Chapter 31 - Swinging On a Star

7.2K 633 157

April 1944

When Douglas heard the door bell ring, he looked at Helen with surprise.  "Dah!" he said, pointing.

"Who's here?" she said with a smile. "Should we go see?"

She got up from the floor where they'd been playing and followed as he ran to the front door. He tried to reach for the door handle, but his fingers couldn't quite grasp it.

"Let me help you," she said, turning it for him and opening the door.

"Douglas, hello!" Kitty said, bending to tousle his dark curls. He turned and clutched his mother's legs to hide, and she laughed.

"Hello, Kitty," Helen said, hugging her, and then picked up Douglas, resting him on her hip. "Why are you being so shy all of a sudden? You know your Aunt Kitty."

He grinned at Kitty, but then hid his head in her shoulder.

"I swear he's bigger every time I see him," Kitty said, rubbing his back.

"Hi, Kitty," Annie said appearing from the dining room.

"Annie!" Kitty said going to give her a hug.

"My brother wrote he saw Billy," Annie said when they let go.

"Yes, Billy told me that too. He took him to a pub for a beer."

"Frank really appreciated it. He's been terribly homesick and seeing someone familiar made him feel better."

"That's good," Kitty said with a smile. "Hopefully they'll get to see each other often."

"It's funny they were stationed in the same town in England," Helen said, setting down Douglas who by now was wriggling to get out of her hold. "What are the odds?"

"The world is getting smaller and smaller all the time," Kitty said, shaking her head.

"Yes, it is," Annie said. "I better go back to the kitchen to finish up lunch."

"Oh, wait," Kitty said, stopping her. "Before you go, there's something I want to tell both of you." She smiled as she looked down. "Billy and I – are having a baby."

"Congratulations!" Annie cried, hugging her again.

"That's wonderful!" Helen said at the same time. "And I thought I would be the one with the news. Johnny and I are having a baby too!"

"Oh, my goodness!" Kitty said, giving her another hug. "How far along are you?"

"About three weeks."

"They'll be born around the same time!" Kitty said. "Cousins – growing up together, and you'll look out for them, won't you, Douglas?" she said leaning closer to him.

He buried his face in his mother's skirt with a shy smile, and the three women laughed.

"I better go," Annie said. "Lunch should be ready soon."

"Let's wait in here," Helen said, leading Kitty into the grand parlor. Douglas went to his toy basket, and Helen and Kitty sat near him on a couch. "I'm really happy for you and Billy," Helen said, picking up the white baby blanket she was knitting.

"I'm happy too – I just wish Billy would be here when the baby was born," Kitty said, her voice more somber.

Helen felt the sadness with her. "I know," she said gently. "We all wish he was home. What are you hoping for, a boy or a girl?" Maybe a change the subject would help distract her.

The Man Inside the Iron Fence (The Boy in the Woods Pt. 2)Where stories live. Discover now