"I'm okay. Bit stiff."
"I hope you feel better," he mumbled, forest green eyes piercing mine. Concern floated in them, amongst the troubled uncertainty. I wasn't quite sure which one of those glistening emotions I hated most - his worry or his indecision. "Still getting those headaches?" he asked monotonously.
I gritted my teeth in sad frustration. I'd had a headache for two days this week, I'd told him explicitly. I'd mentioned it directly to his face both times, and we'd talked about it since. Everything I said to him went in one ear and out the other apparently. "Not today."
"Good." There was a tense quiet as we both realised we were at odds with what to say to each other. He lowered his eyes awkwardly, mug meeting his lips to fill the silent void with his slurping and swallowing. I exhaled sharply, skimming my hand up my swollen stomach in response to another small kick. He wasn't so restless, today. His movements were soft and I was glad to have a short break from his constant assault on me.
"Mum wants us to come down for Christmas," he mentioned suddenly, eyeing my reaction anxiously, "She hasn't seen you in ages. She's excited about being a granny."
I smiled vaguely. Anne had seen me pregnant just once, a day in the summer when she came up for a fleeting visit that was nothing less of lovely. She assured me she was always there if I needed any advice or help with pregnancy, or when the baby came along seeing as I didn't have a mum of my own to pitch in. I'd really appreciated it at the time, and she'd been all smiles feeling my kicks. That was back when everything was still okay. When it was all certain.
I flashed him a small smile. "Sounds like fun." I recalled last year with a sharp stab of sorrow, the Christmas I'd spent with him and his family. My eyes fell to my bare wrist, where I used to wear the bracelet he'd given me that year, the one with his initials carved into it. I'd taken it off a few weeks ago, after we'd had a particularly potent disagreement. I hadn't wanted to be reminded of him, and I simply never bothered to put it back on. It didn't mean anything anymore, did it? Not when we barely spoke.
"Christmas is going to be different when he comes along," I blurted abruptly, not censoring my words as my mind wandered and my hand pressed to my abdomen, "He'll be writing to Santa. We'll have family Christmases, just the three of us."
He made no reply, but I noticed him swallow uncomfortably. His eyes flickered wildly, staring at the floor and seeing things I couldn't. He carelessly smacked down his mug onto the wood and stood abruptly, clearing his throat in the tense silence.
"I better get back to work."
"But...you haven't even finished your tea," I argued weakly in confusion, wrapping my hands around the still warm ceramic.
"Well I'm done," he pressed, an edge of potential anger in his tone. He raised the roller violently, coating it in paint and driving it up the wall relentlessly, a sudden burst of aggressive energy spurring on his movements. I felt a thick lump form in my throat, and I knew I couldn't take this anymore. I was going to crack.
"I don't understand what's wrong, Harry."
My voice was a croaking whisper. The epitome of weakness, of vulnerability. Of need to understand, to know what was going on inside his head.
"That's a lie."
He turned his head a slight inch, glancing at my pregnant frame stood firmly in the middle of the white floor. Lips trembling, eyes welling. Sick to death of feeling like a liability - like I was unwanted. He didn't utter a word, but I saw his chin tilt down in guilt.