Brown Candy Story Time
The caller-ID"s mechanical voice said,"Brown Publish"", and Angie felt Cullen"s body tense. He rose, carefully lifting her head from his lap and putting it onto the hearth pillow he"d been sitting on. He rubbed her swollen abdomen. Angie laughed."You can"t rub a bald head for luck if it hasn"t been born."
Cullen rubbed her head instead, smiled and winked to the phone."Hello." He moved to his computer in the adjoining study.
Angie lay in the glow of the fire, listening. His end of the conversation conveyed optimism. It had been a long time coming. She touched her stomach."Your daddy"s getting a book deal today." She reached into the bowl beside her, digging through Root Beer Barrels and Caramels, both Cullen"s favorites. Her fingers found hers: Dark Chocolate Covered Orange Peels. She lifted one to her mouth, slowly placing the newly acquired craving on her tongue It certainly beat craving pickles and mustard on ice cream, which she had the first half of the pregnancy.
Angie remembered her first meeting with Cullen. She"d recognized his name instantly, asking,"The author?" When he added the prefix"ex" to his profession, she smiled."You"re always your momma"s baby," she explained."You always love your first true love and you"re always an author, if you ever were."
Dating came slowly, after a year of friendship. He"d helped her grade papers for her third grade class; she"d helped him walk his unruly dog. They"d played Canasta for hours on end. He talked, exercising demons, freeing himself from things that had almost taken his soul. Eventually, he wrote, reading her his first efforts to put thoughts to paper in years. After several months, she realized she could only imagine life at his side.
A sharp twinge started mid-back, shooting around to her abdomen. She sucked in a deep breath, arching her eyebrows. Grabbing another candy, she hurled it at Cullen to get his attention. He waved her away, his focus absorbed by the publisher.
The pain abated as Cullen walked back into the living room, face glowing."I got the deal of a lifetime," he said."You"re not going to believe what"s fixing to happen."
Smiling, Angie turned her face toward the brown stones of the fireplace, then looked at her husband. The twinge returned."I think I have an idea," she said."You"re fixing to be a daddy."
-by Debora Dyess