Excerpt from my novel “October Rust”

I don’t normally do this…BUT, I had to write a short story for one of my classes last semester. I decided to use a portion of my novel for the assignment. I don’t normally post anything from my novel, but I thought this would be okay since it was one of my papers.


She was at her desk preparing for the new check-in when Jeremy walked through the door. A subordinate took his information and asked him to “wait one.” He sat down and not a minute later, was being escorted to the L.P.O.’s desk which was towards the rear of the office. Since Sylvia was the highest ranking in the department, she was the only one allowed to handle the officers.
From the corner of her eye, she saw him standing next to her desk, “Please take a seat,” she said politely as she kept her eyes on task. A moment later, she looked up to greet him apologetically, but was suddenly struck with the inability to speak, and her heart began to race. He just smiled at her, and sat calmly.
“Oh, uh, hi…um….I mean…uh, good morning, Sir,” she stammered.
“Good morning, Petty Officer. I’m sorry, did I startle you,” he asked as she gazed into her eyes.
“No, Sir. Well, yes, Sir. I was expecting a new check-in, Sir,” she stammered. “May I get you some coffee while you wait?” she asked, hopeful.
“Yes, I’d love some, thank you,” he replied, unable to break his gaze.
“Great, how do you take it?” she asked.
“Black, please,” he smiled.
“Yes, Sir, I’ll be right back,” she replied as she hurriedly exited her cubicle. She was desperate for just one moment to take a deep breath and find the military bearing that she had apparently left somewhere else.
His eyes had been glued to her from the moment he caught the first glimpse of her in her cubicle. It was only natural for him to watch her walk away, and subsequently allow himself to dream up a quick imaginary sexual escapade.
“Here’s your coffee, Sir,” she said, as she returned with his coffee in hand, then placed the cup on the edge of her desk.
“Oh, thank you,” he replied, snapping out of his fantasy.
“I just need about five more minutes, then we can start getting you checked in,” she said trying not to blush as she noticed the abnormally larger bulge in his pants.
“Take your time, MA2, I’m in no rush,” he replied.
A few minutes later, she closed the Lieutenant’s file and said, “Okay, Sir, I’m ready to go,” as she tucked her garrison cap under her belt strap, and put her phone in her pocket. “Oh, I’m MA2 Duarte. I seem to have forgotten my manners earlier, Sir, my apologies,” she said, then picked up the Lieutenant’s file and paused as he followed suit.
“Nice to meet you, MA2, I’m Lieutenant Jeremy Kennicot,” he said, reaching out to shake her hand. “I’m sorry, did you say MA2 Duarte? As in former MA3 Duarte who busted the prostitution ring over at the sub base last year?” he asked, sounding surprised.
“Yes, Sir. That’s me,” she blushed.
“Well, then it is a pleasure to meet you, MA2. When I read about you in the Sailor’s Journal, I was amazed at the way you handled that entire case,” he said.
“Well, thank you, Sir, but I was just doing my job,” she replied.
“Well, I’m glad you did. It takes a lot of courage to do what you did, and to handle it all so calmly. I’m happy to be on board ship with such a courageous woman, uh, I mean, MA,” he said, his cheeks reddening.
Seeing the color of his face go from tan to crimson caused hers to do the same, “Okay, well,” she said, clearing her throat, “we’re burnin’ daylight, so let’s get this done. I’m hoping to get you to the O.O.D. (Officer of the Deck) before lunch.”
“You’re right, we should get this done,” he said picking up his coffee, thankful his groin had finally relaxed enough to allow enough comfort to walk.
Sylvia did her best to tactfully slow down the check-in process. She wanted to cherish every moment she could, so she could save the images of him for future reference. Her imagination was already running wild and it was becoming increasingly difficult to focus on the task at hand. “I’m sorry I couldn’t get you to see the OOD today. He’ll be in tomorrow, so I’ll call first thing in the morning to set up an appointment. Would you prefer to call it a day now, or continue after chow?” she asked, hoping he would choose the latter so she could regain some sort of mental clarity.
“Why don’t we pick this up tomorrow. I’ve been traveling for the past three days, and I honestly just want to sleep. I hope you don’t mind,” he replied.
“Sure thing, Sir. I’ve got some phone calls to make and paperwork to file anyway. Here’s my card, if you have any trouble with your living quarters, give me a call and I’ll get you squared away. Tomorrow, 0700 in my office?” she asked hoping he couldn’t see her attraction to him in her eyes.
“Yes, 0700 sounds perfect. See you then, MA2,” he said.
“Okay, have a good day, Sir,” she replied. Knowing the aching between her legs wouldn’t go away, she decided to take a quick detour to her room before returning to the office.
The rest of the day was as mundane as any other day, paperwork was filed, incident reports were written, and new sailors were checked in. She had allowed herself to become consumed by what was in front of her that she didn’t even notice YN3 Knight standing right in front of her until he spoke.
“MA2, it’s 1700, are you going to lock up or should I?” he asked, hoping she’d answer him this time.
Startled by the blast back into reality, she replied, “Uh, what, um, yeah, I’ll lock up.” As she straightened her dest and finished locking up the cabinets and office, it had occurred to her that she hadn’t thought about “Officer Hot pants” for what seemed to be forever. She was proud of that accomplishment, yet disappointed that she was now daydreaming about him again. Normally she’d go to chow before going back to her room, but she decided to go to the gym first to burn off some energy, so she went to her room to change. It was moments like this that made her happy about being an LPO, because they got their own room on ship and she hated sharing her personal space with other people.
As she opened her door and flicked on the light switch, she noticed an envelope on the floor with her first name printed in block letters across the front. Using a pair of tweezers from her handbag, she picked up the envelope and placed it on her nightstand. She didn’t recognize the handwriting and didn’t even want to give it another thought, so she got ready for the gym like she had originally planned. She was just about to leave when she decided to at least see who the note was from. Using the tweezers, she carefully opened the envelope and looked at the bottom where the signature was. Her heart skipped a beat in hopeful disbelief. Thinking it was a joke, she called the number that was printed below the signature. She was startled to hear his voice on the voicemail, but left a message anyway. She couldn’t even remember what she said and didn’t want to waste any more time trying to find out. She was sure it was a howx so she resolved herself with that decision and left for the gym. Upon arriving at the gym, she went through the usual monotony of showing her ID, signing in, and using the ladies room. She was putting her ear buds in her ears as she exited the locker room, and, in her distraction, she walked right into someone. Her right hand whacked him in his family jewels and her forehead slammed into the bottom of his chin.
“Oh my God, Sir, I’m so sorry! I wasn’t paying attention to where I was going,” she said, as her face turned fire hydrant red.
He looked into her eyes, smiled and said, “It’s okay, my jaw isn’t broken,” then he winked at her and continued into the men’s locker room.
Her insides were melting like ice cream on a hot summer day in Iraq, but she managed to maintain her composure. She was reeling, so she went to knock out some push-ups on the floor mats and blare Metallica (the black album).
About an hour later, she felt refreshed and utterly fatigued so she called it a day. She made one more trip to the ladies’ room, then stopped at the front desk for a bottle of water and a protein shake before heading to the chow hall. She was halfway there when she decided to skip chow and go back to her room for a shower and relaxation.
She got cozy in her pajamas, put her favorite old romantic comedy in the DVD player and vegged out on her bed. She was just about to doze off when her voicemail notification sounded. She clicked the icon to listen to the message, and was pleasantly surprised to hear Jeremy’s voice. Hearing his voice did things to her body that she hadn’t felt in a long time. After a few minutes, she steeled herself, then picked up the phone to call him back. As she dialed, she prayed to herself that she wouldn’t sound like an idiot.
“Hello,” he answered breathlessly.
“Uh, hi, um, good evening, Sir,” she stammered. “Is this a good time?”
“Sure, what’s up?” he asked.
“First, I’d like to apologize for bumping into you earlier,” she said.
Laughing, he replied, “It’s okay, trust me. It’s not every day I get my jaw broken while being felt up by a beautiful woman.”
She could hear the sincerity in his voice, and her face turned beet red, “Oh my God, I’m so sorry! I didn’t know I did that!”
“Really, don’t worry about it,” he said laughing, “I’m not complaining. My jaw is fine and at least I know that my dick still works.”
She just sat there, not knowing how to respond to his last comment.
“Okay, I’m sorry about that,” he said, clearing his throat. “What did you need?” he asked with a more serious tone.
“Well, there was a letter that had been slipped under my door, when I came home from work earlier today. It says it’s signed by you. I thought it was probably a joke, and wanted to let you know so neither one of us got in trouble for fraternization,” she said, matter-of-factly.
“Oh, do you mind if I take a look at this letter you’re talking about. Do you mind if I come by your room?” he asked.
“Well, no, but…”
“Good, I’ll be right there,” he said, as he cut her off and hung up the phone.
“Wait…what?” she thought to herself, as she realized it really was him who left the letter. A few moments later, she heard a knock on the door, then rushed to open it.
Pushing her inside the room and closing the door behind him, he said, “That was close. So, where’s this letter you mentioned?”
Taken aback by her reaction to the feel of his hands on her body, it took her a minute to respond. Then she could only muster a dazed, “Over there,” as she turned and pointed to it.
He pretended to examine the latter, then asked her, “Would you reject me if I told you I wrote this?”
“Wait, you really did write that? Why? You know as well as I do that we could both get in a lot of trouble. I’m not ready to lose my career, and I’m sure you don’t want to either. Besides, you don’t want me. You’ll always be second to the Navy for me. I never put stock in anyone except myself,” she said.
“Why don’t you let me be the judge of that?” he asked.
“Well, I just…and we just met, and…”
“So no one has to know. We’ll just see where this goes and worry about the rest later, okay?”
“Well, yeah, but…”
“Shh, it’ll be fine. Let’s just give it a try,” he said, tempting her with his ocean blue eyes.
He closed the gap between them, took her by the waist and placed his other hand on her cheek—kissing her tenderly. Slowly, she returned his kiss, deepening their embrace and sparking passion. As he gently pulled away, and looked deep into her eyes, she couldn’t resist allowing him to see right through to her soul. She was reeling. In that instant, he unknowingly held her heart in his hands. Somehow, she didn’t mind, she even felt relieved, because she found comfort in his kiss, and security in his embrace.
“You okay?” he asked, as he wiped a tear from her eye.
“Yeah, why?”
“You’re crying.”
“Oh, am I?
“Yes,” he replied, “I’m sorry if, I mean, was that unwanted?”
“No, actually, I wanted that very much. I’d even like for you to do it again, if you don’t mind…Sir,” she said with a wink. The sexiness in her voice and look in her eyes shot straight to his groin. He closed the gap between them, and kissed her as if it were their last.
Pulling away a moment later, she said, “As much as I want to take this further, I think we should call it a night. We both need to be up early and I know I’ll have a hard time maintaining my bearing if we were to take this any further tonight.”
“You’re right. I should go,” he said with a bit of sadness in his voice. He knew she was right and glad that she had the sense to stop things before they started. In fact, it may have been the breaking point for him—the moment that stole his heart.
“Okay, then,” the look in her eyes told him that she felt the same way, “I’ll see you in the morning.” She opened the door and checked the hallway, giving him a “thumbs up,” allowing him to slip out the door. She closed the door and grabbed some microwave popcorn before returning to her movie. As she relaxed once again, she drifted in and out of sleepiness. She began to dream about her and Jeremy as if they were in the movie.
When she woke the next morning, it took her a few moments to make sense of what her brain had done all night long. It all felt so real, and couldn’t figure out if it was a dream or reality. Doing her best to put it out of her mind, she got ready for work and made her way through the ship to her office. When she arrived, she mindlessly went through her usual routine of turning things on, unlocking cabinets, making coffee and getting her agenda squared away for the day. Once she was through with her tasks, she took a few moments to refocus her thoughts.
Promptly at 0700, she gathered Lt. Kennicot’s paperwork, made his coffee and checked her emails. She must have gotten sucked in to the items on her computer screen, because she sound of him clearing his throat startled her. “Oh, geez, Sir, you scared the shit outta me!” she exclaimed.
“My apologies, MA2,” Jeremy said, entering Sylvia’s cubicle.
“Oh, geez, Sir, you startled me!” she exclaimed.
“Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to.”
“It’s okay, Sir.”
“Please forgive my tardiness, I got held up with my Commanding Officer. There has been an adjustment to my billet,” he said, looking directly into her eyes.
“There has? What kind of adjustment?” she asked, perplexed.
“Yes. Apparently the ship’s Admiral decided to move me from my original position. The squadron was running well and didn’t think it was necessary to make even more changes,” he replied.
“Okay…so where are you going then?” she asked.
“Well, since there isn’t an officer in the MA office, they decided I should stay,” he said, almost afraid of her reaction.
“Is that the only reason?” she asked.
“Yes. Some people were complaining that a lower ranking enlisted was working with the incoming officers, which resulted in the need for an officer here. Since I was the newest officer on the ship and my squadron was doing fine without me, I became the prime candidate,” he responded.
“Okay, then I guess we’ll have to get you squared away with the ship first, then I’ll show you how things work here,” she replied. “Just give me a minute to adjust your paperwork.” The anticipation began to build, and her imagination began to drift back to her dream.
“Sure, no problem. Um, is this for me?” he asked, pointing to the coffee on her desk.
“Yes, but it might be cold.”
“I’ll drink it anyway,” he winked.
She melted at the sight of his flirtatious gesture, causing her mind to go into overdrive.
The check-in process went smoothly for the Lieutenant, and he and Sylvia were able to complete the list of tasks before lunch.
“Are people always this accommodating to you?” he asked Sylvia over some pizza in the chow hall.
“Yeah, pretty much,” she smiled. “It’s not just me though, it’s all of us in the MA office. They don’t want to piss us off, because we can get them kicked off the ship or put on restriction. We scratch each others back and everyone is happy. Unless they really mess up, then they know we’re just doing our jobs.”
“That’s cool,” he replied.
“Yeah, it works. Plus, I’ve been here long enough to have dealt with some things I wish I hadn’t, but it’s just part of Navy life.” She looked down at her plate for a moment, trying not to let any tears form. She took a deep breath, then said, “Everyone sees something they don’t want to at some point in their lives, right?”
“Yeah, I suppose you’re right,” he said.
Looking at her watch, she said, “We should get back to the office. There are some things we should get done before the end of the day.”
“Okay, sounds good,” he replied.
They returned to the office and Sylvia showed Jeremy how she runs things, and gave him some time to settle in.
“MA2,” he said, getting her attention.
“Yes, Sir.”
Feeling the power of her gaze and completely succumbing to her, he said, “I can see that you have a fine working office and your coworkers respect you. I’m not one to change things if they work well, so from here on out, I work for you.”
“Thank you, Sir,” she replied, softening. It was amazing how relieved she felt at that moment. His sincerity and the way he bent to her will made her feel powerful and more like a woman than ever before. She wanted him. Right then and there, she had to have him. The inexplicable raw desire she felt towards him slowly began to invade her every thought and she felt it with ever fiber of her being. She took a calming breath with her eyes closed, refocused her thoughts, and went back to her work.
It was a text from the Lieutenant. She felt herself smiling from ear to ear.
“Have I done something to upset or offend you?”
Wanting to turn around to talk to him, it killed her to have to text back. She responded…
“No, it’s just our situation. I can’t get in trouble. We’ll talk later.”
“Okay. 1900. Your room. Leave door unlocked.”
Her heart raced at the thought of him being in her room again.
“Yes, Sir!”
She smiled to herself as she envisioned the look on his face when she heard him chuckle in his silly, flirtatious way, then resumed her work. The next few hours went on as usual. She and Jeremy maintained their bearing and their coworkers were none the wiser. When quitting time came around, Sylvia was all about everyone getting out on time. As soon as she locked the office door, she raced to her room, changed, then went to the gym. Finishing her workout in record time, she made it to the galley before it closed, giving her just enough time to grab dinner to go.
When she returned to her room, she ate her dinner rather quickly. Then anticipation was overwhelming, so she took a shower in hopes to ease her body and mind. As she turned off the water, she heard a noise out in the bedroom. Having lost track of time, she checked her watch. It was a bit early to be Jeremy, so she peeked through the opening between the door and the jamb. She spied him lying peacefully on her bed without a care in the world. As she gazed at his sun kissed skin, she began to wonder why he chose her. Then she remembered the instant spark she felt when she caught herself looking at him as if it were the first time. His bare feet, worn jeans, and unbuttoned shirt sent her body into a frenzy and it took everything she had not to throw herself on top of him.
She saw the glare from the television, and the look of pure joy on his face, melted her heart and she knew he was the one for her. She began to tip-toe out of the bathroom, and as she came into his peripheral view, he turned to look at her. He was looking at the most beautiful girl in the world, she was looking back at him and he was in awe.
He got off the bed, closing the gap between them, then held her face in his hands as he kissed her passionately. Their passion quickly grew to an erotic need. They began undressing each other as though the world would end if they didn’t. He picked her up and gently placed her on the bed. His hands touched her and his lips explored her butterscotch skin as if her body were rose petals and they’d break if he touched her too harshly.
Her alarm woke her out of a sound slumber, and was surprised when she saw no trace of Jeremy. It weighed on her heart to not have had the chance to wake up in his arms, but she was glad he had gone, because there was less chance of anyone knowing about their affair. She took a deep breath, and put the thoughts out of her mind so she could focus on preparing herself for work and the things she’d have to accomplish at work that day.
Her body protested the demand for refocusing, and every time she so much as walked past or near her bed, she felt a tugging in her lower abdomen and a tingly feeling between her legs. She felt as though her body and mind were having an epic battle and it took every bit of mental strength she had to press on with her responsibilities. She prayed the walk through the ship would help her body to submit to her mind’s will and take a break from being so wound up.
She arrived at the office and went about her routine, and immediately became engrossed in the task at hand. She was thankful for the end of the month purging of the filing cabinets, because it allowed her to escape the daily demands of the office. No new check-ins, no appointments and each person took a section of the cabinets. They wore civilian clothes and listened to music as they worked.
A few hours into the project, she was interrupted by the Lieutenant. “May I help you, Sir?” she asked without taking her eyes off the task at hand. She didn’t dare glance in his direction just yet, she was afraid of what her heart might do.
“Well, I thought we might talk a minute,” he replied.
She paused for a moment, then slowly looked up at him. He looked absolutely perfect in her eyes and her heart felt like it skipped a beat. “Well, there is a lot of work to do, so talking isn’t exactly a good idea right now. Besides, we have nothing to talk about, I’ve gone over the procedures with you and you have the S.O.P.,” she stated, trying her best to maintain her bearing in the workplace.
“Well, everyone else went to lunch, so I thought we could talk about last night,” he said, his voice slightly trembling.
Sensing he had something important to say, she replied, “Just this once. I really don’t want to mix our personal relationship with work.”
“Fair enough,” he said as he moved closer. “I’m not sure what it is you’re hoping will come out of this, but I do hope that you want it to go beyond last night. I have had my fair share of flings, and temporary convenient relationships. I don’t want that from you.”
“What are you saying?” she asked.
“I’m saying that I want you to be mine. I know we have to hide our relationship from the Navy, but I don’t care. I just want you,” he said taking her hand and looking deep into her eyes.
For a moment, she could feel their souls intertwining as she fell deeper in love with him. Terrified of the future and how it would go, she replied, “I do too.” Tears began to form in her eyes and gently, he wiped them away.
“Hey,” he said as he softly lifted her chin up, “don’t cry. We’ll figure it out. Leave the door unlocked tonight. I’ll be there by seven.”
“Alright,” she said as she pulled away and wiped the remaining tears. “Why don’t I go get us some lunch?”
“Okay,” he replied.
Sylvia returned with their lunches, then they ate and worked separately. The rest of the office staff had come back from chow and already knee deep in their share of the files, so they were forced to keep their distance. Besides, Sylvia was swimming in anticipation of the upcoming conversation, and she knew that if she were to get too close to him she might not be able to maintain her bearing.
After work she went to the gym, then anxiously awaited Jeremy’s arrival. She found herself three beers deep when Jeremy opened the door. “Hey, you’re here! I was beginning to think you weren’t coming,” Sylvia said. It was obvious she had been drinking, and he found her adorable in this state.
“Yes, I’m here and I’m sorry I’m late,” he said. He couldn’t help the knots he felt in his stomach. He had so much to say, but didn’t know where to begin.
“What’s wrong?” she asked, “You seem nervous or something,” she said, as she sat on the couch.
He took a few steps closer and knelt beside her taking her hand, and when their eyes met, he said, “Sylvia, I know we haven’t known each other for very long, but there are feelings inside of me that I’ve never felt before.” It took her a minute to realize what he was trying to say before he continued, “I know that this isn’t the best situation and there could be some bad consequences if anyone finds out,” he paused for a moment, “I’m willing to take that risk because I don’t leave the ones I love.” Her hands began to tremble, and tears began to fall. She wiped some tears away and tried to speak, but Jeremy stopped her. “Sylvia, I know you feel the same way, I can see it in your eyes. I love that about you. I love how you can put me in my place at work, then be completely opposite at home. I love how you try so hard to hide your feelings at work, but completely fail because your face radiates with love when I’m around. Sylvia, the point I’m trying to make is that I don’t ever want to go another day without seeing your beautiful face, or hearing your voice. Sylvia Grace Duarte, will you do me the honor of sharing your life with me?”
Her body was frozen, this was so unexpected, but somehow, it made everything inside of her feel complete.
“I know I don’t have a ring, but I didn’t think you’d want one from the gum ball machine. Plus, I thought it would be better to wait until we got off the ship so you could actually wear it proudly.”
“Oh, Jeremy, I don’t need a ring. All I need is you,” she smiled as she wrapped her entire body around his. He held her with a ferocity that said more than any words in the English language could. His love for Sylvia ran deep, but their connection ran deeper.
It was difficult to hide their love from their co-workers, especially as their relationship blossomed, but over time, they managed. Eventually, the time came for Sylvia to transfer off the ship. She and Jeremy knew the time would come, but they dreaded it all the same. It would be another year before Jeremy could transfer, so this posed a test to their relationship. They knew it would be difficult, but they had faith in each other and their future.
They spent her last night aboard ship making love and planning their future. When the morning came, he was gone, and she left for the mainland.
Over the next few months, Sylvia and Jeremy wrote letters and emailed every chance they got. She told him about the crazy things she saw when she was patrolling the river in front of the base and he told her about the new L.P.O. and how he essentially allowed all of Sylvia’s hard work go to waste.
Time passed and daily emails became weekly emails, which turned into every other week if at all. Sylvia was worried about him, but chalked it up to him staying busy to help ward off the loneliness like she was doing. She wrote him an email one morning to get him caught up on what was going on in her life, and to let him know that she was ordered to take a day off because she wasn’t feeling well.
She had never held onto that porcelain throne like that before, nor had she ever experienced such pain and fatigue after emptying her stomach before. As much as she hated it, she knew it was time for a trip to the doctor.
As she sat in the waiting room, she couldn’t help but notice the smell of EVERYTHING! The scent of the soil in the potted plant tickled her nose, the body odor of the guy sitting across the room made her want to hurl again, and the smell of the hot dogs in the cafeteria downstairs was making her hungry—all at the same time. When she went to ask the nurse how much longer she’d have to wait, she felt at though she would urinate uncontrollably.
“How much longer do I have to wait? ” she asked the triage nurse.
“Just a few more minutes, MA2,” she said as she stepped away from the desk. Sylvia’s mouth began to water, because the sound of her southern accent tasted like fried chicken. “Here,” she said, as she handed Sylvia a plastic cup wrapped in cellophane, “we should do a pregnancy test first.”
“Why? I’m not pregnant. You have to have sex to get pregnant.”
“Well, then we’ll have nothing to worry about. Bathroom is on the right, leave the cup in the door on the wall marked ‘samples’.”
“Yes, ma’am,” she said as she took the cup. She found the bathroom, and completed the task. Her ability to do so without making a mess was an added bonus, considering the dizziness she felt as soon as she bent over to ensure accuracy.
As she wrapped up her cup-peeing adventure, she was overcome again with the urge to empty her stomach into the toilet. She was already over being sick, and she hoped the doctor could give her something to stop it. She washed her face and hands, then continued with the post-cup-peeing procedures. She returned to her seat in the waiting room, and was happy to find that, “Smelly-athlete-guy” was gone and now instead of hot dogs, she smelled chocolate. “Great, now I’m really going to hurl. I wish Jeremy were here with me,” she thought to herself as a well of emotions began to take over. She couldn’t allow herself to cry in the waiting room of a military hospital—being sick was bad enough.
When the nurse called her name, she was relieved to finally be moving on to the next step in this whole process.
The nurse escorted Sylvia down the barren hallway, to a private room where she took her vitals, asked the routine questions, and instructed Sylvia to de-robe from the waist down and cover up with the sheet that was on the end of the exam table.
“Um, why?” Sylvia asked, perplexed.
“The doctor will want to examine you. She’ll be right in,” she said, as she walked out of the door.
“What the fuck?” she said to herself, “I’m so confused.”
“Good morning, MA2, I’m Doctor Lumpquist,” her voice bounced like rays of sunshine dancing in the eyes of a child.
“Good morning, Ma’am,” replied Sylvia.
“Congratulations!” Dr. Lumpquist exclaimed.
“Um, for what?” she asked.
“Oh, well it seems as though no one told you yet.”
“Told me what?”
“Your pregnancy test came back positive.”
“My…what…is….what? No…” she said, thinking back to her last night on the boat. “Oh, no,” she said to herself, covering her mouth in awe.
“I see this is a surprise to you. Do you need to talk to someone or should I contact someone for you?” Dr. Lumpquist asked sincerely.
“What? Oh, no, Ma’am, it’s okay. I just have to call my fiancé. Wow,” she smiled.
“So you’ll be okay, then?”
“Yes, Ma’am, I think I’ll be great, actually. Thank you,” Sylvia said, smiling.
“You’re welcome,” Dr. Lumpquist replied. “Okay, I’m going to do two exams, one internal and one external. This will allow us to find out how well the baby is developing, and we’ll listen to the heartbeat. Does that sound good to you?” she asked.
“Sure,” Sylvia replied. She was beginning to feel overwhelmed with a mixture of emotions, and her heart ached for Jeremy’s touch.
“Now that the not-so-fun part is over, let’s check this baby out and listen to the heart beat.” As they listened to the heartbeat, Syliva’s eyes welled up with tears. Doctor Lumpquist continued with the external exam.
“When did you say your last period was?” she asked after a moment.
“Um,” she thought a moment, then said “I think it was about four months ago,” she replied, hesitantly. It was all beginning to sink in and become pert of her reality.
“Okay, we’ll do an ultrasound to take a look at the baby and get some measurements so we can get an accurate due date,” she said, then left the room. She returned a few moments later with the ultrasound machine and proceeded to prep Sylvia’s abdomen for the ultrasound wand. “Okay, this is going to feel cold,” she said as she squirted some K-Y Jelly on the lower portion of Sylvia’s abdomen, “I’m sorry.”
“Um, how far along do you think I am? I mean it has been almost four months since I’ve had sex,” Sylvia asked. “Wouldn’t I have found out sooner?”
“Not necessarily, every woman is different, but that four months seems about right. Give me just a minute, and we’ll have an answer for you, okay?”
“Roger that, Doc.”
Dr. Lumpquist showed Sylvia all of the parts of her baby and took measurements of the limbs, and head as she went along. “Okay, well it looks like you’re eleven weeks along, which means you’ve got just one week left in your first trimester, and you can find out the gender in nine weeks.”
“Thank you, Doctor Lumpquist. I feel much better now,” she said as she sat up and wiped the K-Y jelly off of her belly.
“You’re welcome. Now give me just a moment while I figure out your due date,” she replied.
Sylvia nodded, and sat in anticipation while doing the math in her head.
“Okay, well it looks like you’re due November 6th and you likely conceived on January 30th. Does that sound right to you?” she asked.
Sylvia thought about it a moment. Yes, she remembered that night. It was the night before she was scheduled to leave the boat and probably the most bittersweet night she shared with Jeremy. He had fixed her a nice dinner and he even managed to get rose petals to sprinkle all over the bed. There was wine, candles and so much love. It was also the first time she had ever seen him cry.
Steeling herself, she responded, “Yes. I remember that night. Those dates are correct.”
“Okay, great. I’m going to prescribe you some prenatal vitamins, and Jenny can schedule your next visit. Do you have any questions?”
“Yes, actually, considering my job, should I be placed on light duty?” she asked.
“Well, what do you do?”
“I’m an MA.”
“Do you want to?”
“Well, to be honest with you, Ma’am, I don’t really see how it’s safe.”
“I understand completely. I’ll write up a chit for your command, which will list all of your physical limitations. You will be exempt from the PRT (physical readiness test) and any heavy lifting.”
“Okay, is that all?”
“For now, yes. I suggest you get the ‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting’ book. It will answer the majority of the questions you’ll have, and it will guide you through each stage of the pregnancy.”
“Okay, thank you, Doctor Lumpquist.”
“You’re very welcome. You can get dressed, and don’t forget your prescription at the pharmacy, and to see Jenny on the way out.”
“Yes, Ma’am,” she replied. Finally, she was able to get rid of the goo on her belly. She couldn’t wait to get home so she could check her email to see if Jeremy had responded yet. She dressed quickly, then scheduled her next appointment with Jenny, and got her vitamins from the pharmacy. Hearing the baby’s heart beat earlier gave her a sense of closeness to Jeremy that she hadn’t felt in a while and knowing that she’d be able to hear it again in two weeks made her smile.. When she got into her car, she sat for a moment while she sent Jeremy another email from her phone.
“Hey, sweetie! I’ve got some great news, but I need you to call me as soon as you can. I’m so excited! I can’t wait to hear from you! I love you more than anything in this world.”
-Always, Sylvia

She drove off and blasted her favorite happy tunes as she sang along. Her first stop was the book store to pick up the book Dr. Lumpquist recommended. After that, she stopped by Sonic for some hot dogs and fries before heading home.