Dans un autre monde - Part 6
Part 5 is available here
Author Note: A short one before I leave for a happy hour with former work colleague. It’s a very, very short one, almost a continuation of part 5 since it deals with Claire’s feeling regarding Fergus. As usual, let me know what you thought of it!
Summer came and went and there was no hiding my pregnancy anymore. Roger went back to school and I spent my time during Faith’s naps either helping Mrs Graham with the light household chores or reading medical textbook the Infirmary head nurse brought to the rectory. The divorce was finalized by September and Frank sent me the remaining of my inheritance from Uncle Lamb. Faith’s second birthday was bitter sweetly celebrated with cake and presents and soon it was my own 30th birthday. I was now 8 months pregnant and as big as an elephant, at least according to my daughter. I was experiencing things in this pregnancy that I hadn’t had the chance to experienced when I was carrying Faith. The strangest one came one night while I was enjoying a cup of chamomile and a tiny little foot seemed to want to stick out of my huge belly. Tears filled my eyes as I softly touched it, whishing Jamie was here to share this moment with me.
Although I had begged Mrs Graham and the Reverend no to make a fuss out of my birthday, I spent October 20th 1948 being pampered and spoiled. The weather being warm enough, the Reverend, Roger, Faith and I went on a picnic by the Loch before coming back to the rectory to the aroma of a freshly baked chocolate cake.
“Happy birthday, me dear!”
“Mrs Graham, you didn’t have…”
“Come and sit, Mistress Claire” cheerfully said Roger, pulling a chair for me to sit.
“We got you some wee presents as well” announced the Reverend, handing me a wrapped rectangular box.
“But first we eat cake, right father?”
All three adults laughed at Roger excitement for desert. Later that night, after having put the children to bed, the Reverend, Mrs Graham and I sat down for one last nightcap.
“Ladies, not that I am not enjoying your company, but I better head up to bed myself. Good night and my dear Claire, again, happy birthday.”
“Thank you, Reggie. And good night…”
I let out a groan as I felt a swift kick to my kidney. I had thought that Faith had been quite active while I carried her, but it was nothing to this new baby. I must be black and blue from the inside from all the kicks I received.
“The bairn is restless tonight?”
I nodded. “Doctor Beaton thinks it’s a good sign…”
“Aye, a very good sign indeed! Does he foresee any complication for the delivery?”
“He doesn’t think so. This pregnancy is very different from my first one… Compared to Faith’s, it is the ideal pregnancy. I practically didn’t suffer from any morning sickness…”
“Then ye are one of the few lucky one! Oh, before I forgot, I got ye a wee something…”
“Mrs Graham, you didn’t have to! You have already done so much…”
“Don’t fash, dear. Here take this.”
I frowned as she handed me a folder.
“What is it?”
“This is the gift of peace of mind. When ye told me the name of yer wee laddie, it felt familiar, but it wasn’t ‘till the Reverend received a batch of books from Edinburgh that I made the connection.”
I opened the folder and gaped at the paper held in it. It was a copy of a very old trade card for a printer and book seller named F.A.M.B. Fraser in Edinburgh.
“Aye, me friend Eliza works at the County archives and found this for ye. Yer lad started as a printer and book seller. It’s now called Fraser Press and it is one of the country most prominent publishing houses. Still belongs to yer lad’s descendants.”
My Fergus had survived and thrived… He had survived and thrived without neither Jamie nor I… His professional success must mean that Jenny and Ian had taken care of him after… My little boy…
“If ye want I can ask Eliza for more information like who he married, when he passed… Ye could even visit in Edinburgh if ye want. The Reverend has his entry…”
“No… Knowing he lived through adulthood is enough knowledge for me. I… I couldn’t bear to learn the date of his death or anything else… This and what you just reported tells me he lived the life Jamie and I had hoped for him.”
I cried, cried tears of joy, tears of sorrow, tears of pride… My little boy lived and seemed to have made a good life for himself. What else could a parent hope for?
“Thank you, Mrs Graham… You can’t imagine what it means to me to know that my little boy…”
I carefully put the card back in the folder, holding it as if it was the most precious thing in the world. And honestly, it truly was. That card was the proof that my boy had lived. That card was the proof that Faith’s brother who had patiently taught her French comptines had lived.
I went to bed that night with a huge weight lifted off my chest. I still felt guilty of having left my Fergus behind, not having said goodbye… The baby must have felt my conflicted feelings for it kicked me swiftly.
“No need to beat your poor mother, little one…” I whispered. “Mama is only thinking about your brother, how much he would have loved you…”
And so, up until sleep claimed me, I told the baby all about its older brother. It would know everything about this older sibling who wouldn’t get to grow up alongside him or her.
Part 7 is available here