Maggie's Marriage (The Cloverleaf Series Book 2)(3)

By: Gloria Herrmann


“Are you sick, Mom?” Melanie’s little voice squeaked.

Wiping her mouth, Maggie managed to say, “Mommy’s okay.”

“Can I have cereal for breakfast?” Melanie repeated. Maggie could only answer by nodding her head. That was enough for Melanie, who ran off to scarf down a sugary breakfast as fast as she could.

Sitting on the cold tiled floor next to the toilet, she knew why she had been sick and she wasn’t the least bit happy about it. Well, that wasn’t entirely true, a small portion of her sang with joy at the thought of having another baby. She just wasn’t thrilled at the idea of Michael always being absent, and she wasn’t so sure she could handle two children if she ever decided to leave him. Maggie had been feeling so conflicted lately, with far too many emotions bombarding her.

Morning sickness had become a daily ritual, and Maggie was well acquainted with every porcelain crevice of her toilet. She planned on seeing her doctor this week to confirm what a cheap test from the grocery store had already told her. She didn’t even bother telling Michael her suspicion yet, and it hadn’t been difficult hiding any of her symptoms from him either. With him trying to make partner, he spent more time at his office. She wanted to discuss the pregnancy and their marriage last night, but he had never come home.

“Mom, Grams is on the phone,” Melanie announced from somewhere in the house. Maggie hadn’t even heard the phone ring.

She climbed off the cold tile and managed to splash some water on her face before Melanie came running into the bathroom, shoving the phone into her hand.

“Hi, Mom,” Maggie croaked, her throat still coated with lingering bile.

“Oh, sweetie, you don’t sound too good,” Mary O’Brien’s voice said soothingly over the line.

Maggie knew she had to proceed with caution. Her mother was excellent at figuring out exactly what was going on with her children.

“I think it’s just a little food poisoning,” Maggie replied carefully.

“My poor dear, well, I won’t keep you then. I just wanted to check in on you.”

“Thanks, Mom. Yeah, I think I’ll go lie down for a little while and will try to call you a later,” Maggie promised.

After saying goodbye, Maggie sought refuge in bed. Her body was exhausted, and she didn’t recall being this worn out when she discovered she was pregnant with Melanie. This baby was definitely letting her know that him or her was in there. A shadow of a smile appeared along Maggie’s mouth as she instinctively placed her hand over her stomach.



***



Maggie was busy rinsing off the remaining dishes from dinner when she heard Michael come into the kitchen.

“Sorry I missed dinner,” he apologized as he bent down to plant a kiss on Maggie’s slender neck.

She felt her back stiffen. “I’m surprised you’re home this early.”

“I know, I’m sorry about last night. I had a meeting that went on later than I expected, so I ended up just staying at my office,” Michael said, pleading, his chocolate eyes begging her for forgiveness.

Maggie loved Michael, no question about that, but she couldn’t ignore the annoyance she felt. The irritation she felt with him being gone, acting as a silent partner in their marriage, and a vacant father to their daughter, was starting to make being around him almost unbearable. On the rare occasions when he was home, things would be pleasant enough until the mounted tension and overall aggravation that had been swept under the rug surfaced.

“I heard today that they will be announcing who made partner at the end of the month. Rumor has it they are strongly considering me.” Michael’s eyes shone, a delirious grin on his lips. Maggie fought the urge to kiss him.

Maybe, once they announced who made partner at the firm, Michael would be home more, things would settle down, and maybe, just maybe, she could enjoy this pregnancy. But the nagging fear that he would only work more and be away more often, leaving her all alone, pricked at her.

“Michael, I really hope they see how hard you’ve been working, all the hours you slave away at that place.”

“I’m pretty sure they know.” Michael reached around Maggie’s tender waist, pulling her closer to him. Nuzzling her neck, he whispered, “I’ve missed you.”

Maggie wanted to let herself go and melt into her husband, but unresolved anger kept her guarded.

“You might want to go and say goodnight to Mel.”

Maggie couldn’t help the thoughts of her earlier conversation with their daughter. Melanie really missed her dad, and Maggie could only soothe her so much. She tried reassuring her daughter that things were going to get better soon and that her father loved her. What else could she possibly say?