“Up here,” I call over my shoulder.
I look behind me as my sister steers her stomach around the corners and into the bedroom I’m working in.
“Oh… it’s beautiful!” she says with a hushed awe.
I smile and go back to work on the mural.
“Richy, you know you’re kind of making an assumption that Sponge Bob will still be around when she’s old enough to see that and know what it is,” she says, smiling.
“Oh, he’ll still be around. Sponge Bob is like a head cold. Just when you think it’s gone here it comes back again.” I push my glasses back up on my nose.
“If you don’t like the character then why are you doing a mural of him?” she asks, the smile now a grin.
I turn to look at my sister. My eyes go to her belly.
“Because she’ll like him.”
Terry smiles at me then turns to look around the room. The walls are covered with half-finished characters. Some closer to finished than others. I see her smile at a few of them, icons from the past and our childhood.
“Thank you for this, big brother,” she says softly.
“It’s not much, just some paint and a bit of my time. I’ve got plenty of that.”
“No…I mean all of it. Taking me in, taking us in.” She lets her hand come to rest on her stomach. “Giving little Audry Marie her first home.”
I put down the brush and step down off the ladder. I hold out my arms to her then laugh when her stomach prevents the embrace. I kind of sidestep it and hug her from the side.
“It’s what older brothers are for, Sis.”
She swats my arm.
“No, it’s not. Older brothers are for teasing mercilessly about their girlfriends and picking on constantly. Their only other function is to chase off their younger sister’s lousy boyfriends.”
I bring my hand down onto her stomach.
“Well, I got slack on that score, so maybe I’m trying to catch back up.”
“You told me. You told me, everyone told me. I was just too stupid to believe you.” She looks around, her face falling.
“Too in love! You were never stupid; you were in love.” I smile when I feel the baby move under my hand.
“Well, I was stupid to be in love with him. How about that?”
I give Terry a look, and leaning in, I kiss her cheek. She smiles and turns to meet the kiss, her lips just brushing the side of mine.
“Thank you again,” she says, snuggling into me a bit.
I watch my sister waddle away with a smile.
Damn, I wish I could find that ugly sack of shit. I would beat his head against the wall. Hell, if I dipped it into yellow paint first, I could use him as a Sponge Bob stamp!
Chuckling at the image, I adjust my glasses and go back to painting.
** ** ** ** ** ** **
“What? What? Yea, I’m awake. What?” I ask, my eyes popping open.
“Richy, I need you.”
Turning over, I reach for the light and turn on the lamp.
Terry is standing over me, her belly held in one hand, looking like a beach ball.
“What’s up? Is it time?”
“No. Not for about another month. Richy, I hate to ask this but…could you go get something for me?”
I pick my glasses up off the table and focus through them at the clock.
“Terry, it’s one in the morning.”
“I know. I’m sorry,” she says with a grimace.
Sitting up, I tilt my head and feel the neck vertebrae pop. Scratching at my head, I yawn.
“What do you need?”
“Rocky road ice cream,” she says in a rush.
I sit, blinking at her for a second.
“Seriously?” I ask, looking back at the clock.
“Yes… please. Pretty please. Pretty please with sugar on top. Pretty please with sugar on top and a kiss. Pretty please…”
“Alright already. Yeesh!” I swing my legs off the side of the bed and slip my feet into my shoes. Then promptly take them back out and get up to go get my pants on first.
“Nice boxers. Smiley faces? Really? Really?” she asks, grinning.
“I seem to remember you wearing Care Bear panties till you were twenty, so I don’t want to hear it.”
Stepping into my blue jeans, I pull them up with a popping sound in my back. “I cannot believe I’m going to get pickles and ice cream for a pregnant woman, at one in the morning.”
“I didn’t ask for pickles…Oh my, pickles! Yes, yes… Pickles! Get me one of those big super sour dill pickles. I love to suck the seeds out of them,” she says greedily.
“If you had practiced that more, you might not be in the shape you are now,” I mutter to myself. Maybe too loudly, when my pillow hits me in the back of the head.
“That was horrible!”
Chuckling, I grab a shirt and my wallet from the dresser. The keys to the car are by the door.
The guy at the drug store down the street looks at me and what I’m buying and just starts laughing. I give him a long-suffering look and he chuckles.
“Don’t worry, bro. When that baby gets here, she’ll remember you doing this kind of thing for her. She will make it up to you then.” He grins at me the whole time. I don’t correct him. Someone thinking Yeniköy Escort Bayan I’m getting some is worth any misunderstanding.
The car does a horrible sputtering sound as I shut it off. Great. Another thing on the list to fix. Oh well. I’ve got time.
Walking into the kitchen, I grab two spoons from the drawer and head to where I hear the TV playing.
Terry is asleep in the La-Z-Boy chair, her features lit by the flickering images of the infomercial she was watching. Her pregnancy has done what years in the gym couldn’t. Given her the look of a woman grown. She spent years and years trying to make herself look older. She hates the fact they card her everywhere she goes. Her skin, even here in winter, has a deep tan.
I made her stop going to the tanning salon about the time she moved in. Told her the baby was going to be born half-cooked if she didn’t stop. Her eyes pop open then and come to focus on me.
“Nope it’s the evil pickles-and-ice-cream bandit. I’ve broken in to eat all your goodies.” Grinning, I hold out the bag with the ice cream and shake it side to side.
“I’ll shoot your happy evil ass over those right now,” she tells me with a calm seriousness to her voice that’s chilling to hear. Then she smiles. “Gi’me”
I dig out the pint of cherry vanilla I got for me and hand her the bag. I watch her tear the plastic off the top of the Big Gus dilly pickle and drain the juice down with a shudder. Then she all but rips the top off the Häagen Dazs and starts to devour the ice cream as fast as she can spoon it out.
She looks up at me, watching her.
“What?” she pulls the ice cream to her chest. “MINE!”
Laughing, I take a seat on the couch and start to eat my ice cream. Seeing her take alternating bites between sour and sweet makes me shiver every time. Reaching across towards her, I grab the remote and put on anything other than this. Finally, I settle on music.
I sit, just drifting with the sounds, eating ice cream with my sister. I look up when she gives an almighty belch. She giggles at me. Then starts to scrape the empty tub for one last bite.
The look on her face is orgasmic when she cleans the spoon.
“Okay. I’ll live through the night now.”
Smiling at her, I chase the last bites of my own around the bottom. I place the empty container next to hers and look at her sleepy eyes.
“Want help up to bed?” I ask.
“No. This is more comfortable. I’ll sleep here tonight I think.” She looks up at me as I step next to her. “You could…rub my feet for me though.”
Turning around, I sit down on the coffee table and lift one of her feet off the chair’s footrest. I massage her swollen ankles. Feeling the bones under the layers of puffy skin.
“Oh, that feels wonderful,” she says, softly snuggling back into the chair.
I rub at first one foot, then the next, then back to the first. At some point I look up and realize Terry has drifted off to sleep. My fingers continue to massage her ankles then her calves, enjoying the silky feel of a woman’s legs in my hands. It’s been awhile.
I stop then, realizing what and where those thoughts are leading me. I look down at my younger sister. She’s so beautiful now. The bloom of health hangs over her. Going to the couch I pull the throw blanket off it and drape it over her legs. She turns a bit then and snuggles into the chair.
Leaning in, I place a soft kiss on her cheek.
My bed calls to me. My pillows beckon to me. The sheets caress me. But sleep is a long time coming tonight. In fact, I see the sky lightning outside the window before my eyes close finally.
** ** ** ** ** ** **
Then the pillows start to rain down on me.
“What? What, What!” I cover my head to fend off the blows.
“Why did you let me sleep in a chair?” She screams at me and whacks me again.
“You said you wanted to. Ow! Stop it already. What’s the matter?”
“The matter is my back is killing me now!” she whacks me again. I grab the pillow then.
“Would you please be reasonable? You told me you wanted to sleep there. What do you want me to do?” I ask.
“I don’t want to be reasonable. My back is killing me.” I look at her and see the tears falling down her cheeks.
“Alright, alright. Come on. Don’t cry.” I get up, go to her, and hold her to me as she cries. “Come on, Sis. Come on.”
“I’m so tired, Richy. I’m so tired of hurting and feeling like a whale and not being able to sleep.”
“Shush. It’s going to be okay, Sis. Come on. I’ll do something about your back.”
“What?” she asks when I try to turn her towards the door.
“There’s a lot in this old place that doesn’t work but the hot tub on the patio is one that does. Come on. I’ll help you get into the tub and you can soak your back for a while.”
“I don’t have a swimsuit.” She says, shaking her head.
“Wear your bra and panties. Come on. It will help, I promise,”
“Okay,” she sniffs softly, the tears still there.
As I walk Escort Yeniköy with her through the house, I’m seriously wondering about the possibility of her having twins and the doctor just didn’t see one of them. She’s eight months and as big as a house!
“No Goodyear remarks,” she says out of the blue.
I chuckle. “I was actually thinking Hindenburg, but yea, I can see Goodyear as a good alternative.”
“Damn it, it’s not funny. I feel like I need two tug boats to turn the corners,” she complains.
I can’t stop chuckling. She turns and starts to whack me on the arm.
“Not funny, not funny!”
“Stop it! Grouchy Pregger Lady!” Smiling, I ward off the blows.
“That’s Crazy Grouchy Pregger Lady to you.”
When we get out to the hot tub, I pull off the cover and start the jets to working. When I turn around she has stripped off the extra, extra large shirt and is standing in just her bra and panties. I can see the lines of distention across her stomach. I see her face start to shift as I take in what she looks like.
“Hey can you put, like, one arm here and the other here? Let me go get my camera. We can do you the whole Demi Moore photo spread.” I model one hand across my chest the other over my crotch.
She stifles a giggle then shakes her head.
“I’m so going to beat you in a minute,” she tells me fiercely, but I can see the tears are chased away.
Taking her elbow, I help her negotiate the two steps up and the three steps down into the hot water. I watch with a grin the little winces from the heat that quickly turns into sighs of pleasure. As she settles into one of the contoured seats, I adjust the dials and the jets start to work her back.
“Oh, bless you, big brother.”
Smiling, I lean in over the hot water and kiss her brow.
“Okay, now you stay there while I go get the potatoes and carrots.” Patting her shoulder, I go to leave.
I give a huff.
“Eat one little cheerleader and it’s cannibal, cannibal, cannibal, for the rest of your life!”
Walking away, I go to the kitchen and get a pot of coffee going. I make some of the herbal tea our aunt recommended for Terry, and I start some oatmeal to cooking. One of the few foods that Terry and I both agree on one hundred percent—old fashion oatmeal. We grew up with our Mom fixing it every morning. Neither one of us can stand cold cereal for breakfast.
Once it’s cooked just a bit, I pull it off the heat and cover it so it steams the rest of the way done. I grab up her tea and my coffee and head back out to the hot tub.
Terry has sunk herself down till her ears are under water. I have to tap her nose with a finger to get her attention. She sits up and takes the tea. I watch her wince at the taste.
“Aunt Jean may be a great cook, but this tea sucks,” she says after the third sip.
“I don’t remember her saying anything about its taste. Only that it helped with cramps and ‘other issues’ as she put it.”
Terry laughs at my mimicking our aunt. Then she nods.
“Well about that she’s right at least. I’ve stopped having those ‘other issues’ since I started to drink it.”
“Want to clue me in on them?” I ask smiling.
“Do you really want to get into a conversation about hemorrhoids with your pregnant sister?” she asks, taking a sip.
At the shake of my head, she nods. “I didn’t think so. It’s ‘other issues’ and that’s enough for you to know.”
“Fair enough. You about done cooking? Breakfast is ready.”
“Oh, that sounds wonderful. Thank god the morning sickness is over with. I got so tired of even the smell of food making me go heaving,” she says with a shake of her head.
“Glad I missed that part,” I say, holding out my hand for her to take.
She starts to get up then sits back down.
“Richy, would you go get my bathrobe out the bathroom for me?” she asks.
When I get back with the fluffy, white, terry cloth robe, she’s sitting on the bench beside the tub with one of the towels laid across the top of her.
“Why didn’t you wait for me to get back? You could have fallen getting out of the tub.” I hand her the robe, more than a bit angry at her.
She looks down and blushes.
Okay… not the reaction I was expecting.
“My underwear was see-through when it got wet. I didn’t want you to see…me,” she says, still blushing.
“Really? Seriously?” I shake my head in disgust and help her into the robe. “Sis, I promise, all you had to do was say ‘don’t look,’ and I would have closed my eyes.”
I help her to her feet. My face is right in front of hers. I can smell the tea on her breath. “Don’t ever do that again, okay?”
“Okay. I’m sorry I’m just more than a bit self-conscious right now.” She gives a sniffle.
“I don’t know why, you’ve never looked more beautiful,” I tell her with full sincerity. “Now come on before breakfast gets cold.”
“Yeeck, cold oatmeal.”
Spooning us both out big bowls, I drown hers in cream and cinnamon. I take mine plain with just a bit Yeniköy Escort of butter.
Sitting there, I look up to find her fidgeting.
“What’s the matter?” I ask after a second.
She huffs and puts down the spoon. I watch her fish her arm back down her sleeve and then the other one. A few moments later, first one then the second, reappears. She hangs her bra on the back of the chair.
“The wet fabric was chafing me,” she says at my expression. Then she stops and looks at my rising eyebrows. “What?”
“Ever felt the need to ask David Copperfield how he did something?” I look to the bra dripping water onto the tile floor. “Let’s say I feel a similar need right now.”
She grins at me.
“But then there wouldn’t be any magic to the trick.”
Laughing together, we dig into our breakfast.
** ** ** ** ** ** **
“Richy, wake up!”
My eyes slowly open.
“Richy, wake up.”
Sitting up with a groan I look to my sister.
Oh. Not this shit again. Four weeks of midnight cravings. Everything from cheese crackers to hamburgers. The harder it is to get at one in the morning, the more she has absolutely got to have it.
“If this is more ice cream cravings…” I mutter in dire warning.
I see a flash of pain cross her face.
“Oh, I wish it was that.” She gives a little huff of a breath. “Maybe you need to get dressed.”
Wide-awake, I roll up out of bed and into my clothes. I feel like I’m doing back flips and somersaults, but I’m dressed by the time I’m standing by her side. I grab my wallet and phone off the dresser. A quick pirouette and I have my glasses off the nightstand.
I look at her, and she is staring at me, blinking.
“How the hell did you do all that that quickly?” she asks.
I take her arm and get her turned towards the door.
“If I tell you, there wouldn’t be any magic to the trick. Now come on. Let’s go take a little ride to the hospital,” I say, taking her by the elbow.
Getting her out the door and to the car is a trial, but then I don’t have the normal thirty men with guide ropes to help. I can see from her expression that she read what I was thinking on my face. She gives me a light punch to the chest once I have her seated.
“Has your water broken?” I ask as I crank the car.
“Good, then we have plenty of time.” I pull the car out and head down the road at something just less than warp speed.
When we get to the hospital, I rush inside and try not to look like a nervous wreck as I get them to get her a wheelchair. I follow her up to maternity then get side tracked into the paper signing chamber of death!
I swear buying the house involved my name being signed less.
I look up to see Doctor Brooks come walking in. He hands me a cup of coffee.
“Oh, thank you,” I say in worship.
He chuckles. “They always want to do this in the middle of the night. We got her on something for the pain, and she’s resting as much as she can. From the looks of things, they were false labor pains but she’s close enough, so we’re going to go ahead and induce labor.” He takes a sip of his coffee. “It will be a few hours. I’ll have a nurse come find you when it’s time for you to come hold her hand.”
“God, I’m getting old,” he says with a shake of his head. “It seems like just yesterday I was bringing you and her into the world, and now she’s the one delivering. Try and get some rest. I don’t want you passing out in the delivery room. I’m going to have my hands full with her. You, I’ll just have pushed under a table to sleep it off.”
“That might be the best thing really,” I say. Holding out my hand, I show him how badly it’s shaking. He smiles.
“Relax. She’s healthy. The baby’s doing great. It should go about as well as any delivery can. Now I’ve got to go, I have two more of these to do tonight. Like I said, they always pick this time of night.”
Finishing my coffee, I dig out my phone and take a walk outside into the cool night air.
“Aunt Jean? It’s Richy. Terry has gone into labor.”
“Oh, my. Well, you give her my best, hon, and tell her I’m on my way. I’ll be there just as soon as I can get a flight out,” she says.
“Love you, and give her my love as well,” she says. I can hear my uncle…sleepily… asking who it is in the background.
“I will. Bye.”
Hanging up the phone I sit down on the bench outside and look down at the small pile of cigarette butts someone left here. I don’t even smoke, and I feel like I would like one just to calm me down and give me something to do with my hands.
“I want more coffee.”
I get up and go to find the cafeteria.
** ** ** ** ** ** **
A hand on my shoulder awakens me. How I fell asleep in the lobby chair is beyond me. I look up at the nurse.
“Dr. Brooks said it was time for you to come get ready. Your wife is doing well,” she adds as I get to my feet. She turns and walks away before I can correct her. I start to do it as I follow, and then I don’t. For some reason the idea of it makes me smile.
I’m given a hell of a time in the washing up room by the two nurses. They are teasing me the whole time they’re showing me how to scrub up about passing out and getting sick. I can see they are actually trying to make me relax, but it’s a strange way to go about it.