Ah ha! Caught red-handed!
Pushed to breaking point by his wife’s obvious distress, which could be heard emanating clearly from the bedroom at increasingly regular intervals now, Rabbie was about to help himself to a wee dram ‘just to take the edge off’.
“Stop right there young man!” Ophelia said firmly, secretly relishing the opportunity to thwart his actions simply because she [most unfairly] felt that he was somehow to blame him for her failure to attend the Chutney christening party some weeks ago.
Rabbie started guiltily. “Your wife needs you now more than ever, Rabbie! Are you a man or a mouse?!” Ophelia added rather dramatically as Rabbie turned, looking suitably chastened – Ophelia could be very formidable when she wanted to be.
Seeing that her words had done the trick, Ophelia turned briskly on her heels (not without some regret, having effectively cut off her nose to spite her face since she wouldn’t now be having that refreshing G and T she’d been counting on), throwing a pointed, “I’ll be making myself useful where I’m needed,” over her shoulder for good measure.
Scrag looked up at Rabbie with soulful eyes and gave him a tentative waggle of his stumpy tail, for which Rabbie felt inordinately grateful.
Ophelia entered the bedroom just in time to hear Nurse Harm urging Doris, “Quickly with those towels now, dear, I think it’s time.”
Ophelia’s knees felt suddenly unreliable as she proffered weakly, “Is there, erm… anything I can…” and her voice tailed off as she suddenly felt very woozy.
By the time Rabbie reached the bedroom, some few minutes after Ophelia, he was greeted by an oddly tranquil scene.
Nurse Harm was busying about the room and Ophelia appeared to be collapsed in a chair as Doris looked on. But there, sitting up in the bed, looking the picture of contentment, was his darling Joyce and… Rabbie blinked… was that..? It couldn’t be… yes, it was… his daughter!
Rabbie rushed to give Joyce a reassuring hug and gazed down proudly at the adorable wee scrap she held in her arms. “Och,” he said, “there’s ma wee Morag, named for ma own dear mother.” Joyce looked a little concerned, “Oh Rabbie,” she said gently, “I had Angela in mind for a girl. Would you mind terribly?” At that moment Rabbie didn’t mind a thing. “Och noo, ma love, tha’s fine wi me.” he said, beaming down at his daughter, who he really did think was the bonniest looking bairn he’d ever seen.
But perhaps on this occasion, Joyce’s gentle nature had worked against her, because that evening, when Joyce and the baby were safely tucked up in their beds, there was a most joyous and uproarious party in Agar Hall to wet the baby’s head, as a result of which, when a heavily hung-over Rabbie arrived to register his daughter’s birth the next day, he remembered his conversation with Joyce quite differently.
And so little Morag’s life in Grecondale began.
© 2017, Zoe. All rights reserved.