“The mother was eleven weeks pregnant when she started to show. The little girl noticed her mother seemed a little flushed in her complexion and that she was rather content. Before the pregnancy there had been an edge to her and several times the girl had heard her parents argue, something she had never heard before, not because her parents didn’t argue but because they never did it where the girl could hear it. When the girl asked her mother, her mother said not to worry about it, that everything was okay.
“The girl asked her father too. He sat her down on her bed one evening and put his arm around her. It seemed to the little girl that her father’s hand brushed her non-existent little breast and she wouldn’t have even noted it if it hadn’t seemed as if her father had taken a little squeeze there. Imagination, she would think later, and she would dismiss it totally as her mind playing tricks on her. The bed bounced, she told herself, and we had a little accident.
“The father said that everything was okay. His hand quickly moved to the girl’s shoulder and stayed there so he could squeeze her to him, side by side, in hugs. He told her that Mommy was really busy with a big society banquet for one of her charities and she hadn’t been feeling quite herself. He told her they didn’t know why yet and couldn’t seem to pin it down on anything, but if she didn’t feel better in a day or two, they’d head off to the doctor. ‘You don’t need to be concerned at all, my sweet,’ Daddy told her. Daddy hugged her to him, caressed her, and then he told her to get ready for bed since it was getting late. He said he would send Evelyn up to help her.
“Evelyn put her to bed that night. Evelyn did not ordinarily put her to bed. That was Mommy’s job, exclusively, though Daddy always came in to kiss her good night before she fell off to sleep. The little girl thought she heard another argument happening, but she wasn’t sure. Evelyn petted her gently and read her a story. Evelyn was always soft-spoken. She smelled like gardenias. The little girl asked Evelyn if her parents were arguing. Evelyn said they were, but that it was okay. Lately her mother and father had both been edgy but she didn’t know why except that they were pregnant and women weren’t always themselves in pregnancy.
“Evelyn kissed the little girl good night and told her not to be concerned. She told her that every marriage had rough spots and that for some reason her parents seemed to be going through one of those. She said she’d seen them before with her parents and she was sure it would pass.