Sometimes, she hated her father. Not truly hated, but that kind of hating that only someone who truly loves them can achieve. Today, she hated him for four simple words. “Let’s have another baby.” So he knocked up her mother, and then got himself reassigned to something top secret several thousand miles away, for at least six months. Now, Charlotte was driving to the grocery store at three in the morning because her very tearful and ‘on strict bedrest’ pregnant mother really wanted some Little Debbie cakes and it just ‘absolutely could not’ wait until the next morning.
Still mostly in her pajamas, with her pea coat buttoned up to the top, and her hair in a messy bun, Charlotte grabbed a single box of every type Little Debbie she could find, and headed towards the one still manned register at this hour. Andrew saw her coming and stifled a laugh. At another time, Charlotte would find this funny, but not at three in the morning. He knew for a fact that Charlotte didn’t find anything funny at three in the morning.
“You’re going to make someone a fine husband someday,” Andrew couldn’t help himself with that little one. Charlotte made a sort of noncommittal grunt, and put her head down on the little platform for signing receipts. She looked perfectly content fall asleep right there, and Andrew thought she might if he didn’t keep her talking. “So, when’s the baby due?”
“Forty nine days.” Charlotte responded without lifting her head off the ledge.
“And I’m guessing he’s going to receive hell if he’s even a minute late.”
“Oh, you don’t even know.” Charlotte finally stood up, “Now, I understand I wasn’t the most traditional of children, and my parents have a very—let’ call it interesting—look on life, but I’m twenty one now. What made them decide to have another child now? Where is the logic in that?”
Andrew chuckled. “Charlotte, I know your parents. I’m going to bet that logic had very little to do with it.”
Charlotte sighed and let her chin fall to her chest, “Yeah. You’re probably right.”
Andrew stuck her treats in two bags and handed them to her over the little ledge. “I will miss seeing you when the kid is born. You’re the highlight of the night shift.”
“Well, thanks, Andrew, but I think we’re just going to have to find other ways to see each other. Thanks.” Charlotte waved with the bag of treats, then turned on her heel and headed away. Andrew tried to swallow down the little bubble of hope that rose in his chest at that small comment. He had another three hours of boring nothingness before he could return to his own bed.
This is a rework of a story I posted on a different blog over four years ago. I thought it deserved a re-visit. Hope you enjoy.