Plain Jane Bonus Scene

       I walked through the empty lake house with a mug of steaming ginger tea in my hands, enjoying the only moment of silence the house had seen since we all arrived two days before. Although it was the end of summer and should have been hot, we apparently booked the chilliest weekends Lake Wenatchee had seen all season.

       The birds were calling to each other in the trees as the sun slowly descended. The sky was a magnificent pink and orange that lit up the room I was in, casting soft, romantic looking shadows on the wall and I felt a little weepy at how perfect the scene was.

       My thoughts strayed to another reason I was weepy, and a surge of nerves shot through me. Sebastian and I had laid awake so many nights dreaming about our future. In those moments, that hypothetical future seemed so far away, but now it was here.

       After the winding roads leading to Lake Wenatchee left me nauseous, I was suspicious. No, I was suspicious before that, otherwise I wouldn’t have packed three different pregnancy tests. I figured that between a plain strip, a digital one, and one that looked fancy and cost way more than it should, I would have a clear answer by the end of the weekend. 

       But then I got too scared to take the test.

       I was too scared to talk to Sebastian, too. I knew he would be thrilled if it was positive. I knew he would be heartbroken along with me if it wasn’t. I knew I needed to talk to him.

       But then Alex and Stephanie got to the lake house, their three kids in tow, talking nonstop and pulling us in different directions. And then two days passed and my nerves built up to a level that made me feel like I’d explode with excitement. That made the stakes too high and I couldn’t handle the crash of disappointment if it wasn’t true.

       That morning, we sardined ourselves into the small kitchen and made sandwiches, put chips in baggies, decided on which drinks were essential, and set out for a day on the lake. It was an ideal morning—the type you see in cheesy movies. The kids slapped almond butter and jelly on bread in the most meticulously untidy manner I’d ever seen.

       The four of us adults stepped in where necessary, especially with Oliver, who was adamant he could make all of our sandwiches if we’d just allow him.

       With a hefty picnic packed, we donned our bathing suits, life jackets, and swiped sunscreen over all the visible skin we could see. Then we set out for the lake while the kids, who had never been on a boat, chattered nervously about what it would be like.

       I never made it onto the boat. The rocking of the dock made the nausea come back with a vengeance, and I lost my breakfast over the side of it into the water.

       Sebastian rushed me back to the house, holding me tight against him until we were inside. He laid me on the couch and brought a cool washcloth to tide me over while he busied himself in the kitchen with putting together a barf bag.

       When he walked back into the room, his face was filled with concern. “Do we need to go home?”

       “No! Not at all. We’re only here for another day.”

       He studied me for a long minute and then nodded. “Okay, I’ll tell Alex to head out. Want me to heat some soup up?”

       “No, don’t text Alex. Just go out and have fun.”

       “I’m not leaving you here. Soup?”

       I sat up, proving my next point. “I’m feeling better. Not good enough to go out on the boat.” I swallowed the next wave of nausea that came up with that idea. “But good enough that I don’t need you here fussing over me.”

       He rubbed my forehead, brushing my hair out of my face that had stuck to the dampness left behind by the washcloth. “It hasn’t been that long since I vowed ‘in sickness and in health’ in front of everyone.” He furrowed his brows playfully. “What kind of husband would I be if I left now?”

       “One that was doing exactly what his wife wanted.” The word wife sent a thrill through me and I smiled at him. “I promise, I would tell you if I thought I couldn’t handle things here by myself.”

       “We’re going to be gone all day…”

       “I know. I brought a book to read. I’ll lie around and read it and be doing great by the time you get back.”

       He pressed his lips together and scowled. “Alright, but if you need me back here, call me and I’ll come immediately.”

       I nodded, and he stood up reluctantly. “I mean it. The first sign of getting sick again, tell me.”

       “If I need you to come back, I’ll let you know right away.”

       He sighed and shook his head. “Okay, I can tell that’s as good of an answer as you’re willing to give me.”

       I smiled, and he smiled back, warming up my entire body. “I’ll be fine.” I stretched up and kissed his cheek. He kissed me back and reluctantly walked outside.

       I waited all of five seconds to run into our room and pull the tests out of my toiletries bag. I looked down at the boxes in my hand and scrunched up my nose. I wanted Sebastian there with me, but I had convinced myself that it was all in my head and I didn’t want to get his hopes up unnecessarily.

       Peeking out into the hallway, I double checked no one was in the house and then still tip-toed to the bathroom, where I opened each of the boxes and read the instructions.

       I waited for the allotted time to pass with my back to the counter where the tests were lined up. When the timer on my phone rattled me out of my thoughts, I turned around slowly and took a deep breath.

       I looked at the first test.

       Positive.

       My heart jumped to my throat.

       I looked at the second test.

       Positive.

       My heart was thudding so loud I couldn’t think straight. When I looked at the third test, the smiley face made me laugh out loud like a maniac.

       Positive.

       I reached for my phone and then remembered how excited the kids were to have their uncle to themselves all weekend and I put my hand back down at my side.

       I collected up the tests as sanitarily as I could and stashed them away. I pulled out my book and kept one promise to Sebastian.

       Then I waited.

A few hours later, the bird chirps were abruptly covered by shouts and cheers, and I snuck a glance out the window. The boat tour was over and Alex carried a thrilled Rosie on his shoulders while Oliver reached up for Sebastian to do the same with him. Sebastian effortlessly lifted the little boy up and ran alongside his brother while Kelvin walked with Stephanie, rolling his eyes, and making it known he was much too old to think they were cute.

The sight of Oliver bouncing as Sebastian ran made my heart swell with joy. He would be an incredible dad and I couldn’t wait to tell him the news.

The boisterous party flew through the door, and Sebastian stopped in his tracks when he saw me. A look of relief washed over him when he realized I was standing and the color had come back to my face.

“Hey,” he said breathlessly as he tried to recover from the jog to the front door.

I stretched up and kissed his cheek before whispering in his ear. “I need to tell you something. Privately.”

He grabbed my hand and whisked me to our bedroom that overlooked the lake. I walked over to the window, enjoying the sunset that had become even more striking in a matter of minutes.

Sebastian stepped forward, his presence like an anchor for my racing nerves. He rubbed the small of my back and looked out the window with me.

“You can tell me anything, Jane.” His voice was low and soothing and brought tears to my eyes.

When I turned towards him, concern flooded his face, and I quickly shook my head. “It’s nothing bad.”

“Are you okay?”

I nodded, biting back tears. “The happiest I’ve ever been, actually.”

He froze in place and stared at me. “Jane, I need you to tell me what’s going on. I’m forming guesses and if I’m wrong…” He ran his hand across his mouth and sighed. “If I’m wrong, at least now I’m one-hundred percent sure of what I want.”

I picked at the gauzy curtain hanging in the window. “You don’t think it’s too soon?”

He pulled me into his arms and sighed with satisfaction. “I’ve waited my entire life to find you. Nothing we do is ever too soon.”

A smile tugged at the corners of my mouth, and I slipped out of his arms. I pulled the tests out of my bag and presented them to him. He looked down and didn’t speak for a long time.

“Is this what our future will be like?” he asked softly.

I shifted nervously on my feet. “Like what?”

“Like a constant dream? Like each day is better than the one before, even though every single yesterday was better than I could’ve imagined it would be?”

I laughed and wrapped my arms around him. “I hope so.”

“I hope so, too.” He kissed the top of my head and we stood like that long after the sun faded below the horizon.

Thank you for reading Plain Jane!

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