He finally found her sitting in a corner of the dining room turned away from the party goers, perched at an angle toward the wall. Anna’s face was crumpled up, streaked with tears even though she was trying her best to restrain them.
“Baby, what’s wrong?”
“Oh James, I thought this is what I wanted! I miss her and I want to go home!”
The evening began weeks before as they savored the idea of their first date after Tilly’s birth. The anticipation was so strong it was like the luscious seductive reaction to chocolate as you walked by a Godiva store.
She was home for weeks healing from the C-section and learning what it took to be a mommy. She spent days on auto-pilot, rarely getting into anything other than sweat pants and one of James’ t-shirts. Latching Tilly onto a boob was easier with a loose shirt you didn’t have to fight. She softly crooned a song her granny had sang,to calm the baby when she was fussy. Sung slow it passed as a lullaby and faster to induce new smiles.
“Sugar in the morning, sugar in the evening, sugar at suppertime.
Be my little sugar and love me all the time.”
Glenda, her soul sister, helped during her darkest hour of need; finding the right post-pregnant outfit for the party. At “Second Time Around” they found a black a-line skirt scattered with red, black and gold sequins on the feathery flowing chiffon outer skirt that floated and danced when she walked. The beautiful butter colored silk tank top that draped loose at her neck finished it. She felt like a princess when she walked into the party.
The conversation tinkled like wind chimes, but when a gust of laughter came, they would clang and clamor as the volume rose with the number of adult beverages consumed. Anna drank in the collection of adults and conversations about anything other than breast feeding and changing diapers. In mid conversation, she would feel a flutter of worry but quickly push it down.
A trip to the powder room, with ears ringing from the void of noise, something twisted in her chest wringing her heart dry. Tilly! It was the first night she didn’t tuck her in and sing “Sugartime”. Leaning on the counter she composed herself, and headed back to the party where she found a stool the host had set aside in a corner of the dining room.
James saw the forlorn expression on his wife’s face when he found her and quickly retrieved their belongings. They wound through pockets and clusters of happy people and slyly slipped out the door as the mantle clock rang midnight. Anna felt the knots relax as each roll of the wheels carried them closer to home. As the garage door closed, she breathed, relaxing.
Anxiety ebbed out as Anna leaned over the crib watching as sleeping baby smiles twitched on Tilly’s tiny mouth.
She. Was. Home.
I wrote this for the red writing hood prompt which had a 500 word limit. It asked:
“Pick four numbers, each between 1 and 10.
Write them down so you remember.
The first number will be for your character, the second your setting, the third the time, and the fourth will be the situation.
Then take the four elements and combine them into a short story.
All four you picked MUST be your main elements, but you can add in other characters, settings, times and situations.”
My numbers drew these elements: Character – A New Mother, Setting – A Party, Time – Midnight or around midnight, Situation -Reminiscing on how things change