Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Holy Family

It is now officially a blizzard, and I am still sitting at my desk at work, looking out the window at the curtain of white that has descended like the final curtain at the end of a play. I'm surprised you haven't called, nagging me about leaving. I guess you're still mad at me for even venturing out; that fight this morning was a doozy. I didn't think you'd have such a conniption over me going to work in the snow; I thought your head would split in half. I understand your concern for the two of us, really I do, but I do have to go to work, no matter what the weather. I sigh as I decide to call it a day. I want to take my time driving home, and I want to make sure I'm driving during as much daylight as possible.

I pull on my boots and coat, turn off the computer and pull the office door shut. It looks like I'm the last one here. I waddle out to the car, the parking lot almost empty. I start the engine, then climb back out to clean the snow off the windshield and the lights. At least the snow is powdery and brushes easily to the ground. It's slightly pointless; the window is almost completely covered again as I settle into the driver's seat. I fiddle with the radio, hoping to hear a traffic report on the road conditions, but the radio is janky, so the reception fades in and out. I pull out my cell phone and hit the pre-dial; I hope you pick up. The call goes straight into voice mail. Damn it, I think to myself, what is your problem? Why are you being such a jerk? I leave a quick message, letting you know I'm on my way home. A normal drive would be thirty minutes; today, who knows?

I begin the ride home, slow and steady, like cooking a roast. The roads are slushy, the visibility nil. I keep my foot on the gas, my concentration trying to pierce the gauze that permeates the horizon. The roads are deserted, most people wiser than me having decided to stay at home, ensconced on the couch with either a good book and a pile of DVDs and a hot cup of something. I miss being able to drink a glass of wine. I let my mind wander slightly when suddenly I realize the light ahead has turned red. I hit the brakes, too hard, and start to spin. I try to remember what I should do; turn into the spin, turn towards the fish tale. I frantically turn the wheel, first one way, then the other. The car begins to straighten out; luckily there are no other cars in my way. I try to catch my breath, my heart racing. Maybe I should have stayed home today.

It takes me over ninety minutes to drive ten miles; by the time I pull into our driveway it's dark out, my nerves are shot, my bladder is screaming to be emptied. I see your silhouette in the kitchen window, watch you dash out of the side door towards me. I manage to put the car in park as you pull open the door. Your face is a mixture of anxiety and relief.

"Go on in the house, I'll park the car in the garage."

You help me to the door, my ungainly bulk slipping slightly as I cross the snow covered path. I make it to the bathroom in the nick of time; I swear, one of the greatest pleasures in life is being able to empty a full bladder.

I pull off my boots while sitting on the throne and begin to unwrap from my outer clothes. I hear the door to the garage shut, your footsteps coming up to the powder room door. A sigh of pent up emotions escapes from your lips before you knock gently on the door. I try to pull myself up, but find my center of balance has shifted and my muscles have knotted from the long drive.

"Help" I call out pathetically.

You rush in, expecting the worst, then smile wickedly at my predicament.

"I should leave you there, as punishment for putting me through such agony."

Tears start to form in my eyes and I'm taken aback by the emotions rising in me.

"I'm sorry I made you worry, but you don't have to be such a jerk about it."

I sit sobbing, my head in my hands, feeling like an idiot. I hear you moan guiltily, then feel your arms wrap around me. You scooch my skirt up, exposing my swollen belly, and kiss Junior. He/She responds with a swift kick to your nose. Reluctantly I begin to giggle. It really is quite comical, an extremely pregnant woman sitting on the toilet, her clothes in disarray as her husband embraces her. Not exactly a subject for Da Vinci.

You rest your head, looking up at me. I realize your eyes are swollen and red.

"I didn't mean to be a jerk, I was just so worried about you both, then so angry with you for not listening to me. All I could think was I'd get a phone call saying you'd spun off the road."

Your arms tighten against me as warm tears anoint my belly. Junior begins to squirm, all ready embarrassed by his parents public displays of affection.


  1. What a frightening ride (but a fantastic story using the words from the prompt!) I was totally clenched up until the end,

  2. Sheilagh Lee said:Gripping the description of the drive and then the suprise at the end. I loved it.

  3. 'Holy Family' - like Mary trying to make it back to the manger in the snow..a warm, effortless piece are such a gifted story teller..I loved the phrase 'slow and steady, like cooking a roast'! Jae :)

  4. Lots of fun to read, this one. Love the way you played with what we know...

  5. Nicely paced. You got the tension well.

  6. Beautiful story, I loved it. :-)