Sparkles from Silence, Excerpt 4

Click here to read Excerpt 1
Debbie has two little brothers. She desperately wants a sister. While Debbie was at school the baby was born.
Now, the big question. Boy or girl?
Excerpt 4

December 21, 1964

Debbie has two little brothers. She desperately wants a sister. While Debbie was at school the baby was born.
Now, the big question. Boy or girl?

 

For months, I’ve been sure a baby Krista would arrive. I even prayed for her. What if God said no? What if I end up with three little brothers, Phil, Wayne, and – Patrick? Pat Hansen. Paddy Hansen. Stupid.

Daddy has the sly, amused grin he always wears when teasing.

“Your mother … gave birth … to … a little …”

“Dad-deeeee!”

“Girl.” He says it so fast I almost miss it.

“A girl?” I whisper. “I have a sister?”

He gives a slight nod, and his smile widens.

Joy bubbles fizz through me, more and more of them, until I explode like a shaken bottle of pop. “I have a sister!”

A crazy dance version of The Pony accompanies my screams of exultation.

Phil and Wayne stroll into the house in the middle of my performance. Phil folds his arms across his chest. “I guess Mom had the baby.”

“Yeah.” Wayne crosses his arms, too. “And I guess it’s a girl.”

“Yeah, a girl.”

You’d think Phil had found out he’d lost recess for a month, but then he hooks his arm around Wayne’s neck and anoints him with a vigorous Dutch rub. Oh, yeah, he’s excited, too.

My celebration screeches to a halt. After all the warnings that the baby won’t be normal, might not even live, Daddy hasn’t said if she’s okay.

“How is she? Have the doctors found anything wrong? How much does she weigh? And how—”

“Whoa.” Daddy raises his arms in self-defense. “One question at a time.”

He slides one hand over his crew cut, then grasps the back of his neck. The shadows under his eyes remind me of how I look when I get sick. Are the problems with the baby pretty bad, or is he just exhausted from being up most of the night and all day?

Click here to read Excerpt 5.

 

2 Comments

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  1. I think this is my favorite excerpt. I love how Debbie interacts with Krista, and how well Mom knows Debbie’s thoughts.

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