This story picks up somewhere in the middle for Matt and Em. The rest of their story is here, which includes some flashbacks. Write on Edge said to work on something that needed polishing, and for me it was this transition. I have been putting this post on the back-burner. Avoiding these two characters for too long. So here they are. I hope you enjoy. Constructive criticism is always welcome. Thanks.
His hand felt cold and clammy on mine. We sat there - silently - in the car.
He didn't start her up. He didn't buckle in. Nothing.
"Matt?" A few blinks before he faced me. "You okay?" He smiled. That sheepish grin I knew so well.
"We're having a baby."
"Yes, well ..."
"We're HAVING a baby!"
"I know. I was there."
"Holy crap, Em. You're pregnant." His hand tightened around mine.
I fought the urge to flee. I couldn't, of course. Wouldn't. But I wanted to. "Matt, listen," I stopped. Were those tears? What the - TEARS? Was he crying? He used his sleeve to wipe his face. Shit. He was crying.
"I just can't believe it, Em. After everything we've been through - a baby. We're hav-"
"Yes. I know. I know. Actually, I'M the one who is..." I watched his face cloud over and tried doing damage control. "Well, you know. It's in here." I looked down at my stomach. MY stomach. Traitor! I flinched at my own thoughts.
"Em, it's amazing. Aren't you happy? Isn't this amazing? We have so much to do. A baby. Wow. A baby." He continued on. Talking quickly but softly, his words a jumble.
"We should get going." I interrupted.
"I'd like to go home now, if we could. Get moving." I plastered on a smile, but I knew he knew.
"You're not happy?"
"Matt, this is a LOT to think about. I just need ... It's a surprise, ya know? I mean, we didn't plan - I didn't think - we weren't expecting." Sigh. How the hell do I say this anyway? "I just need some time."
"Time. I need some time to think." I reached for his arm as he turned to buckle himself in. He nodded. Stiffened beneath my touch.
"Think," he whispered. Was that a question or an understanding?
"Yeah - I just, if you could drop me off at home I'm just really exhausted and I -"
"That's fine, Em. Fine." His words trailed off as he leaned forward and started the engine. Puffs of smoke drifted up around us and our windows began to fog. I sat still, too frozen in fear and emotion to reach for the heat. "Let's get you home."
p.s. Stay tuned. I have the next part of their story already written in response to a WOE prompt from December. I never posted it as I wasn't sure it was ready. It's kind of empty, but I think it sort of fits for Em and where she is at this point. I'll share it soon ...