Start here with Part 1.
Katy unlocked the back door, pushed it open, and turned to grab the box with the carseat.
“Ouch, ugh!” she wailed. ‘Never, ever twist and lift when you’re nine months pregnant,’ she thought to herself. Not that she ever wanted to be pregnant again. The first four months she had been sick. So sick she’d had to take a month off of work. It had been morning sickness all day, every day. Fortunately, she had slept great the first few months. No morning sickness from 6 pm to 6 am.
“Katy, what’s wrong?” Julia rushed to the door, still in her pyjama’s and slippers, black dyed hair piled up high in a messy bun, and thick black glasses on the edge of her nose. “Why didn’t you tell me! I would have gotten that for you! Go sit down, you gigantic pregnant whale!”
“Gee, thanks,” Katy said wearily. “Ooh, I think a pulled a muscle in my belly. Can you get me a heating pad to put on it?” She trudged over to the nearest couch, not bothering to take off her high heeled boots.
“Oh no, you can’t put heat on your belly! Let’s try ice. Hang on, let me google that for you.” Julie set down the car seat box and rushed over to one of her three laptops at her desk on the side of the living room.
“Okay, here it is. ‘Lie down on your left side and drink water.’ Well, isn’t that the cure for every pregnancy ailment.” She stood up and headed to the kitchen and poured Katy a tall glass of water and scurried back to the couch where Katy had collapsed on to one of three soft couches in the cozy living room. As usual, the curtains were hardly opened and Julia had been sitting in the dark, staring at her computer screen all day long, with only one small lamp turned on.
“I’m…okay. Thank you, Julia.” She took the water and gulped half of it down.
“Here, let me take your jacket and pull off your boots.”
“No, no, I got it. I just needed to sit and not carry that – THING – around.” Katy sighed and sat back, glaring at the carseat box. “Just let me catch my breath.”
“Hmmmm, do you mind if I open it up and put this thing together?”
Katy chuckled. “Sure, nerd. Knock yourself out.” She pushed off her boots with her feet and kicked them one by one towards the back door. The soft couches were impossible to get out of without hurting herself so she ended up sliding to her knees, turning around to put her hands on the couch, and heaving herself off the ground. She was just about to shuffle towards her bedroom when she stopped to asked her sister a question that had been burning in her mind all afternoon.
“You’re coming this evening to pick up Mom and Dad, right?”
“Ahhh, something came up. I’m working on some major changes for a client’s website. It’s gotta be ready to upload at midnight on Christmas Day.”
“You gotta get out of this house, hermit.”
“I am not a hermit! I went out and got coffee this morning!”
“In your pyjama’s?!”
“Ahhh, maybe.” Julia shrugged. “They don’t ask. They know me.”
Katy shook her head and walked down the hall to her bedroom where there was actually light. “I don’t appreciate being forced to be the centre of attention for half an hour! You know what Mom’s going to be like!”
Julia retorted, “Well I have to entertain them all day tomorrow by myself! See, all the more reason why I need to stay home and work tonight!”
Katy lay down on her bed and arranged her small army of pillows around her. It was getting harder and harder to get comfortable and each pillow had a specific purpose. Although, being so tired did make napping easier even if her nights were less than ideal. She took a big breath in and released it with an audible sigh as she lay back and closed her eyes.
She hadn’t even realized she had drifted off to sleep when she heard Julia set down the carseat and tip toe out of the room.
She must have moaned or something because Julia whispered, “Sorry, go back to sleep. I’ll wake you when it’s supper time.”
“You’re the best,” Katy mumbled and drifted off. Thank God for Julia….
After a delicious supper thanks to all the gourmet cooking YouTube videos Julia watched, Katy pulled on her coat and boots and grabbed her purse.
“You might want to grab a hat and scarf. It’s cold out there,” Julia called from the kitchen where she was furiously washing the dishes from the last three days.
‘Forget work,’ thought Katy. Her sister would be cleaning like a mad woman the whole time she was gone. The house wasn’t a disaster but then again, it had been a while since she had seen the entire thing with a decent amount of light.
“Nah, I’ll be fine. I’ll park indoors so we won’t have to walk outside.”
“Smart, but expensive.”
“This from the girl who’ll be a millionaire before she’s thirty.”
“That’s how you do it. Save your money.”
“I’d rather be warm than rich.” Katy pulled on her thin leather gloves and stepped out of the house.
The ride to the airport was normally twenty-five minutes long. Unfortunately, traffic was heavy. Everyone seemed to be out finishing up their Christmas shopping. Katy groaned as she got stopped at yet another red light. At this rate, she wouldn’t be home until eleven o’clock. Good thing she’d had that nap.
She had just turned off the main route onto the road leading to the airport when she heard a loud pop and a grey cloud engulfed her windshield. She screamed and slammed on the brakes. The car came to a stop and a vehicle honked behind her. Her view was clear again so she pushed on the gas but immediately heard the flap flap flap sound that only a blown out tire would make.
“Oh, crap!” Just what she needed. She put on her hazard lights and moved as close as she could to the outside curb of the narrow double-lane road. The passenger side leaned slightly down in front.
Who could she call? She pulled out her phone and searched for tow trucks and dialled the first number she saw. After giving her location and license plate, she made sure to remind the receptionist that she was in a rush and her parents were waiting for her at the airport.
“Yes, ma’am, we’ll do the best we can. I have extra drivers on tonight. It’s that time of year, ya know.”
Great. Christmas tow truck drivers. Poor guys must hate having to work extra over the holidays, especially when it was minus thirty degrees outside.
Five minutes later, she saw orange flashing lights pull up slowly behind her. Thank goodness that didn’t take too long. She decided to wait in her vehicle for the driver to get out of his truck. She had a sudden moment of panic. What if the company pulled any random guy off the street to run their extra rigs? This guy could be a serial killer. What if he had a weird fetish for pregnant women? Hadn’t there been something in the news recently about an irate tow truck driver who had been arrested for assaulting someone while on the job?
Part 3 continues here.