Blood. She discarded the toilet paper and tentatively stroked the gusset of her underwear. The warm trickle had alarmed her. As she eased her fingers further downwards, she hoped it would be dry but knew it wasn’t.
It was 11 weeks and five days, she only needed two more days to be safe. The thin blue lines which a few weeks ago had determined that her dreams were about to come true, now marked another early finish line and her heartbeat protested with quickening disbelief.
She lingered in the blank headspace of denial, and braced herself to look at her fingers. Moist and fresh, red and certain. A flush of anger engulfed her and she bit into her lip, the metallic taste of shame flooded her mouth. Why not at four weeks or six?
Nigel would cry like a child, lamenting his need to be a father and she would have to comfort him, again.
‘Be careful what you wish for,’ her mother used to warn.
‘But I want a sensitive man,’ she had anguished, before Nigel had hit the scene, ‘not like dad.’
Yet broad dusty shoulders, a whiff of scotch and the comforting dab of his work soiled handkerchief were the only things she wanted right now.