Escape: the residency years
First thing in the morning. That’s what the box said.
She sat there waiting for the result. She dared not touch it. The instructions said it needed to lay flat for the duration of the time.
She watched the stopwatch app on her phone. It was the longest two minutes of her life.
In her heart of hearts, she already knew. She was a doctor, after all. Her gag reflex was on high alert making brushing her teeth darn near impossible. She felt fatigue at every turn. She just felt….off.
She peeked over at the stick as if it were dangerous. She tried to pick it up, but her hands were shaking so badly she couldn’t hold it, so she set it back down.
Disbelief, followed by sheer, utter joy. A grin split her face.
“JAMIE!” she shouted. “JAMIE!”
Jamie stood at the bottom of the stairs. He was afraid to go up. Afraid of what he’d see. He knew her body had changed. Even if he were blind, he’d know it. He touched his wife far too often not to notice the tenderness, the fullness. He desired her constantly, so he knew the rhythm of her body well.
Yet, he’d had his hopes dashed before.
“THERE ARE TWO PINK LINES!”
He jumped. That was good, right? Ifrinn, he couldn’t remember. He ran his shaking hands through his hair.
Should he believe it? Should he trust it? He’d read about the false positives.
The thunder of running feet over his head was a testament to Claire’s excitement. She skidded to a halt at the top of the stairs, dressed in one of his old tee-shirts, and those damn pink knickers he’d first seen her in. Her hair was a wild mess of curls not yet tamed from sleep, face flushed with elation.
She brandished the plastic stick like a sword.
“I want it confirmed by a doctor,” he said, brows drawn together.
“Bu- but, I am a doctor!” Claire insisted. “You bloody, stubborn Scot. They’ll do exactly the same thing in an office!”
“No offense, Claire, yer but a resident.”
“James Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser,” Claire said, tone incredulous. “You did not just say that.” She’d chalk it up to nerves. Or shock.
They stared at each other across the expanse of the staircase. He tried to stay calm. When she started to giggle he couldn’t hold it together. His mouth twitched with just a hint of a smile. When she laughed outright, it was music to his ears. He couldn’t help but laugh with her.
And with that he sprinted up the stairs, two at a time, caught his wife around the waist, and spun her around, peppering kisses all over her face.
Ifrinn, he was nervous.
She wasn’t. She was as certain as she could be. His fingers tapped restlessly on his thigh.
She reached over and lifted his big hand into hers, linked their fingers together. He risked a glance at his wife. She was smiling softly, relaxed and serene.
Her thumb caressed his hand. He cupped their hands with his bigger one. He couldn’t stand it. How long did this take for God’s sake???
She lifted their hands and kissed his knuckles. He took a deep breath.
She nodded, and he nodded back.
And then the door opened….
“Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Fraser.” said the Obstetrician. “You’re expecting.”