Written by JasonKorolenko
He'd had a couple of drinks with his BLT, loosened his tongue up nicely. The awkwardness was still there, though Roger did his best to wear the mask of a socially apt human and Jennifer was talkative enough to keep the uncomfortable silences to a minimum. At the end of it all they'd agreed to meet again, Roger giving Jennifer his number because he knew as soon as the beers wore off he wouldn't be brave enough to call her. He floated home in a warm haze of lightness, relief, and anticipation.
And remembered, only when he walked through the door, the pregnant, common law wife waiting for him at home.
As he had done the night before, Roger snatched a kitchen knife on his way to the bedroom, head clear and fed up with such fantasy and desperation. There was nothing in Dora's belly. It was ridiculous to think otherwise. He planned to cut the rubber doll into pieces, shred her, destroy her. She was no longer needed.
But when he saw her there, lying unwashed in bed with what appeared to be tears gleaming in her suffering eyes, Roger dropped the knife and went to her.
"Baby, I'm so sorry," he said, cradling her head in his lap. "I could never leave you or our child, believe that."
Elated, Dora rolled to the side, causing her nightgown to flutter up and reveal the lower part of her stomach. It had swollen.
Overnight, it had nearly doubled in size.
Roger placed his palm over the nipple-sized protrusion of a belly button and felt . . . Christ, the baby was kicking.
He would make one hell of a proud papa.