Smoke in the Air
She lit her cigarette, though it was so cold outside she couldn’t tell the difference between the steam of her breath and the smoke. The holidays had been hard this year and she had been forced to abandon her attempts at quitting.
Her husband was inside with his family, enjoying their old-fashioned idea of the holiday. She regretted not doing what she wanted and going to see her family instead, but with this being their first Christmas together as a married couple…
Honestly, the only thing she was thinking of was the baby. Or, really, the concept of a baby since her traitor body has miscarried it before the real baby could take hold. She was convinced the baby had been a girl. Though she shouldn’t be thinking about names, she had named the baby Naomi in her head, being sure not to mention it to her husband.
Everyone loves to talk about babies and family and the future around the dinner table, with the Christmas light glowing gently in the background, reflecting off the special shiny holiday china with the image of holly leaves etched onto the edge of the plates. If she heard one more question about plans for starting a family she might just snap. She wanted them all to just shut up and sit quietly for a bit.
She viciously ground her heel into the pavement of the driveway, effectively extinguishing the glowing ember of her cigarette butt. Tomorrow, they would be back home, tucked away from prying eyes where she could just cry all afternoon if she wanted. She could drink a beer without the disapproving stare from her insensitive mother-in-law.
There’s time to try again…other chances to have a baby, people said to her. These things weren’t comforts and they certainly didn’t make her miss Naomi any less. Her little baby, whose life was snuffed out before it even had the chance to begin. She was bitter about being a mother with none of the rewards.
She sighed, turning, and opened the front door. Hit with a wave of warm arm, scented with cooking turkey and decorated with tinkling laughter, she thought about how this damn holiday couldn’t be over fast enough. She put on a smile and slipped her hand into her husband’s grip, the wedding band ice cold against her warming skin.