Once more Kirsty sat alone in the break room. She stared at her chicken salad that she had picked up at the corner shop on the way to work. The morning had gotten off to a worse start than the night before had ended.
Bjorn was up and gone before she even woke up. He never did that. He always woke her up gently with a kiss and smile. Her chest tightened as she thought about all that had transpired. Not just yesterday, but in the past year.
Had it been just last year that she had sat at this same table, giddy with excitement at their messages? Sven’s messages, she had thought at the time. “Oh, Sven,” she whispered as she pushed the unpalatable greens and cardboard chicken away.
“Who is Sven?”
She inhaled and forced a smile, though she doubted that she could fool Roz for much longer, but she had to try. “Bjorn’s oldest brother,” she stuck as close to the truth as she could.
Roz nodded her head as she took the seat across from her at the table. “In-laws. Now that is trouble I can understand.” She pushed the plastic bowl back towards her, “Is he as hot as the other two?”
Kirsty was too tired to argue with her friend over eating, so she picked up the fork and began playing at moving the food about as she delayed. How did she answer that one? Sven had never had Bjorn’s raw masculine beauty. Or Mikael’s darker good looks.
And at forty, time and the sea had taken their toll, but from the moment she had first seen that photograph on his profile, there was something about the man that had drawn her. Those piercing blue eyes that jumped out at you, held your attention and did funny things to your tummy with their intensity.
She screwed her face up in a grimace as she pushed the bowl away once more. The mild nausea that she had battled for weeks seemed to have grown into a storm. She closed her eyes and inhaled, trying to calm her tummy.
She was on the edge of tears again too just at the thought of the man. She had learned the hard way how difficult it was to cry and vomit, but she feared that was exactly what she was about to do…if she did not get her emotions back under control.
But had they been? In the year since that first message, she had been on an emotional roller coaster of incredible highs, deep lows and twists and turns that threatened to throw her from the ride of life. After a lifetime of just doing what everyone else expected…including bottling her emotions…it had been both thrilling and frightening.
A cold paper towel was pressed to the back of her neck as she opened her eyes and turned to see Roz standing next to her. “Ta,” the shortened British version of ‘thank you’ was all she could manage at that moment.
“So is it official?” Her friend’s smile was tight and Kirsty could see the woman’s pain just beneath the surface, “Are you pregnant?”
She shook her head, “We still don’t know. In all the…” What did she say…chaos, confusion, pain? “I have not had the chance to get a test from the chemist yet.”
Her friend nodded as she picked up the practically untouched food off of the table and tossed it into the bin. She walked back over to the table and pulled Kirsty’s chair back, “Ain’t you a lucky girl, working in a hospital? And with a best friend, who knows a wonderful ultra sound tech, let’s go, girl.”
Kirsty shook her head, “No, really, I shouldn’t. This is something…well, I should wait for Bjorn. Pick up a home pregnancy test and if it is positive…shouldn’t that be something we do together? The baby’s first ultrasound?” Her hand unconsciously went to her tummy as she felt it revolt and roll slightly with gas now too.
But after almost six years as friends, she should have realized how futile that was. Roz pulled her to her feet and dragged her out of the break room proclaiming, “I’ll video the whole damned thing on your phone for you to show him tonight.”
Kirsty thought about protesting, but the truth was that she wanted to know. One way or the other as Roz led her down the hall. Then she could re-group. Perhaps find that logical side of her brain that seemed to have been on hiatus for the past year. Get on with her life. Their life. Come up with a plan. Any plan.
So why did all of that sound so hollow? And why did something that she had wanted for so long seem… Less than she had hoped for. She loved Bjorn. She should be estatic to be carrying his baby…if she even was. But all she could think was…I love Mikael too.
A pain pierced her side as she thought of him. Yes, damn him, she loved Sven too. Damn the man to Helveti as the elevator closed and her friend smiled at her through her own pain that was written on her face. Life was not fair sometimes.
Before I go to America next week I promise…