"Thank you for coming out here, Dr. Clark." Frances called out. She shut the front door and touched the white lacy curtains. It was quiet in the house for a moment...until she sighed and spoke up. "Seems like my thinking was correct, huh?" She turned and looked at her daughter, sitting on the little pink sofa with the white lace doily covering it.
"Yes..." Helen said quietly. "I can't believe I thought I was just sick with the flu or something...How stupid..."
"You're not stupid...don't say that..."
"You're not stupid, Helen...It's just your first pregnancy. Of course you won't know for sure the first time around."
"I still can't believe it...a baby?"
"I know. Quite a shock isn't it?" Frances smiled a little.
"I don't know what I'm going to do...I don't know if I'm ready...Oh, I just don't know WHAT to think right now!" Helen said and buried her face in both of her hands. "I suppose you're mad at me now." She said softly.
Frances came and sat down by her daughter and hugged her. "No...not angry...just...well, maybe a little upset. It's not how I envisioned things would be, but...life doesn't always turn out like you want it."
"Papa?" Helen looked up at her father sitting in his favorite armchair.
"Come here..." He said.
"Come here! Sit with me...like you used to when you were a little girl."
"Papa!" Helen laughed a little. It even brightend her mood some.
"Come on!" Fred smiled motioning over to him. Helen came over and sat down on one of the armrests. Fred put his arm around his daughter's waist and hugged her.
"Are you upset with me?"
"No...you know how I am. I don't get worked up about things too much." Fred kissed his daughter's cheek. "You're fine...everythings going to work out alright."
"But..but how do you know for sure...And, what about Eddie?! I haven't even thought about him...how he's going to take this...and how am I going to tell him?"
"You'll be able to tell him." Fred said.
"Will he even want to marry me now?" Helen thought out loud.
"Helen, he wanted to marry you before...nothing will change that." Frances said.
"He's a good, kid." Fred added.
"I'm just scared..." Helen sighed again.
"We know, honey..." Frances said..."It's a brand new step in life..."
"Things will work out, Helen." Fred hugged his daughter again.
"Just wait till you're ready to tell him..."
"I'll tell him in the next few days...I'm just not ready right now." She said and sat back down on the sofa.
"That's fine, honey." Her mother told her, patting her knee.
"I'm scared." She said again.
"We know...It'll be alright..."
"I can't help it I'm scared...I'm just afraid...he...he won't love me. Won't want me anymore...that he won't want the baby..."
"You're worrying about it too much, honey...Don't stress over it right now."
"I have just...too much on my mind right now. I think I'd like to be alone in my room for awhile." Helen got up and went to her room, closing the door. She needed some time alone to think. Her mother came in later and sat with her on the bed.
"We know you're scared.. But it'll be okay...you have us." Frances said quietly. Helen laid her head on her mother's shoulder and wrapped her arms around her.
"I can't help it...There's so much to think about." Helen said. Tears welling up in her eyes. "It's scary...I'm afraid...I just can't help it."
"Do you want this baby?" Frances whispered.
"Yes...Of course I do...it's my baby..." Helen said. "I'm just scared. I told you I don't know if I'm ready..."
"You'll learn...I did." Frances smiled and ran a hand over her daughter's hair.
"I'll be 21 when I have this baby...It's unreal. I'm still a little shocked."
"I know...I was too, a little." Frances said. "But then I realized, you're both adults. It's natural. These things happen."
"I don't what I'm more scared about...becoming a mother...or Eddie."
"Honey, don't worry about Eddie. He's a good man, he'll do the right thing."
"I know...but you don't know him like I do, Mama..." Helen said.
"What are you getting at?" Frances questioned.
"It's just...I don't know why, but...it seems like he doesn't like children very much...or something. I figured that after Eddie and I were married, we'd talk about children... Mama, I'm afraid...he won't want the baby and he'll leave me...I can't help but worry about it." Helen said, brushing a tear off of her cheek.
"I don't think he'd do that..." Frances said. "And you won't know until you tell him...Stop worrying about it right now."
A few days went by and one afternoon Helen was getting ready to go over to see Eddie. "I have to tell him today...it's going to drive me crazy otherwise..." She said putting her coat on and started to go out the front door.
"Wait a minute...I'll drive you over." Fred said, and grabbed his coat.
"Are you sure, Papa?"
"Yes...It's getting colder out..."
"It's only late November. There's no snow on the ground yet. I'll be fine."
"Come on." Fred said, and so they got in his Model T Ford and drove the way to the Walbrun's house. On the way there, they saw a young man walking on the side of the road.
"Papa, that's Eddie...stop the car..."
Helen got out of the car, shut the car's door and started walking over to him, her heels softly clicking away on the road.
"Helen, baby!" He smiled and hugged her. "I was just going over to your place." He smiled, placing his hands on her arms softly and they drifted to her hands.
"I need to talk to you, Eddie..."
Eddie stared at her smileless face and those worried brown eyes. "What's wrong?...You don't seem like yourself right now."
"We just need to talk...I need to tell you something..."
"What?!..Why?" Eddie asked. "What's going on?"
"I'm scared...I just don't know how to put this..."
"You damn well better not be breaking up with me."
"Eddie, I'm not!" Helen said, tears streaking her face.
"That's what this sounds like!...Well, what is it?...Don't-Don't cry!" He told her, brushing off a tear with his thumb.
"A few days ago...I found out that I...We're..." Helen stumbled over her words. Unsure how to word it.
"We're what?" Eddie asked, looking at her puzzled.
"... going to have a...a baby." She said quietly, just looking up into his face. Eddie stood there with a furrowed brow. Helen was silent, waiting for him to say something, tears on her cheeks again.
"How could this happen..."
"What do you mean how?!" Helen exclaimed. "Don't blame this on me! You know very well how this happened..." She said, tears falling..."Yes, we were pretty careful...but it happened...Well, aren't you going to say anything?!" Her voice choked.
"I don't know what to say, baby..." He blinked, and stood there just looking at her. The lines still etched in his forehead.
"Eddie, I love you...I'm scared that you'll leave me, and if you do,...I understand...But if there's still a chance that you still want to marry me...we'd better make plans...and do it as soon as we can..."
"I...I need time to think..." Eddie said quickly and let go of her hand and turned around and started walking the way he came. Helen did nothing but stand there, watching him leave. Watching till he was gone, and out of her sight, she slowly walked back to her father's car and got in the front seat, sitting there, her arms around her middle. She remained slient and put her head down during the drive back home.
"So, you told him?" Fred asked quietly.
"What did he say?..."
"He...said he needed time to think..." Helen sighed. She bit her lower lip and looked out the car window. Watching the houses and the trees and the people go by. "I'm still scared..."
"It'll turn out alright, Helen."
"Now I'm not so sure, Papa...He was shocked...He wasn't happy. He barely said anything...He just walked away and I let him! I mean, what could I have done?!...He's going to leave me..." Helen stressed. Tears started to fall. Fred went and pulled over on the side of the road and sat there and looked at his daughter.
"Helen Frances Lay...you need to snap out of this!" He said. Fred wasn't angry, but in his voice was total seriousness. "You don't know if Edde's going to leave you because of this...so stop saying he will."
"But he said..." Helen started to say, wiping away tears that were on her cheeks.
"All he said was he needed time...to think...Just give him that time alone to think about it...He's a good man, and I'm sure he'll figure things out and do the right thing...just leave him alone for awhile. We can't have you being so upset and worried all the time anway..."She's starting to drive us crazy with this!" He thought. "Things will turn out fine either way...Just trust us..." Fred said. They went home and Helen went straight to her room.
"Well, what did Eddie say?" Frances asked.
Helen was sitting on her bed, almost ready to cry again. "He said he needed time to think."
"Well..." Frances sighed. "Maybe that's for the best."
"I don't know, Mama...I really don't."
Helen and Eddie met on a bench in the park and were talking. He grabbed her hand and was silent. She looked into his eyes and heard him say something.
"I can't do this...I'm sorry."
"Eddie..." Tears filled her eyes and dropped on her cheeks and she wiped them away, but they kept falling.
"Eddie...please...please don't!" She stammered as she watched him walk away from her.
"Don't leave me...please!" She cried as she saw him running now. She wanted to run after him but her legs wouldn't move...Eddie ran fast...and then faster. Till he was gone.
"Don't leave, Eddie." Helen whispered. Tears fell on her pillow. She opened her eyes and sat up in bed. It was just a dream. A dream she'd been having for awhile now. She still couldn't shake the feeling that he was going to leave her.
"Are you alright?" Frances stood at her bedroom door.
"Yeah, Mama...I'll be okay."
"Alright...well...I made some breakfast. Are you hungry?"
"Yes." She said, getting out of bed, got dressed and went into the kitchen to eat with her parents. There was bacon frying in a cast iron skillet and scrambled eggs. Frances got her a plate and set it down on the table in front of her.
Helen tried to eat a little, but stopped and pushed the plate away. "It doesn't smell or taste very good...I'm sorry..." She said, and got up suddenly and ran out the back door to the outhouse. She came back and rinsed her mouth out and splashed a little water on her face.
"Here's some dry toast...it might help." Frances said and also set down a glass of water.
"Thanks Mama...I just hate feeling sick like this...all the time!"
"Well..." Frances sighed. "that's morning sickness for you...every pregnant woman gets it." She said, chuckling a little.
"Was yours as bad when you were pregnant with me?"
"Oh, I don't know...it was bad..."
"I'm sorry..." Helen said.
Frances laughed a little. "No need to be sorry!...Besides, that was 20 years ago, Helen...Doesn't seem like yours is too bad yet...and it's all in the line of finding things that help...we'll see if you can stomach something for lunch later."
"Alright." She said and took a bite of her toast and drank some of the water.
"Have you heard anything from Eddie lately?" Fred asked, taking a bite of his German breakfast cake he was having with his coffee.
"No Papa...I haven't seen or heard from him in almost a week...might as well face it..."
Fred's gray eyes looked at her sternly and seriously. "I don't want to hear it...No matter what, you still have us. We'll help you out...I think you should call him up today." He said, taking another bite of his breakfast cake and glanced at her.
"Why?!...We haven't seen each other...or talked since...he obviously doesn't want me or the baby and that's that..."
"Go call him, Helen..." Fred said, and a little smile appeared on his face. He glanced at Frances who smiled.
"What's going on?" Helen asked them.
"Just go call him, honey." Frances said and patted her shoulders. So Helen went to the next room and to the little shelf that held the old telephone, dialed the number, and waited.
"Hello?" She heard his voice on the other end.
"Eddie...hi..." She said quietly. She wasn't sure of what to say to him.
"Helen...baby...I'm sorry about last week."
"You...haven't seen or spoken to me since that day...Doesn't seem like two people who are engaged, does it?" Helen began.
"I know...I'm sorry. I shouldn't have run off like that...I was...well, kind of shocked. Didn't know what to say...or think...and I'm sorry I haven't had anything to do with you since then...I've been busy."
"With what?" She asked quietly.
"I've gotten a job...At the White House Biscuit Company...It pays $8.00 a week..."
"I've been saving up money for the wedding...and a place for us to live...I'll be taking out some good money pretty soon for it. I've got my eye on a place but I won't say where in case it doesn't turn out how I want it."
"You still want to marry me..." She stammered, tears welling up in her eyes
"Yeah...Of course. Looks like it'll be...a little sooner than planned...but..." He stopped and smiled.
"Oh Eddie!..." Helen cried. And Eddie noticed what sounded like crying on the other end of the telephone.
"What's wrong, baby?"
"Nothing!...Nothing." Helen laughed and brushed away tears. "I'm okay..."
"I'd say we'd better nail down a date, don't you? How 'bout I come over there after work and we can start making plans."
"That sounds great, Eddie." She smiled.
"So what do you think about January? New year. What better time to start a marriage?" Eddie said, sitting in the front room with Helen on the little pink sofa.
"January...Not in the beginning of the month! That's too soon..."
"I've got the money, babe. Plan on taking it out of my bank account soon." Eddie smiled, stretching and put his arm around her. "You don't need to worry."
"What about the next month? Oh, wouldn't it be nice to get married on Valentine's Day?" She smiled at him.
"Is that what you want?"
"Well, I don't know...it's a nice thought." Helen said. "Do you? I want it to be what you want to...It's not just my day, you know...How about towards the end of January then?"
"Helen, baby...do you want to get married on Valentine's Day?"
"No, no, no...just forget it!...The end of January sounds fine."
"How about January 30th?...Sounds easy to remember." Eddie chuckled.
"January 30th." Helen smiled at him.
A/N: J. Edward "Eddie" Walbrun and Helen Lay, my great grandparents got married January 30th, 1935. Around that time, Eddie was working at the White House Biscuit Company, getting paid at $8.00 a week...According to my grandpa's book he wrote us, this was told to him by some old timer. :) Most people made about $8.00 a week back in those days.
Frances indeed had a pink sofa with a white lace doily...and white lace curtains on the windows in her front room. Actually sounds pretty, and I don't normally care for the color pink...We owned the pink sofa when I was little, according to my mother...but of course, I was little and don't quite remember it.
Hope you liked this chapter! Tell me what you think! :)