Natalie stared down blankly at another negative strip of plastic, urine covered let down.
Ten months and still nothing.
She hardly expected to see a second line, but that didn’t dampen the hard slap in the face that it was every time she saw such faceless rejection.
“I should have had my baby by now,” She whispered to herself, quietly, alone in her small en suite bathroom.
Tossing the useless piece of wasted money into the small bathroom bin beside her, she lifted up her trousers and put herself back together.
Looking to the sad, worn face in the mirror, Natalie examined her fading features.
Tiny little crows feet had began to form in the corners of her large, dark eyes. Underneath them, circles had appeared, ever so lightly forming on her once perfectly youthful face. Time was ticking away with each day she waited in no longer anticipation, but rather a solemn, new found apathy.
Maybe I should just quit, she thought to herself. Maybe I should focus more on my career, my family, my friends. Maybe the deep, dark, empty hole inside me will eventually just go away. After all, all this has done is caused me months of pain. She felt her eyes begin to sting, as they blurred her view with rising tears.
“God Dammit!” She cursed herself, wiping them away in frustration.
“Just give it one year, then we’ll look into it.” her doctor had told her; plainly, lacking emotion and empathy.
It’s almost that now, Natalie realised.
All this trying had rendered her broken, battered, depressed and alienated. She wondered to herself, was it even worth it, to find out more? Maybe I should just stow it away and get on with my life.
Natalie turned away from her reflection and walked out of the small bathroom. She wandered over to the soft, empty couch in the barely furnished, modern living area.
For so long now she’d imagined it filled with toys, noise, laughter and love.
She’d imagined lost dummies, hidden behind the dark oak TV cabinet and a Christmas tree buried in presents from family, friends and loved ones, all for the little treasure she would now be raising.
She’d imagined a brand new, fluffy puppy, jumping into the arms of a giggling toddler, licking her face or pawing his chest. She’d imagined a second baby, not long in the future. A whole family to photograph, to love and to care for.
She’d imagined being complete, content and moving forward. Not once, when she had made her decision over a glass of wine with the love of her life so many nights ago, had she instead, imagined having nothing.
The childless, empty room mocked her. The sound of a single, ticking clock slowed down the day, ensuring with every moment, to remind her of how these things were not her reality.
She knew she felt emotional. More so than normal. Maybe it was all just getting to her.
On top of everything, she’d come down with a virus. A terrible nausea that teasingly replicated early morning sickness. Of course she’d bought into it, which had only added to the sting of the negative test.
Just then the phone started to ring.
“Hello?” She answered, with a sigh as she slumped back down into the warm, cushy sofa.
“Hey Beautiful!” A kind, familiar voice responded. “Any news?”
“No news.” She said, flatly, “No news, yet again.”
“Oh babe,” said the voice, “Please don’t be too sad. It will happen soon, I promise!”
Natalie didn’t respond. She felt rude, but couldn’t find the words she needed to give her thoughts on the all too familiar comment, supportive as it was.
“Ok.” She answered, finally, plain and null-toned.
“Anyway, are you sure? How long did you give it?” he questioned.
“Yes I’m sure.” Natalie sighed, casually walking back to the small en suite trash can.
Pulling out the buried, discarded test, she held it up to the light again as she confirmed to her lover, the disheartening verdict.
“Same as all the others she said, only one stupid, dull, mocking lin—”
Natalie stopped dead, midsentence, as her brain suddenly registered what was held up in front of her.
Aside the original, negative line, a small, perfectly pink and clear, second line sat plainly in her line of sight.
“owhhaaa..!” She stuttered, gasping as she took in the new, shocking news.
The voice on the other end of the line grew silent, quietly waiting in anticipation for what he knew, from the sound of that loud gasp, was coming.
“Oh m-my go.. “ Natalie couldn’t find a proper statement, she shook and trembled at the sight of the lines. stuttering and stumbling on her words, she finally found herself able to come out with it.
“I’m pregnant… I’m pregnant, I’M PREGNANT, BABE! IM PREGNANT!” She finally let out the sentence, repeatedly. The one she’d hoped to say since so long ago.
“OH MY GOD YES!” The voice yelled to Natalie from the end of the line.
The two danced together in overwhelmed excitement, from opposite sides of town. They basked in delight and relief that they’d finally found success, all brought to light with a small, plastic stick.
After the small celebration had run its’s course, they said their goodbyes, promising to talk more that night and make further plans. Natalie hung up then wandered what to do with herself.
She looked at the test, over and over and over, just in case under some awful curse, the promising line would somehow dissapear.
It didn’t. With every glance she grew more convinced. More excited by the reality of her life changing discovery.
Jigging back over to the mirror in the bathroom, she looked at her reflection once again.
This time, a young, attractive woman looked back. Smiling lines at the corners of her eyes reflected a woman with new found hope and optimism. She had large, dark eyes, noble and loving in nature. She was beautiful.
As the sun faded behind the horizon, dark stormy clouds rolled in from the East Coast. A cool, whispy breeze began as the sky grew dark and cooling. The smell of fresh rain heightened Natalies senses, filling the house with the scent of vaporised ocean waters.
Then there he was. The father of her unborn baby pulled into park in the small, gravel driveway, just as droplets began to fall from the sky, exponentially progressing to heavy, thick pelts of storming water.
He jogged in through the open door as a gush of wind burst through, pushing them together in a warm, loving embrace.
“I love you so much.” Martin whispered, softly into her ear.
“I love you too!” Natalie answered
Martin lifted his head with a cheeky grin, “I wasn’t talking to you,” he said, “Though, of course, I love you just as much.”
Natalie glanced down, noticing his hand was placed firmly over her belly.
“I love you,” he repeated, directly to the tiny growing soul they now knew resided within her.
As the wind picked up and the rain fell down hard, they snuggled together in perfect harmony.
Today was their day, and the journey had only begun.