She was tired, all the cook-clean-wash-tidy-up-opening-up that she did each day. She decided to sit and rest her feet for three minutes and fell asleep. She didn’t want to sleep for long, if at all, she planned to make up for earlier that morning when he was displeased by her offerings of egg and bread. He wanted a real breakfast of food and meat and man’s breakfast and he left angry for work. She could not bear it when he was upset. She planned to prepare his favourite for lunch — ackee and corned pork with roasted breadfruit. But she fell asleep.
The thing growing in her was stealing from her. Sucking all her energy. Just two weeks in and the not quite yet human, the thing that could become baby number four, the potentiality of the son that he desperately wanted, that thing was taking too much out of her. She felt sick, her stomach queasy. She had a hard time staying awake. It was pass midday when she awoke, too late to set up the coal stove to roast the breadfruit. He would arrive soon. Frantically, she looked around the kitchen, opening up cupboards and the refrigerator for something to appease the gastrolater.
She had missed her mid-morning tea and quickly put on the papaya leaves to brew. She grabbed some chicken breasts from the freezer, when her phone beeped inside the pocket of her apron, the text message from him read:
Can’t come for lunch. Have off site meeting.
Relief flowed through her. She could cook dinner. Breathing easier, she grabbed the bag of coal and rushed down the back steps, two at a time, when left foot over right became no feet touching the ground, she tumbled and rolled. Crumpled at the bottom of the steps, the bag of coal still in her hand, she smiled when she felt the cramping.