29. 18 - Extract from Georgia Shadownight's Journal
It was the first thing I said. It was the first thing I thought. When I heard the news, I couldn't help but be loud about it.
“A woman in her fifties does not get pregnant, Thomas!”
He put a finger to his lips and shushed me, “I know. But a woman who looks and feels twenty - literally - could.”
“This is the weirdest thing - by far - that has happened in this house,” I exclaimed, “And a few days ago, the twins blew up gunpowder, Kenny has gotten kidnapped, Queenie killed someone in her teens-”
“Ma'am, I'm well aware o' how senile our family is. But that's not the point - Midnight is going to need a lot o' reassurin' and I don't always have clever things t'say or do,” Thomas said, “I need you t'keep her spirits high, and I know I'm askin' a lot by sayin' that. You know too. Ye know what she can be like.”
“I'm not sure I can handle her, Thomas. Your wife... She's not like other women. She doesn't do anything other women do. Other women would appreciate a good chat, the odd cry, shopping. Midnight... She doesn't like talking about herself unless she's being a mocking kind of aloof, she doesn't cry openly and I fear she'd rather die than step into a decent shoe shop.”
“Georgie... Just, try t'distract her from the house. Pressure'll get to her and she's already very stressed. I'm goin' t'try to manage things, but it won't be her kind o' perfect. I need ye to talk her into believin' it is.”
“You're not locking her in a room, are you? She is going to step out every once in a while,” I protested.
“I'll try, Thomas, but I'm not making any promises,” I said at last, “Don't you think it would be a good idea to inform everyone else?”
“Aye. That's another thing I was hopin' you could do.”
“Well, that I can,” I reassured him, “You keep saying Midnight stressed-out and worried... Yet, you seem more anxious than I've ever seen her.”
He sighed and looked away, “She's suffered a lot because o' this, Georgie.”
“I know, Thomas.”
“I was never around those other times,” he shook his head and began walking away, “My one-time stress and anxiety could ne'er add up to all that pain.”
I touched his arm, “She doesn't hate you for it, Thomas. She understands.”
He paused and turned to look at me, “I doubt that. Midnight is a hard woman. And, like you said, she doesn't talk about herself much. And... Midnight doesn't let things go. Her resentment runs deep. She's a powder-keg waitin' t'be lit, and I've seen it lit. It's not pretty.”
“Thomas... You almost sound scared of her.”
“There aren't many things I'm afraid of, Georgie. But tryin' t'mend Midnight's old, festerin' wounds...” he paused, “I don't think I've experienced anythin' scarier.”
“Thomas, you don't have anything to make up for-”
“I've years and years t'make for, Georgie. And if I can, I will,” he left my quarters without another word.
I bit my lip and sighed. What could I do? What would distract Midnight?
But first thing was first, I had to tell everyone about it. Well, this was going to be awkward. How do you explain a 50+ woman falling pregnant long after menopause? I felt weird all over. Just... weird.