|"What use is a newborn baby?" Mehregan Javanmaard, (Wiki.)|
The Mysterious Case of Betty Blue, The Final Chapter. (19.)
Scott was knee-deep in changing diapers.
With little Eddie’s crib in the corner and the changing table right under the window, it was still an iffy thing. He’d barfed more than once doing this job. For some reason today wasn’t so bad.
“Hey, little buddy.” The squirming body kicked and fussed and Scott held onto a tiny hand, grinning from ear to ear. “Come on, help me out here.”
Eddie fussed and squirmed something awful.
It was getting on towards dinner time and Betty would be home soon. He’d better put some thought into that. Unwrapping the stinky diaper, he put that in the garbage. He rolled the kid over.
Scott mopped the poop off the kid’s backside and disposed of the wipes in the plastic garbage hamper. He took a fresh moist one and made sure Eddie’s ass was as clean as a baby’s bum.
He hummed softly to himself.
“I never thought I would live to see the day.” With a scratchy sound, the Velcro fasteners were done up and the kid was good to go.
The sound of the door came from the front of the apartment.
“Ah. Here’s your mother now.”
Scott put the baby back in the crib for the moment, although Betty would be in there soon enough.
He went out into the living room of their new two-bedroom apartment, which was looking a lot better since they had re-painted.
He never thought he’d see that come to pass, either.
Thanks to the new, ceramic, but pretty good set of used eyes the Cartiers had given him as a wedding present, there had been a moment of horror when he saw the place, really saw it for the first time.
It was hard not to think less of landlords in general, but the truth was he’d lived like that for a long time and still hated the thoughts of his old life. He had a moment of wonder.
I wonder what my old place looked like after ten or twelve years.
“Honey. I’m home.”
They smiled into each other’s eyes.
“I’m positively famished. What’s for dinner?”
Scott threw his arms wide open, put his chin down, cocked his head and grinned like there was no tomorrow.
Her laugh resonated around the room and probably in other parts of the building.
“No.” She gazed hungrily into his eyes, and then down to where Scott kept the throbbing, big red rocket hangared. “That’s dessert—I need food, real food.”
The pair clung together in a bear hug as Eddie babbled happily in his crib. Already her eyes were sliding over his shoulder and seeking out the door to Eddie’s room.
Scott sighed. He let her go.
“So, it’s like that, eh. Off you go then. See your kid.”
Once last peck from her, and then it was off to the kitchen for Scott.
A house-husband’s work is never done.
“Yes, dear?” They were already laughing and giggling in there and there was no end of nonsense from either one of them.
“Can you bring out that garbage bag when you come and I’ll take it down?”
He would just have to live in suspense, then.
Pots and pans rattled and banged. There were some frozen pork chops, a few potatoes, and a couple of tall cans of Bud. They had the makings for salad and there were still a few soft-pack containers of formula for the baby.
They had each other, and you really couldn’t ask for much more.
About Louis Shalako
Louis Shalako began writing for community newspapers and industrial magazines. His stories appear in publications including Perihelion Science Fiction, Bewildering Stories, Aurora Wolf, Ennea, Wonderwaan, Algernon, Nova Fantasia, and Danse Macabre. He lives in southern Ontario and writes full time.