Chapter 24: If Only Us... Chapter 24

Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Romance

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Comments: 1

Virginia was discharged from the hospital three days later.  We carefully swaddled Marie into her blankets and tucked her into her carrying bassinet.  The December wind was whipping snow around, but none had stuck to the ground yet.  I opened the door to our car and settled Virginia down in the passenger seat.  We managed to put Marie’s basket in the back seat.  It fit just right wedged against the front seat.  She slept soundly all the way home with Virginia swiveling all the time to watch her.  I drove very slowly.

I arrived home to yet another surprise.  My two sisters decided to move in together and my brother moved into one of their rooms.  This left us in the two bedroom side with a room for Marie.  When we saw how the room was fixed up we both couldn’t thank everyone enough.  My sisters had pooled some money and bought a very nice expandable German crib for Marie.  One that started out for a newborn and then changed into a larger one for later.  New curtains were hung on the window and a small settee along one wall added in case Virginia or I wanted to stay in the room.  All the comforts we would need.

I lay Marie in her new crib carefully as my mom watched me.  She put her hand in the middle of my back.  “I am so proud of you, Tom.  The two of you are going to do all right.”

Since it was so close to the Christmas vacation, they let Virginia out of school until after the New Year.  I brought her assignments home and kept up my work at the PAO.  One evening I came home and found Virginia and Marie cuddled up in the big armchair in the living room.  They had blankets tucked around them.  Virginia was feeding Marie.  It was a most touching scene to watch those tiny blue eyes drift open and close again.  When open, Marie made faces while sucking on the nipple.

Virginia was asleep or at least dozing heavily, when I came in.  The angle was just right so it looked as if they were sleeping under the Christmas tree.  I quietly went and got my camera.  I’d loaded it with color film so that I could be ready for any pictures for posterity.  This was definitely a keeper.

I used a cover over the flash attachment so that it wouldn’t hit them directly but only as a reflection.  I took three pictures before Virginia opened her eyes and smiled at me.  We looked down at this tiny person suckling at her breast.  Marie’s eyes were open now and appeared to be watching me.  They didn’t track yet though.  I was not about to try and take a flash picture of her.  Too much danger of startling her.

Virginia pulled Marie off her right breast and opened the blanket so she could be moved to the left.  Without hesitation, the little one latched back on and we watched her tiny throat muscles as she swallowed nutrient.  Her eyes got dreamy and lost focus again.  She fell asleep still sucking.

“This is going to be hard on me, Tom.  You know what just licking my nipples does, so you can imagine what having her sucking and occasionally biting them is doing.  The doctor told me that we can’t have any relations for up to six weeks.  I’m not sure I can make it, not to mention you; poor thing!”

“I can take it, honey.  We can just lie in bed and hold each other, or we can take turns sleeping in Marie’s room.  Whatever it takes.  You know as well as I do that there are things I can do to relieve my stress that don’t involve you – other than in my mind’s eye, that is.”

She gave me a concerned look.  “Oh, I don’t want you to do that.  We’ll just have to work something out won’t we?”

“But, baby, I don’t want you to be in pain or pull stitches.”  She looked up at me wide-eyed.  “Yeah, the doc told me about that.  Four of them.  That’s why we have to be careful.  And I will be careful not to do anything that might jeopardize your health.”

“Boy, that’s going to be really tough then, she’s really turning me on.”  She snickered, and then laughed.  “I feel better now.”

“I’m changing into grubbies and fixing supper tonight.  Want anything special?”

“How about just some soft-boiled eggs and a couple pieces of toast.  It’s about all I can manage right now.”

“Coming up very soon.”

I changed into my old sweat pants and shirt and then headed into the kitchen to rustle up dinner.  Toast and eggs sounded pretty good, but I was going to scramble mine and add some chopped veggies and a little heat from a jar of salsa.  A tasty western omelet.

Virginia roused herself and put Marie in her crib before joining me in the kitchen at the small dinette table.  We ate in silence until she turned to me.

“I’ll never make six weeks.”

“Neither will I, my love.

We did, however.  It was hard – to say the least and no pun intended – but we managed.  Before the sixth week was up, Virginia and I held a brief conversation in bed one morning.


“Hmmm, Baby?”

“We have to talk about something.” she said seriously.  “We’d better get back to some birth control or we’ll be knee-deep in babies in no time,” she added with a smile.

“Yeah, you’re right about that.  I’ll make a trip to the BX tomorrow and buy a box of condoms.  Damn good thing I turned eighteen in July isn’t it?  I can see myself asking my dad to buy them for me.  What a hoot!”

“Yeah.”  She snickered.

“Go take your shower.”

I nodded and went to do my morning routine.

A couple of afternoons later, we bundled Marie in a huge blanket and put her in the traveling bassinet in the back seat of our car.  We were on our way downtown to see Frantz and Angelina at their Inn.  I’d called in the morning to see if they were going to be there and was reassured that they were.  I didn’t tell them of our surprise though.

We drove out the gate, down the hill, and angled over towards the train station.  We parked down a quiet cul-de-sac and I lifted Marie’s carrier out.  Virginia put a thin blanket over the basket to keep the wind from chilling her.  She was also wearing a really cute pink skull cap that my grandmother had knitted for her.

Virginia entered the Inn first and Angelina bustled around the edge of the counter to throw her arms around Virginia’s shoulders.  They hugged tightly as Angelina called for Frantz to come see who was here.

I came into the Inn about the time Frantz arrived from a back room.  When they saw what I was carrying they rushed over.  I flipped the blanket back and Frantz looked at Angelina and told her that he had suspected something like this.  Angelina pooh-poohed that and said he’d done no such thing and asked Virginia if she could hold Marie.

“Sure.  She reached into the carrier and carefully lifted Marie out to hand her to Angelina.  Her old eyes watered as she began to coo at her in German baby talk.

“Such a beautiful baby, Virginia.  You are forgiven for not coming to visit in a long time.  I think maybe you make the baby here, eh?”

“Angelina!”  Boomed Frantz.  “Such a thing to say.”

“I know, I know.  But you two have such love for each other.  I know how such things happen.”  Angelina laughed and elbowed Frantz in the ribs so hard he ‘oofed’.  “Come, we go into the family house.”

She led us into the kitchen of their home attached to the Inn.  She indicated that we were to sit at the table and began bustling around the kitchen scooping bits of this and that onto plates.

“You need food, Virginia.  Look how skinny you are.  You must eat good food for two now.”

I laughed at that, but stopped when Angelina turned to me and said the same thing.

“You both must be good Germans and stay healthy.”

Most Germans considered a little layer of fat to be a healthy thing.  I didn’t happen to believe that, but there was no way I was going to say so right in Angelina’s kitchen.  I ate what was on my plate.  She’d dropped a huge wurst, a big forkful of sauerkraut, another scoop of fried potatoes and added a big glass of milk.

“Hah!  No bier for you, eh?”  She said, pointing to me.  “Only milk to gain strength.”

Marie woke up when we were almost finished.  Angelina led Virginia off to the living room so she could feed her while Frantz walked me back into the great room of the Inn.  A roaring fire was in the hearth that warmed the entire room.  There were several couples sitting around who turned when we entered.

Frantz introduced me around and added that I had just become a father.  The woman from one of the couples looked at me with surprise and asked if that were true.  When I replied that it indeed was true she told me I was much too young.  She really looked shocked when I told her that Virginia was six months younger than me.

Ach.  Youth today are much too anxious to be adults.  You should take more time to be young and free.”

“I do feel young, and free, but now there is just the three of us sharing that feeling.”  I said, bowing to her.

She laughed a great laugh and patted me on the shoulder.

“You will do.  You will do, I think.”

Danke,” I replied.

One of the guys told me I spoke an almost accent-less German.  He asked me how long I’d lived here.  I’m sure he was expecting me to say I’d been here for many years, but when I told him I’d only been here for just under three years he lifted his eyebrows.

Ach, so!  That is such a short time to speak as a good Luxemburgish should.  Quite an accomplishment.  Frantz!  I think a round of schnapps might be in order, eh?”

“I quite agree, Herr Schneider.  Let me get the glasses.”

He turned to the sideboard, opened the door where he kept the special glasses and removed a number of them.  Then he bent down and pulled open another door to his special reserve of fine liquors.  We were going to get the full treatment.

He filled the glasses with care, then turned and passed them out.  They lifted them in toast towards me.  I toasted last.  We drank.  Everyone set their glasses back on the counter and shook my hand.  We sat back down in the conversation area and chatted.

Virginia came through the door about ten minutes later with Marie on her shoulder.  All the men jumped to their feet and bowed as I introduced her to them.  The women simply gathered around her to see.  Virginia held her up to everyone.  At the moment she opened her big eyes, everyone did an involuntary ‘ooh’.

“Such beautiful eyes.  She will be a lover, that one.”

“I certainly hope so,” Virginia replied.  “I found mine, so she should find hers.”

The man who had complimented me on my German caught my eye and nodded emphatically.  We all sat back down and just talked for what seemed like hours until Angelina asked us if we would stay for dinner.  I jumped to my feet, looked at my watch, and told her I would love to, but we had promised to eat at Virginia’s house tonight – and we were almost late.  She scolded us, but smiled as she did.  We had to promise to come back soon for dinner.

“Be sure to bring the little one!”  She boomed at us.

“We will, Angelina, we will,” Virginia answered.

We wrapped Marie up in her traveling blanket and put her into her carrier.  Saying our goodbyes to everyone, we went out to the car and drove back home.  Hastily, but not exceeding any speed limits by any measure.  We arrived at Virginia’s parent’s house precisely on time, give, or take fifteen minutes.


Submitted: July 07, 2013

© Copyright 2022 B Douglas Slack. All rights reserved.


Add Your Comments:



"Precisely on time, give or take fifteen minutes".


Thu, December 5th, 2013 8:31pm


Hey, it was the fifties. Always correct to add a "-ish" to a time.

Thu, December 5th, 2013 12:34pm

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