The door clicked open. She waddled her way in through the narrow porch. Rubbing her stomach she sat, watching her father, boyfriend and his father move boxes into the tiny sitting room. “It sure is small” she sighed as the boxes piled up, taking over half the room. “Well, it’s all we can afford” he snapped as he carried black bags into the bedroom. She rolled her eyes, ya mean it’s all I can afford, she thought. She really didn’t even like him much anymore, she just didn’t want to go through this alone. “OK, that’s the last one” her father patted her head. “The lads will be down tomorrow to unpack for ya. Get to bed” he sighed as he stuck his head in at her new tiny bedroom. “Bit odd, that the bedroom is off the sitting room” she strolled over to him.”Sal, love, it’s a cottage, generally there are two rooms, you are lucky you have three, including the kitchen,” he nodded at the other door off the sitting room. “That’s tiny too’ she sighed.”Imagine a baby here too” she felt a lump in her throat. “It’ll be grand, for now” her father reassured her.
Days passed, she had finally unpacked all her worldly possessions, she left his in the corner for him to do. It’s too bloody close to the town she thought as the clock struck 11pm. She should have thought of that before signing the lease, too late now she sighed as Queenie, jumped and leaped, playing with an invisible force.’Queenie, Queenie, calm down, baby girl. You’ll get used to it here” she patted the terriers head. She tried ringing him again, phone off. Nothing new. She rubbed her rounded belly, “What have I gotten us into kid” she felt her heart sink as the clock struck 12. “Night night Queenie” the dog was now calmly sitting by the kitchen door, tail wagging.
“Sorr…hey, hey” he shook her until she woke. The smell of cheap cider was overbearing. She gagged pushing him away from her. “Don..don’t be like that” he slurred. “It was dad and Dec that kep’ me ou” he slid into the bed beside her. “As per usual. What the fuck are you going to be like when this baby comes.Jesus. Don’t touch me” she pushed his cold hand off her stomach. “Shhh, it my baby too” he forced his hand on her stomach, “I can touch whenever I want”,he pulled her close. She hated when he drank, which was every Thursday right through until Monday. Two months together and one night of no condom, and this is the fool you ended up with, she scolded herself over and over as his snores filled the cold room.
December came with its white blanket and red breasted birds. She loved December. “This time next year kiddo, it’ll probably be just me and you, and that’s ok”, Queenie barked,”You too Queenie!” she laughed as she hung the star on her small Christmas tree. She hadn’t seen him in days, the odd call or text with a stupid excuse as to why he’d be late or why he didn’t bother to come back, she had turned off her phone, she’d had enough. She knew he was in a pub with his drunken father and brother probably picking up women. She didn’t even care.
She sat down. Her phone suddenly came to life. Puzzled she glanced at it. “I thought I turned it off” she mused as Queenie began her usual barking, chasing and licking of the kitchen door. “Lie down Queenie. Lie down.” The dog got louder. Her phone rang loud, louder than normal. She jumped. Grabbing the phone she looked at the screen. Nothing. The phone was off. Her heart skipped a beat. The phone rang again. She threw it down. “Jesus” she got up. The kitchen door flung open. The lights were going on and off as Queenie was growling, hair standing on end. She grabbed her bag. The TV got louder, the phone rang, the lights were going on and off as the dog got louder and louder. She ran. Ran out the porch and onto the street, the cold air hitting her cheeks. She was sweating.