But there's no excuse for not writing. Not really.
I like those pictures with odd words that people never use and their definitions. I've always wanted to do a series of chapters, with a chapter named and themed after each of them. Hopefully this is the start of that.
This isn't good but it's something. Let me know what you think & thanks for stopping by ^^
- the delusion of things being more beautiful than they really are.
“So seriously, when we can expect some little ones?” my mother half-teased me and Steven. “Me and your father not getting any older, Goldie, not at all.”
“I think you mean any younger,” I corrected with a giggle.
“See it there now.” She nodded, having proven her point. “I want to be able to remember my grands’ names when you start popping them out.”
Steven chuckled and pressed a kiss to my forehead. I managed to just shift in my chair. I knew that he noticed the reaction and I avoided meeting his eyes. “We’ve been trying to give you and Pops those grands, Mama, I swear,” he insisted.
“Hmph. Unu go on. When you want me to babysit I won’t even be able to change their diapers, they way I going to be feeble. Or dead.”
“Mommy!” I exclaimed once more.
She and Steven laughed it off together but the thought dragged a finger of dread down my spine. Where would my safe place be if - when - my parents were no longer around?
I headed out onto the veranda as the sun was burning its way behind the hills. The house was alive with sounds in the background - Daddy’s antics, Mommy scolding him and Steven’s deep laughter from the kitchen as he stirred a huge pot of his best red peas soup. The scent wafted outside, beckoning me, but I ignored it. I knew what else those hands were good for. With a sip of sorrel, I sighed.
Mommy and Daddy, true country parents, had named me “Gold” - after the colour of sunrise and sunset and happiness. Of course I’d been teased growing up - Moldy Goldie and Cold Gold and all manner of ridiculous rhymes. But my parents had been adamant in urging me to accept that there was nothing negative in my odd name. I learned to fake a confidence stronger than I felt and insults ran off my back like water.
During University, I met Steven and we were smitten with each other. He loved my name and my country-girl spirit. Steven made everything beautiful - colours were brighter when he was around and whatever he prepared exploded spice and flavour on my tongue. We dated for three years and upon graduation, we got married and set up a tiny apartment.
Here, I shivered as a chilly breeze swept down from the hills. Tall grass whispered in the distance. The ancient excuses replayed in my mind. I all but heard the scratched record which facilitated them. Here, I wondered where we had gone wrong.
Maybe we had rushed into things. Maybe we should have dated more. Maybe I should have run back to the countryside to be with my parents the first time he shook me by the shoulders because I’d forgotten to buy bananas. I should have gone to my best friend when he started searching my phone after a night out with the girls. I should have called the Police when he shoved me into the wall because someone had mistakenly called me at two in the morning.
My head spun and I groaned a little.
Maybe I should stop. The spiraling thoughts never did any good. They made me feel lightheaded and distracted and then Steven would pick up on it and then…
But maybe I was safe here, in my family’s home at Christmas. There was no way he would do anything here. That made me smile and I splayed my fingers across my tummy and the secret that had begun to breathe inside me. Yes, I was safe here. You’re safe here too, my little treasure. I sent the message down my insides and imagined a tiny, golden spark as my thoughts connected with the equally tiny brain.
“Goldie, hun, what you doing out here?”
Steven threw a cotton jacket across my shoulders and, wrapping his arms around my body from behind, tugged my backside into him. I shuddered at the contact and he stiffened and squeezed me.
“Why you out here all alone?” he repeated.
God, I wanted to get away. But if I let my body respond the way it wanted to… I didn’t want to think about what the rest of the night may hold.
“Just getting some air. I don’t want to lose control and eat aaall the food, but it just smell too good when I’m inside.
He laughed and leaned against the thick, wooden banister beside me. I relaxed briefly.
“So… Mama and Pops are right, you know,” he started after a few taut moments of silence. “About the kids.”
I met his eyes - his brown eyes that had once been kind. These eyes were new. They were piercing. They dug deep.
I smiled. “Yeah. I hope it happens for us soon.” I stretched to release the tension I felt whenever Steven started on this path. Sometimes it was about a new colour he wanted me to paint my nails… sometimes a new car he wanted to blow our savings on…
Sometimes it was about this. The life he wanted us to create.
Another breeze whipped down and I tugged his jacket about my shoulders.
“You want a boy or a girl?” he inquired and I smiled and let myself breathe.
“Either one, really, as long as they’re healthy.”
The edge was back and I wondered which sex he was leaning towards today.
“Hmmm… a boy.”
I glanced at my husband’s profile. His shoulders raised and fell slowly with his long, steady breath and he met my eyes with a smile. “Me, too.”
“Lawd, them cute bad.”
“Remember when we were cute like dat, Mama?”
“You saying I’m not cute anymore?”
We all burst out laughing and settled into the chairs with red peas soup.
The flavours exploded, but now they were a tad more bitter that once upon a time.
And even as our group of four chatted, the dusk sky that I usually loved was more ominous and threatening than it was beautiful.