Jack stared at the tombstone in his yard: Here Lies Erik Darling, the GreatestHusband Ever R.I.P. One of the man’s eyebrows stood up, as if off it’s ownaccord. This would not do, the reminder of the woman’s deceased husband willhave to go. Jack picked up the tombstone easily, tossed in the trunk of the carand climbed in.
Jack muttered manically on the drive, for the most part trying to figure outwhat the reason was for the shrine in the front yard. Erik was dead, gone, nomore and soon Agnes will be joining him. But not for a while.
Presently, the woman was useful. Jack realized this as they lay cuddled togetheron their wedding night. He had taken in the scent of her, roses and lilac, the feelof her body, soft and warm against his. Although he hated to admit it, heenjoyed having Agnes around. As long as she was useful she would live, afterall, he was already married to her, without a prenup or a will he owned all ofher possessions.
When he arrived at the cemetery, he reminded himself again not to get attached to thewoman. To remember that her job was to keep the house and pleasure him, thesewere all he needed her for. As he dropped the tombstone in a corner of the graveyardJack scolded himself for his earlier thoughts.
Despite his plans though, Jack got caught up in all the emotions and sensationsof being a newly wed. It was hard not to with his hopeless-romantic wife. Forthree months the pair swooned over each other, but all good things must cometo an end.
“Maybe I’m pregnant.” Agnes was saying to her sister as she climbed out of bed andprepared to go downstairs to make breakfast for her husband. She had no idea whereJack was but figured he was probably somewhere reading. They had realized early on thatthey both shared a love for books. “I mean, I’ve been throwing up for about a week now.”Cornelia babbled excitedly on the other end of the phone causing her younger sister tochuckle.
“Morning honey.” Jack strode in from the dining room where he’d been reading. As hestrode past his wife his eyebrows knitted together. “Are you baking cookies?” Agnesnodded but didn’t reply. Jack shrugged, for the past couple weeks Agnes’ eating habitshad become rather strange, but he thought nothing of it. Maybe she always ate hotdogs and ice cream, he was still getting to know her.
Agnes threw up her breakfast into the toilet for the seventh day in a row. She hadfinally figured out what was wrong with her and she was ecstatic, she and Erik hadplanned their life together, it involved five children and a dog and when hedied, Agnes thought she had lost her chance at ever having a baby.
As it turns out, Agnes was in fact pregnant. She stood in the nursery which was startedbefore she and Erik even got married. Soon enough there would be a baby to put inthere. She frowned at the thought of her husband, it had been a month and he stillhadn’t figured out that she was pregnant, she didn’t want to come right out and tellhim, she wanted him to ask so they could be excited together. Agnes decided tocontinue dropping hints, she had a good idea how, this time he was sure to get it.
Jack always read in the dining room, after a full day of watching TV, he decided thatmaybe it was time to do something more productive and went downstairs. As heentered the dining room he frowned at the two books on the table. Picking oneup, Jack’s jaw dropped slightly in disbelief, he picked up the second one and shoutedfor Agnes.
Jack shouted again and picked up one of the books, he marched purposfully out ofthe dining room only to pause in the living room remembering that Agnes was outwith her sister. Frustrated Jack went upstairs and dropped into one of the chairs infront of the TV, the argument will just have to wait for tomorrow, after all, whenAgnes and Cornelia got together they forgot all about time.
The next morning Jack cornered his wife in the living room, for the first time he noticedthe bump in her stomach. “The hell is that?” He demanded.“I’m pregnant.” Agnes looked at him confused.“You can’t be pregnant!” Jack shrieked and went off on the poor woman who was tooshocked to argue back. “I hate children, I have no idea how to take care of them. Theycry, they whine, they’re always leaking from somewhere. I hope you’re not expectingme to take care of it.” Soon Jack had started a full out rant.
“I didn’t get pregnant on my own Jack!” Agnes shouted back with as much ferocity as hehad given her. Never one to back down, Jack stuck a finger in his ear that had begunhurting at how loudly his wife had shouted. “What is wrong with you? This is your childas much as it is mine, how dare you say that you do not wish to be in its life?”
“I don’t like children Agnes, never have, never will.” Jack shot back. “I thought youwere on birth control or something.”Agnes raised an eyebrow. “Why would I have to be? Erik died, I wasn’t sleeping withanyone and you came and swept me off my feet so quickly I wasn’t even able to thinkclearly, this baby is coming whether you like it or not.”
“Fine. But don’t expect me to wake up at three in the morning to tend to it. In fact, justkeep it away from me period. This whole thing is your fault.” Jack walked away fromAgnes still hollering about how he hated children.
That night, Jack had gotten up to pee, when he came back he met Agnes standingbeside the bed.“The baby’s coming.” She said matter-of-factly then doubled over in pain.“What do you mean the baby’s coming?” Jack shouted and backed up against thewall, he had no idea what to do and seeing Agnes in so much pain frightened him. Inhis panic there was a thought that maybe this would kill her and he wouldn’t have todo any of the hard work himself.
“Arg!!!” Agnes shouted. “Go bring the car around.”“Bring the…no! I-I-…” Jack flung his hands on his head, he was so worked up that hecouldn’t even think straight. This was yet another reason why he hated children, aperson putting themselves through so much agony just for a baby made no sense tohim.
In the end it was Agnes who managed to stay calm through the wholeordeal, despite it being her first child. It was Agnes who brought the car around andpiled her husband and luggage in, then drove off to the hospital.