Your Life is a 250-word story included in Four Buses.
‘Your life’ll be unrecognisable in a few hours,’ the midwife smiled. Kirsty sucked on the mouthpiece, the gas and air made her eyes glassy. Limp stands of hair framed her face and her cheeks were flushed.
‘No it won’t.’ Jez tossed the golfing magazine onto the bed and paced around the room. ‘The baby’ll fit into our lifestyle.’
‘You might find that difficult.’ The midwife read her watch as she took Kirsty’s pulse. ‘Babies don’t come to order. Yours may not sleep, the baby might be a reluctant feeder or plagued by colic.’
‘I doubt it.’ Jez opened the overnight bag which was stuffed with scented candles, massage oil, and world music CDs. He dug to the bottom and pulled out a zip-bag containing nuts. Tucking into the almonds, he realised he’d missed breakfast in the rush and already it was past lunchtime. He made an excuse to slip out of the room, then headed for the canteen.
Kirsty was dozing when he returned so he tiptoed to the armchair. The broadsheet rustled as he folded the pages and she opened her eyes.
‘They’ve given me an epidural to help with the pain,’ she said.
‘You’re doing brilliantly.’ Jez took her hand and traced the lines on her palm with his finger. ‘I’m so proud of you. I love you, darling.’
‘You’ll love me even more when I give you a son.’
‘Indeed,’ said Jez. ‘Only make it quick, there’s a drinks party starting at six.’