As I got ready for an important appointment, I thought about my current life. It’s been about 5 or so years since my family and I settled in this mysterious house. Its only mysterious cause of the way we got it. A strange note with key, saying this house is ours. No rent, no mortgage to pay. Just utilities and whatever extra amenities we plan to get is what we have to pay.
Living on Ciderwood lane apparently domesticated me into a proper housewife like the other households in this suburbia section of town. This wasn’t how I expected my life to turn out to….
I mastered the art of making PB& J sandwiches for a hungry 5 year boy and sometimes for his visiting friends. I wasn’t much of the cooking type, Ciderwood lane quickly changed that.
I mastered the art of writing… Writing grocery lists that is. One thing I learned from the woman of Ciderwood lane, writing such list was extremely important when visiting the local Knott Street market. It’s where all the wives of Ciderwood lane do their food shopping, they wouldn’t be caught dead shopping at another store across town. Even then the stores across town are much cheaper.
I’ve also mastered the art of cleaning up questionable puddles on the kitchen floor. I learned all sorts of cleaning tips from the wives of Ciderwood lane. Learning what works, what doesn’t. Having a perfectly clean home was important. Cooking a perfect meal was important. Being the perfect wife and mother was important. Having a perfect family was important. Perfection was the key for fitting into Ciderwood lane.
And lastly, your appearance is important. I mastered to art of masking the unhappiness that lies within me. I must keep up with my beauty, always wear a smile on face. Show no signs of weakness. My life is “perfect”. My marriage is “happy”. My family has no “dark secrets”. Everything is “grand”.
I do all these things that I despise, for the sake of fitting in and having friends for once. I always had issues with making friends, some say I’m too snarky and sarcastic which made me into a cynical bitch. I have to check my bitchy-ness at door when I go to check the mail, or visit a neighbor down the street. Wear a fake smile when I wave at the neighbors that annoys me. But I bite my tongue for my husband and son. It makes their lives here a lot more easier when I’m uncomfortable. Their happiness is important….
“Desi, I’m about to head out for a bit. Umm.. I’m going to the store to get some more bread. I made some sandwiches for Ender once he gets hungry. I did make extra in case some of his friends come by.”
“Yeahhh. Watch this boy, prepare to eat my dust.”
“No fair dad! How did you get nitros?”
“A master never tells their secrets.”
“You mean magicians and you’re not magical, dad!”
“Desmond? Did you hear me?”
“Then what did I say then?”
“Feed the boy bread. You’re gonna go see friends. Have fun, dear!”
“Desmond! Will for stop playing that game for a second and listen to me? I didn’t say feed Ender bread nor did I say I was going to go see friends. I am going to the store to get BREAD and I made Ender’s lunch.”
“Sorry.. I’ll feed the boy but he might get full from all the dust he’s eating ha ha ha!”
“MOM! Tell dad to stop cheating!”
“Desmond, let him win! He’s just a boy.”
“No can do, the boy must learn to never be a sore loser.”
“Mom, Dad NEVER lets me win! He’s a big cheater!”
“Don’t be a glory hog, Desi. Let Ender win for once.”
“Where’s the fun in that?”
“For fucks sake, Desmond! Just one time.”
“Fine…whatever. Let our boy grow up to think things must be handed down to him and how he must never learn to work for anything. That’s grade A parenting there, Penelope..”
“I don’t have time for this, Desmond! I’m leaving! Remember to feed your child!”
“Have fun buying bread, dear!”
I tend to get annoyed with my husband when it comes to raising our son. I swear he can be a child himself at times. I think most of the messes in the house was made by Desi. Of course I would teach Ender that he has to work for things and nothing is handed over but can the poor kid win in a stupid video game for once. He can finally have a moment of happiness and then he’ll work harder to win for real. I knew buying that PlayBox 5 for Christmas was gonna be an issue.
I lied to Desmond of where I was really going. Instead I made my way to Fairview Memorial for an important visit. I’ve been keeping a secret from Desmond for that past few weeks. He has no idea of all the visits I’ve been making here. But I won’t be able to keep this a secret for long. I have to tell him of what’s really going on with.
It felt like a lifetime as I waited in the waiting room. I brought along one of my favorite books for me to read. I couldn’t be bothered for the trashy magazines that filled with celebrity gossip and nonsense of 10 ways to keep your man happy. Feed him and suck his dick, that’s the only 2 tips a female needs to know if she wanna keep her man happy. There needs to be an article for men on tips to keep your wife happy. Pick up your dirty underwear, put the toilet seat down and take the kid to the park so I can take a nap in a hot bath.
I longed to hear, “Penelope Flake, the doctor ready.” coming from the nurse’s mouth. I just wanted to get this appointment over and return to my “perfect” family to cook the “perfect” dinner.
“Things are looking well with the baby, Penny. Take a look.”
“Oh, how nice. So when is my due date?”
“I say about January 11th. Congrats, Penny!”
“So how far along will that make me?”
“Judging by the baby’s size, the GA is about 8 weeks.”
“No! That can’t be right. The child should be younger by 2 weeks! I should be further along than 8 weeks! Because Desi and I- I mean… Are you sure that I’m 8 weeks along??”
“Yes, Penny. Just look at the screen. I measured the baby at 1.6 centimeters and the embryonic tail is almost gone. You can see for yourself. This baby’s GA is 8 weeks and 2 days.”
“Are you for sure that you’re doing your job right?”
“Yes, I am positive that I measure the baby correctly. Is there a problem?”
“No! What makes you think there’s a problem? I’m just making sure you got this baby’s age right!”
“Hey.. I’ve been doing ultrasounds for that last 25 years. I’ve never been wrong before.”
“There’s a first time for everything..”
“I can assure you that I am correct. The baby is 8 weeks and 2 days to be exact and your due date is around January 11th, almost a new years baby. “
“I guess I should thank you, Dr. Judd. I’m sorry for snapping at you. I know you’re great at your job. You were Ender’s doctor when I was pregnant with him. Sorry that you didn’t get to deliver him, Desi just had to visit LP. We promise to stay in town for this one. I just feel a little extra bitchy with this pregnancy. Maybe it’s a girl ha ha.”
“It’s okay, Penny. I was a little cranky with both of my pregnancies with my daughters, Vega and Veronica. Poor Garren had to put up with my mess. But I’m kinda concern about you mentioning how you wanted the baby to be older.”
“Ya know that Ender’s birthday is close to the 11th… I figure he wouldn’t want to share his special day with a little sibling and plus..Desi’s grandmother’s birthday is the 27th of Jan. Desi adores her, it would be nice if the baby was born on her birthday.. She passed a year ago..”
“Oh I see. I’m sorry to hear about his loss. Okay, I understand now. Babies aren’t always born on their due dates. Some later, some sooner, we try to keep that bun in the oven until Jan 11 in case there’s an issue. But I hope all goes well, Penny. I’m curious of why your husband wasn’t here for the first ultrasound. It’s an exciting thing.”
“Uh.. Busy day for him, he wanted to be here. But for his sake, can we pretend that the baby is younger by 2 weeks when Desi attends coming appointments. It would mean the world to him if he thinks the baby will be due around his late grandmother’s birthday?”
“Honestly Penny… I really don’t feel comfortable doing something like that. I’m sure he’ll be happy with another Jan baby.”
“Please, Martina.. We’re friends..kinda.”
“Look Penny, I’m sorry but I can’t do that. I’ll get in trouble for falsifying documents.”
“You don’t have to do that, just when Desi attends a scan. Like for the 12 week scan just say the baby is 10 weeks.”
“There’s a huge difference between a 10 week old fetus and a 12 week old fetus in sizes. I’m sorry, I have to be honest.”
“Well…just don’t mention the age then! I want Desi to believe this baby is older. He loved his nana.”
“I’ll see what I can do but I don’t feel right about this…”
I headed to the store after leaving the hospital. I did tell Desi that I was going to get some bread and he would question me if I came home without some. I had a lot on mind after having my first ultrasound to see my new baby. There’s more going on…
I knew I came in for bread but I found myself wandering aimlessly down the aisles. Browsing for items which I didn’t need. My mind is too clouded for doing some grocery shopping. However I did notice how everything here is overpriced. 7 dollars for a 4 pound bag of sugar. It cost only 2.88 at the store across town. But I am a lady of Ciderwood and we must shop at this wallet robbing store…
I loathe keeping up ridiculous appearance. It’s not like we have the money for this… Desmond refuses to get a real job.. He wanna live out his dream, restoring old cars.. It’s a stupid dream that will make us go broke!
Deciding on which loaf of bread to get wasn’t an easy decision. Do I want the overpriced bread or the ridiculous overpriced bread or the put a second mortgage on the house, priced bread. Decisions, decisions.. Ender tends to like the ridiculous overpriced bread most of all.
Some changes are gonna have to be made now with a second child on the way. Serious changes if we want to stay on Ciderwood lane. I hope this pregnancy will push Desi into getting a real job for once. He did have one for a couple of days before he stupidly quit it for his dumb dream. His dream is gonna make us have to find another home somewhere in Lansing Falls.
There are other nice communities in town but Ciderwood lane is one of the nicest next to Honey Oak lane. Despite the ridiculous ways of Ciderwood lane, I want to stay! I can’t let that hag, Indie Daniels win anyway. She’s been wishing for me to leave since she thought I ruined her strawberry pie. I bet that vinegar did her a flavor by masking the true nastiness of her skunk pie!
I took the long way home after shopping. I still needed to think about things but I know that I need to reveal the thing that I’m hiding from Desi one day.. I questioned myself, when? When do I tell him? He would be hurt if he knew I had the first scan without him but I needed to know how old my unborn baby is without him there…
“Getting bread huh? It takes you 3 hours to buy some bread? What’s his name?”
“Wha-what? What are you taking about??”
“Ha ha ha! Seriously, Pen? Where did you really go?”
“To the store like I said..”
“For 3 hours? You hate shopping for food. Besides, you only got bread.”
“There was an old friend there, we caught up over a cup of coffee.”
“Friend? Ha ha ha! You didn’t have any friends in high school.”
“I did too! I had one!”
“Fine, you caught me. I wasn’t at the store for 3 hours. I was at the hospital. I had an appointment.”
“The hospital? Are you okay?”
“Yeah… I’m pregnant.”
“Seriously? We’re gonna have another baby?”
“Oh wow. I can’t believe it. I’m happy. I gotta call my mom and tell her the news.”
“Let’s hold off on that cause ya know.. It’s still early.”
“But I’m too excited to keep it from my mama.”
“Well you’re gonna have to hold off until the second trimester.. I’m only 6 weeks along..”
“Not Ender either?”
I could see the happiness in Desmond’s eyes. He was overjoyed to hear the news about the pregnancy. I made him promised that he won’t tell anyone about the pregnancy until I’m in my second trimester. I know he’s gonna have a hard time keeping things a secret for a while.
It wasn’t long before he started discussing baby names. I could tell that he really wanted this baby when he knows our finances haven’t been that great. I help run a local website selling prints for the art museum. It pays but not enough to be more comfortable. I took on a second job by selling Tupperware online to other housewives which does surprisingly well. But still, it’s not enough..
If Desi would work, then I got go to school full time. I dropped out of high school when I was pregnant with Ender. I got my G.E.D. shortly before giving birth. People my age are in college and I wanna go too. Even if it’s at the community college in town. School is school, plus I have a family now. I’m only 19, turning 20 soon and already a domesticated housewife. But I’m not sure if I should hold the housewife card since I am the sole breadwinner.
“Hey, I wanna talk to you about something.”
“I just wanna tell you that your mom and I will always love you no matter what.”
“I know but why you wanna tell me that?”
“In case there’s any possible changes in the future.. New add ons and such.”
“Cause mom is gonna have a baby?”
“What makes you think that?”
“Cause mom was throwing up a lot in the bathroom and shouting, “Not this shit again. I just got my body back.” Auntie Regan threw up a lot too like mom did. Babies make girls do that, right?”
“Language, boy. That doesn’t always mean a female is having a baby. It could be the flu, not in Regan’s case.”
“Dad, I know mom is having a baby. I left my walkie talkie in the hall. I think Davy is a dumb name for a baby.”
“Well… I didn’t ask for your opinion. That was almost your name, boy! “
“Dad can I ask you something?”
“Last night I left my walkie talkie in your bedroom. You and mom were making noises like you guys were eating ice cream without me. Am I right?”
“Yes, boy. And stop leaving your walkie talkies in our room. Your childhood will be awkward.”
“Why couldn’t I have any ice cream last night?”
“Cause its ice cream for married people only. One day when you’re married, you can have married ice cream with your wife.”
“But why did mom say that you tasted good?”
“Your mom is almost done making your dinner.”
“But dad? You didn’t answer my question.”
“Little boys who ask too many questions don’t get kiddy ice cream after dinner.”
“How do like the spaghetti? I used a different sauce this time.”
“It’s too garlicly. Won’t this kinda kill me? I’m half vampire.”
“Don’t be silly, that’s hollywood. Garlic won’t kill you.”
“Well, I really don’t like garlic, mom. It’s yucky.”
“Eat it anyway or you’ll be skinny like me.”
“Well I don’t want that.”
“Are you gonna be eating for 2 now?”
“Cause you’re having a baby. Auntie Regan said she was eating for 2. That’s why she didn’t share her cinnabons with me.”
“How did you know about the baby? I told Desmond to keep his mouth shut! Your dad is such a blabber mouth!”
“Dad didn’t tell me. I heard it on my walkie taklie.”
“Ender, what did I tell you about spying? Spying is wrong.”
“Tell the government that. The government spies on us. They hide mini cameras in our laptops. Besides, you spy on Indie.”
“That’s different. Where did you hear such things anyway?”
“Figures, your uncle is a weirdo. It’s reasons why we call him “Mad”. He’s mad-crazy.”
“Mom, can I ask you something?”
“How did a baby get in you? Cergio said babies escape from hell and climb inside the mom and hide for 9 months. Did I come from hell too?”
“No sweetie, just Cergio.”
“Well how then?”
“Maybe another day when you’re older, you can ask your dad that.”
After dinner, I stepped out in the front yard to get some fresh air. I still had a lot on mind. Desi and Ender are in bliss about the baby but I’m not.
This baby shouldn’t happen….
It kills me to see how Desi is about this baby…
It would kill him if he knew the truth..
I hold a secret within, I wonder how long can I hold it..
I cried when I was first told about my pregnancy…
I knew of what I had done weeks before..
This baby is not my husband’s child..
This baby is my neighbor’s child……