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Sweet Expectations

The only reason I’m here is because my parents can’t keep their big fat noses out of my business.  I mean, I’m almost eighteen and married, I have some rights.

Yeah, that’s them in the waiting room, she’s the blonde with the big…well, the one sitting next to the guy with the handlebar mustache.  That’s my dad.  The red-headed guy?   That’s my baby, my honey—married seven months next week.  See my ring?  It’s not big, but isn’t it pretty?  Ronnie says it won’t be too long before he can buy one like I deserve.  He’s such a sweetie, always doing for me even when he doesn’t have to, like a couple weeks ago?  He says to me Let’s drive up to Fort Bragg and get some new tats.  Just like that.  It wasn’t my birthday or anything.  Want to see mine?  What? I thought you were the doctor. Aren’t nurses supposed to be women?

I guess I’ll have an exam, if I have to.  Will he…it’s a she?  I’m all mixed up today.  Will she have to tell my parents?  Not like I can ever keep anything from them.  Things were fine at first.  I mean, after they simmered down.  Ronnie’s been working for my dad for over a year now.  First time I saw him he was standing under the lift pulling the muffler off my Uncle Sonny’s truck.  I took one look at that curly red hair and thought Wham! I got to get me some of that!  My dad says he’s a real hard worker and my mom says he makes the best peanut butter chocolate chip cookies in the world.  We took some over the night we told them about us getting married.

As usual, my dad couldn’t keep his big mouth shut, saying that thing about buying the cow when the milk’s free, when he knows how sensitive I am about my weight.  Everyone, including him, says I take after my mom.   She’s always been a little thick in the waist but she has a real pretty face and hair, even if Clairol has something to do with that.  I mean what would you do, after all that ruckus and then the wedding and of course right off the bat my mom starts making plans for the baby?

Things just kind of got out of control, I mean I couldn’t just up and announce at dinner one night, oh, by the way, I got my period last night, not after all those months of everyone asking me how I was feeling and did I want anything special, especially not after Ronnie drove me to all those doctor appointments in Santa Rosa twice a month and him being so sweet and waiting in the car.  An exam?  I never had an exam.  I’d just go inside and read those magazines they have laying around.  If anyone asked, I said I was waiting for my sister-in-law.   After twenty minutes I’d come back out and we’d drive home, stopping at Farr’s on the way for milkshakes.  I must have put on forty-five pounds from those shakes, them and the bear claws Ronnie picked up after work every day just because he knew I had a craving for them.   My stomach started getting pretty big pretty fast, so I couldn’t tell anybody then, at least not after I started putting pictures of it up on Facebook anyway.   I was just trying to make that little bitch Julia Summers jealous.  She was in Ronnie’s senior English class last year.  He used to tease me saying she told him once she always had a “thing” for him.  The last time he said it, I threw the lava lamp across the room so hard it broke.  It made a mess all over the carpet.  Did you know those blue and orange bubbles are just big globs of oil?  The Facebook pictures?  I look at them now and maybe I don’t look so much pregnant as just kind of fat and then fatter, but everyone was just wanting that baby so much then.  I know I was.

I mean, according to my dad all he had to do was look at my mom and she’d get pregnant.  My sister had five kids in eight years.  My brother has three and they’ve only been together four years.  You might have seen them?  She was Monika with a k on season two of Bridezillas?  No?  Point is I thought for sure I was just like all the rest of them.  I swear I missed two whole periods, one for sure.  The rate Ronnie and I were doing it, I thought it’d happen any minute and nobody would know the difference.  And just because we live in my parents’ trailer in their backyard doesn’t give them the right to mess with our lives, does it?  I mean we’re sitting at my parents’ house the other night, all watching TV when my mom says she sure would like some of Ronnie’s special peanut butter chocolate chip cookies but she didn’t have any chocolate chips.  Ronnie jumps up and says he’d drive to the Safeway in Guerneville to get some.  He isn’t out the door two seconds when my dad starts in on me asking what’s my doctor’s name and isn’t this pregnancy dragging on a little too long and how come nobody can see that baby kicking like every other baby.  Like it or not, he says, it’s been almost ten months, we’re going with you to see that  doctor next week and if he has to induce labor, so be it, you got to think about that baby even if you don’t care about yourself.

So here I am, but I’ve been wondering.   I read on the internet about something called “hysterical pregnancies”?   I was thinking my parents might accept that explanation, if it came from the doctor him…I mean herself.   I know my Ronnie would.   He’s just such a sweetie.


Chei Ause lives on the North Coast of California where girls like the one in her story are also sometimes known to reside.  Cheri writes short fiction and poetry and maintains a low profile by keeping her ear to the ground.


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