He held the grocery list in his hand. “What the hell is quinoa?”
“It’s a whole grain, well technically it’s a seed, but it smells like dead ladybugs ‘til you cook it. It’s healthy, baby.”
He shook his head and sighed at the list in his hand as he folded it into his pocket.
“Next time, you’re going. And I’m not eating your dead ladybugs.”
I smiled, “I love you.” He left.
I sat in the living room flipping through our “Photo Album of Firsts” that Alexander made me a few years ago. A vanilla candle scented my small space.
Our first Halloween. We were the Black Eyed Peas. We smudged dirty black eye shadow around our left eyes and drew P’s on our white T-shirts. We won the contest.
Our first Thanksgiving. He filled his plate with turkey, stuffing, potato casserole, and jello goop that swished around in your mouth. He tried the stuffing and his chewing stopped. He ate everything one bite at a time, trying to slip in bites of the stuffing. He didn’t want to be left with a mound of stuffing for my grandmother to see. He stared at the pumpkin pie across the table several times.
Our first Christmas. He got down on one knee and told me I was the apple of his eye. I told him he was my best friend. And yes.
My first miscarriage. There were no pictures of that. There was a gap in the photo album. I wouldn’t leave the house. I didn’t even wear makeup. I stayed home and learned how to cook off the television. When he came home, he swaddled me with blankets and told me he loved me. I made him stop and told him dinner was in the microwave. Press start.
My second miscarriage. I stopped cooking.
We stopped trying. Doctor’s suggested adoption. He told me he loved me the same. I told him I couldn’t do the single thing a woman was supposed to be able to do. He still loved me.
“Anybody gonna help me bring all these groceries in?”
He looked like an Olympic grocery bag carrier, six bags on one arm, three on the other. I tiptoed up to him, getting closer and closer to his sweet, piney scent.
“Welcome home, my love.” I whispered with a kiss.
When he laid the bags on the table, a box stumbled onto the counter.
It was a pink and white box, the little pink plus and the little pink minus staring up at me.
“What is this?”
He scratched his forehead and said, “I thought maybe you could just check… to be sure.”
I frowned. “And when that little pink plus sign demands to have your heart and you hand it over and it rips it up into little tiny pieces handing back a,” I take a breath, “a little pink minus sign in return, “
“Just try, Jade” he said, “It won’t change anything if it’s not.”
I went to the bathroom. I sat there rubbing the smooth white surface waiting for the minus sign to slowly dissolve its way to the surface. I screamed. We hugged. I’m pregnant. I touched my stomach.
“Stay alive, baby. Keep breathing.”