extract from The Man With Green Fingers
“I wasn’t going to tell him. I was just going to have the abortion and he’d never have been any the wiser. But now I’ve past fourteen weeks. I just kept hoping that a solution would present itself. I know that’s stupid. I thought it might just go away.”
“Do you want the baby?”
“I would certainly never have done it on purpose. But now that it’s on the way, it’s welcome. I hope it’s a girl. Ashley might feel better about having a daughter.”
As predicted, however, Ashley reacted badly to Jeanie’s announcement. Feeling a coward, she told him over the phone.
“Get rid of it!” he spat.
Sitting alone in the Golden Rooster after work that evening, he tried to analyse what the problem was. He was well aware that his reaction was unkind and that most men were happy to father children. There was something about it that totally disgusted him, however, something about a uterus or breasts full of milk or birth canals. The swelling abdomen of his wife was disgusting, the stretch marks on her thighs …… and the birth itself …… he had seen it once on the television when he was a teenager and it had made him sick. He had not had sex with Jeanie at all while she was pregnant with the child, and he knew he wouldn’t now either.
For the first time it started to occur to Ashley that he ought to get out. Stella was the only aspect of life he particularly enjoyed, apart from his job. Although he took an interest in his garden and liked the house to look nice, he couldn’t say that it enthused him so much that it was worth staying in an unhappy marriage, and he realized now that a solution would be to have a house for just him and Stella.
Catherine Broughton is a novelist, a poet and an artist. She is widely travelled and writes regularly for magazines and blog sites. Her sketches are on her web site http://www.turquoisemoon.co.uk . Her books are available from Amazon and on Kindle, or can be ordered from several leading book stores.