It’d been nearly a week and that queasy feeling in Jack’s tummy wasn’t going away. He’d pondered the events of these past days over and over, and it wasn’t clear to him what bothered him more—what had happened, or the way in which she was handling it.

They’d enjoyed a wonderful evening in the park together. She’d lovingly stuffed their picnic basket with a number of delicious goodies, including his favourite snack: praline ice-cream sandwiches. The children playing football in the background, the noisy party-goers at their barbecue grill, the nature-lover meticulously cataloguing different kinds of birds—all the activity around—was lost to them. They were in their own little world. The hours had flown by as they cuddled and conversed, and it was nauseatingly-cute the way she kept insisting on feeding him.

It wasn’t conscious at first, but even through her smiles, Jack could sense the discomfort brewing in her eyes. It didn’t come as a surprise to him when she abruptly told him she’d like to end the evening and go home. By now the agony was apparent in her eyes, and Jack helped her up and cleaned up a bit before they left. Though he had a hunch as to what the problem was, it was clear that she wasn’t in any frame of mind to talk. And so he didn’t ask. She’d always had the most painful periods of any of the women he’d known, and he instinctively gazed at her cute derrière, not to gawk at her as he so often did, but to examine her clothes for spotting. What he saw—the growing blotches of deep red—didn’t leave any doubt in his mind. Unaware of the seriousness of the situation, he wrapped an arm around her and helped her home.

Her blue jeans were a shade of purple by the time they reached.

She wasn’t crying on their way home. She wasn’t crying when she told him. She had an unconcerned look on her face, and as she puffed her ninety-third cigarette for the day, she casually tossed out that she’d miscarried. Though he knew that he wasn’t the father, Jack was distraught. The more he attempted to console her (thinking, hoping she needed it), the more she mocked him for his foolishness. She found it rather silly he should care so much for something not his.

He should’ve realised it when she kept up her unrestrained smoking and drinking even after finding out about the baby. She never wanted it.

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