Mary didn't move to greet her husband when he entered the house.
She stayed seated casually concentrating on her sewing.
A slight tremor of her fingers belied how calm she really was.
The needle not hitting the mark on the first try. She jabbed her finger many more times than the material. Her tongue tip pressed against her teeth in her concentration a sure sign she was nervous to anyone who knew her very well. Or took the time to know Mary wasn't the usual loving, caring wife.
“No kiss tonight, darling,” asked her husband, Patrick.
“Sorry, darling. I'm trying to finish this before the baby arrives.” Mary didn't look up from her work. “Welcome home, darling. How was your day?”
“Busy as usual. My feet are aching. Where's my drink,” he asked from where he sat in his arm chair.
“You know where the bottle is. Help yourself for a change. You'll have to do so while I'm in hospital. Time you learned to do things for yourself.”
Patrick walked over to the cupboard to pour himself a large drink of straight whiskey with a few cubes of ice. 'Want me to make you a drink,” asked Patrick, but prayed he didn't have to make her one.
“No, thanks, darling. The baby doesn't like me drinking anything other than water, or tea. You go ahead and enjoy your drink. You can have my share as well, I don't mind.”
He poured extra whiskey into his glass.
More than he usually drank during a long, busy week.
This a sure sign her husband had worries on his mind.
He kept flashing quick glances in her direction to gauge her piece of mind. A nervous trait Patrick had when trying to keep secrets from his wife, or anyone else. Secrets he didn't want to share until the deal was completed.
“Are we going out for a meal, as usual, darling?”
“Patrick walked over to flop on to his chair. “Not tonight, darling. I'm too tired. This has been an awful day. Don't have the energy to go out. I want a quiet, restful night at home. What can you rustle up for our meal. Nothing fancy.”
“Sorry, darling. No can do. There's not much food. Haven't been feeling too well today. Could make my way to the shops, too far. Maybe you can go for some take-away. We never have take-away.”
“I don't like it. I want a home cooked meal.”
“Sorry, darling, but the smell of food cooking makes me sick. I've just been nibbling on bread, or dry biscuits. The baby doesn't want cooked food.” Mary flashed Patrick a apologetic smile while she watched him consume the liquid in his glass in one swallow. A smile of promise when she flicked out her tongue to moist her dry lips then turned her attention back to her work.
“Not long now,” kept flashing through her mind while she tried to work with shaking fingers.
“The baby is causing a lot of trouble. More than I though there would be.” The chains of this marriage chocking the life from him.
He wanted out.
This life had become boring since Mary became pregnant.
She wasn't fun to be with any more. Not like, no, keep your mind away from there.
Mary watched her husband's ire rise by the minute. One more push. She knew his secret. Patrick though she was dumb. Didn't know what he did while away from home. She'd known his secret for a long time.
Mary finally lay her sewing down on the table.
She began to struggle from the chair to her feet.
“If you insist on eating in, I suppose I can do something with the left overs in the fridge. Won't take me too long.”
“I don't want bloody left overs. I want a decent meal. I never eat left overs. You know that,” Patrick shouted.
“Yes, darling, I know. I have spoiled you rotten.” Mary made another move to stand. “I suppose I'll have to try to walk to the shop.”
Patrick poured another whiskey to scull it down. “Don't bother. I'm going out. Don't know when I'll be home. Don't wait up.” He slammed glass down on the table.
He stormed from the room
Out of this wretched marriage.
He was never coming back.
“Tell Kerry you have to be home early.” Mary called to his retreating back. “Tell her you need to spend some time with your wife.”
His feet slowed to a stop at the words on hearing the words. He turned to come back to the room. Patrick looked at Mary with shock in his eyes. She didn't look at him.
“You had better hurry. She'll complain if her food is spoiled because you're late. Have a good evening.”
Patrick turned to stomp his way from the room, and the house.
He slammed the glass door.
He rushed down the steps to cross the path to reach the street.
Screech. Bang. Thump.
Mary stood from her chair to collect her husband's glass. She went to the cupboard to replace the bottle of whiskey with another bottle with the same amount of content. She placed the glass, and the bottle, beneath the clothes of her packed suitcase, then she locked it. She shoved the suitcase behind the bedroom door. Sat back in her chair to continue with her sewing.
Awhile later a knock came to her front door.
Mary went to answer the caller.
“Hello, John. What can I do. Oh, what a mess. What happened?”
“I'm sorry, Mary. Patrick is dead. He was hit by the car when he rushed across the street.”
“Oh, no. Poor Patrick. Poor baby. It won't have a father, now.” Mary placed a shaking hand to her rounded stomach.
“Anyone we can call to come to stay with you,” asked John, thinking May was becoming distressed. He didn't want to be there if she began to cry.
“No, thanks John. I'll ring a friend to come be with me.” Mary closed the door.
She walked over to the phone to make her call.
She waited for the caller to answer.
“You can come to collect me. You had better come through the back way. I don't want anyone to see you. Hurry, love. I can't wait to be with you.”
Mary went to the bedroom to collect her case. Before leaving the room she removed the artificial bulge to stuff in her suitcase. She changed her clothes then placed the suitcase beside the back door to wait for her ride.
Another short story from an idea given to us to write which I have retrieved from my files. The folders are thinning out. I will have to dig out another lot.