Family, Fiction, Health and wellbeing, Parenting, Relationship and marriage, Writing

Names and Fuss

Melissa stares out the window. The street below is busy; trams and cars stuck in peak hour, pedestrians moving in all directions. The sky is that clear bright blue, totally cloud-free. Looks like it’s going to be a cracker of a day.

Bed rest sucks.

She’s thirty-five weeks pregnant, and confined to her bed on her doctor’s orders. She’s had some spotting and her obstetrician is worried. But to Melissa, it’s all just boredom. Hank won’t even let her down the stairs for a cup of tea. Or a biscuit.

He’s OTT.

But at least she has time to think about names. If she has a girl, she likes Rachel, Marielle, Peggy, and Beth. And for a boy: Nick, Ben, Will or Paul.

Hank, predictably, likes none of those. His family has a tradition of naming sons after the father. Hank is actually Harry Charles Nicholas IV. But Melissa wants to end the namesake tradition; it’s just silly to have so many men in the one family with the same name.

‘Melissa?’ Hank calls from downstairs. ‘You need anything?’

‘I’m OK.’

He’s there in a flash, standing by the bed.

‘You sure?’ He rubs her forehead, leans in to kiss her. ‘I’m going out for an hour. Got some work stuff to do. Are you sure I can’t get you a tea or toast, maybe?’

Melissa’s tummy rumbles, as if on cue.

‘God, I heard that,’ Hank says. ‘Toast it is.’

It’s while he’s downstairs that her water breaks. At first, she’s confused. Always assumed the amniotic fluid splashed out with force, slapping onto the floor like a bucket’s been emptied. But for her, it’s a slow, constant trickle. One that soaks her pyjama pants and sheets. She goes to the toilet, puts on a maternity pad, clean trackies.


‘Yeah.’ His voice sounds far away, like he’s in a tunnel.

‘Water’s just broke. Call the doctor and we need to get going.’

And he’s beside her, again in a flash. ‘Oh my GOD.’ He’s talking too loud, nervous, excited. ‘Let’s go. Bag’s at the door.’ He guides her out of the house.

‘Hank, I’m gonna need a towel to sit on.’ Her pants are already wet again: the trickle just keeps on coming. She’s totally unprepared for this.

He runs inside and grabs a towel from the linen press. Once back at the car, he places it on the seat, and helps Melissa to sit.

‘Now,’ she says. ‘About names…’

Photo by Alexander Krivitskiy on Unsplash


11 thoughts on “Names and Fuss”

  1. She just can’t let it go can she šŸ˜‚ Our girls have family connection, the eldest has her Great Grandmothers (ex’s) names in reverse, luckily her surname can be a first name, the second my mothers middle name as a middle name and the youngest has my Grandmothers name and has her aunts name (ex’s favourite) names. Yes all three have three names šŸ™‚ šŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Our Girl has my aunt’s name for her middle name. She died just before Hubster and I married, and OG knows how special she is/was to me. She feels honoured. T2 has my dad’s name as his middle name, T1…not named after anyone special šŸ¤£

      Liked by 1 person

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