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TOE Short Story :: Home Early – Chapter 2


new gloryJenna walked quickly to the bathroom, dropped to her knees and vomited into the toilet.

As she re-entered the bedroom, Shane was zipping his pants and looked at her with little more than an empty stare.

“Did you just throw up?”

“Yes.” Jenna replied as she began pulling the sheets off the bed.

“You want some help with that?” Shane asked sheepishly.

“No.. I think you’ve done enough already, thank you.” she replied in a cold quiet voice.

He sat on the bare mattress and gripped the edge as he watched Jenna leave the room and return with a trash bag.

“I’m sorry.” he said as she angrily stuffed the sheets into the bag. She paused for a moment and glared at him, tears starting their slow descent over her cheeks.

Shane rose from the bed and walked over to her, wrapping his arms around her as the bag fell to the floor. Jenna stiffened at his touch initially but then slowly relaxed in his arms as he stroked her blond curls. She leaned her forehead against his chest and let out a little sob.

“I’m so sorry, Jenna..” he whispered.

Jenna shoved him away indignantly, her stomach lurching again.

“How dare you touch me, you asshole.” she hissed at him through clenched teeth. With that, she turned and walked out of the room, headed for the couch in the living room. She wanted nothing to do with the comfort of her own bed after what she’d just witnessed there.

“Are you leaving?” Shane asked as he followed her down the hall to the living room.

“No. I don’t know.. why? Do you want me to?” she wasn’t sure exactly what he meant by his question.

“No.” he answered as Jenna sat down on the couch.

The room was spinning and she closed her eyes as she sank back into the brown suede cushions.

“I came home because I wasn’t feeling well. I just need to lie down for a while.”

“Oh.” It obviously wasn’t the response he was expecting.

“Shane, please, just go away..” Jenna said as she leaned over to lay down without opening her eyes. She curled up on her side as he walked back down the hall to the office. She tried to chase away the images of Shane and the other woman going at it in her own bed but it was all she could see in her mind. She opened her eyes again, letting the tears fall freely as her mind filled with questions.

Before long, the wondering got the better of her and Jenna went to stand outside the office door. She stood silent for a minute or two, listening to see if he was on the phone. Once assured that he wasn’t she peeked through the cracked open door to find him sitting at the computer, playing a video game. Almost as if nothing had happened.

Another wave of nausea swept over Jenna and sent her scurrying again to the bathroom. What is wrong with me? She thought as she wretched into the toilet again. Sitting back and catching her breath, she thought for a moment and realized what may be the cause of her malaise. She was late.

Oh God.. no. Please, no. Jenna scrambled over to the cupboard where she knew she had a pregnancy test that a friend had given her when she’d conceived after nearly a year of trying. Once it was obtained, she pulled down her pants and sat on the toilet holding the stick in her urine stream for the obligatory three second count.

“Jenna?” Shane tapped on the bathroom door. “Jenna, are you okay? I thought I heard you throw up again..”

“Yeah. Yeah, I did, Shane.. just give me a minute.” she stared at the first window on the stick, watching a pink line appear. She looked at the package, then back at the stick. Shit. She watched the second line appear in the other window. Pregnant.

“Shit.” Jenna whispered.


She capped the test stick and shoved it hastily in her pocket as she opened the bathroom door. “What do you want, Shane?” she asked coldly, avoiding making eye-contact.

“I just wanted to make sure you’re okay.”

“To make sure I’m okay?” Jenna couldn’t help but laugh a little at that. “I just came home to find my husband screwing another woman in my bed.. No. I’m not okay.”

Pushing her way past Shane, Jenna left the bathroom and went to the kitchen for some water.

“You want to talk?” he asked as she filled a glass with water.

“About what?” she replied.

He was dumbfounded as he stood staring at her. Jenna just wanted to slow down her thoughts and sort them out. Her mind was still racing – even more now after taking the pregnancy test. Feeling pressure to make a decision, she tried to figure out what she wanted but the answer just wouldn’t come.

For the past year or two, through their engagement and early months of marriage, life had felt like a slow climb on a roller coaster. Click, click, click.. Tick, tick, tick.. Time passed by as they held hands and enjoyed the view, waiting with anxious anticipation for the ride ahead. Now they were speeding down a deadly slope, suddenly out of control. It was terrifying.

Jenna just wanted to stop the ride and get off.

She looked down at the ringed finger on her left hand as it rested on the counter, she felt another twinge of queasiness. Had she lost her chance? Had she missed her exit?

Shane looked at Jenna, waiting expectantly.

“So you’re not going to leave then?” he asked.

“No. Not yet.” she answered. “It’s not like I’ve had much time to think about it anyway.” she added as her right hand fiddled with the test stick in her pocket.

“I really, truly am sorry, Jenna.. I don’t know what I was thinking. I was so stupid. I really want another chance.. if you’ll have me.” He reached out and took Jenna’s hand. She looked down at her hand in his and the room began to spin again. She didn’t know what to say.

::ChurchPunkMom also writes at Embellished Truth and Polite Fiction::

May 5, 2009 8:36 am

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