Henry crawled on all fours, extending a yellow tape measure along the bottom of the baseboard. It was a midsized room with nothing but four unfinished walls, a dark wood floor, and a window full of morning rays.
"What are you doing, honey?" Sarah said as she popped into the room.
Henry stopped, looked up, and smiled before pointing to the far corner. "So, you think the crib should go over there? Or how about over by the window? It would be nice if the baby could look outside. Or do you think he might get the sun in his eyes in the morning?"
Sarah grabbed the crook of Henry's elbow and pulled him to his feet. Then she brought her arms around the back of his neck and met his eyes and giggled. "You know, he might be a she."
With a grin, Henry wrapped his arms around Sarah's waist and pulled her closer. He could feel the swell of her belly pushing into him. Her baby bump seemed to be getting bigger with each passing day.
"Besides," Sarah said, "we still have plenty of time to set up the nursery." She pulled back a little, a soft smile still resting on her lips. "Do you think we could put a rocker in here?" she asked. "Something for me to sit in while I'm nursing the baby?"
"Sure," Henry said. "I'll find a nice rocking chair and a chest of drawers for keeping the baby's clothes and some fresh diapers. I'll move the crib we bought in here. Oh! But I'm going to need to paint. Maybe yellow. A neutral color. And I should probably lay down a rug too ..."
Suddenly, alarm seized Sarah's expression, and her face turned a shade lighter. She grabbed her husband's shoulders and teetered for a moment.
"Sarah!" Henry cried, keeping his arms braced behind her. "What is it?"
Sarah regained her balance and brought a hand up to her forehead, now glistening with a sheen of perspiration.
"I'm alright. I think it's just a touch of morning sickness. It's been getting the best of me lately, and not always in the morning."
"Can I do anything?" Henry asked. "How about a glass of water?"
"No," Sarah said, sighing. "I'll be fine. I just can't wait to be done with the pregnancy part. Speaking of which, when it comes time for me to have the baby, I'd like to go to the Negro hospital in Pittsburgh."
"No midwife?" Henry asked, and he could feel the surprise entering his expression.
"My mother had a miscarriage with a midwife," Sarah said, staring out the window. "I want to make sure our child gets the proper care. Especially if there are complications. I don't want to end up at a white hospital where I get ignored, because the staff thinks my baby isn't as important as all of the white babies."
Henry nodded. "Alright. We'll go to the Negro hospital. You deserve the best care possible."
"Thanks for understanding, sweetheart," Sarah said, gazing into her husband's eyes.
"On that note," Henry let go of Sarah and began pacing about the room, "I still need to get a lot of things done before the baby arrives. This room isn't anywhere near being finished. Maybe I can get down to the hardware store this afternoon. Oh, and I need to-"
"Henry!" Sarah said. "Slow it down, already. You're talking a hundred miles a minute. You don't need to get all those things done in such a wild hurry."
"You know who you sound like?" Henry said, chuckling.
"Who?" Sarah asked.
"My childhood coach," Henry said. "Coach Johnson. He used to tell me to take my time at the plate. He said a great player can slow down the game. At the time, I wasn't even sure what he meant by that."
Sarah shrugged. "Well, I think that sounds a lot like being in love."
Henry's brows rose. "Like being in love? How's that?"
Sarah stepped forward and took Henry's hands into hers. "What I mean is this," she said. "We have the rest of our lives ahead of us. I'd like us to take those special moments slow, like this one. I want us to enjoy our time together. Maybe one day, we could even travel and see the world ... and go to Argentina. I've always dreamed of going there ..."
"Right," Henry muttered. "I couldn't take you on a honeymoon with our season still going on ..."
"No, silly. That's not what I was trying to say."
"Oh?" Henry flashed a playful smile. "Do tell." He put one hand into her hair, gently caressing her soft, dark tresses, and he placed his other hand on her belly, knowing that their child was growing within her.
"Henry, when I'm with you, time seems to slow down. Each moment just feels so perfect. I just want you to enjoy that feeling with me. So, slow it down, darling. Can you do that for me?"
Henry nodded, certainty sparkling in his eyes.
"Yes, Sarah Louis, I can definitely slow it down ... for you."
"Slow It Down" is what we writers call a motif. As a story telling device, motifs can be extremely powerful. This motif (Slow It Down) is critical to Henry's story so he doesn't get caught up in all the negatives of life. And remember, "Slow It Down" first appeared in Chapter 1.
Okay, now for the really important stuff!
The next release on 1/6/2019 will be a HUGE six-chapter release. HUGE in terms of story impact. This release will include Chapters 106 to 111.
In Chapters 106 - 110, I will leave minimal Author's Notes in the form of quotes that I've received official permission to use from the quoters. Quoters will include Pope Francis, His Holiness The Dalai Lama, George Foreman, Mark Cuban, and others.
In Chapter 111, I will leave detailed Author's Notes, providing insights into the "Making of Chapters 106 - 111) - a "behind the scenes" look, if you will.
Well, that's all I got for now.
Hope y'all are enjoying a nice holiday.
See ya next year!
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Color (Completed)Historical Fiction
WATTYS SHORTLISTED! During World War I, a black baseball player gets a second chance to play ball on an all-white steel mill baseball team, an action that shocks and divides an entire town. Targeted by opponents, his own team, and mysterious vigilan...