Trudy wondered if there would ever be a moment as precious as this. Her granddaughter nestled by her side, as she had been so many decades before, snuggled next to her granny. Except Trudy would never have the chance to teach this girl child about the ways of their family. Vivian was perfect, pristine, peaceful.
Ginger had announced her pregnancy just before Trudy went into the convalescent home. Trudy knew she wasn’t supposed to call it that, but what else is the place except a building where she’s supposed to bide her time and wait to die?
Her only daughter, raven hair, and sharp eyes, in love with a man she’s too good for, already aglow. Trudy peered over her teacup, chipped, and cracked from years of use, a gift from her second favorite aunt, Valentina.
“You know he’s going to leave you, don’t you?” Trudy asked her daughter. It wasn’t supposed to be curt; her words came out spiny and sharp.
Ginger’s face fell for a fraction of an instant. Her eyes rounded, her hand fluttered to her belly, her baby still the side of something microscopic and small.
“No, Mike isn’t going to leave me. He loves me, and I love him. Besides, I’ve waited forty years to get pregnant, so no matter what, I’m having this baby.”
Trudy sipped her homebrew dandelion tea, wondered what she could do to make her only daughter understand that the pregnancy would be the first step in a long line of micro-divisions that would ultimately lead to the demise of the marriage.
It was too easy to see the signs, knit together their patterns, and know that Don’s roving eye and his inability to focus on one thing would make it impossible for him to settle down.
When he came to Trudy’s house, Mike demanded Ginger’s attention, full and pure, and got petulant when she didn’t comply. Adding a baby to the mix would only make it worse, Trudy knew.
“I have teas you can drink. There’s a crop of parsley outback,” Trudy said.
Ginger’s eyes filled. She stomped her foot on the ground. “Mama, you’ve asked a lot of me over the years, but I cannot believe you would suggest I abort this child.”
Trudy shrugged. “Well, it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world, would it? Besides, you’re old, and who knows what the baby will end up being like.”
Ginger shook her head, hair billowing around her like a cape. She left, and Trudy didn’t see her child again for five months. By then, Ginger’s body had swelled to accommodate the growing babe. At the sight of her daughter pregnant and happy, Trudy’s resolve lessened, and she pulled Ginger in for a hug.
Now, inside the nursing home that’s sure to become the last place Trudy will ever see, she clutches the small hand of her newest progeny.