Pregnant Widows Club, a novella, chaptella 4

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The shrinking.

Iridella had taken a long time to find a husband.
She had "saved herself" for him.
There had been a lot of men and boys that she had felt attracted to or had thought she should have been, over the years.
She was just short of her thirtieth birthday, just recently a convert to self-activation, partially out of frustration and part from her gynecologist's veiled suggestions that she become more acquainted with the way her body worked, when she met Ibat, a seemingly God-sent combination of everything she wanted in a man or thought she ever should need.

At this late date, six months into her pregnancy and five months into her widowhood, she couldn't remember any physical contact that she had ever had with her husband that stood out from the background of the glow of the joy of finally finding the one person that she was meant to be with. It wasn't that she was naive. At thirty, there was little in the world of tough knocks and sad behavior outside of a sexual relationship that she hadn't exeperienced. In fact, when it came down to that, they weren't quite capable of waiting until the wedding night, but they came within a couple of weeks, which with her perseverence, was close enough. But she didn't find the act remarkable like novels, rumors and friends had tarted it up to be. It didn't even seem like something that could be called "sex". It was more like... plumbing. Like unclogging something with a thin plunger... and she was the drain. Not that it was unpleasant, but she had had experiences with new clothes, say, a pullover or some really nice socks, that were more memorable and worth the repeating.
Being with Ibat was nice and all, she liked having someone there when she got home. She liked having someone to do nothing with. She liked having someone help her when she was ill. She liked having someone to help, although he seemed to need little of that.

She didn't know when he started drinking. She rarely had any use for alcohol, outside of parties where she knew most the guests. She didn't like to be drunk in front of strangers.
In fact, she wasn't sure that he had started drinking. She had only the coroner's report to say that he had been drunk when he plowed into the other car, or vice versa.
It didn't really matter. While she hadn't really every gotten into the habit of confiding every little thing to him, she had never expected his life to be an open book to her. They were only a couple years apart in age, and by the time they married had pretty much been on their own for a decade.
She didn't see the point in becoming a different person
after having had someone fall in love with who she already was.
Now, with the child on the way, she wished she had known more about Ibat so that she could pass it on. They had discussed names in a prefunctory way, but she didn't know which he preferred. She really didn't want to think about it much herself. She knew little about babies and the fact that she was about to be in charge of one was more than a little daunting. The fact that it was going to be her' and his was even more daunting.
There was something sick about being adult, alone and expecting.

She stirred her morning decaff with the tail end of a dirty fork. She thought about calling in sick. Half of what she had to do that day could be done on her home computer. Yet, she hated telecommuting, mostly because there was nothing to drive away from at the end of the day or the week.
She thought about the night before, with the other pregos.
It was too much to hope that she could depend upon them for anything. She hoped that they could ask her for something and she would help, but she wasn't a joiner and she didn't understand the dynamics of a "group" beyond agreeing upon which restaurant to split the check at.
She had "friends", some of them dating back to high school,
most of them long-married and their babes entering their teens. None of them lived close and she wasn't too sure where their phone numbers were at. She traded Christmas cards with some.
She had acquaintances from work and her favorite clothing and book stores. She had some people she traded nods and "good mornings" with on the streets.
She had her OB/GYN and her GP and her dermatologist...

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