Motioning to contents of their meager pantry currently moving towards him, Arnold asked, "Are you supposed to be eating those?" He knew the question would raise an eyebrow, and possibly the ire of his bedmate, but felt the need to ask anyway.
"I don't know."
"Shouldn't you check?"
"Eh," he heard, as the bed under them creaked and the sound of crunching grew louder. Around the sounds of chewing, Helga pointed to the remote control on his lap and then at the T.V. across the room. "Start episode seven," she demanded.
Instead of obliging her, as was his custom for the past week, he left the remote untouched and turned to her.
Helga continued taking a long drag from her can of Sprite, willing the episode to begin, and her carbonated beverage to be a Coke, instead. Rolling her eyes, she finally turned and gave in. "Yes?"
Arnold looked at her in a way that she often told him was reminiscent of a teacher staring at a rebellious, but secretly genius student, over their glasses. "Wanna talk?"
Shaking her head, she answered. "Nope, I just wanna find out what happens in episode seven…"
"What?" she drawled, hanging her head, tiredly. "What's there to talk about?"
"Really?" Arnold asked, sarcastically.
"Okay, I rescind my question. No, I don't want to talk. Not because I'm sad or upset, or worried. I just really want to watch T.V. with you, and maybe think about this tomorrow," she finished, flashing a bright, though not quite genuine smile.
Sighing audibly, Arnold picked up the remote and pressed play, but kept his eyes focused on his wife. "Fine. I think I can get Val to cover me for tomorrow."
"So I can have the day off. So we can talk."
"You wanna talk all day?" Helga asked, already exasperated. She knew that a long, honest, probably awkward conversation had to come eventually, but she hoped that it could fall somewhere between the time it took her to get another soda, and the opening credits for the next episode.
"No," Arnold answered. "I want to talk…and then finish this season. The next one starts in a week."
"I know! And then we'll have to watch it on T.V. like the rest of the world!" she lamented.
The tempo of the opening credits music was rapid and Arnold felt his heart pick up a similar cadence. Instead of the usual excitement that came with watching his favorite show, with his wife, and the thought of skipping work to lie in bed with her the next day, Arnold looked even further into their future. Weeks and months would pass, and he smiled at the thought that his heart might never slow down.
"I love you," he said, as Helga reached behind her to turn off her bedside lamp.
"Shhh," she answered, watching the screen intently. "I mean, I love you too."
Several minutes passed, the pair focused on the television, before Arnold spoke again. "How big is it?"
"What?" Helga said, shoving another spoonful of applesauce in her mouth.
"How big is it now?"
"The book said…blueberry. I think."
"Yeah, seven weeks is a blueberry."
Abandoning the remote, Arnold slid his hand over the weathered material of a t-shirt he lent Helga once, years ago, and that she kept ever since. The rise of her smooth belly was barely noticeable under the sweaters and blouses she wore to work, but, he was happy that at home, they had no secrets.
"Hi Blueberry," he said softly, ignoring the narrative on the screen. "I'm your dad."
"Shhhhhhh…" Helga said, but resting her hand over his, and smiling in the darkness, anyway.
Author's Note: Art imitates life.