Waking up snuggled up to Celeste was a dream come true. There was just something so reassuring in knowing that the person you care about is lying next to you, safe and sound.
There were plenty of things to do around the house, but I just stayed in bed, listening to her breathing. I could spend years like this if I had to. I wanted to say good morning.
She eventually woke up, and being a bit flustered at realizing I was there with her, whispered “Morning.”
“How did you sleep?” I asked.
“Pretty well. It was… different” she admitted.
“Hungry?” I offered, realizing that the wedding cake was the last thing we’ve eaten.
“I could eat something, sure” she responded.
“I’ll cook!” I bounded out of bed and into the kitchen.
Over breakfast we were still a bit shy with one another at first, but eventually we ended up laughing about the awkwardness and afterwards, things went on as normal.
And so our days fell into a familiar but happy vein: Celeste would go fishing, I would farm while the weather was still good, and the dogs either played together or showered us with their undivided attention.
In the evenings, we would cuddle up by the fireplace together. That always led to long make out sessions, which, in turn, would always lead to Celeste and I heading off to the bedroom.
I guess you could say, despite our initial awkwardness, our marital life got on pretty well.
One day Celeste and I ended up on a fishing date. It was crisp and cool but the sun was still shining and the park where Celeste preferred to fish looked exceptionally charming.
She always made sure to teach me all her tricks of the trade when we were on dates like this.
“Make sure you reel the heavier fish in carefully, or they might jump” she warned, demonstrating the correct way to do it. After I repeated the movement, she nodded approvingly “That’s it!”
“Thank, hon. So, this is how you reel in good catches all the time” I joked.
“Oh, come on, when do I ever catch such good fish?” she laughed.
“You caught me. While fishing, too!”
That definitely got a smile from her “I sure did, didn’t I?”
Unfortunately, fishing had to be put on hold, as it started raining once again.
“We can just go to the coffee shop” I offered. “At least there are coffee and dry seats.”
At the coffee house, we continued to chat and enjoy each other’s company.
“Soon the plants will go into hibernation for the winter and I’ll be without anything to do” I complained. “I hope you won’t get tired of me being in the house with you all day.”
“Heh, I’ll find something for you to do, don’t fret” she joked right back. “Seriously though, when it’s cold enough, you wouldn’t want to be in the garden all day.”
Whatever she wanted to say next was interrupted as she quickly got up and rushed off to the bathroom. When she came back, she looked somewhat sick.
“Is everything alright?” I wanted to make sure she hasn’t caught a cold from being outside so much.
“I think the waffles got spoiled already, we’ll have to throw them away when we get home. A bit later though, I got a call from Maya Abot—she has a birthday tonight and we’re invited” she informed me.
Upon arriving at the Abot house, we were both surprised how quiet it was.
“It is Maya’s birthday, right?” I clarified.
Celeste nodded “Yeah, she did say so. It is weirdly quiet though.”
Inside, the only people were Maya herself and a guy I didn’t know, who was leaving already.
“Hi” I greeted Maya. “Happy birthday! How is everything? Where’s Carl, by the way?”
Maya snorted “Oh, I guess you two haven’t heard then? We divorced.”
“What?” Celeste’s eyes grew huge. “But how? You were both at our wedding and together.”
“Yeah. And a couple of weeks later, he ended up walking out and moving in with a woman half his age.” It was hard not to hear the bitterness in her voice, which was understandable—Maya and Carl spent years together.
“I am so sorry” Celeste apologized. “I had no idea or I would’ve come earlier.
“You don’t need to apologize, dear” Maya calmed her down “At least you two actually came to congratulate me on my birthday. I think most of our friends are too weirded out by the situation.”
“They still should’ve been here” I contended. “This isn’t right, you shouldn’t have to spend your birthday alone.”
“Well, that is fine. I’m not alone now, am I? Not as long as I have friends like you two” Maya smiled, looking happier now than she had all night.
After the party, Celeste and I sat outside, just pondering the situation over.
“I can’t believe he left her. What’s gotten into Carl?” Celeste was incredulous.
“I don’t know. Old age? Insanity? Just a new infatuation? I guess only he can explain what happened to make him leave his family at this point” I mused. “All I know is, it’s a good thing we got here tonight. And before we leave the topic, I want you to know; I meant my wedding vows and am not planning to pull a stunt like this at any point.”
“Oh Si, you don’t have to reassure me. I never doubted you.”
Celeste’s sickness continued, despite us getting rid of the bad waffles. To be honest, I was starting to suspect the worst, knowing that there was a history of cancer in Celeste’s family.
Now she was throwing up once again and I was standing worried by the bathroom door.
“Hey, are you feeling better? Maybe we should go to the doctor?” I suggested.
“I’ve gone to the doctor” she mumbled through the door. “I have news from the doctor.”
“It isn’t bad news, is it?” my heart began to beat faster.
“No Simon” she announced coming out of the bathroom, dressed up and ready to face anything. “It’s pretty good actually. We’re having a baby.”
At first I was dumbstruck. I was going to be a father! My wife wasn’t dying! I pulled Celeste into a tight hug.
“This is so awesome! I guess we’ll need to prepare our house for the new member of our family.”
And we did. We didn’t have that much money, but it was enough to comfortably hire a contractor to build additional space for the house. After the baby’s room was ready, Celeste went to town decorating it. As she put it, a newborn had to see pretty things around—it was good for early development.
The baby wasn’t due for a while and that was a good thing. We needed time to prepare. Celeste spent time at the library reading childhood development books. She also insisted that at some point we had to get a food processor to make organic baby food, since the store-bought foods weren’t as healthy. I wholeheartedly agreed.
With the two of us eagerly awaiting our newest family member, Celeste and I couldn’t keep hands off each other. It was kind of strange. At first we were so shy of one another, but with the baby on the way it was like we were even more a family than previously.
Also, despite her pregnancy, Celeste continued to go on long fishing trips. She insisted that there would be plenty of time to stay indoors once the baby was born. Besides, fresh air was good for our little girl.
That’s right, we knew it was a girl after one of the later doctor’s visits. Celeste was a bit disappointed at first, since she wanted a son, but we both knew that we were going to love our kids no matter what gender they were.
Finally, one night I woke up to Celeste seating up with her legs buckled up and hands around her belly.
“Simon, it’s time. Can you call the cab?” she urged.
Yep, baby was certainly on the way out if she was insisting on the cab.
Luckily, her labor didn’t last long and soon we were heading home with our new-born daughter.
We were welcomed back by two curious dogs who were very excited to see the newest human in the house. Once the barking quieted down, Celeste realized “We haven’t thought of a name for her, have we?”
“I guess not. What ideas do you have?” I admitted.
“Well, have you ever read Sherlock Holmes?” she ventured.
“Yeah… hey, are you thinking of a particular character?” I understood. Celeste loved a good mystery and I loved all literature in general. Arthur Conan Doyle’s mysteries were always a favorite with both of us though.
“The only woman to ever catch the great detective’s heart” she smiled.
And so, Irene Meadows, our daughter born on a cold winter’s day, came into life.
So, indeed little Irene is named after Irene Adler from the Sherlock Holmes novels/adaptations– she was a pretty cool character. And we have the first potential heir of gen 2!