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   Chapter 28 No.28

A Girl Named Sandy By Paul Kater Characters: 13432

Updated: 2018-02-11 12:04


A surprise for Paul

In the days that followed, Sandy recovered well. The nausea left and stayed away thanks to the special pills, and Angela allowed her to take walks with Paul and the dogs. During these walks the two had long talks about their new status as parents-to-be, wondering how they would manage everything.

"I really want to finish school, Paul, but how can we do that with a baby?" Sandy had already pictured herself in class with a pram next to her, which would be entirely impossible of course.

"We'll find a way, sweetheart. Don't worry about it. I am sure we can make some space for a pram or a cot in the lab, if nothing else works. We can also ask our neighbour, Mrs. Harris. She's had children."

"I know. But ours will be special. I am not sure if I want others to influence our child. And our child in the lab? Are you serious?"

Paul grinned. "I am convinced that during the first half year, our child will be more of an influence to us and others. Feeding bottles, diapers, waking nights. I can hardly wait for that entertainment to begin." Her slap on his arm made him laugh even more. "I think I should read up on raising a child, don't you think?"

Sandy nodded as she watched one of the dogs, a border collie called Max, race through the park at full speed. The other one, a short-legged mix of several backyard pedigrees who responded to Trixy, was no match for Max and happily trotted along with the couple. "Maybe we can have a dog too, when our child grows up. Dogs are fun for kids. We always had dogs."

"I'll have to look at the regulations at home, I'm not sure if dogs are allowed in the building, at least I never saw or heard one. But if you want a dog, we'll find a way for one." Paul stopped walking and looked at Sandy. Trixy sat down and looked up at the two humans, patiently waiting.

"Something wrong?" Sandy asked, unsure how she should interpret the sensations she felt coming from him. Since she'd been so sick, her ability to decipher those emotions had been unruly and unreliable, and only now regained their reliability.

"No. Nothing. Everything is wonderful, Sandy." Paul smiled. "What can be wrong? I am looking at a beautiful woman who married me, with whom I want to spend the rest of my life, and who is carrying our child. Granted, the last part is still something to get used to, but... I wouldn't want it any other way." He saw a few tears well up in her eyes and pulled her against him. "Cry if you need to. That's all fine. As long as you're happy."

"I'm happy, Paul, " she said as she quietly sobbed in his shirt. "I'm happier than I can tell, and I love you and our baby so much. It's all so overwhelming..."

The two stood there for a while, in the warm sunlight, until even Trixy became impatient and stood up on her hind legs, scratching Sandy's thigh for attention. They laughed at the little dog. Then Paul went to look for Max, whom he retrieved from a pond. The walk home somehow led past an ice cream stand.

***

Two days before they would fly back to Bristol, Paul's telephone rang. He did not recognise the number, although he could see it was an international call. "Paul Carmichael?" After listening for a few moments, he stammered: "Un momento por favor" and went looking for Sandy, who was relaxing on the couch, her eyes closed and her hands on the cat in her lap. "Help, my love, I need you. My telephone leaks Spanish."

Sandy grinned and took the call. Paul listened to her talking and missed most of it; his power wasn't in languages except when they were Welsh and English. She asked him for a notepad, then wrote down numbers and words, made lines and circles to create references. Only when she said: "Gracias, adios", he knew the talk was over.

"That was a slave of Doctor Juarez in Puerto Rico. They picked up something from where the anomaly has been. No one knows if they're signals or something, but they ran it through the SETI program a few dozen times to let the distributed computing power of the wo

t evidence.

Then Paul and Sandy told him the big news. Don almost drowned in his beer. "You two are what? Pregnant?"

"She is, mostly, " Paul said as he patted his wife on the knee. "It's part of this biological difference, you may remember hearing about it." Don ignored the wise crack and hugged Sandy and then Paul, as he kept telling them how surprised he was. When they sat again, he wanted to know about the dog.

"That was serious. My idea, " Sandy explained. "Did you see Trixy and Max at home? My other home, I mean? When our baby's born, I want a dog for him. Or her. Dogs are great to have around for children."

Don was enthused about that. He told them about the dogs he'd had when he was young, and they learnt that in his spare time he worked at a dog shelter. Even for Paul, who knew Don since a long time, this was a revelation. "When the time comes and you are looking for a nice dog, please let me know, " Don almost begged. "We have so many of them and most of them are so sweet. There will be one that's perfect for you."

Of course, Paul and Sandy agreed with that. They chatted with Don for a while longer, Paul made a quick bite to eat even, and when Don had left - after swearing secrecy about Sandy's state - the two fell in bed, exhausted from the long day.

Paul hugged Sandy and looked at her belly. He put a gentle hand on it, as Sandy watched him. "I don't know yet who's in there, but the little one's going to be a happy child. I can't imagine that you are two months pregnant already, Sandy, it still does not show."

"Two?" Sandy looked at him in surprise. Then she understood. "Of course. That's not something you'd know."

"What?"

"I'm three months pregnant. Angela said it'd be seven more, right?"

Paul nodded. "Yes. And nine minus seven is two, unless there is a alternate kind of arithmetic used in the States that I am not aware of."

Sandy sat up and looked at him. "Okay, sweetie, I am going to teach you a small difference between humans and our race. Women from our race carry ten months."

That was something Paul had never considered, and why should he have? He'd never been in this position before. "Oh. Crikey. And you'll be okay all that time?" He felt a fool, blabbering that out.

"Of course I'll be fine. We're all healthy and I have you to watch over me." Sandy kissed him on the cheek. "And tomorrow you should call Wilma and tell her too." She then covered her face with her hands, hiding a yawn. "God, I'm tired. Could you lie down so I can curl up in your arms?"

Paul lay down and held his arms open for her, and after she slipped into them, it didn't take the two long to fall asleep.

***

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