I may have — just may have — broken that stupid writer’s block of mine for Seize the Day. I finished my Idol entry…kinda. I want to add pictures to it, as a way to prove my point/strengthen my ending, but that would require taking and posting public pictures of my wife, and she’s not really comfortable with that. She said she’d think about it, but I’m not holding my breath on her saying yes. 

I forced myself to dialogue-only Chapter 9. I think it helped, though I don’t think the block’s entirely broken, either. But I have dialogue and I fleshed about half of it out, already. The rest I’ll probably do in the morning, just because I am super tired right now. But here it is, the beginning of chapter 9:

***

Mari sighed, flipping through the chart she had in front of her. Savin had been acting weird for about a month, jumpy whenever she tried to talk to him. Almost as if he were nervous or hiding something from her. Perhaps it was just nerves — they were trying to plan a wedding, after all. Time moved so fast, nowadays, Mari was certain that they’d run out of time for planning everything. At least they had finally settled on a date?

She shook her head, propping her chin up with one hand while the other tapped her pen idly on her desk. She only had a few more minutes of her shift left, and none of her patients were in any particular danger. Maybe she could leave a little early and head home — maybe talk to Savin a bit before he came in for his shift. How he did overnights with the frequency he did, she’d never know, but —

Her phone vibrated in her pocket, causing her to furrow her brow. Who would be calling her now? With a huff, she pulled out her phone and put it to her ear. “Hello?”

“Mari, sweetie, how’re you?”

“Nina!” she exclaimed, feeling a slight smile tug on her lips. One that faded quickly when she realized that a call from Nina couldn’t mean anything good. “Is there something wrong?” she asked, biting her lip.

“Not at all, sweetie,” Nina said with a light chuckle. “I was just calling to see how you were doing. Savin never let me know whether you started feeling any better…”

“He didn’t? I could have sworn he did,” Mari said, shaking her head. Of course he didn’t. Savin could be awful about calling anyone back over the phone — she guessed his mother was no exception, either. “And I’m — okay. Still feel a little under the weather, but haven’t thrown up in a few weeks now,” she continued, feeling her smile return. Sure, the throwing up had stopped, she started getting heartburn when she’d never had it before. Not to mention those little knocks and jumps she’d feel in her abdomen — sensations she had been dismissing as gas for weeks, now.

“It went on that long?” Nina asked, her tone suddenly changing. Mari could sense that Nina was going to ask another question, so she sat back in her seat and waited. “Mari, have you considered you might be…” She trailed off, clearing her throat.

“Might be what?” Mari prompted, feeling dread build at the bottom of her stomach.

Nina remained silent for a moment before taking in a deep breath. “Pregnant?” she finished finally, her voice quiet and hardly heard over the phone.

The dread caused Mari’s stomach to bottom out under its weight. Pregnant? She couldn’t be — there was no way. Nina had to be mistaken. “I — what the hell makes you think I might be — you know –?”

“Mari, sweetie, it might be best if you came over. I don’t think you want to talk about this over the phone,” Nina pressed, her tone far heavier than Mari had ever heard it in all the years she had known the woman.

Mari put a hand to her stomach as another one of those flutters caught her attention. Could she really be…? “Y-Yeah. I’ll be over in a little while. I need to finish out my shift, first,” she murmured, removing her hand and putting it on the desk. She couldn’t be. There was just no way.

“Alright, dear. Take your time. Hajime won’t be home tonight — he and Savin are working the trauma center together,” Nina said, speaking with an eerie calmness that only made Mari’s heart sink even further into her shoes. With that, the conversation ended, and Mari hung up her phone.

She needed to steal a pregnancy test on her way out the door. They kept them in stock, despite how rare pregnancies were. Women weren’t supposed to get pregnant, after all. They were supposed to do all that they could to ensure that awful fate never befell them. Just as that thought struck her, she felt another flutter, this one stronger than the last. She shivered. If she was pregnant and those flutters and knocks she had been feeling were movement, just how far along was she?

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