A Mother’s Day Secret

Photo of a pregnant woman

Welcome to Brighton Bits, short short stories about the people, places and things in and around the fictional village of Brighton, New Hampshire. Mother’s Day celebrates all mothers–no matter how they got the title.

A Mother’s Day Secret, a short short story

For me, love isn’t in the cards. I’ve never fit in. I’ve never belonged. I’ve always fallen just a little out of step with the rest of my peers. Just enough to drag behind or skip ahead. It makes for a lonely existence sometimes. And sometimes, the quiet in my house feels too heavy.

Brighton thinks of itself as open, welcoming and accepting, and yet, it judges. Gossip travels fast. Tongues click. They would feel sorry for Mom. Wonder behind her back what she’d done wrong to have her eldest child turn out so flawed. Wonder why I would make my mother suffer so with my selfish decision.

Even knowing a partnership isn’t mine to have doesn’t stop the desire to become a mom. To feel the weight of a baby in my arms. To let my heart pour out all the love nobody else wants. To be needed.

That desire started like a seed a few years ago when I created a website for a new pediatrics clinic opening in Stoneley. I couldn’t get those photos of babies out of my head. They took over my dreams. And like a seed in fertile soil, germinated, growing tendrils that made me notice every rounded belly, every mother, every baby wherever I went.

Not for you, I kept telling myself. Be content with what you have—a blooming career, a comfortable home, a family that, even though sticks its nose into my business too often, does love me.

But the heart doesn’t care what the mind thinks. I like to believe that it holds a greater wisdom.

So, I did what I do best and gave my head what it needed; I researched. A woman doesn’t need a partner to become a mother. I could adopt. I could turn to a sperm bank. In the end, I did neither of those. I pleaded my case. I drew up a contract. I was so focused on what I wanted that I couldn’t see how I’d hurt someone in the process.

Too late now. I placed a hand on my rounding belly., felt the butterfly flutter of new life under my palm. I was pregnant. I was going to have this child. I was going to become a mother. And even though I lived in a house in the woods, and I created my work completely online, I couldn’t hide my secret much longer.

I would have to tell the father. I would have to tell my mother. And I wasn’t sure I wanted to deal with the fallout, the curiosity, or all the questions. Because my mother would have a million questions and a million judgments and a million warnings. And so would the town.

But for now, this baby was mine and mine alone. Just her and me. And, on this Mother’s Day, I would savor every second of my secret while I could.

Want more?

If you want to read more about Brighton, pick up a copy of Christmas by Candlelight , Christmas in Brighton and Summer’s Sweet Spot, or the cozy mystery, Of Books and Bones. Or sign up for my newsletter.

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