Lying curled up on the floor, Shona wept bitterly. Every time she feels unable to cry anymore, her mind betrays her by projecting images of Chris dying and the tears return. Time has no meaning; she feels trapped in a bubble of memory and fear. Her sweatshirt is soaked through and the baby kicks frantically as she repeats the heartbreaking cycle over and over.
Why won't it stop!
She began searching her mind for memories of something good; something strong enough to overpower the imagined horrors and the ever-present dread. Finding one she focuses everything she has on it and begins replaying it in her mind.
Walking home, Shona was nervous. Her head spun with a myriad of emotions as her feet caressed the pavement. Checking her watch she sped up, aiming to get home before her husband. She couldn't decide whether she was happy or not, so much hinged on Chris' reaction to what she needed to tell him.
Almost running, Shona almost slipped as she rounded the last corner before the row of houses she was headed for.
My home; our home. How strange that sounded, even now, after over a year. They had bought this house together and the plan was simple; buy a house, get promoted, have kids.
Well that one has gone to shit. She thought as she reached the front door.
Fumbling the keys into the lock, a quick twist then she realises she needs to turn it the other way.
"Duh," she chuckles.
Eventually the door opens and the lip at the bottom of the door catches her foot, making her stumble. Shona recovered her balance, rushed into the house and dumped her bag and coat in the hall as she made for the sitting room. Her breathing steadied as she sat on the couch and tried to settle her nerves.
"Ok, calm down."
Thoughts bounced around her head as she anxiously watched the clock ticking down the seconds and minutes as she waited for her husband to return home.
A car pulled into the drive and Shona closed her eyes as she held her breath.
"Hey gorgeous, I'm home."
The familiar greeting triggered a flicker of Shona's lip as she tried to fight the urge to smile.
He walked into the sitting room and stopped in his tracks; a look of shock crossed his handsome face.
Oh no, he knows. She thought.
"What's wrong?" she eventually forced out.
"... You get more and more beautiful every day." He replied happily.
Shona took a deep breath. "Chris, we need to talk?"
"Uh-oh, that sounds optimous."
She raised her eyebrows. "You know the word's ominous, you just do that t' annoy me."
"Chris, I'm pregnant..." Shona took a sudden interest in the carpet as Chris' face formed a confused expression.
"Does..." his voice dropped to a whisper and she hears him gulp."... Does that mean yer going to get fat?"
She looked up at him in time to catch the ear-splitting grin as it crossed his face.
"You mean you're not mad?"
"Nope. I'm gonna be a da', how could I be mad at no longer bein' the most immature person in th' house?
He laughed and stepped forward to hug Shona tightly.
Shona came around to the sound of the front door being opened and closed, she quickly tried to dry her tears, it was only then she realised how wet the sweatshirt was.
"Oh my Lord," said Kate as she ran the last few steps to Shona's side.
Kate pulled Shona towards her and held Shona in a tight hug while she stroked her forehead and rocked gently back and forth.
"Oh god, I should have been here sooner. I'm so, so sorry." Kate whispered tearfully.