Diego leaves, and Janet can hardly stand it. Tissue Warning
Days went by, then weeks, with no word from Diego. It was as if he’d fallen off the edge of the world. Janet forced herself to keep going. She had a job to do, but her spark was gone. Everyone noticed, including her students, but no one knew how to cheer her up. Every morning, she forced herself to get up and go to work, but it was an effort. Then one morning, she got up, vomiting. She called in to work, thinking she had the flu.
Ramona checked on her later in the day. She found her friend huddled in bed, shivering. “That’s it. We’re going to the doctor. I’m not having you lie here miserable. Up. Get dressed.”
She helped Janet put on a loose fitting running suit and drove her to the hospital. The emergency room doctor took a look at her and his brow wrinkled.
“I want to run some blood tests, Mrs. Macy.”
“Ms. Yarkowsky,” she insisted.
“It says here you’re married.”
“Yes, but I don’t go by that name anymore. Call me Janet.”
He smiled warmly. “Okay, Janet. I’m going to have the nurse draw some blood and we’re going to run some tests just to be sure. She’ll be in soon.”
The nurse drew blood and sent it to the lab. Within the hour, the doctor came back, smiling.
“I have some good news, Ms. Yarkowsky. You definitely don’t have the flu.”
Janet breathed a sigh of relief. “Then why do I feel so rotten?”
He took her hand, gazing into her eyes. “Congratulations, Janet. You’re about six weeks pregnant.”
She burst into tears. Ramona held her while the startled doctor backed away.
“I thought she’d be pleased.”
“She is. She will be. It’s complicated. The father—my brother, is in the military. He’s been called away.”
“Oh, gosh. I’m so sorry. I’ll get you the name of an obstetrician.”
“She can use mine. Thank you, Doctor.”
“If there’s anything else I can do….”
“Can we leave?”
“I’ll have the nurse bring in the paperwork.”
“Thank you.” She did her best to calm Janet down.
Ramona drove her friend home and stayed with her until she fell asleep. Between her and her sisters, they kept an eye on her all night.
Janet got through the next couple of weeks in a daze. Christmas break was coming, the students had exams, and she could hardly function. As excited as she was about having Diego’s child, she couldn’t face the reality of being alone. She planned to head to her parents’ house the first day of break. She woke that morning and got ready slowly. There was no joy in her trip. Her mother had been diagnosed with cancer, and had been given less than a year. Janet could only hope that she’d live long enough to see her first grandchild come into the world.
Her trip south was uneventful. There were warnings and threats of blizzards, but she managed to dodge them all. She sat in a truck stop drinking coffee and eating a piece of pie. The lowering clouds on the horizon made her think of Tex for the first time in years. She wondered what he was doing with himself, where he was. Not that it mattered. The only reason she wanted to see him again was to get him to sign divorce papers so she could marry Diego.
Overcome by grief, she propped her head on her hands and let the tears fall. She was tired, worried about her mother, and had the unbalanced emotions of a pregnant woman. Clutching handfuls of paper napkins, she wept as silently as she could, shoulders hunched and shaking. Her sobs and sniffles didn’t go unnoticed for long. Her waitress, a kindly woman about her mother’s age, slid into the booth across from her, handing her a clean cloth towel from the kitchen.
“You okay, honey?”
Janet sniffled, dabbing at her eyes. “No. Do you ever feel like life just plain sucks?”
“All the time,” the woman replied. “Every day when I have to come to this place.” She smiled warmly. “Can I get you anything? Another slice? A warm up on the coffee?”
“I’ll take a new life to go, please,” Janet said, trying to smile. “I’m sorry. My husband’s gone overseas and I just found out I’m pregnant. I’m on the way to Lubbock to visit my mother. She’s really sick, and this may be the last time I see her.”
©2020 Dellani Oakes