Chapter no 30

Never Lie

Ethan is making us lunch. I said I would do it, because he has made the last two meals, but he’s so insistent. “You’re pregnant. I have to take care of you.”

He’s making me feel silly for having waited so long to tell him about the baby.

He gets the packet of turkey out of the refrigerator. But instead of putting it on the bread, he places the pieces on a plate and sticks them in the microwave. Then he heats it up for thirty seconds.

“What are you doing?” I ask, baffled.

“Pregnant women aren’t supposed to eat cold cuts,” he explains. “They have to be heated. To kill the bacteria.”


He nods solemnly. “I read it’s very serious. You could get really sick.”

“Oh…” I think back to the bologna sandwich I ate earlier. And I might have eaten a roast beef sandwich earlier in the week. God, I need to be more careful. This pregnancy thing is so tricky. “I’m glad you checked. But how did you know that? We don’t have any Internet.”

He hesitates for a beat. “I didn’t read it today, obviously.

I read it before. Like a long time ago. I just remembered it.” “Oh.”

I don’t know why my husband would have been reading about things pregnant women should and shouldn’t do

years ago. But I’m not going to question him. Maybe he read it in an article and it stuck in his mind. That happens to me sometimes. That’s how I learned that there are earthquakes on the moon. And they’re called moonquakes.

“I wonder if you’re having a girl or a boy,” he muses as he pulls the heated turkey out of the microwave.

“I have a feeling it’s a girl.” “Based on what?”

I lift my shoulders. “I don’t know. It’s just this feeling I have.”

He smiles indulgently. Ethan might be a nice guy, but he is not spiritual. He believes in science and facts and is the kind of person who would roll his eyes over me telling him I have a feeling about the gender of our child.

“If it’s a girl,” I say, “we could name her after your mother. And if it’s a boy, we could name him after your dad.”

It’s like a curtain has dropped over Ethan’s face. He plops a lump of mayonnaise on one of the sandwiches without even bothering to spread it out. “My parents and I weren’t close.”

I frown at the edge that has crept into his voice. “Why not?”

“We just weren’t.” “Did you fight?”

He picks up a knife from the block and starts slicing the sandwiches. “Sometimes. I don’t know.”

“What did you fight about?” “I don’t remember.”

“You must remember something about it…”

Ethan slams the knife down on the counter loud enough that I jump. “I said I don’t remember, Tricia.”

I back away from the counter. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to upset you.”

He looks up at me, his crystal blue eyes flashing. “Why do you always have to be so damn curious about

everything? Why do you have to know everything about everyone?”

“I just…” I wring my hands together. “I don’t have to know everything about everyone. I just want to know about you. Because you’re my husband, and I love you.”

I don’t know why it’s so hard for him to wrap his head around this. I mean, Ethan has met every member of my family—even my great aunt Bertha, who is ninety-nine years old, was at our wedding. And I have met nobody from his family. Not even one person.

Is it so wrong to be curious where he came from? After all, he’s going to be the father of my child.

“I don’t want to talk about my parents.” His voice is quiet now, but firm. “It… it brings back bad memories, okay? I want to move forward… with you. I don’t want to look backward.”

“Okay,” I say. “I understand.”

Ethan carries the plates containing our turkey sandwiches to the kitchen table. I join him, but I’m still feeling wary after that outburst. The two of us eat our sandwiches, but we’re quieter than we usually are during meals. Obviously, there are some topics that Ethan feels he can’t talk about with me. But he’s wrong. I need him to see that he can tell me anything. Anything.

Although perhaps not at this very moment, when we’re trapped in an isolated house with no way out in the foreseeable future.

“How are we going to get out of here?” I blurt out. “Good question.” Ethan glances out one of the picture

windows. The blanket of white is still unblemished. “I would have thought Judy would try to send somebody for us by now.”

“What if she doesn’t realize we’re here?” I chew on a lump of the turkey sandwich. The microwave dried it out, and the mayonnaise doesn’t help that much. “Maybe she

texted to tell us she wasn’t coming, and she just assumed we didn’t show either?”

He rakes a hand through his golden hair. “Yeah, that’s a possibility. But by Monday, people will start missing us. Your family, my coworkers… They’re going to figure out we’re gone.”

“Monday!” I burst out. “You mean we have to stay here another night?”

“Is it that big a deal?”

Last night, I got about three hours of sleep, broken up into chunks of thirty minutes. So no, I’m not excited to spend another night here.

And then Ethan makes it way worse when he adds: “After all, we’re going to be living here soon.”

I cough into my free hand. “Um, about that…” His eyebrows fly up. “What?”

How can I tell him? How can I shoot down his dream house? But I can’t live here, can I? I’d have nightmares every night until I’d eventually be murdered in my sleep— strangled to death by a white cashmere sweater.

“There are so many other houses out there,” I say. “I just don’t want to jump at this one and miss out on something better.”

“Better? Tricia, we’ve been looking at houses for months. There’s nothing better. Everything out there is crap.”

He isn’t completely wrong. This is the nicest house we’ve seen so far, and the price is so reasonable. But I can’t live here. I just can’t.

“I’ll think about it,” I mumble.

“I just think it’s so perfect.” He shows off a row of his perfect, white teeth. Years of braces, I’m sure. But I can’t ask him, because that would be asking about his past, and apparently, I’m not allowed to do that. “I can just picture us growing old here and raising our children here. Can’t you?”

“Yes,” I lie. “I can.”

You'll Also Like