Monday, November 9, 2015

Chapter 1: Marion

Marion pulled the collar of her jacket upward again, trying in vain to defend her neck from the bite of the Autumn wind. It had been almost hot out this afternoon on her way to work, so she had left her scarf and hat in the car, not wanting to wear it in the warm afternoon weather as she had a block and a half to walk between the parking lot and work. Now the sun was fading as the wind kicked up and she regretted letting her guard down in the bipolar weather. She shivered. Her footsteps echoed down the alley before being swallowed up in the sound of the wind. "Hurry! Hurry!" it seemed to whisper in her ear, threatening or imploring Marion to speed up as to reach the shelter of her car sooner. Her swollen feet protested but she increased her pace as much as possible. Marion put a protective hand on her belly over her growing child as she slid behind the wheel. Shivering, she got the car started and did a frozen wiggle-dance as she waited for the heat to kick on. Soon the temperature had increased enough to remove her jacket and buckle her seatbelt. All the way home, the baby did flips and kicked Marion in the ribs first, then the bladder, then the ribs again. Marion silently willed her little one not to get tangled in the umbilical cord. Marion's sister Kate would fly in tomorrow, Saturday, with plans to stay 4 or 5 months to help with Ben and Marion's 4 year old daughter when Marion became too pregnant to chase her around, and for a few months after the birth. Marion at 26 was the oldest of their parents' 3 grown children, followed by Joseph at 22, and Kate, the "baby," was 19 and would do just about anything for a "baby fix." Marion rolled her eyes at the thought of Kate's response to kids. 2 kids was going to be enough for Marion, and it would be a miracle if Joe ever even married, but Kate? Marion could see Kate with 14 kids and loving it. If she ever found Mr. Right, that is. While Joe was single because he had too many options and no compulsion to settle, Kate's potential suitors all ran for the hills the second they saw her interact with children, it being glaringly obvious that Kate's greatest ambition in life was to be a mom... probably many times over. But maybe Kate had mellowed out some. It had been 10 months since Marion had seen her sister, after all. Maybe Kate had finally realized she was never going to catch a husband when she only wanted a man because his DNA would be required to create offspring. ... Walking in the front door, Marion found Ben and Raeleigh cleaning up spilled Mac & Cheese from the floor under the table. Seeing Marion walk in, Rae abandoned the job and threw herself into her mother's arms with a scream of excitement. Marion smiled, feeling like things were just about perfect right now.