I found a piece of my writing from 2006 and it is so funny to look at it now. I wrote it for an undergraduate creative writing class under an image assignment.
Today I am pregnant, I have green and blue Fiesta Wear dishes, and a Matt (not a Nate) that will hold my hand when things aren't perfect.
Nathan carried the high-heeled terry cloth slippers, the heels hooked over the edge of his hands, across the blue-flecked linoleum to Claire, who was frying eggs and hickory-smoked bacon in a cast iron skillet at the stove. He put the right slipper on the Formica top, took the spatula out of her hand, and handed her the left slipper. “Aren’t your feet cold,” he asked.
“These hurt my feet,” she whispered back, her toes wriggling, feet pigeon toed out like a dancer in fifth position. She laid the slipper beside its match, picked up the spatula, and minding the spattering grease, flipped the strips of bacon over, one by one. Her free hand gently found its way to her belly.
She didn’t know what she was going to tell them, how she was going to do it. Nate wanted to walk her down the aisle, maybe not wearing that white dress, to prove to them all that it wasn’t an accident. That they weren’t an accident. His simple solution.
Nathan moved from the stove and sighed. Claire’s hands slowly remembered what they were doing and they moved the spatula under the egg, careful not to break the yolk, and rolled the egg over, exposing the burned underbelly of her absentmindedness. “Maybe we shouldn’t do this today,” he said.
“They’re coming here today,” she answered, stammering through they and today. “They are coming here and you think they aren’t going to notice?”
“Nate,” Claire trailed off. Like two teammates after a loss late in the game, they were unable to reassure or comfort one another.
She put the bacon and overdone eggs on the green and blue Fiesta Ware plates that her parents had sent her when she moved to Dallas after graduation, and carried them to the small wooden table already set by Nathan. He stared up at her as she set the plates down like an untrained puppy begging at the heels of its owner, and although she noticed the gesture, she sat down avoiding eye contact. Nathan blessed the food, out of habit more so than sincere thanks, pausing for long seconds in between wishes and hopes and praises.
And then he grabbed her hand, the way he used to do in college when they would sit and eat their lunch together outside in the grass. The way he used to do when they were riding in the car, regardless of how long the trip was. He grabbed her hand, squeezing slightly, relaxing the fingers just enough, letting her hand fit and melt into his.
“Hey Nate,” she said, head down, eyes peaking up from under her too-long brown bangs. “My feet are cold.”