The Final Goodbye

Katie laughed softly, and glanced up at her husband. Love filled her so completely, she thought she would burst from happiness. Matthew, leaned forwards and she ran a hand affectionately down his naked chest as he kissed her. Tenderly, gently. She brushed his short blonde hair and smiled as his hand stroked her cheek. “I love you.” He whispered and happiness soared through her.

“Love you too.” She croaked, feeling incredibly lucky to have such a wonderful husband. Life truly had blessed her. She had a wonderful husband, a beautiful home, and an irreplacable son with another child on the way.

Matthew’s hand stroked over her naked stomach, carressing their unborn child, the smile light his perfect green eyes and he knelt beside her on the bed to kiss the protruding belly. Katie laughed, lying flat on her back and stared up at the ceiling, feeling as if life could not get any better. Matthew stroked her rounding belly lovingly and began singing softly. He didn’t sing often, not that he had a bad voice, he just wasn’t showy like that. “We gotta get out of this place!” He crooned and laughed, grinning up at her. He leaned forwards and kissed her once more.

“Have I told you that I love you?” He whispered adoringly.

“Let me think.” Katie grinned back at him, her arms sliding around his neck and holding him against her for a moment, she tilted her head on the side as if thinking hard on the matter.

“I’m gonna have to go.” Matthew sighed and kissed her bare breasts. “Don’t forget we have Mum and Dad coming over to tea tonight. Daniel’s first day at school.” He pulled away from her reluctantly and slid open the wardrobe door, pulling out a white shirt emblazoned with the red and gold star of “Simpsons Airlines”. He dressed in smooth motions, quickly but without appearing to hurry.

“I know.” Kate sighed and threw back the doona, stretching before placing her feet on the floor and pushing herself off the bed. She stroked her stomach and glanced down at it. “I think it’s got bigger overnight.” She sighed. “I’d better have a shower and wake Daniel. I’ll call your mum later and see if she can make her potato salad.”

Matthew grinned and kissed her cheek. “My favourite.” He smiled. “I’d better run, or Sheree will have my butt.”

“As long as that’s all she has!” Katie called back after him. Matthew waved his hat in response and slipped from their bedroom. Katie smiled to herself, humming softly as she began her morning routine. Make the bed and layout her clothes for the day. She would need to go shopping soon, at four months, she was already starting to show. Perhaps she would call Anna early and invite her out to lunch, it had been a long time since she had had girls day out with her mother in law. That was one of the things she knew it was right about Matthew, she had hit it off with Anna from the moment Matthew had taken her home to meet his family. Anna was like a second mother to her.

The warm shower was exhilerating, closing her eyes, Katie leaned against the cool glass and let the steam and hot water flow over her back. She enjoyed being pregnant, she had had none of the problems of morning sickness with either of her pregnancies and she was grateful. Matthew’s sister, Natasha had been violently ill the year before, pregnant with twins. She had come through it OK though and had two beautiful babies. Her “pidgeon pair” as she called them, a boy called Jack and a girl called April.

Turning off the taps, Katie dried herself and switched on the electric radio as the 7am news sounded. “Good morning Melbourne. It’s a bright and sunny thirty two degrees expected today with warm wind and high SPF factor, so make sure you get plenty of slip, slop, slap on if you’re heading to the beach!” The announcer said in an excited tone.

“Not sure there will be many heading for the beach today.” A whiny female voice said in response to her co-hosts sunny remark. “School starts today for 5,000 pupils for the very first time. For those of you going back this year, best of luck, particularly to those in the VCE.” A pop song faded in with a heavy beat and a loud female voice.

Ducking back into her bedroom, Katie dressed quickly, pulling on a white skirt that still fitted – but only just. She really was going to have to shop for some materinity clothes and soon. The blouse she picked up, one of her favourites in a soft pink draped over her breasts reminding her that they were tender. Checking her reflection in the mirror, she glanced appreciatively at her buttocks, it was still her best asset. Grinning, she crossed the hallway and opened the door to her sons bedroom.

Daniel’s room was in almost total darkness, sunlight was peeking around the edges of the blockout curtain, making the window seem to glow. She could see Daniel faintly, lying on his side with his Superman doona tucked upto his chin, his thumb firmly in his mouth. Katie frowned, she had tried all sorts of things to get Daniel to stop sucking his thumb. Anna, her mother in law had said that Daniel would stop it himself – when he was good and ready.

Tiptoeing quietly over to him, Katie hoped she would not step on one of Daniels toy cars that were likely to be strewn all over the floor and trip her up. She made her way to the bed and sat down gently, leaning over the sleeping boy and kissing his cheek. “Morning beautiful.” She said softly. “How’s my little man?”

Daniel stirred sleepily and opened his eyes. “Mum.” He smiled and sat up, wrapping his little arms around her neck.

Katie hugged him warmly, and kissed his cheek, smoothing down his deep brown hair. He had the same colour hair and eyes as herself, but his fathers nose and chin. “Morning sunshine.” Katie enthused, snuggling down beside him. “Did you sleep well?” Daniel nodded and yawned, and smiled at her once more. “Do you know what today is?” Katie asked, stroking her sons soft hair.

Daniel’s eyes flew wide open and he sat up straight in bed, both fists thumping the air in excitement. “School!” He shouted and jumped out from under the covers to bounce on his bed lightly. “I’m off to big kids school! Mum, can I take Sox?”

“Oh, I think Sox is a bit little yet.” Katie smiled, ruffling his hair. “He’s still just a baby kitty cat, maybe after the holidays you can take him for show and tell. How about you take the airplane, daddy and I bought you for your birthday?” Daniel yawned and scratched his stomach while he pulled off his pyjamas and tossed them on the bed. He pulled on a grey shirt and Katie had to smile and force herself not to help him. Daniel had been determined to get himself dressed for his first day. It was so hard to remember that he was growing up, when he was still so little. He was her baby.

Daniel was now sitting on the floor, laboriously tying the laces of his school shoes, the tip of his tongue protruding from his mouth. “There!” He shouted jumping to his feet. “I did it!” He said proudly. “And in double knots too!”

“You’ll be able to run around lots then.” Katie mused, giving his bottom a playful swat as he ran ahead of her out of the room and down to the kitchen. “What do you want for breakfast?”

“Pancakes!” Daniel yelled back, climbing onto the sofa and pulling what looked like a small black sock towards him. It was in fact, his kitten Sox. A black kitten with white markings on his four paws as if wearing sox and long thick white whiskers and a bushy tail.

“Daniel.” Katie said warningly. “I’ve told you before, if you pull his tail and he scratches you, it will be your own fault.”  Her son only grinned at her impishly and patted the kitten gently. Katie’s lips pursed into a thin line, but she shook her head and poured milk into a tall glass, adding a couple of spoonfuls of Milo. Unstirred, she pushed it across the table towards him and placed the spoon on the table. Daniel grinned and held onto the glass carefully with both hands as he lifted it to his lips. He drank thirstily and placed the glass back down onto the table, leaving a ring of chocolate around his mouth that he licked off.

Pancakes were quick and easy to make, and Katie had enjoyed being able to be a stay at home mum. She enjoyed the last few years with Daniel, glad that she hadn’t had to bundle him off to child care like her sister in law Natasha. As a single mum, Nat had been forced to return to the workforce when her twins were just six months old. As a busy real estate executive for a National firm, she probably could have afforded longer off, but Katie knew that Nat had missed getting out of the house as well as missed the higher income.

Pancakes were also one of Daniels favourites, normally, they were only made on special occasions or on the weekend, but today counted as a special day. Being the first day, Daniel wasn’t expected to be at the school until ten o’clock, this was so the first day wasn’t too overwhelming for them and they really only missed out on the school assembly. Katie watched her son, smiling as he ate his pancakes, coating them liberally with lemon juice and sugar while she packed his lunch. A sandwich, a couple of snacks, and a fruit box. It made her heart ache with memories of her own school days of how she had wondered what surprise her mum had packed her. Smiling to herself, she picked up the notepad and wrote “I love you.”  in large letters, tucking it underneath the wrapped sandwich.

Glancing at the clock on the wall, she drained the last of her cooling cup of coffee. That was one thing she was looking forwards to. A chance to have a peaceful cup of hot coffee in peace. She couldn’t remember the last time she had actually had a hot coffee. “Ready mate?” She asked picking up the house keys as she handed him the navy blue school bag. Daniel wiped his mouth with the back of his hand and slid off his seat, running towards the bathroom.

“Make sure you clean them properly!” Katie called after him.

“With my new toothbrush!” Daniel called in reply. He was back a few moments later and took his hat from the end of the table, placing it on his head. “Ready!” He sighed, sounding as if he was exhausted from running a race. Katie took her sons hand and opened the front door. Daniels first day was about to begin.





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