For Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #114, where we write about this photo from Pixabay.
He pushed his pen away and let out a long sigh. It had to be done. It was time to cut and run. Why did they always end up doing the things that *she* wanted to do? And why, last week, did she arrange a night out for them with her friends, to clash with his planned night out with his own buddies? Okay, in the grand scheme of things, a tiny burden, but in Rory’s case, it finally tipped the scales.
B-R-R-R-I-N-G. The phone in his cubicle brought him back to the present. In a fraction of a second, he was alert, “Rory Fox?”, he answered, professionally. “Hi, hun, it’s only me.” Lorna. His very own burden. She must have been thinking of him, at the same time as he had been thinking of her. Spooky. But now was not the time to say anything. What he needed to say, it required some planning.
She jumped straight in. “I just wanted to make sure that you were going to be home on time, tonight. There’s something I need to talk about”.
“Of course”, murmured Rory, “as a matter of fact, there’s something I want to discuss, too.”
And they left the conversation there, with each knowing that the other had some news they wanted to share.
Four hours later, Rory cleared away their supper dishes. He sank into the sofa and kicked off his shoes. It was uncanny, how the sofa lifted the burdens from his shoulders
“What did you want to tell me?”, chimed Lorna, merrily.
“You’re very chipper this evening”, responded Rory. “Go on, you first.”
She psyched herself up. “Okay, there’s no gentle way to say this, so I’ll just come out with it.”
“I wish you would.”
“Okay, I wanted you to be the first to know. I’m pregnant.”
Rory’s jaw dropped. He suddenly found himself sitting bolt upright, again. This was not the news he had been anticipating.
A pause. Eventually, he stammered, “P – P – Pregnant? How do you know? How far along are you?” He was incredulous, but at the same time, it clicked into place. Her recent behaviour, it all made sense.
“Okay”, explained Lorna, “I know because I bought a test at the weekend. I tested today.”
“Ah, but how do you know? It could’ve been wrong.”
“I went out to the shop and bought two more. They’re all positive.”
Finally recomposing himself, Rory’s mouth closed. Then, a considered: “So how far along are we?”
“I’m not sure. I’ve missed two cycles, that’s why I bought the test.”
By now, all Rory could manage was “fucking hell”, as he sank into the chair and let out another long sigh.
After a half minute to allow the news to sink in, Lorna asked chirpily, “what’s your news?”
“My news?”. Rory pondered for a moment, unsure. Quickly thinking about what his response should be, his foot played with his recently-removed shoe,
“Oh, it’ll wait.”