Karen had a secret.
They had decided that Jasmine would be their last child. The house already felt too small and Sam was delighted with each of his daughters. But Karen secretly wanted a son, a little Sam Jr. running around. And so she resisted his attempted to have a vasectomy and insisted her birth control pills were enough. Why spend time and money at the hospital for an unnecessary procedure?
Only she hadn’t been taking the pills. Just one more, she promised herself. For Sam. If they’re a girl, she’ll give up. So when the familiar nausea hit, she clamped her mouth shut and smiled.
“Are you okay,” Sam was too perceptive by half, but it helped that everyone was a little under the weather. Evelyn had a cough she could not shake, they were pretty sure Jasmine had bloaty head, and she’d even caught Sam trying to hide his own dizzy spells. So she shook her head and admitted she might have a touch of whatever was going around the house.
The doctor confirmed her suspicion and suddenly she was simultaneously thrilled and terrified. What would Sam say when she told him? Sometimes the pill didn’t work? She wouldn’t be able to hide it for long.
Sam knew something was wrong with Karen. He was listening to the girls chatting on about some new card collection with one ear, but most of his attention was on Karen.
She poked at her food, pushing it from side to side on her plate, but he hadn’t seen her take a bit in five minutes. She swallowed and looked up, he knew she noticed him watching her. Suddenly she stood up and started collecting plates.
“Okay girls, have you finished your homework?” she asked. They scrambled for their notebooks. Sam watch Karen move into the kitchen, alert. He added up all the little clues. He had seen this behavior before. Not the guilt that she felt, that was new, but the rest…that he knew well.
The girls were emersed in their homework. He knew they would soon be done and begging for stories again. He didn’t have a lot of time. Sam joined Karen in the kitchen and wrapped his arms around her. He felt her stiffen and freeze.
“When were you going to tell me?” She melted into him and Sam knew his guess was right. “How long?”
Sam pulled her closer to him. Four weeks and he hadn’t known? That left only 8 more before the child would be born. He’d already missed out on one month.
“Why?” he asked.
“I didn’t think you’d approve.” She said softly.
“Whether I approve or not, you can’t imagine that I would reject our child?” he stressed the our.
She shook her head.
It pained Sam that what should be happy news was now tinged with sadness. “No matter what,” he said, “I love you, Karen, and all our children.”
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Author’s Note: Okay I’ll admit, I’m projecting my desires on Karen, but I really want to give them one more try. And it seemed like something Karen might want. She really admires Sam and I think would like to have a mini-Sam running around as much I do. Also…yeah – um…ignore the fact Sam and Karen completely change clothes in that last scene, please? I promise I’ll do better in the future.