Mom had planned on staying another few days, but after the physicality of my loss was over I kindly asked her to go. I was so confused. I didn’t know why I was mourning someone I never knew. I couldn’t talk about it. As much as I loved Mom’s company, I felt a big cry coming on and wanted to be alone.

The weeks following only further solidified my sorrow. Everywhere I went there were pregnant women and new babies. It was as if the cervically-gifted were breeding with each other. Multiplying themselves just to mock me. My only solace was food and I was beginning to resemble a tub of salted caramel.

Editor’s note: Click here for chapter 1 and here for chapter 2 in this weekly fiction serial.


It had been a month since he left. Todd didn’t call once to ask about me or the baby. He didn’t even know that I wasn’t pregnant anymore. But in my sleep I rocked our child. His tiny wrinkled hand curled tight around my finger. He bore Todd’s transparent fawn eyes and weightless corn silk curls.

I couldn’t stop looking at the photo of them, happy. I wish I could forget him. But I knew he was it for me the first time I shot him down at McGarvey’s Tavern.


Annie, Lilly and I were anxious to celebrate the fact that we made it through surgical rounds without accidentally sewing someone’s organs together. But our next semester would be the true pressure cooker. Twenty-four hour shifts with no time for decent provisions… or sleep. The chief was a sadist and we were getting dogged, which made screw ups all-the-more probable. During the obstetrics and gynecology rotation, a classmate of mine was so tired that he used a tongue depressor for a vaginal exam on a patient… which would have gone unnoticed if it hadn’t been for a splinter.

We headed to McGarvey’s in Annapolis to unwind. It was nearby and Annie’s boyfriend was the head bartender there. He let us drink for free and Annie liked to watch him work the bar. By ten that night, Annie and I were already half lit up and Lilly hadn’t even arrived yet. Annie was facing the door, looking for Lilly when she began to nudge me. “Meatheads at two-o-clock” she teased, as Todd and his buddy Bruce swaggered into the bar. They were Blue Angels numbers eight and nine, in uniform, and pompous as peacocks.

Two overly bronzed females with tight shirts and igloo chompers were standing next to me. Their jaws simultaneously hitting the sticky floor as Todd and his wingman parted that sudsy crowd like the Red Sea. The building’s temperature climbed two degrees in a matter of seconds and nearly every woman there of child-bearing age experienced spontaneous ovulation.

The alphas had arrived.

It was commissioning week at the Naval Academy and the Blue Angels were in town to put on a show. Todd was the events coordinator, a marine and a flight officer. And he was hard to miss, although I did try.


Check out part 4 coming next Tuesday!

Photo by skeeze (Pixabay)