The promotion had to be accepted by nine o’clock. She placed the vase of flowers in the center of the table. The fine china and crystal goblets for two glistened under the candlelight. Simmering on the cooktop, the dinner’s aroma permeated the whole house.
The hard part was leaving the ladies in the neighborhood, who finally accepted her. They lunched, shopped and played tennis. Growing up she had admired the houses on this street. Now, she was someone. Maybe little girls rode by her house and wished they could live in such a fancy home, too.
Brad was flattered to be offered such a prestigious position. He deserved it. “Just us,” he had said. Just us? And a BlackBerry and a laptop and clients.
The garage door opened, he looked handsome. His five o’clock shadow only made him sexier and he smiled seeing the table set for them.
“What’s that I smell? It must be two hours until acceptance time. I feel like Jesus at the last supper.”
Kissing his cheek, his cologne had faded. “No, not the last supper. We’re partners for life. Two years isn’t a long time. I’ll miss everyone, but email and photos will suffice. I love you, honey.”
He picked up a piece of warm crusty bread and spread the butter. “Did the realtor call about the For Sale sign?”
“Sit down, Brad. You must be starving. Let me pour the wine.” She filled his goblet and left her own empty.
“Where’s yours?” He asked, raising the glass to his lips.
She reached inside the flower arrangement and produced a white stick. Two pink lines indicated positive.
He jumped out of his chair. “Oh my God, Jillian. You’re pregnant! We’re pregnant? When did you find out? When are you due?”
“Today. And I guess I’m due in the spring.” She wrapped her arms around his neck. He clutched the stick like a birth certificate.
“Jill, do you feel okay? Wait.
“It’s fine, Brad. I know how much this promotion means to you.”
“Not compared to our baby, we’ve waited for so long. We’re staying right here in the
He held the phone near the sink and balanced it to his ear. The receiver started to slip and he dropped the home pregnancy test-stick. Water dripped on the results window.
Swirls of pink circled the drain.
He never noticed the second pink line had disappeared.
CATHERINE DICAIRANO is a registered nurse. She and her husband reside in
"My motivation for this story grew from an experiment. In my novel, a character tries to fake a pregnancy. Since her fiancé is a physician, I wanted to see if it was possible to paint on the window of a home pregnancy test. I did, and it looked very real. (It took a few tries to match the color and a toothpick worked better than a paintbrush.) I even took pictures of the positive results. My only mistake was leaving the positive test stick out on my kitchen counter!"