Agnes did not have a difficult delivery but it was a memorable experience. She lookeddown at her daughter, big beautiful blue eyes stared up at her. For a moment all wasright in the world.
Jack could hear Agnes cooing to the baby, he stared at the words before himbegrudgingly. Just like that Agnes’ usefulness was gone. He hated children with apassion, the fact that the baby swaddled in a pink blanket was his just made it worst.The last thing he needed was to sleep with Agnes and get her pregnant again, hewould have to put her away before that could happen. There was one problemthough, Agnes needed to raise the baby because he knew that he couldn’t.
“So it’s sleeping?” Jack asked Agnes when he found her upstairs.“She is sleeping, yes.” Agnes didn’t so much as look at him.Jack rolled his eyes, it was best to make nice now. “Look Aggie, I’m sorry, I just really,really, really don’t like children. They scare me…and they’re gross. They’re fragile andso dependent on adults, I know I can’t handle that responsibility.”“You didn’t even look at her Jack.”“I’m sorry.”
To please Agnes, Jack went to the room and picked up the pink bundle. The baby,Snowie, immediately started clutching for his face and trying to put his nose in hermouth. Despite his hatred of children Jack smiled. He marveled over the baby’s smallfeatures, bits and pieces of him and Agnes put together into a miniature human.
As the days wore on and turned to weeks, Jack’s fascination died and itwasn’t long before his wife and the baby began to annoy him. Oneparticular morning he was watching TV, minding his own business whenAgnes brought the wailing baby into the bedroom, he told her to leaveshe insisted that she needed to watch the news, he pointed out that withthe baby crying so loudly she couldn’t hear the news, Agnes ignored himand stared at the screen.
“Shut it up.” Jack whined the next morning, the baby’s cries had woken him up so he wasnot in a good mood. Agnes whose natural grumpiness was intensified due to lack ofsleep was having none of Jack’s attitude.“Her name is Snowie and she has a colic so she’s not going to shut up.”Jack went downstairs grumbling about how he couldn’t get breakfast because his wifewas too busy lately with the baby.
Agnes put the baby down and went downstairs behind Jack, she was fed up. “What thehell is your problem? Snowie is a baby, babies cry! She’ll get older and she’ll stop crying.Unless she’s like you. You’re a grown ass man but you whine like a little child, I’m sick ofit.”
“I didn’t want a baby in the firs t place and now I can’t sleep at night because ofthe crying, can’t get my meals on time because the baby always needs attentionand this house is a mess who do you think is going to clean this place up?”“You’re a selfish bastard!” Agnes balled her fists and stared down at the finger inher face, she was tempted to bite it off.The argument heated up, insults were thrown left, right and center, voices wereraised.
One thing was certain, both Jack and Agnes were passionate people, their angry passionsoon became something more intimate when a frustrated Jack lifted Agnes onto thecounter. It wasn’t long before she was scratching at his back and they were tearing at eachother’s clothing.
And just like before Agnes began to spew her meals. When she found she was pregnantagain she became very upset. Pregnancies were supposed to be positive experiences,however, with her husband and his unpredictable mood swings she didn’t enjoy them.This pregnancy was worst than the first one because on top of the sickness, Agnes hada crying baby to take care of.It was nearly Snowie’s first birthday and Agnes really wanted to have a party for herdaughter, so the child could meet her cousin Mortimer and her Aunt Cornelia andUncle Gunther. She hadn’t even run the idea of a party by Jack, the many argumentsexhausted her.
“What are you doing in there? I gotta pee.” Jack asked and entered the bathroomwithout waiting on a reply, he went over to the toilet and peered inside, his facescrunched up in disgust.
“I’m pregnant again.” Agnes announced, seeing Jack’s eyes harden she flung herhands up in exasperation and left the house.
Somehow Agnes ended up in the graveyard, she searched until she found Erik’stombstone and her tears came unbidden. She cried so heavily that he entire bodyshook. Erik would never have treated her this way. How had things turned out sohorribly? She was supposed to have Erik’s babies, not Jack’s. She and Erik weresupposed to watch their children grow up, then they would grow old together and spoiltheir grandkids, that was the plan.When Agnes got herself under control she left the graveyard.
She found herself on Cornelia’s doorstep. For a while Agnes stood at the glass doorstaring into the kitchen. She remembered the argument she and her sister hadfollowing her wedding and the last thing Agnes needed was for Cornelia to say ‘I toldyou so’.“Agnes?” The door was opened. “What are you doing out there?” Gunter led her intothe warm kitchen. Agnes hadn’t even realized that she was cold until she steppedinside.
“What are you doing outside?” Gunter inquired.Agnes shrugged. “I’m pregnant.” She said robotically. When her brother-in-lawclapped his hands in excitement, Agnes stared at him in surprise and wondered whyJack couldn’t be as excited as Gunter was.“Congratulations, I hope we get to meet our niece soon.” Gunter caught the blanklook on Agnes’ face. “I’m heading to bed, Conny’s in the bedroom, come on.”
Cornelia looked at her sister, saw the depression in her eyes and immediatelyhopped off the bed to offer her sisterly comfort. Cornelia patted Agnes’ arm. “Ohhoney.” She murmured. “Why don’t you go sleep in the guest room and we’ll talkabout it in the morning. I’ll go find you something to sleep in.”Agnes nodded, she thought about how Jack would act if she slept out, then decidedthat for sanity’s sake she needed a break from him.
As Agnes climbed into bed her mind went to her daughter, she hoped that thebaby would be okay with Jack. Jack had no idea how to tend to his infantdaughter’s needs. Agnes worried that the bottle would be too hot, that hewouldn’t burp her or something else might go wrong. Jack’s ignoring the babywasn’t something that disturbed her, she knew that her husband couldn’t standthe baby’s crying and would try everything to shut the baby up.
Over at Agnes’ house Jack was up at four in the morning and not at all happy.Agnes had not come home and the damn baby refused to quit crying. As soon ashe got her to sleep and put her down she would wake up and start that annoyingsniffling noise she did then start up a full out wail. He had stuck yet another bottlein the baby’s mouth in hopes that this time she would drink it and go to sleep forthe rest of the night.
“Trying to sneak out?” Cornelia asked as she came down the stairs. Agnes gave hersister an embarrassed look. “You look like hell, what’s going on over there.”Agnes shrugged. “It’s Jack. I can’t take much more of him. He snaps at me foreverything, he hates the baby.”“He does not hate his baby…that’s impossible.” Cornelia looked at her sister indisbelief. “Aggie, I want you and Snowie to move in here, Gunther and I will help youtake care of her and the baby that you’re carrying.”Agnes shook her head. “No. I made this mess on my own and I’ll clean it up. Thankyou Connie, but I have to go now, Snowie’s home alone with Jack.”
Cornelia ran her hand over her sister’s bulging stomach, she felt the baby move. Shealways wanted another child but both her and her husband were always too busy.Cornelia also worried about her sister, Agnes was only a shell of her former self afterlosing Erik and now being married to a man who was clearly insane.“You take care of yourself and your children.” Cornelia told her sister and walked her tothe front door.
“Where the hell have you been? That baby cried the entire night and thishouse is a mess.” Jack rounded on her as soon as Agnes stepped into thehouse. She was about to explained then realized that it was pointless.
Instead of arguing with her husband, Agnes set about eating for herself and herunborn child, cleaning the dishes and the bathrooms and finally calling her sister toget things set about Snowie’s upcoming birthday.
It just so happens that on the day of her firstborn’s birthday Agnes went intolabor. Her husband was nowhere to be found so Agnes fought the pain, lasttime she was the one to be calm and get herself to the hospital, why shouldthis time be any different? Because this time the pain seemed to beintensified a hundred times.
Jack had just arrived home when he was met by a pissed off Cornelia. “You! Wherehave you been?” She demanded.Jack looked at her calmly, he had met her only once before and realized that this wasAgnes’ sister, the one she was always going out with or talking to on the phone forhours. “Where’s Agnes?”“Giving birth to your baby. I’m keeping Snowie because you weren’t home. Jack foughtthe urge to raise his top lip in scorn, in a few hours there would be another screaming,oozing baby in his house.