This side of the Hormones (#5)

(An excerpt from my WIP Silver Sun…)

“So, Merry, have you given any thought to a baby shower?”

The look Isi received was so droll she flushed with embarrassment.

“Course you haven’t. Dumb question. But I mean, you don’t have ANYTHING for the baby. He’s going to need clothes and bottles and diapers–”

“I realize that Iz but I have limited room in my truck for extras. Baby doesn’t need much. Not everyone needs a full closet of clothes and a whole nursery.”

The words sounded irate to Isi’s ears. She never could guess what questions would put Merry on the defensive. It was a mine field to navigate, especially the closer it came to her due date.

“So…nothing then? Not even a pinterest board of ideas or–”

“No Iz, nothing!” Merry snapped and set down her bead project on her swollen belly, her green eyes flashing. “What are you really asking?”

Isabelle wasn’t used to being on the receiving end of pregnancy hormones so she floundered a bit. She also wasn’t used to straight-forward tactics.

“Colors!” she blurted out. “Just…wanted to know the colors you liked! For a boy and for a girl.”

Merry blinked, her eye brows hiking up into her forehead.

“Why?”

“You haven’t even thought about THAT? Seriously?”

“Iz, I’ve kind of been preoccupied this whole time running for my life and taking are of Caleb for the last seven months. Stuff like baby showers and color-coordinated outfits and diaper sizes hasn’t even entered my mental orbit.”

“I know but–”

“Not everyone is as excited about motherhood as you are.”

The words shut Isi’s mouth with a click and she felt a stab of pain in her chest. Merry pushed the project off her belly and she hoisted herself up, the conversation clearly over. Isi couldn’t understand at all and Merry gave nothing away to give her a clue how to handle the situation.

“Sorry I’m not like you.”

“You don’t have to be Merry! I was just–”

The other woman walked away without hearing the conversation through. Caleb, who had been sitting on the floor beside Merry’s legs looked sadly at Isabelle and followed after her. The golden-haired woman sighed and got up to head back into Moira’s nursery, sitting in the carved rocking chair and soothing herself by gently moving it forward and back with her toes.

“I don’t understand, Moira,” she said aloud, softly. The baby slept on, undisturbed by her mother’s words. “How can a mother NOT think about clothes and tiny shoes and bottles?”

“You okay?” Isaac came into the room a moment later, his face very concerned. “Merry just stormed out of here, keys in hand looking mad as a plucked hen.”

Isi held up her hands and shrugged.

“I just asked if she thought about having a baby shower and she freaked out at me, saying she wasn’t like me and not everyone is excited about motherhood.”

Isaac knelt down and kissed his wife’s forehead gently. She breathed him in, enjoying the smell of sawdust and manly sweat.

“Honey, who would she invite?”

“Well–”

“Who would shop for her?”

“WE would, of course!”

“Do you think she’d take the charity? She’s already living with us and she feels it sharply in her pride.”

“But surely she can think about her baby NOW because of that! She has a roof and food and a room–”

“Nothing is HERS though. She can’t take it with her when she goes.”

Isabella stopped rocking, surprise registering on her freckled face. Isaac smiled at her gently, trying to soften the blow.

“Did you expect her to stay here with us forever, love? One happy extended family with our babies growing up together and falling in love and getting married like some fairy tale?”

The woman fidgeted and straightened her shirt, not looking up at her practical and pitying husband.

“I love your big heart but did you really think before you asked?”

“I was just making conversation!” She burst out, upset even more now. Her eyes glittered with frustrated tears.
Isaac sat on the foot stool in front of Isabelle and looked up into her troubled face. He gathered her hands into his rough ones and kissed them, easing the sting of his truth.

“She’s had a hard time with the pregnancy Bells. Most of it was spent on the road in a beat up truck, running away from reporters who wanted to make her life hell. What does that tell you?”

Isabelle knew the answer Isaac expected but she simply would’t believe that a woman with a watermelon for a stomach could not have even GLANCED at baby clothes or thought about decorating a nursery. She said this out loud, deciding to be contrary because she was emotional.

“Would you if you were in her shoes?”

“I would be concerned about keeping the baby warm and fed at the very least, yes.”

“I’m sure she’s thought about those things but she can’t afford to fantasize about them. Where is she supposed to put a baby carrier? Where is she going to keep the clothes in the truck? How is she going to afford diapers and formula? Where is she going to go if the baby gets sick? Up until we took her in, these were her only worries for the baby. Not to mention praying the truck would hold up and that Caleb didn’t get jealous of the baby.”

“But now she DOESN’T have to worry!”

Isaac laughed in that special way that made Isabelle feel like she was being childish and she huffed at him.

“She has a job and a roof over her head! She can get clothes and blankets and diapers now. It’s WHY I asked about the baby shower! OH– gah nevermind!”

Isi crossed her arms and scowled at her dark-haired husband.

“Bells, Merry can’t stay here forever and she knows that. She can’t have a bunch of baby things like you can because she’s only here temporarily until she can get up enough money to move again. She can only take what will fit in that truck of hers.”

“That still shouldn’t prevent her from getting the necessities at least. And since she has to get stuff anyway, why shouldn’t they be in colors she likes? It doesn’t cost any extra money or space.”

“True. So maybe there are other reasons she’s upset. We won’t know until she tells us. For now though love, try to think before you speak.”

“Yeah yeah. Being on this side of the crazy pregnancy hormones is scary.”

He chuckled again.

“And now you know.”

He squeezed her knees and walked back downstairs to finish whatever project he was working on. Isi leaned back in the rocker and blew out a frustrated breath. One month to go and Merry doesn’t have a single thing for the baby. And yet Caleb has a whole backpack full of art supplies and clothes– Isi’s eyes lit up. Caleb. If there were ever a way to worm answers out of Merry, it would be through him. And he would be willing, she thought, the idea building quickly in her brain. He wants Merry happy. He wants the baby happy. He would be eager to help. Now she just needed a plan of attack…

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Author: Jessica Jordan

The adventures of one woman as she journeys to make it big in the Publishing World. With charming clumsiness she takes her first steps forward to travel this twisty-wisty world of blogging. Posts will be random, humorous, honest and emotional. She is never organized. Be warned!

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