Sharlee climbed out of bed. She felt stiff, and she was tired due to her deep anxiety. She wished that she could sleep later but knew that she had to get up. She had a doctor’s appointment that morning. One that she was especially not looking forward to. She sat still on the side of the bed for a few moments as the shock of yesterday’s discovery settled back in again.
Yesterday, after trying for a month to deny the possibility, Sharlee had finally bought a home pregnancy test. She had missed two periods and on top of that, developed morning sickness. More than anything else the horrible nausea had forced her to buy the test.
She didn’t want to upset Noah. He’d been irritable and tense for the past few months. She’d thought he’d be okay after he found another job, but even now that he was working again his mood hadn’t changed. She didn’t want to tell him until she was absolutely sure. The home pregnancy test had been positive, and today she had an appointment with her gynecologist.
Sharlee stood up and felt panic overwhelm her. How would they manage if she really was pregnant? Noah had just started his new job and their savings had been wiped out when he lost his first job almost a year ago now. She’d had to quit school and go to work fulltime.
Sharlee was totally against it and reminded him of his promise to her. They had argued back and forth until Sharlee took matters into her own hands and withdrew from her classes at college. Then she started working at the restaurant fulltime with as much overtime hours as she could get. Noah had been upset, but he knew that she was right.
They still needed her income. Noah hadn’t received a raise yet. How could they support a baby? She considered going behind Noah’s back and getting money from her parents, but she knew that he wouldn’t forgive her if she did that.
Even though she wanted a baby, the timing was so bad! Maybe the test was wrong. She was using the pill. At least the suspense would be over after her doctor’s appointment. She heard Noah stirring around in the kitchen.
She put on her robe and brushed her hair. She looked at herself in the mirror hoping that her face didn’t show the deep anxiety that she felt. If she hadn’t been working so much she knew that Noah would have known that something was bothering her. Now he probably thought that she was just tired.
She forced herself to smile cheerfully and went over to Noah. He had started cooking breakfast. She swallowed deeply, trying to control the nausea that the smell of the food caused in her stomach. Noah bent down and kissed her.
Sharlee turned away from him and went to the refrigerator. She grabbed some eggs and a bowl.
Noah felt guilty that she was having to work so much and hoped that soon she would be able to cut back and return to school. His ninety days probation at the new job would be up in another month and he’d receive a raise. They badly needed it. He looked around the room and vowed that one day he’d get Sharlee a really decent place to live. She had done her best to make it comfortable, but Noah believed that she deserved better.
Noah reluctantly left her and headed to his job.
Sharlee had always hated going to the gynecologist and this visit was especially hard. She walked up to the receptionist’s desk and checked in. She knew that the only reason the doctor had given her an appointment at the last moment was because she knew that Sharlee was Dale’s daughter. Sharlee’s Dad used to work with the doctor at the hospital when Sharlee was a baby.
His manager said, “Well that didn’t take long. Are you sure you really found the problem?”
Two of the shop’s other mechanics had tried to repair the engine, and it was the third time the car’s owner had brought it back for the same problem.
His manager mumbled something under his breath.
Noah asked. “What was that?”
Noah felt hot anger flow through him. Despite the lack of a reference from his last job, the shop owner had hired him. Ever since Noah had started, his manager Miles had made his resentment very clear. Miles had wanted another guy for the position, but the owner had really liked Noah and decided to give him a chance.
Noah realized that no matter how well he did, Miles would not give him a good review, and he would not be given the raise in pay which he knew he deserved.
Unnecessarily working on the car again would negatively effect Noah’s work production stats for the day. Miles knew that. His goading expression as he looked at Noah proved it.
Noah went to his locker and removed his belongings. Then he changed his clothes. He left the shop and headed to a bar.
As he sat in the bar, his cellphone rang. It was the shop owner. “Noah, under the circumstances, I’m going to have to let you go. Miles has worked for me for many years, and I can’t fire him. However, the other two mechanics who witnessed what happened told me that Miles provoked you, and so there will be no charges filed against you. I hope that things work out well for you elsewhere.” Noah listened angrily and didn’t even respond before disconnecting the call.
As he drove through the streets, it had begun to rain, but Noah didn’t care. The rain matched his mood. He was surprised to see Sharlee’s car in the driveway. He’d bought it for her from his old employer for $100.00 and rebuilt the engine the previous year. It was fifteen years old, but it got her around town. He’d thought she’d still be at work.
Sharlee was in the kitchen cooking dinner and turned to face him. Without realizing it, Noah gasped. At first he’d thought that she was wearing only an apron and high heels. Her hair was shining and her face seemed to glow from within. Sharlee laughed at his expression.
“Why’d you buy it?”
Sharlee noticed that his jacket was wet. “Why don’t you go take off that wet jacket and get comfortable. Dinner will be ready by the time you come out.”
Noah went to take off his jacket and change into a dry shirt. When he came back out, Sharlee had set the table with candles. He walked over to the kitchen and stood back out of the way watching Sharlee. He smiled. She didn’t look like herself. She was tottering around the kitchen cooking in high heels and sexy lingerie.
The food smelled really good. Then when he saw what she had cooked, he frowned thinking about the expense. She had prepared steaks, salads, scalloped potatoes and key lime pie for desert.
Sharlee looked at him and handed him a dish to carry to the table. Noah took the dish and carried it over. He was wondering what was going on as well as dreading having to tell her about losing his job.
“Sharlee what’s going on?”
“I do have something to tell you, but not until after we start dinner.”
As he sat there, the beers that he’d drunk began to effect him, and Noah started to feel sleepy. He jerked himself awake and looked at his wife. Sharlee looked extraordinarily beautiful in the candlelight. It reminded him of how she’d looked on their first date. Now that the apron was gone, the teddy was the only thing covering her body. She was talking, but her voice slowly faded away.
Sharlee knew he hadn’t heard her and frowned. It had been hard enough to say the words the first time. Now she’d have to tell him again. She felt silly dressed in the teddy. Wearing it wasn’t making it any easier to tell him. Maybe she’d really worn it for him because she wouldn’t be able to wear anything like it for much longer.
“What is it?”
“I was fired today.”
Noah was frustrated and disappointed, not in her but in himself. However, he took it out on Sharlee. He knew that he should never have let his manager goad him into that confrontation. He should have spoken with the owner instead of slugging the manager. Now he was once again out of a job.
“You know what Sharlee, you’re just like your father. Always looking down your nose at me. Well I’m sick of trying to live up to your standards! I’m sick of trying to please you!”
To Sharlee, Noah seemed distant and cold. He’d never been this way with her before. She had already realized that he’d been drinking. Although she didn’t know why he’d been fired, she knew it’d be even more difficult this time for him to find another job.
She didn’t know how far along in her pregnancy she’d be able to continue working. Hopefully for the entire time, but she knew she wouldn’t be able to continue working as many hours. Noah still didn’t know that she was pregnant, but she didn’t want to tell him this way. Not when he’d been drinking and not when they were both already so upset.
Noah felt his anger flaming again at her words. He said sarcastically, “Yeah right. I’m sure they will jump at the opportunity to interfere in our lives!”
He pointed his finger close to her nose.
He hadn’t told her that he had run into his mother just before he found another job. She had asked him if he was still slumbing with Sharlee. He had no intentions of ever seeing his mother again.
Sharlee jerked away from him and went to the bedroom and slammed the door shut. Noah felt a little guilty for his behavior. He walked over to the bedroom door and was shocked to find that Sharlee had locked it.
“Sharlee open the door!”
She didn’t respond. His anger rose inside him, and again because of the alcohol, he reacted in the wrong way. He stepped back from the door and for a few moments the door seemed to be a symbol of all of his problems. Subconsciously, he raised his foot and kicked the door open, causing it to crash against the bedroom wall.
Sharlee wondered what was happening to them. Noah seemed like a different person. He’d never been violent like that before. Although she knew that it was because he’d been drinking, the violence terrified her. She packed a suitcase. Then she called a taxi and booked a flight. When she came out of the bedroom, Noah was gone.
Note to Readers: The next few chapters are what I meant by more bad times to come for the family and how Noah’s temper would cause problems between him and Sharlee. I know you all are probably very upset with me! I wrote these chapters last year, and I’m upset with me too. LOL I’m going to get a shield before I read your comments!