By Leslie Lindsay
Thinking about Annie—about her life now—who she is, who’s she’s become. A wife, a mother.
Pregnant? Could that be just another illusion? I mean, I knew she had kids—two of them to be exact—and Beth, well all she ever wanted was what Annie had. It was like a bad joke; a twist of fate I wasn’t expecting. Annie had everything she ever wanted—children, a home, an education. Joe. I wince. An impediment to my goal.
And all Beth wants is a baby. With me. I rake my hands through my hair. Pregnant. How can that be?
I always assumed Annie and I would have children someday. It was one of the reasons I fell so hard for her. I pictured us having kids together—nurturing, maternal Annie. If anyone was cut out for the job, it was her. What more could I want—a wife who was a nurse. Maybe a school nurse, who would place Band-aids on skinned knees and ice packs on sore heads; the summers off to be with our own kids. It seemed like the ideal situation.
The first time I imagined our future family was a year or so after we had been dating. Dad’s sister lived just outside of Athens. Late winter—the dreary season in Georgia. “Come with me to Aunt Christy’s,” he said. “We can order pizza and catch up.”
I had shrugged and told him I was busy with a chem lab, “Not today, dad.” I shifted the receiver to the other ear and looked over to Annie sitting on my bed in the dorm, chewing on the tip of her pen. I probably rolled my eyes, humoring dad. What I really wanted was to get back to our study date. Annie needed help with pharmacology. I understood it, the mechanism of action, uptake and reuptake loops, the way the chemical properties transformed into useful substances in the body. But then something struck me. I don’t know—the tilt of her head, a brief smile, her soft features.
“Hey, wanna go to see my Aunt Christy?” There was a part of me who wanted to show off my girl. She lifted her shoulders and looked at the pharmacology text splayed open on the navy bedspread. “Free pizza—“ I enticed her with a broad smile.