Chapter 46. A Husband’s Terror
The familiar car pulled into his driveway and Glenn finished his chores around town at the request of his mother. After he took the silver platter to the Grant’s house and tackled by Kaylee who nearly gave him a heart attack. He did not look forward to the conversation about his sudden life change that he invited no one to attend.
Sam and he dated on and off. Two months after they had a weekend trip to Canada, Sam began to get sick at every smell there could be.
Eggs, she got sick.
Soup. Any flavor. She got sick.
Pasta. (Pasta!?) Sick.
Toast. (Well, smoke, he did not clean his toaster.) Sick.
So Glenn went with his ill friend with benefits to the doctor, sudden movements sometimes made her nauseated, so he drove.
The doctor smiled and sat down with them, explained that the hyperemesis gravidarum would pass after a few weeks and in the interim they would put her in a hospital and give her some IV fluids and keep her hydrated.
Glenn had to ask the doctor to define the of the name of this arcane illness. His mind refused to accept what the doctor tried to say.
In a moment, the doctor congratulated the couple. It was no virus, it was morning sickness, Sam was pregnant.
Glenn could not believe it at first. He could only see his career fall into a smokey ruin like his toaster.
Samantha was also a poli-sci major and after hours of tears, they decided to get married. Neither one of them needed to have a scandal.
In his panic he had forgotten his home town while he was in the big-city. He had fixed a flaw in his life.
“So I’m a flaw?” Sam became furious. No one called her a flaw, she threatened to tell everyone that he would leave her when she needed him most.
It evolved into a scream fest and rash words exchanged. They did not see each other during that week or part of the next. Two-weeks later, while they attended a study group together and sat across the table in awkward silence while they studied with the group.
Glenn finally brought her a glass of water and some saltines, seeing that she was pale and had developed a sheen of sweat on her forehead.
This singular awareness and his effort to keep her nausea under control had gone a long way to get Sam to smile at him again.
By the end of the homework jam session, people got up and went back to their apartments and lives.
Except for Glenn Schroder and Samantha Walshe who talked far into the night and they married in secret the next day in a civil ceremony. Shortly after that, they went off to Washington State and had a small ceremony for her family.
In those panic filled days, the childhood promise he had with Kaylee evaporated. He forgot the depth and breadth of the years invested and he did not remember any moments of paper cigar rings and motorcycles.
He began to think about his childhood sweetheart about a week after he had done the deed with Sam, when she was changing her name to Schroder while he stood there.
Glenn practiced and readied for weeks to have a long talk and try to keep things on the down-low with Kaylee. Then when she showed up early at her mom’s house and surprised him, all practiced words left him.
But! He told himself, life changes and he and Kaylee readied for each other to have separate lives.
He walked up the steps to his parent’s house unaware of the new car parked on the street. Glenn’s focus consumed with all his thoughts that raced in circles in his mind. He wanted to make things smooth with his best friend, who he had replaced with a new, pregnant wife. When he would get to talk to Kaylee, he would make it sound reasonable that they stay close friends.
*Yeah! That was the way. If I could do what the Senator Mumy did in Washington, who talked his wife out of a divorce and still kept his girlfriend.* He smiled.
And no one knew but for Glenn who ran errands for them. And the girlfriend began to come on to Glenn.
*Senators and Congressmen shared a lively trade in girlfriends and boyfriends. Congress members would grow tired of their trysts with one and move onto the next. The women in Congress are as bad or worse than the men in Congress.*
The one thing that Glenn looked forward to, have enough petty cash to keep an apartment in D.C. on the side.
He nodded. *This is one thing I have it dialed in, I know Kaylee and I can pull strings with her.*
He opened the door and stepped through, he had weathered the worst part of the storms, but with any luck? He would still come out with a little fun with a bong and Kaylee and Sam would never have to know about the local party-girl he had on the side.
Then he stopped at a sight that made his heart drop into the pit of his stomach.
In all the world’s history, the things would fill a man with terror and fear for his life.
The Great Chicago Fire…
Terror of being consumed by a wall of flames.
The Great Quake of 1909…
Terror of the very ground that shook without reason.
The Stupid Husband Bust…
Terror? Terror is to stand in the doorway while your girlfriend and pregnant wife sipped coffee, looked at you and invite you to sit.
In the kitchen.
Near knives and other sharp objects.
And boiling hot liquid.
That is terror.