Rosemary slowly came awake the next morning. She sat up and rubbed her eyes, then glanced around the room until her eyes came to rest upon Melanie sitting on the couch with the TV going softly.
“Hey,” said Rosemary.
Melanie turned to her, threw the afghan off her legs and rose to greet Rosemary. “Good morning,” she said.
“What are you doing here?”
“I’m here to protect my best friend’s wife and child.”
Rosemary stilled and looked sharply at Melanie. “Oh, so now she’s got you babysitting me, is that it?”
“In uniform too, so I can really feel like a prisoner.”
Melanie smiled. “I’m heading to work as soon as she gets back. That’s why I’m in uniform.”
“And just where is she?”
“Out on an assignment somewhere. She got a lead on a case she’s been on.”
Rosemary rose and began to walk across the room.
“Where are you going?”
She stilled, then turned back to face Melanie.
“To the bathroom. Is that ok, officer?”
“Just don’t do anything stupid. I’m sure your other half meant it when she said you’d be dreadfully sorry if you lost the child and she found out you had anything to do with it.”
Rosemary stiffened. “Oh, yeah? Is that what she said?”
Melanie remained silent.
“Well, that bitch is going to be the one to be dreadfully sorry when she gets back, trust me,” Rosemary said through bared teeth as she continued on to the bathroom.
Melanie was by the door when Rosemary emerged.
“Get away from me!” screamed Rosemary, throwing a punch at Melanie in which she blocked.
“That way,” Melanie said sternly.
Rosemary headed towards the kitchen area with Melanie close behind. Once there, Melanie opened the refrigerator and pulled out some orange juice which she then poured in a cup and handed to Rosemary. “Drink,” she ordered.
Rosemary took the glass and drank it.
Then Melanie refilled the glass with water and said, “Kay says you take a multi-vitamin, so take it now.”
Rosemary took a pill from a bottle and washed it down with water. Then she took the few swigs of water that was left in the glass and whipped it at Melanie.
Anger flashed in Melanie’s ebony eyes. “Now did you really have to do that? What did I ever do to you to deserve that?”
“Makes me feel like you and she are conspiring against me and treating me like a child who needs a babysitter,” Rosemary said without hesitation before turning to head towards the other end of the room, closer to us.
“Then stop acting like one. And nobody’s conspiring against you.” Melanie followed Rosemary. “Hey, I feel really bad for you, but think of Kay too, will you? She’s got to deal with this as well.”
“Does she? I thought I was the one going blind.”
“Come on, Rosemary. You’re smart enough to know that this affects her as well even if she isn’t losing her sight, too.”
“Yeah, yeah, I know how it is,” Rosemary said with a sigh, firing up the computer.
“You better get dressed soon,” Melanie said. “Kay will be back to take you to an appointment she made for you with an obstetrician.”
Rosemary ignored Melanie, though she did get dressed a short while later.
When Melanie saw me arrive, she went to open the outer door for me. We spoke for a few minutes between the two sets of doors as Rosemary eyed us suspiciously.
When I entered the building, she wasted no time letting me have it. “So you think I’m going to be dreadfully sorry, huh?”
I sighed wearily. “Rosemary, let’s not start today, ok?”
She rose from her seat and walked right up to me. “Don’t you ever let me hear you say such a thing either to me or to someone else again!” she screamed.
I remained silent, keeping my gaze locked on hers.
“Damn you!” Rosemary screamed as she threw a punch at me.
I caught her by the wrist. My long fingers overlapped around her slender wrist by an entire digit. Continuing to hold her gaze, I released my hold on her after a moment and said, “I’m very sorry I said what I said, now can we go to your appointment?”
Rosemary sniffled. Then reluctantly, she nodded.
“In a civilized manner?”
Rosemary nodded again, then threw her arms around me. I wrapped my own arms around her as she cried upon my shoulder.
“I’m sorry,” she wept tearfully.
“I know you are, babe. And I’m sorry, too.”
Rosemary pulled back and gazed up at me. “Promise you’ll never leave me?”
“I love you, Katie.”
“I love you, too,” I said, wiping a stray tear from my eye.
Rosemary returned crying, though I noted that I didn’t seem concerned. I wondered how things could possibly get any worse than they already were, though it wouldn’t be long before I’d learn what had Rosemary in tears once again.
“Sweetie, I know you’re overwhelmed, but babies are a good thing,” I said gently.
“Yeah, one at a time and for those who aren’t going blind. But not only am I going blind, we’ve got two of them coming!” she cried.
“That only makes us doubly blessed,” I said with a smile.
“Oh, blessed my ass! I’m going in the Jacuzzi.”
“Ok,” I said with a chuckle. “You do that.”
Later on, while Rosemary was napping, I spoke to Melanie in hushed tones on the phone as I leaned on the desk on my elbows. “The doctor says to let her sleep whenever she wants to.” I smiled. “Yeah, I’m sure she’ll like that part of it. Up to now, I had discouraged any daytime sleeping, knowing it’d just throw her schedule off.”
I threaded my long fingers through the spiral phone cord.
“I’m studying online how to deliver in case she has them here. The doctor secretly told me that there’s a good chance I may not be able to get her to the hospital fast enough when the time comes, because she’s small and in very good shape, though I’m not going to tell her this and get her even more worked up than she already is.”
I leaned against the back of the chair.
“The doctor says she’ll come around in time and I feel certain that she will, too. Think about it, Mel. If you suddenly learned you were going blind and carrying twins, you’d be a bit overwhelmed yourself… Yes, it’s a lot to take on at once, but we’ll get through it.”
I grinned widely. “Yeah, a wife and two kids in less than a year. Not bad. Not bad at all… Don’t worry. You’ll catch up. Whether or not you have kids, Mel, you’ll still get your lady. You’ll see.”