Oscar sat in complete silence, super glued to the sofa. ‘What about Sebastian’s parents? Did he ever actually return home?’ Oscar shivered, the hairs prickling uncomfortably on the back of his neck, as a small draft seeped underneath the closed living room door. He grabbed the draft excluder, blocking the small gap between the door and floor. Oscar walked towards the sofa, catching sight of his pale reflection in the small, randomly placed antique wall mirror. He carefully examined the old scratch underneath his chin. Pulling back his jumper sleeve, he ran his thumb over the raised cut upon the inside of his wrist. ‘Funny place to have a cut’ he thought, shaking his head at himself. ‘You really are clumsy aren’t you Oscar. The first scratch probably wasn’t Ava at all.’
Oscar sighed, diverting his mind to another topic. ‘The baby is due in less than 18 weeks and we have absolutely nothing prepared.’ He thought. ‘No cot, no baby clothes, no nothing.’ He cursed his lack of energy, longing to wander into town and search for baby items. Today, his body would not allow him to do so. Oscar scanned E-bay, eyeing the simple white baby grow at £4.99. ‘There’s surely no harm in going second hand for some simple items.’ He thought. ‘Yes, that’s a decent starting point.’ Oscar’s phone buzzed beside him.
“Thank god! You actually answered straight away. Have you eaten at all this morning?”
“Erm…” Oscar hesitated.
“For God’s sake Oscar!”
“I will soon, I promise. You really didn’t have to call me. I wanted to call you a few minutes ago but resisted the temptation.”
“Did you now? Why was that?”
“Well, I didn’t want to bother you and it wasn’t urgent. I spotted a really cute baby grow online. You’re almost 20 weeks pregnant, so we should start gathering stuff together don’t you think? Women can deliver at 24 weeks.”
Ava shuddered. “I bloody hope I don’t, we already have enough drama in our lives thank you very much!”
“You don’t have any stuff at home do you Ava?” Oscar stated, bypassing the subject.
“We threw out most of the old items when my parent’s house was cleared out. I’m not sure about my old baby clothes though. I’ll have a bit of a look in our loft. It’s like an Aladdin’s cave up there. My Aunt and Uncle are verging on becoming extreme hoarders. Well, in the loft anyway.”
Oscar laughed. “It’s nice to hear you laugh Oscar.” Ava stated. “The baby grow isn’t tacky is it?”
“Of course not! I have taste believe it or not! It’s just neutral.”
“Oh good, buy it then. Okay so I’ll try and bring some bits and pieces back to Chester with me. I have stuff to do and more friends to see. Speak soon, bye!”
“Bye, I’ll eat now, I promise. You sound really happy Ava.”
“Oh I am! No other news?”
No, no.” Oscar lied, now was not the time. “See you!”
Oscar ended his phone call. He eyed his food cupboard, taking out the unopened box of cereal bars. ‘I should probably eat something more substantial’ he thought. Still, as Ava said, eating little and often was vital. He brewed the kettle, stirring some hot chocolate powder and milk into a mug. He added the boiling water with a shaky hand, the muscle in his upper arm aching greatly. Carefully, he stirred the mixture watching the frothy bubbles rising to the top. Oscar shuddered, sensing the prickly pins and needles in the back of his neck, followed by an unfamiliar hissing sound. One similar to a bottle of fizzy drink being opened. He pulled open the fridge door, scanning the contents in search of the cause.‘What was that noise? It must have been the oven or something?’ Oscar puzzled. He replaced the kettle back, opening the heavy oven door to examine inside. The oven was not the culprit.
To be continued….