Saturday, 26 November 2011

Amelia's Dilemma - A Short Story.

Amelia looked in the mirror for what seemed like the fiftieth time that day. She felt a bit nauseous. She fluffed her auburn hair reapplied her mocha - coloured lipstick and with a sigh retreated downstairs. Her best friend Michelle was making more coffee. Amelia was more of a 'tea' person but she didn't like to say. Michelle poured and then pushed the coffee mug towards Amelia. In typical fashion the coffee mug was beige - like everything else in Michelles monotone mansion.
It had a slightly cold effect and made the place less homely. All of a sudden there was a high-pitched squeal ascending in the hallway. Michelles five year old son Ben was sliding down the banisters of the old georgian staircase. Bens small hands were encrusted with chocolate as was his freckled face. He smirked cheekily to reveal a missing front tooth. He looked so young for his age. Amelia just adored Ben. But she generally wasn't a fan of children. They were so loud,helpless and naive and even endearing but Amelia felt she didn't have the maternal gene. For that matter, neither did her own mother. Amelia took a big gulp of her lukewarm coffee and decided to think happier thoughts. She was married, she had a lovely house, a great job as a secretary - but why did she feel like something was missing?

Michelle had been Amelia's friend for years, but frankly Michelle could be very mean.Michelle and Amelia have a complex relationship and Michelle can be quite intimidating. Michelle has a blonde shoulder skimming hair cut and is immaculately groomed, she also has an accent that seems fake - just like everything else about her.  She made offhand harsh comments and sly digs constantly about Amelias hair, style, career, but it just didn't seem worth confronting her about. Amelia knew deep down their friendship was more of a facade or a routine than a two way train. The weird thing was even though Michelle flicked her blonde bob and adopted an accent to sound even snobbier, her one redeeming quality was her terrific love for Ben. Her 'lovely little treasure' as she called him. Even as he shrieked, and messed up her perfect house, and misbehaved she still gazed at him like he could do no wrong. Ben hopped up on to his Mam's lap and started making motorbike noises then he wiped his chocolatey hands in Michelle's blouse and she didn't even flinch. Amelia gazed transfixed by this.
She felt as though she was living vicariously through Ben as he performed his mischevious act. She suppressed a smirk with difficulty and kept up the pleasantries. The beige couches are also, of course, a lovely canvas for chocolate stains. Ben is usually running around screaming and rubbing chocolate, crayons or mud into the carpets as well as the garments of any guests so it wasn't a big shocker.

''Your wedding was just fabulous! I have never seen you looking so gorgeous!'' Michelle exclaimed. Amelia knew that a compliment in typical Michelle fashion would be echoed by a snide remark. ''But of course, it is miraculous what a good make- up artist can do! I rather the natural look myself..'' Michelle trailed off while smiling nonchalantly. ''I didn't wear much Michelle I just wanted to look the part in the photographs with John, because god knows there are millions of them'' Amelia retorted. The truth was Amelia couldn't believe she was lucky enough to marry such a great lovely guy that she didn't mind spending several hours smiling for the cameras. It seemed like only days ago but she had been a married woman for four months. Already the pressure was on with all the aunties and extended family on both sides waiting for a little bundle of joy to be on the way. Just being in Michelles house, looking at Ben jumping around playing with his toys made Amelia realise she really, really wanted a baby. She wanted the fairy tale. John would be a great Dad. He loved Kids. He spent an hour on the dancefloor at their wedding reception with his little niece Rebecca. It was the cutest thing to watch.

 Amelia decided she wanted to get home. She hadn't been feeling her best the past few days, probably the cold weather setting in. She had been eating all around her lately due to the boxes of chocolates that were scattered all over here home and had horrific heartburn. Since the wedding she realised a lot of the gifts she had recieved were edible which was bad news for her waistline. She decided to swing by the pharmacy and get something to settle her stomach. Her local pharmacist, a jolly elderly woman called Betty greeted her with a handshake and congratulated her on tying the knot. Elderly ladies generally don't seem to be a fan of long engagements. I guess it's because the likes of Betty are from a completely different era where it was unheard of for an unmarried couple in their early thirties to live together for fours years before taking the big step. ''What problem Amelia? How can I help you dear?" Betty enquired. ''I am feeling nauseous lately... Maybe I have a dose coming on. I also have stopped making me and John chicken curry because I am getting dreadful heartburn..'' Amelia trailed off. Betty shuffled off behind the counter and with a confident grin put some rennie and a blue thin box on the counter. 

Amelia realised it was a pregnancy test.

 It hadn't even occurred to her but in her heart she was hoping and praying that it was true. Her symptoms did add up. Amelia paid, told Betty to keep the change and bolted out of the pharmacy back to her car. She drove home gleeful but trying not to get ahead of herself. She ran to her bathroom and followed the instructions. Her hands were shaking. Nerves and excitement built up inside of her. Two lines meant pregnant where as one line meant otherwise. She had to wait five minutes. She heard a thud downstairs and the rustling of plastic bags. John was home. 

He bellowed upstairs '' Amelia I miss your curry so I got us a takeaway curry I bet it won't give you heartburn....'' Amelia didn't respond for four minutes......

She strolled downstairs to the kitchen, tears in her eyes an threw herself into John's arms and whispered ''we're having a baby''.

To Be Continued...


xo L

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