Virginia awoke suddenly with that familiar lurching in her stomach. She tumbled out of bed and just made it to the bathroom in time to see Cash crouched over the toilet, retching.
“Move!” she screamed but he couldn’t, so she vomited in one of the double sinks. His sink.
“For god’s sake, Cash,” said Virginia. “I’m the pregnant one.”
“I can’t help it, Virge,” Cash said glumly. He’d been in a mood ever since her pregnancy was confirmed. He was fatigued, sensitive, he constantly craved “ants on a log”, which was a stick of celery filled with peanut butter and dotted with raisins. He felt bloated and gassy, and yes, often awoke at six am and made a rush to the toilet bowl in a bout of morning sickness.
Virginia, meanwhile, was still modelling and had taken up go-karting. She and Cash’s sister made almost weekly trips to Hey Kart and raced around a tarmac track lined with sacks of sand. She expected the vomiting to cease after three months, so while it was awful, she wasn’t unduly upset by it. She carried on.
Cash couldn’t really concentrate on business. He was supposed to be locating and vetting a source in China that would build a prototype of the chair that Leep had invented. But he was always so tired, and farting, and snapping at people for no reason. He avoided his friends. He gloomily fussed with the decorating of the nursery when he wasn’t crying over something on the news. Only Virginia could possibly understand, and she hated it.
One morning as he dressed he looked in the mirror and was sure his abdomen was distended. He didn’t dare show Virginia.
Now he was a college-educated man, though granted, most of his college days were spent drinking and partying at the frat house. But what the fuck was this big baby belly? It wasn’t beer bloat. He hadn’t had any beer since the pregnancy. The thought of it made him nauseous. He hadn’t had much to drink at all, and his favourite fried foods were intolerable in smell. His system was too damn delicate. Sometimes he thought he was in a parallel universe.
There was only one thing to do.
He went to the kitchen and made ants on a log, many ants on many logs. He used almost a whole head of celery and half a jar of peanut butter, and when the raisins ran out he used chocolate chips. God, they were delicious.