by H.E. Taylor
|Chapter 85||Table of Contents||Chapter 87|
And Baby Makes Four, March 18, 2060
At the next UNGETF meeting, Rhamaposa reported that Group 12 was sponsoring an Arctic sunbug project. He didn’t have a lot of details, just that Group 12 had contracted with Graves and Lorenz LLC to do the work.
“What you will hear in the media is a dispute with local Inuit over the location of the ground receiving station. Like all colonized peoples, they have a long history of fighting the powers that be.”
I had sent Peter a report on my investigation of the Skookum Tephra, but when he asked in the meeting, I said I had a paper coming out soon and would present the details then.
I took the long way home, walking along the lake to think.
Edie met me at the door. She kissed me and said, “I’m pregnant.”
For a second I wasn’t sure what I had heard. I looked at her and she nodded, reading my confusion.
I kissed her and said, “Well I guess we better move up our plans for the ceremony.”
“I don’t care about that. I want you to tell me how you feel.”
“Surprised. Glad. Concerned. How are you?”
“Happy. Connected. Do you want this baby?”
“Oh yes. Absolutely!”
I could tell I had said the right thing because she burst into tears. Edie wrapped her arms around my neck and sobbed into my chest.
Anna heard the commotion and came down the hallway looking curious and concerned. “Why are you crying?” she asked.
Edie broke away from me and kneeled in front of Anna. “I’m crying because I’m happy, sweetheart.”
The frown that statement elicited made both Edie and I burst out laughing.
“You’re going to have a little brother,” said Edie.
“It’s a boy?” I said.
Edie looked back at me and nodded.
Anna still looked puzzled. “Where is he?”
Edie stood up, took Anna’s hand and put it on her still flat tummy. “In here.”
“Yes, he’s growing and in about 7 months, you’ll have a little brother.”
“For my birthday?”
Edie gave her a big hug and said, “Yes, about then darling.”
“Right about the time you’ll be starting school,” I said.
Anna got big round eyes and stared, first at me and then at Edie. “School?” she echoed.
Edie kissed her on the forehead and said, “Yes that’s right, dear.”
We were still standing at the entrance to the kitchen in my interrupted homecoming. “Why don’t we go out for supper? To celebrate!”
Edie smiled and said, “It’s a nice gesture, but I’d rather stay home, if you don’t mind.”
I was a little surprised. We hardly ever went out. But I said, “Whatever pleases you. You’re the queen, now.”
“Well I have rice and chicken with onions and broccolli. I thought we’d have wok vegetables. You and Anna go downstairs and choose a canned fruit.”
“Okay, but first I’m going to wash up.”
“Come on, sweetie.” I held my hand out to Anna. She bounced downstairs and I followed.
After supper, we were in the front room when Rhamaposa called. I opened the large wall screen to take the call with Edie beside me and Anna on the floor.
I wanted to ask you why you ducked the chance to report on EF1 today.”
“Guilt, I suppose. I’ve been feeling like the Sorceror’s Apprentice with EF1 running wild.”
Peter nodded his head. “Yes, I thought it might be something like that. I hope you realize it’s nonsense. We need all the sinks we can get to grab CO2.”
“I keep telling myself that, then I see a building covered with EF1 and…”
“Well, I’ll let you go. If you’re determined to beat yourself up, I won’t interfere.” He paused a second, glanced at Edie and said, “Goodnight.”
Edie poked me in the ribs and said, “See. I told you.”
Anna was pulling at my pant leg. “What is the Sourcess Prentiss?”
“Oh, would you like to see it? I can show you.”
I opened the house system video menu and we sank into the Walt Disney classic.
Excerpted from _The Bottleneck Years_ by H.E. Taylor
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Last modified April 1, 2014