I lumbered around the kitchen as I prepared lunch. I had to work this evening, but I’d made plans to have lunch with Aunt Chastity today. Normally, aside from occasionally getting up to see Tommy off to work, I’d sleep in until after noon, since I worked until after two in the morning. But, despite living in the same city, I rarely saw my aunt. Honestly, I rarely saw a lot of people. Anyway, though, I’d made the time today. Though I’d probably lie down for a nap after my aunt left; being pregnant was exceptionally tiring.
More weighed on my mind that just a little lack of sleep. I was due in just four months, but we still didn’t have a house. We didn’t even have prospects. The housing market was booming in Oasis Springs right now, but there was nothing that was right. Tommy was always rolling his eyes at me, telling me that no house was ever going to be “perfect.” I knew that he was right, but I still couldn’t make myself settle. Maybe it was the pregnancy nesting business – making me want everything to be just so. I was afraid, though, that I’d be setting up a bassinet at the foot of the bed.
I twisted around when there was a knock on the door. I smiled at Aunt Chastity and called, “It’s open!”
The older woman stepped into the house. “Something smells good.”
“I hope so. I’m making minestrone soup.”
She walked over to stand next to me. “Is there anything I can help with?”
I shook my head. “Nope, almost done. Go on and sit down. It’ll just be another minute or two.”
“So, Loralee, how is pregnancy treating you?” She smiled over at me. “You’re looking good, that’s for sure.”
I snorted softly. “I’m huge.”
“You haven’t seen huge until you’re nine months, hon,” she said with a chuckle. “Enjoy these months. Trust me.”
I laughed quietly at that. “You’re probably right.” Calling the soup done, I made us each a bowl and sat down at the table.”
“This is amazing, Loralee. You really ought to have your own restaurant.”
“One day,” I assured her. “I’m hoping we’ll still have a little nest egg leftover after a down payment on a house, but I’m not counting on it.”
“Oh, how is that going, by the way?”
I sighed. “Horribly. No – dreadfully. I’m too picky. We’ve looked at some really great houses, but I can’t say yes to any of them. Picking this place was so much easier.”
“Deciding on a house to raise a family in is very different from two young lovebirds finding a starter house.” She grinned brightly all of a sudden. “You know, they just put a house up for sale in my neighborhood! It’s brand new. I haven’t gone inside, but the outside is just gorgeous. There’s a sign up saying there’s going to be an open house this weekend. You and Tommy should check it out!”
Could this be our house, so fortuitously delivered to us on a platter by my aunt? Or would it just be another that wasn’t the right fit? I supposed we’d find out on Saturday.
When our cab pulled up outside of the house, there were already several cars pulled up on the sidewalk. And the moment I stepped out of the car, I could see why. The house was beautiful. The lawn was absolutely immaculate, with a lush flower garden already planted and a paved walkway up to the house.
“Oh, my God, Tommy.”
“Slow down,” he said. “We haven’t seen the inside yet or the back yard. A lot of houses look nice on the front.”
The inside did not disappoint. It felt warm and inviting. The hardwood floor under my feet was shiny and unscratched.
And the more I saw, the more I liked.
“Tommy, this would be perfect for a nursery.” I beamed over at my husband. “Just change the walls and – perfect!”
He smiled. “Gee, do you like the place? I can’t tell.”
I toured every room – three bedrooms! – before stepping outside. Next to me, Tommy let out an impressed whistle. “You can say that again,” I said. The back yard was just as wonderful as the front of the house – and it had a pool. “There’s space for some monkey bars or a swing set over there.”
I led the way back inside. “And hello, have you seen this kitchen?” I’d talked about it already, but I had to go on about it again.
“I might’ve noticed it.” Though there was a smile on his face, I could see hesitation in his eyes. I knew why he was holding back. The asking price was a little outside the budget we’d set for ourselves. The neighborhood was great, too; it might even go for well above the price the realtor quoted us. “Why don’t we talk it over at home?” He suggested.
Though I was loath to leave, I thanked the realtor for showing us around and left. The moment I walked into the house, I turned to Tommy. “I want the house.”
He sighed softly and sat down on the sofa. “I know, but it’s a little expensive, Loralee. You wanted to keep a little aside to save for your restaurant.”
I eased down next to him. “I know,” I replied quietly. “But this is where we’re going to raise our family. It’s more important than the restaurant.” It hurt to say it, but it was true. I didn’t want to raise our family in any house but that one. “We’re both doing good at work – you just made sergeant! It won’t be too long before we’ve saved enough again.”
He pulled me under his arm. “This is the one, huh?”
“It’s the one for me, but what about you?”
He smiled softly. “It’s the one for me, too.”
Three days later, the realtor called me. We got the house.
Only two chapters until the baby arrives! What do you think it’s going to be?