Day 81 – Cut Flowers – Part 1 – The Web Be Weaved

I had a dream about this, well sort of.

Her name is Emily. Because I am yet to meet or hear of a normal, mentally-in-control-of-one’s-emotional-faculties Emily. They are all nuts. Sorry.



Word count: 1851


Stark daylight pierced through the bathroom frosted-glass window. It was suburbia. The en-suite of a semi detached in a large estate of businessmen with housewives and two-point-four children. Each house had a large garage and a small patch of garden at the back. There was one tree per twenty metres lining the road. The estate was newly built, perhaps three years old at maximum. Everyone in the neighbourhood was terribly friendly and upbeat. There were at least two cars for every drive and more than half the children in the area did not attend the local comprehensive.

Emily and Dan had been living quite comfortably and rather happily in their four bedroom house at the corner of Pleasance Drive for a little over fourteen months now. They had moved in just after they had tied the knot (some ostentatious affair in a country house). Together they had arranged with interior designers and decorators to have the place just right for them. The kitchen had all the fittings of a talented chef. The lounge oozed modern relaxation and radiated the calm tones of yoga and incense upon first entrance. Everything was tailored to a bland, modern compote of beige and neutral browns. Occasionally a harsh black rebelled against the blandness. They loved it.

It was eleven in the morning. Dan had vanished to work hours ago. Emily had tidied, cleaned and loaded the dishwasher. This was not something that she was prone to do. Though she did not live in a state, she did not clean herself. Today she had sent the cleaner home as she did not want to be bothered by strange company. She needed to be alone. She needed to do something to distract her. For many sleepless nights now she had longed for a day to just be alone. Something had been bothering her for a number of weeks now. It singed her thoughts constantly. The problem was now gripped tightly in her shaking hand.

Emily was sat on the edge of the bath. The entire place stank of bleach. She’d spilt some of it on the floor by the sink trying to read the instructions on the side of the bottle. Despite her earlier failings, however, the entire room gleamed in spotlessness. If it were not for the impending doom she feared would be coming, she would have been quite proud of herself. As it was, however, she was almost ill with impatience. The little white stick in her hand had not revealed its answer just yet. How long had it been, already? She checked her platinum watch. It had barely even been a minute.

Her long plastic fingernails rapped on the white plastic device. Emily was more nervous than she had been on her wedding day. Her insides coiled and squirmed like worms. Weeks though it had been plaguing her mind, she still could not deliberate on whether or not the answer could bring any good news. If yes, her entire life could be turned upside down. It could spell the end of the beautician every Tuesday. None of her dresses would fit any more. Her waist would spread and she would be lumbered with a belly the size of Manhatten. Every morning Dan would look at her lying in bed like a beached whale. Her breath quickened as she thought of all the ill possibilities that a positive outcome would bring. But would a negative outcome necessarily be any better?

Emily was at that age. The brooding early thirties. Loving her currently life though she did, there might be a time where that would change. She could never rule it out. But she crossed her legs in the thought of the actual process. The agony, the heartache at gaining all that weight; the sleepless nights and the bladder control issues. Emily wretched a bit; surely it was time now?

At last a faint blue line faded into view. Emily prayed, begged and pleaded under her breath, rocking back and forth like an evangelical priest. For a moment it looked good. The single line remained solitary. Then a second line began to appear. Emily’s insides seemed to freeze. She stopped rocking and she stopped praying. All she could do was stare at the two blue lines, vibrant and stark against the white background. There was no mistaking it. Two lines marked the answer to her question. She was pregnant.

It was a few minutes before she could draw proper breath. In one agonizing moment she inhaled her first breaths as a mother and jumped to her feet, throwing the test across the bathroom as if it were going to give her a disease. She ran to the mirror and checked her image. Was it the same Emily? It looked like her. The same blond hair, the same brown eyes and the same lipstick stained lips. Would this change? Would she still remain behind this mask? She touched her face with her fingers and felt her cheek bones and jaw. Her hands then ran down her neck and her bosom to her stomach. Emily massaged her tummy, smoothing over the flatness, the perfect size eight waste and the neat little hips she was so proud of. She caressed her body as if it were her last precious possession in the entire world. Tears formed, though she contained them within the confinement of her eyes.

Emily ran the tap and washed her face in cold water. Her initial idea was to take a second test, but Emily knew the results would just be the same. It would always be the same. Her body knew the result before she had taken the test. It had been trying to tell her for weeks now, but – like some seditious school girl – she was refusing to listen.

Her mum, she needed her mum.

Bursting through the bathroom door, she entered her grand bedroom. A four poster bed acted as the centre piece to the room, with gold and velvet material dangling from the posts. It was, like with rest of the house, tainted with modernity. Flanking the bed was two side tables, silver table lamps decorating either side. Large art-décor portraits lined the walls and to the other end of the room a door led off to her walk-in wardrobe.

Lying on the silk quilt, lay her mobile phone. Dialling her mother, she sat on the edge of her bed and recommenced rocking. If there was one person on the earth that would know what to do, it would be her mother. Dan and Emily had never even discussed children – not seriously anyway. She was young, she was carefree. Dan was the strong male – did he even need children to be complete? Emily panicked. This was all coming much sooner than she had ever imagined. Fourteen months of marriage. How had it gone by so quickly? Her mum was taking ages to answer. The dial tone was plucking every emotional string in her quartet.

“Emily, how are you?”

At last, the richly comforting voice of her mother reached her ears.

“Mum! I’m, I’m …”

“What’s happened? Something’s happened,” Audrey’s voice seemed uplifted.

“Uhm, I don’t really… it’s…” Emily, for once in her life, seemed lost for words.

“Is it Dan? Has he left you?”

“What? No! What made you think that?” Emily was taken aback.

“Oh good. Thank god. I wouldn’t want you to end up like your Aunty Pam.”

“What? Why..?”

“Oh come on, divorced and frumpy at forty? Now what’s really going on?”

Emily paused, still taken aback that her marriage had obviously been plaguing her mother’s mind.

“Mum, I need to tell you something. I need your advice.”

Emily heard her mother breathe heavily down the phone, waiting for her to continue.

“I’m pregnant.”

“Is it Dan’s?”

Emily reeled with the accusation, but briefly interrogated herself over the answer, “No! Why the fuck would you think that?”

She heard a sigh of relief down the loudspeaker, “Thank god. Thank god. That’s one problem avoided.”

“No! Mum! Why did you think it wouldn’t be Dan’s?”

Emily was angry, though slightly unnerved.

“Because you slept with that guy who came over to measure up your garden shed.”

Emily felt sick. If her mother knew, who else did? “How did you find out?” she whispered.

“Darling, you’re my daughter. It’s my job to know and to find these things out. You know for sure?”

Emily quickly counted the weeks, “Yes! Mum, seriously. Please, not now. I can’t risk Dan coming home early. It was a mistake. We just –”

“Made a mistake, I know darling, I know. It’s alright. I’m not judging. Now,” she paused before continuing, “What are we going to do about this pregnancy?”

Emily felt sick, “I don’t know?”

“I take it you’ve not told Dan?”


“Good. Don’t. Not yet. Honey, I don’t know what to do. This might ruin things between you and Dan. Does he even want kids, do you even want them? Think what you’ll be losing if you keep it.”

Her eyes could no longer confine her tears. They were pouring out as she whimpered down the phone, “I don’t know what to do mum…. I don’t know… What if he wants to leave me? What if he finds me ugly and fat and horrible? What if he doesn’t want to be tied down to a frumpy mother of three? I don’t want to be on my own, I couldn’t bare it!”

“Ssh, shsh, calm down, calm down. I’m coming over, I’m coming over. Put the kettle on, I’ll be there before the tea has time to brew… shhsh, Emily, it’ll be fine. I’ll be there…. Soon as I can…”

Emily nodded, “Okay, please hurry…”

“I will.”

Her mother hung up. Emily rushed to the bathroom and threw up in the toilet. Perhaps it was morning sickness. Perhaps it was stress. It was hard to fathom which was which. Suddenly everything was changed. Her entire world was shifted into another dimension. Emily could not get back. Bars had been brought down around her body. There was no escape.

Wiping her mouth and brushing her teeth, she went downstairs into the kitchen and filled the kettle. Was she allowed tea if she was pregnant? She found herself looking at the range of alcohol lined in the mini bar area they had specifically shaped into the kitchen. Her attention then deviated to the shed just beyond the patio window at the end of the kitchen and dining area. Up until now she had smiled with an erotic lust at what had gone on in that shed. Now she was simply relieved that there was no possible way Mr. Strong Arms could be the father; but that relief was mixed with the horror that her own mum had somehow discovered the truth. Emily had thought it was a tight secret. She had never told a single soul.

As the kettle rose slowly to the boil, she rapped on the kitchen worktop in an attempt to relax her thundering heartbeat, smiling to herself at the latest illicit excitement.

~ by S.G. Mark on December 27, 2011.

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