Copyright © 1999 Brien Engel
Marble was splashing about on the far end of the branch doing new things and making new noises you don't think about a fish making. It was scary when she did it 'cause it was as if everything was happening too fast and this is the first thing I saw, her moving like that. So anyway I came to on the bank thinking about was it a bad dream or was it real what had happened. Then when I moved to get up she stopped then, but she didn't have to say it. I knew 'cause my side ached like hell.
Congratulations, she said, you're going to be a father. I wasn't sure I liked that as I didn't know what or how this all worked until she told me and I felt relief. Just a couple of months and then it'd be like spitting up but not without that bad feeling before you spit up. I started to like the idea when she explained how our children were going to have hands and feet and still be fish and be good swimmers. They'd be able to build things and have genes she said, that will... something or other, some big word that means after a lot of generations they won't have lungs 'cause they won't need them.
Then she talked about the trout and all this stuff about how when there is a good thing what happens there's always a bad thing because that's how life works. And how the trout were going to try and mess everything up, but that we had a head start and it'll be ok, which I still believe to this day. Trish is almost ready for you and I can tell you've got the jitters, but you wouldn't be here unless you wanted it, right? There. It'll go fine.
So there's a little time. I can tell you about what happened to Marble and 'cause I know you like them girly novels like you said it might relax you more. it's just the natural facts of life in this case though, it wasn't like a movie where the man goes off to war and the woman gets a letter that he died, or the woman has dread disease and she suffers and they tell each other goodbye when she's all sweaty and there it goes on the hospital bed and then there's music. Well maybe a just little like the second one, but it's real happy too when you think about what came about here.
I helped her along for the next week or so and I guess you can say then began like our honeymoon. I understood that compared to what this is here and the whole thing, you know, Marble was going to move much too fast up the ladder than she should, but that was the price to pay, and I guess that it was a nice price for her and both of us. It was like that bad balancing the good she talked about. I admit I wasn't ready to fully take it all in 'cause sometimes when she looked at me and cried I knew what she was thinking, and I knew it was a happy time but deep down it was a sad time and she was better at being sad than I was, at least until late November, but I don't want to get ahead of myself.
In eight days her walking got real good and I taught her what I knew about dancing. I never liked to dance 'cause Penny'd always force me at junior club and make me feel all embarrased, and before it was the Culbert's, a couple came to our school a time or so to take all us kids into a room and make us learn dancing. I had to try to remember what I didn't like or care about then, and teach it now when I did care and when she said this was one of the things she's always wanted to do.
to chapter six