Play Nice

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[This is where the summary would go if I'd bothered to write one.]

« Passive/AgressiveDinnertime »
Kate & Steve: a love story

Kate and Steve’s story began years ago, but to recount every detail of their courtship would bore even their best friends.  They met at a party, talked into the night and each believed that the person they’d just met was special. It didn’t take them long to agree that this was something different; something that was meant to be. They laughed constantly and completely annoyed all of their friends with their coupled cuteness.

They broke up once over Steve’s incessant use of paprika. He poured it onto everything he cooked and thought she was joking when she complained.  She thought his continual use of the seasoning spoke to deeper character flaws. Some yelling occurred, a plate was thrown and they didn’t speak for 8 months.

They got back together because Kate’s dog, Scooter, was run over by a car on a late September night. As she waited for the vet to tell her if Scooter was going to be all right she remembered the day Steve had helped her rescue the dog from the pound. Before she had a chance to talk herself out of it she was dialing Steve’s number.

When he walked through the entrance of the animal clinic she rushed into his arms and all was forgotten.

That was six years ago. Five years ago they got married. It was a small ceremony; only friends were invited. Instead of going on a honeymoon they spent a week moving into a three-bedroom house on the outskirts of town. They told themselves that there would be plenty of time for a honeymoon later. She discovered he was afraid of heights and had to climb up to the roof herself to work on the gutters. He realized her neatness was just an act and found himself constantly picking up after her.

Three years ago they decided it was time to have children. She wanted a boy first; he wanted a girl. They did agree on the names, nothing too exotic. They agreed on normal names that wouldn’t get their child beat up at recess.

A year and a half ago they went to see a fertility specialist who informed them there was nothing wrong - that they simply needed time. She blamed herself for waiting so long to begin trying. He wondered if all the pot he’d smoked in his early twenties had anything to do with it.

Six months ago Kate began taking birth control pills again. She did not tell Steve. She was so tired of the helplessness and disappointment she felt each month that she had a period. And she certainly could not deal with another miscarriage. She never told Steve about that either. She’d been so happy, but yet so afraid, when she’d missed two periods in a row. The morning that she’d woken up with horrible cramping she’d known she was losing the baby. She told Steve she’d probably caught the flu. He tucked her into bed and brought her chicken soup.

The following month she’d gone to a different gynecologist to get a prescription for birth control.

This morning she goes through the motions of taking her temperature as soon as she wakes up. She calls it out to Steve, who is in the bathroom, so he can record it on the chart.

“Babe, it looks like the next couple of days are good for us to try again,” he calls out to her as he brushes his teeth. “I’ll try to get home early tonight, but Tom is going out of his mind about the Mercer deadline, so I can’t make any hard promises.”

She turns away from the bathroom door as she says Ok.

She pretends to be asleep when he kisses her forehead and whispers goodbye.

He doesn’t notice that her eyelashes are wet with fresh tears.

Published 08/30/02 in Writing • | Views: 2032 times | Print

3 Comments & Trackbacks

chief clown, eh? no wonder we’re selling booze like it’s going out of style… maybe it’s fiction but its damn close to a lot of my life; you write frankly and plainly and it cuts to the quick. Nice work. Wonder what I’ll dream about tonight…

Posted by dan  on  09/01  at  02:29 PM

head clown of course. i wouldn’t be anything less. besides, i hear the fringe benefits are really quite something.

Posted by patricia  on  09/01  at  03:12 PM

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