Tag Archives: Stories

A defining moment

“I would http://feathouston.org/canada-cialis-online like a pregnancy test please.”

The words, spoken by a voice entirely foreign to me, immediately drew me out of my world and into that of their issuer, who stood not two feet away at the chemist counter. It wasn’t just that the request came from a man that caught my attention, but that it was delivered with such steady, almost loud assuredness, and didn’t betray even a hint of the emotions so intrinsic to testing for pregnancy.

When the pharmacist slid a box over the counter and asked in a whispery tone if he would like a “little bag” to put his purchase in, he gave her a resolute “no.” She took his money, he pocketed the pregnancy test, they wished one another a pleasant evening, and off he went into the dusky night. All this, I saw out of the corner of my eye, as if a close up in a film. But it wasn’t the close up that interested me; it was the man. It was what would happen next in his story.

I left the chemist a minute or two later only to find myself walking behind the same man, whose right arm hung awkwardly over the slight bulge created by the pregnancy test box in his coat pocket. It was a cold night, and it wasn’t long before the need to keep warm outdid any reasons for not wanting his hand to share his pocket with the stick that would determine his fate. At that moment, I would have like to go back to the close-up, to see how his fingers interacted with the box. Did they touch it softly, hopefully? Did they flick it? Did his nails score into it?

I imagined his partner at home, waiting for him to arrive so they could move beyond the uncertainty which was currently a part of their lives. I hoped for them that whatever the news – a first baby, a welcome negative for an already overstretched mother of four – it was what they wanted it to be. I hoped that the evening would be one of celebration.

As I was hoping on his behalf, the man began veering to towards the mouth of an upcoming snicket. Our paths were about to diverge. But before they did, and before he disappeared, he slowed right down and cast a glance over his shoulder. It was a shifty look – a million miles from his assured presence in the pharmacy – that appeared to be checking that nobody had seen him. And it was a look that changed the story unfolding in my head. No longer was he going home to his partner, but to visit the other woman in his life, the one he knew he should not be going to see, the one he could not resist, but was now secretly wishing he had.