Tuesday, July 10, 2012


It was hours before the sun would come up.  Judy’s eyes traced the plaster on her bedroom ceiling, counting the starbursts and sorting them into small, medium, and large.  Her heart was racing way too much for sleep.  Every time she considered how tomorrow should go, each step in the sequence of events was like a rope in a winch, tightening her neck and shoulders one click at a time.  The navy blue garment bag loomed like a specter from the closet door, taunting and reminding Judy that tomorrow would be big, possibly the biggest day of her entire life.  She rolled onto her right side and flipped her pillow, trading its sticky heat for the other side’s fresh, crisp coolness.  The pillow smelled like Zack and her chest tightened as she was reminded yet again of the next day’s task.  Everything had to go right this time, even him.  Judy shook her head as she remembered their last interview, the one he didn’t even show up for.  She didn’t blame him for it, or at least she really didn’t want to, but he didn’t do himself any favors when she asked him what happened and he stared at her with that blank look that always said you knew what you were signing up for when you married me.  She had known, in fact she had been a little smug on their wedding day surrounded by her friends and his colleagues from the hospital.  Zack didn’t actually have friends of his own, he was at work too much.  Judy stretched out her arm toward his empty side of the bed and rubbed her hand in little circles, as if her husband were laying there and could feel  the reassuring gesture.  The adoption agent in the fussy tweed jacket had asked her pointedly how she was planning to care for a baby if Zack was always out of the picture.  Judy had shaken her head and chuckled at him, something  he and his tweed jacket didn’t seem to appreciate.  She explained.  He just didn’t know her.  He didn’t know the lengths she would go to make sure this baby was exquisitely cared for, the spreadsheets she’d draft, the phalanx of support personnel she’d surround herself with to carve out the best possible childhood for him.  Or her.  Judy was an expert at being master of her domain, at running her household, at being in control.  The one variable that was consistently out of her reach was Zack.  Well, Zack and a good night’s sleep.   

Prompt:  It was hours before the sun would come up...
from ThinkingTen.com