Shelby sat picking at the food on her plate. She knew she needed to eat to keep the baby healthy. She had tried, but she just didn’t have the appetite.
Normally it was the nausea that made it hard for her to eat. That was only a minor part of the problem this time. The bigger part was sadness and worry.
They found out that afternoon that Philip was being sent to Strangerville to help with a problem they seemed to be having there. He was leaving in the morning.
“It’s going to be okay. We won’t be gone long. I will be home before the baby is born.”
Shelby wanted to believe him, but it was hard. She had seen the men visit the houses. She had heard the cries.
The men had made a visit to the family next door that morning. She had been able to hear them through the thin walls. She had heard the pain in the woman’s cries. She had heard the young children’s confused questions. She knew that she could easily be that woman. She could easily be raising their child alone.
Philip gathered the dishes and took them to the sink. He would wash them after Shelby was asleep.
He took her hand and led her to their bedroom. He helped her get ready for bed then laid down with her.
He pulled her close to him and felt her tears on his chest. He wished he could make her feel better about this.
He rubbed her back until he felt her relaxing. He kissed her softly.