She woke up to whispers. The girls, five-year-old twins. They were little chatter boxes. She could never get them to stop talking. They were all that she could handle, and now with the third on the way, a boy, she didn’t know how she’d manage. She looked at her clock just past 2 a.m. What in the world were the girls doing up? She lifted herself gingerly out of bed. Her protruding belly was a problem. She cursed at how ungainly it was. She’d never gotten used to it. She slowly waddled out of the bedroom, and down the hall.
The whispers continued. They were in the nursery.
“Girls?” she called. She called out again, but there was no answer. They never answered. They had never outgrown their terrible twos.
She paced down the dimly lit hallway. Nightlights from their bedroom offered little illumination. They had turned on the lights in the nursery. It was the habit of the last few weeks, scampering down the hall, turning on the lights in the nursery, and whispering as only little girls whispered. Secrets. Always secrets.
The door was ajar. Whispers from the other side were muffled. She didn’t want to interrupt. They were so cute. Always dressed in their favorite jammies: matching pink. She peered through the slit without being detected as only a loving mother could. Pink again, tonight. She pressed her ears against the door, ever so gently. Tonight, she could hear them clearly. Not like the others.
“…I really want him to get here.”
“It’ll be nice to play with him.”
“So when will he get here?”
She held her belly, and he kicked her hands as if in response to the question from his older sister. “Soon,”she mouthed as a tear welled in her eye.
“When will we see him?”
“Soon. Like mommy says every night.”
“Will we be able to play with him?”
“Not right away. Mommy won’t let us.”
“Not until he’s old enough. Then he can come play with us.”
“Oh yeah. I forgot.”
“You always forget.”
“Well mommy does too!”
A tear trickled down her cheek as she caressed her belly; a flurry of kicks in response.
“I keep forgetting what it’s like.”
“Me too, but don’t worry we’ll go back soon.”
“We just have to wait until he’s ready to come with us.”
“Will mommy come play with us?”
“Oh yeah. I forgot.”
“She’s not going where we are.”
© J. Manuel