Week 10: Secrets and Lies
They say you spend a third of your life in bed. I'm convinced that pregnant women spend a third of theirs in the bathroom. No matter what time I wake up, be it midnight, 6 a.m., or 4 in the afternoon, Sarah's never in bed. If I sit up I usually hear NPR coming from the bathroom radio. Why is this?
The answer is simple. The vomiting, the digestive issues, the impromptu baths, and the insatiable need to urinate make the bathroom the only logical room for her to spend time in. She has set up a little colony in there, the centerpiece of which is a basket full of Little House on the Prairie books and New Yorkers and cooking magazines next to the toilet. She's read everything twice. I'm convinced if the bathroom had a refrigerator and a hammock she could live in there.
She stopped flushing recently, and I wanted to know why.
"What's the point?" she said. "I'm just going to come back for more."
Now whenever the cordless phone goes missing, I look for it near the toilet. As I'm groping around on the floor amongst all the literature, I feel like Pacino's Michael Corleone searching for the gun planted in the bathroom of the Italian restaurant so he could kill Sollozzo and the corrupt Irish cop. Like Mike, I always find it there.
It's still another three months before Sarah starts showing, but today Sarah's colleague-let's call him Nick-asked her if she was pregnant. Shocked, she told him that she was, and he nodded knowingly. When Sarah relayed this to me, I was instantly wary. Of Nick. What kind of man instinctively knows these things? Was he one of those mysterious guys who "understood" women? He seemed just like any other guy. He once told me that he cared so little about food that he wished there was just some kind of pill he could take to get his daily nutrients, which struck me as a particularly male point of view.
Then I found out the truth. Nick detected that my wife was pregnant because his wife, Jessica, was pregnant. She was five weeks along, a few weeks behind Sarah, and Nick was perceptive enough to recognize the similarities. I was thrilled for them. And for the fact that he wasn't any more of a DH than I was.
At Melissa's wedding on Sunday, another person figured out: Melissa. She goes way back with Sarah, and came up to me at her own wedding and asked point blank if Sarah was pregnant. "I'm sorry to be nosy," she said, looking over her shoulder for Sarah. "It's just that . . . well, she's not drinking and she keeps going to the bathroom." This was remarkable detective work, considering Melissa had been mingling with 300 people and must have been focused on about a zillion other details at the moment.
An historically bad liar, I sputtered for a moment. "No, I don't know what the deal is," I said. "She's had a weird stomach thing going ever since we went camping."
Melissa just stared at me. "Oh, that's too bad. I hope she feels better."
When she walked away I got that sense of creeping dread-not that our secret was unraveling, but rather the notion that she thought I was an idiot. "Poor, simple Jeff," she was probably telling her maid of honor. "His wife goes in the bathroom to puke her guts out and he still doesn't get it."