Thursday, September 6, 2007

Thirty Nine

The languid pace of summer picked up. The first of the fall students would be arriving soon and Diana had never seen so much scrubbing, repairing and bed-making. Unable to help with preparations, she did her best to keep Kitta out of everyone's way, but even that tired her. One night she was so exhausted she could scarcely eat. The smell of food repulsed her and after picking at some beans and a bit of cornbread, she begged everyone's pardon and excused herself.

"Are you okay?" Will asked.

She looked at her swollen belly. "I think there's just no more room in there for food. I'm going to lie down and read until I'm sleepy."

When Will entered their room a little later, he found her pacing the floor. "I thought you were going to rest."

"I am. It's just I can't get comfortable any more, no matter what I do. My insides feel all squished and twisted around."

"It can't be long now."

"It'll be nice to have my body back."

"I agree."

"Will, I—"

"You know, I've been thinking. I don't want you having any more babies until the wars are over. It's too hard on you. We should wait until there's peace and I can provide for you and a child properly."


"I'm going to talk to Macy when I get back to camp. She must've picked up some tricks when she worked at the brothel. And maybe you can find something useful in Mother's books." He drew her into his arms. "I love you and I won't let you go through this again until we're completely ready and it's what we want, okay?"

Diana fidgeted a little and nodded.

"You thought I hadn't been paying attention, didn't you?" When she only shrugged in reply, he rubbed her cheek in concern. "What's the matter? You look pale."

"I think I ate something earlier that didn't agree with me."

Will turned back the covers and helped her into bed. "Lay down and rest. Would you like a glass of water? Maybe with some ginger to settle your stomach?"

"No, I'm fine. Really. I'd just like to get some sleep."

But she didn't sleep. She fidgeted, rearranging pillows and blankets endlessly. When Will put a hand on her hip and asked what he could do to help, she shrugged him off. "I'm sorry to keep you awake. Maybe you should sleep in one of the other rooms."

"That wouldn't do any good. You know I can't sleep when we're apart."

By morning they were both red-eyed and exhausted. Will sat up and ran his fingers through his hair. "Let's see what Mother is cooking for breakfast. I know I'll be glad to have some coffee."

"You go." When Will looked at her sharply, she added, "I'm feeling a little more comfortable. I'm going to try and sleep a little."

An hour later, Amalia came into the room and found Diana picking at the comforter. "Is it time to get the midwife?"

"Of course not. It's still another two weeks, remember?"

"Sometimes babies come early. I'll have Miguel radio to town."

"It's not time. Really."

Amalia's eyes narrowed in suspicion. "I've got too much work today to babysit you. If you're having contractions, we'll get the midwife. If you're not, I need you to watch Kitta."

"I can watch her." Diana sat up. "I'm just tired. I couldn't get comfortable last night and I'm having indigestion. Bring Kitta in here with her books and I can nap while she reads."

"Okay. I'll bring you some breakfast, too. But you'll send Kitta to the schoolhouse to get me if you think the baby is coming, all right?"

1 comment:

Alice Audrey said...

Tsk. Should have called in the midwife.