamed even louder, “I’ll get her some Calpol from the fridge to make her feel better.” That made me smile. I wished Calpol could help me get over the sickness.
After a while I felt better. I got up, brushed my teeth then jumped into the shower. As the tepid water ran down my body I felt a sense of dread which I pushed to the back of my mind. It was a beautiful day and I wasn’t going to let anything spoil it.
When I walked back into the bedroom I found Paul sitting on the bed looking worried. He finger combed his short, black curly hair and asked, “Baby, are you sure you’re okay?” “Of course I’m sure,” I said as convincingly as I could. I could tell he wasn’t satisfied with my answer and would have continued probing but the phone rang. Phew! Saved by the bell. It was June.
“Hi girlfriend!” she greeted me with her cheery voice. “Are we still on for the Bowling this afternoon?” Married to David, a serious looking Investment Banker, June is the life and soul of every party. They lived across the road and we had struck up a friendship when we moved into the area. They also had two boys and we had made it a tradition to meet once a month on a Saturday to go down to the Bowling Alley. “Of course we’re going,” I replied as relief washed over me. It would also give me a chance to speak with June about my concerns without raising too much suspicion.
When we arrived at the Bowling Alley it was packed. There was a group of young professionals who had clearly decided to have some kind of weekend get-together. They had booked most of the alleys but luckily we got one. While the boys went to get the drinks I sat down with June. She looked me straight in the eye and said, “Okay, out with it. What’s bothering you?” “Nothing’s bothering me,” I replied defensively. “Well, you’ve got that look – you know the one I mean?” “No I don’t!” “Okay, take your time.”
The drinks arrived and question time was over. I’d lost my chance to speak with June. Oh, well, maybe she wasn’t meant to know. I took a sip of my drink and nibbled at a packet of crisps. Suddenly that wave of nausea came over me again. I wonder why they call it morning sickness when you actually get sick at all hours of the day. Blessed Womanhood!. Fortunately nothing happened. June gave me a knowing look. Zip it, please, I signalled.
“Hey guys we will get the next round of drinks”, June announced. She pulled me to one side, “We need to talk.” She dragged me towards the drinks counter. “Okay, spit it out. That’s an order!” June could be such a bully but sometimes I needed that.
I told her I was pregnant. “So what’s the big deal? You’re married for God’s sake. It’s not like you’re a teenager whose boyfriend has just dumped her,” June commented. “You don’t understand”, I began. I can’t tell Paul.” “Why on earth not?” she quizzed. “Well, I just can’t. It’s complicated. He will want to know how I got pregnant,” I replied defensively.
June gasped in shock and the pregnant pause that followed could have given birth to triplets. When the conversation resumed, it was suddenly…deep. Just then Paul walked up to us. “Is everything okay ladies? Thought I’d check on you – you’re taking rather too long.” We walked back to the Bowling Alley in silence.