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Spring Forwards

November 21st, 2011 by admin

Wellington’s spring is having one of its inevitable wintry regressions. Winona, hustling to get ready for work on Monday morning, is diving into half-packed boxes and bags. Of course she needs to exhume a winter garment a week before she and Will move to Hataitai. Finally, she pulls it out, her beloved red trench coat. Nothing else can redeem a cold windy morning that should be bright and sunny.

Feeling that she is winning at the game of Wellington, she slips the coat onto her shoulders, goes to button the waist, and –

– it won’t close.

Winona thunks down onto the edge of the bed. Tears, unbidden, prick her eyes.

So far, being pregnant has been like…well, like what she had dreamed that pregnancy would be like. Flattering peony-red cheeks, nobody letting her carry anything, all her adrenals eager with anticipation, a better bustline. People have been indignant at her continued litheness, her lack of morning sickness, and the work schedule she and Will have. Between the two of them splitting working at home, there won’t be huge disruptions. They think. Or, she thought.

Eyes hot and dim, she peels the coat off her shoulders. How fortunate that she can blame the tears on hormones. It wasn’t just a coat: it was ambition and reclaiming and acknowledging that she was in NZ now, if she wanted a good coat it might take up her whole winter clothing budget, and perhaps that was worth it.  She knows what happens when you put a garment aside “for a while” – something about it dies.  She folds it up anyway, tenderly, as if this will protect its charms while it sleeps, and lays it in the box again. Will she care half as much about clothes after the baby?

It’s still cold out. She adjusts her neckline, dashes on a slash of red lipstick, and looks around for the finishing touch. After an inspired moment, she shouts, “Will! I’m stealing your jacket!”

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