The Waiting Game
by Kathy Sewell
He lay curled around her and declared his love. He said something about wishing they could be together forever. She’d replied ‘Yes, especially as I’m pregnant. We could get married.’
Pregnant? He felt like he’d swallowed rocks that stretched his gut until it hit the ground and bounced into his groin. ‘No way, no, no!’ he’d yelled, pulled on his jeans and ran out the door. He had nowhere to go, it was his caravan.
She’d left, refusing to talk to him. After a day or two for the news to filtrate his brain cells, his pride kicked in. He was ‘the man,’ after all a baby meant he would be á father. The more he’d thought about it, the more convinced he was that he’d make a great dad. She’d refused to see him and the next two weeks of his life were hell. He’d toss and turn cradling her cardigan that smelled of her perfume named after a flower. He missed her warmth, her touch and the way he could mould perfectly around her tiny form like a protective glove on chilly nights. Tama felt lost and realised without her, his life was a jigsaw with missing pieces, never complete. Tough Tama, footy hero and pig hunter was defeated. He begged, he pleaded, he wrote letters and finally sprayed ‘MARRY ME,’ with shaving foam along the side of his dad’s Bedford and parked it outside her house. He’d slept there all night.
The next morning her brother came out and said. ‘Mum says you better come in for breakfast and a talk.’
He spat on his hand, brushed his hair down, put on his sneakers and chewed a peppermint. He walked up the path with crossed fingers burrowed deep in his pockets. He needed to pee, really bad.