HER FIRST OUTING
A sequel to She's A Diamond.
Abby, Tim and the boys get ready to take Evie out for her first walk.
An established relationship story.
Written: August 2009. Word count: 1,000.
And sometimes I get nervous
When I see an open door
Close your eyes, clear your heart
Cut the cord
"Mommy! Mommy! Are you ready?" Abby heard the sound of two pairs of feet thundering down the hallway.
For the third time, Abby tucked Evie's tiny hand beneath the pale yellow blanket. She sighed as her willful daughter once again worked it free.
The pounding feet stopped and she looked up to see her four-year old twin sons, already dressed in their coats, bouncing from one foot to the other inside the nursery. Behind them smiling at her was Tim.
"Yes, Abby. Are you ready?"
She looked down at Evie, still so small, but so alert, who'd turned her head and was looking at her daddy and big brothers. Evie made a gurgling noise and waved her hand.
"See, Mommy," Tommy cried. "Evie's ready. Let's go. Please, Mommy."
"Yes, please, Mommy," Benny echoed, not to be outdone by his twin brother.
Abby glanced back at Evie, who'd now worked her entire arm out from under the blanket and was rubbing her fingers over the darker yellow duck, one of many adorning the blanket. Maybe it wasn't such a good idea to go out. Evie was still so small, so fragile; except the last thing Evie was, was fragile, despite how premature she'd been.
She looked at Tim and her boys; she didn't want to disappoint them. They'd all been looking forward to Evie's first outing; it had been carefully planned so that the entire family could go out together.
She glanced once again at Evie and once more popped her tiny hand back under the blanket and waited. Evie gazed at her solemnly and Abby saw signs of the hand being moved.
Before she could say or do anything, Tim spoke. "Now, Evie. Mommy wants you to keep your hand under the blanket so you don't get cold. Can you do that?"
Evie, who'd turned her head as soon as Tim had started to speak, immediately stopped wriggling her hand and turned back to look at Abby, her innocent look on her face.
Abby shook her head. She didn't know how Tim did it, Evie was far too young to understand what was said, but Tim never failed to get her to 'obey' him. Maybe it was all those weeks spent listening to Ducky telling her stories, that meant Evie was more attuned to the male voice, more used to it.
Tim squeezed past the boys and came over to Abby. "She'll be fine, Abby. She's well wrapped up and it's warm enough. Really, she'll be fine." He put his hand on her shoulder and then bent his head to lightly brush his lips over her cheek.
She heard a dramatic sigh and looked at her sons who were both rolling their eyes as they watched their parents.
"I don't know, Tim," she found herself saying. She didn't want to sound negative, she wanted to go out, she wanted to show Evie the outside world, but did if have to be today? It was unlike her to be uncertain, nervous about anything, but Evie's birth had changed that.
As foolish as it was to even think it, she sometimes felt the cord connecting Evie to her, the cord that had been cut far too soon, had in fact never been cut. Even though Evie did seem more of a Daddy's girl, she was Abby's little angel; Abby's tiny baby. Abby certainly worried about her far more than she'd worried about the twins at Evie's age. Of course the twins at Evie's age had been much bigger. She knew she couldn't wrap Evie up in cotton-wool forever and she didn't want to. The one thing her daughter had already taught her was how resilient she was; she was a survivor. Ducky had been correct when he'd called her a diamond. But she was so tiny.
She sighed, now angry with herself. This was so unlike her; she wondered vaguely if she was suffering from some form of post-natal depression, that had come on since they'd brought Evie home.
"Please, Mommy," Benny pleaded again. "You promised."
"Mommy didn't promise, Benny," Tim said swiftly. "Did she?" He left Abby's side and squatted down in front of the twins. The one thing Tim and Abby never did was to promise the boys something that might end up not happening because Tim had to work. "Did she?" he asked again.
"I guess not," Benny said finally, shuffling his feet.
"Good boy," Tim ruffled Benny's hair. He glanced at Abby again and then back at the twins. "I tell you what, why don't the three of us go the park and leave Mommy and Evie here? And when we come back you can tell them all about what you did?"
Tommy and Benny looked at one another, then at Abby and Evie before looking back at Tim. "Okay, Daddy," Tommy said, his voice quiet. His disappointment and that of Benny's (and Tim's, although he hid it better) was tangible; Abby could feel it making its way towards her.
"Come on, then." Tim stood up and took the twin's hands. "We'll be a couple of hours," he said, glancing back at Abby. He smiled at her, letting her know he understood and wasn't angry or upset with her. She nodded.
He turned back and then with the twins now dragging him, left the nursery. After a moment or two, Abby heard the front door open. It was too much for her; she couldn't stand there and watch all their carefully laid plans fall apart because of her.
"Wait," she called, glancing down at Evie. "Wait for us." And turning the pram around, she hurried towards the door, along the hallway and out through the open front door to join the bouncing Tommy and Benny and a smiling Tim.
He pulled the door shut and locked it. Then once again kissed her cheek and whispered, "That's my girl."
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