Sam cried, staring at the little stick in her hand. Her entire body shook. What the hell was she supposed to do now? It had been a month since Eli was arrested, and now she was pregnant. Fate or whatever had to throw another wrench in her life.
Sam tossed the test into the trash. She stared into the mirror and watched as tears fell down her cheeks. She remembered the last time she got pregnant with Bailee. Eli was so happy.
Eli couldn’t contain his excitement when she kept taking pregnancy after pregnancy test. “Sam, we’re having a baby!” He would shout each time. Finally, she agreed they were, and gave him the satisfaction of being right. Not that she wasn’t happy then, she was. She and Eli had been trying for over a year back then.
Sam cried harder from the memories. Would Eli be happy now? No. Eli would be crushed to know that he was missing out, once again, on her pregnancy, and even the first year or more of his baby’s life.
How was she going to tell him?
Sam couldn’t tell him. Not now. She had a while still, though. She would keep this a secret until she found out how long Eli would be in prison. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. Maybe he’d only miss a few months.
Who was Sam fooling? She knew it would at least be a few years before he got out of prison. The plea deal he was agreeing to ensured that he would at least serve two years, only then he would have to earn his parole.
Sam left the restroom, unsure what to say to her husband.
Sam watched Eli get hauled away. The judge was cruel but fair. Eli was sentenced to five to ten years for aggravated assault, and would be granted the chance of parole after two years.
Sam was a little over three months pregnant now, and still hadn’t told Eli. She didn’t know how. Each time she went to visit him at the detention center, she had the kids with her. Each call she thought about telling him, but would chicken out and the call would end before she got the chance. It would be a week or two before he was transferred to SM State. Sam would tell him then.
That was until Anthony came over and visited the day Eli was transferred.
Sam was surprised he showed up on her doorstep with dinner in hand. “Well, this is a surprise,” she laughed. “Come on in.”
“Thanks. I figured you might want a break from cooking and taking care of the rug rats.”
Sam sure did need a break, that was for sure. At the smell of food (or Anthony’s voice) her children came running out of Derek’s room. “Uncle Anthony,” they both screamed at the sight of him.
“Hey! Look at my favorite little kids.” He hugged them both and even picked Bailee up and kissed her on the cheek. “How’s the coolest Ryder’s doing?”
“I got to ride in a police car!” Derek shouted. Yes, Dad had finally given in and taken Derek on a drive in the cruiser. It was good for Derek. Dad and Sam had worried about his mental state. He never wanted to do anything or see anyone but Sam after Eli had been arrested. Now, since the car ride, he was all smiles and if he could, he told everyone and anyone that would pay attention about his ride in the police cruiser.
“That’s so cool! Did you turn on the siren?”
“Uh, yeah! And I got to radio in to dispatch, and to watch Grandpa give a ticket to a speeding car. It was the coolest thing ever! I can’t wait to be a police officer.”
Sam plated his food while he continued to tell Anthony about the car ride and his dreams and ambitions. She finally zoned out. This wasn’t the first time he’s talked about it or anything. Maybe like the millionth time since he got back from the ride.
Dinner was mostly the same with Derek doing most of the talking, and Anthony listening intently. Something was up though. She didn’t know what, but Anthony wouldn’t look her in the eye. Then she noticed it. Anthony had a black eye. Uh oh. Did her get into a scruff with a prisoner? And was that prisoner…no, Eli wouldn’t hit Anthony, would he?
After Derek was done eating, Sam put her foot down. “Okay, Derek, I think it’s high time you went and do your homework. Remember what Miss Sanchez said, you need to get your homework done before you get behind.”
She patted his head. “You’ve talked Uncle Anthony’s and my ear off all through dinner. Let the grown-ups talk for a bit. Go do your homework.”
Derek gave in, thankfully, and even helped Bailee move along to his room. That was another thing, since Eli was arrested, Derek and Bailee were practically inseparable. Sam waited for the door to close before she snapped her focus on Anthony. “Okay, what’s going on?”
“What do you mean?”
“Save it. Something is up. You have a black eye.”
Anthony sighed. “Trust me, I know. An inmate got a lucky punch in. Well, not so lucky, I wasn’t the intended target. I was stopping the fight. It happens.”
Something still was off. The prickling feeling on the back of her neck continued to grow as he spoke of this fight. “Did Eli arrive today? Did he…He didn’t…he wasn’t the one in the fight, was he?” Sam was going to kill Eli if he had been in the fight. How could he get in a fight? “I mean, he’s not that big of an idiot to get into a fight the first day. Right?”
Anthony sighed and rubbed the back of his neck. Uh-oh. “He didn’t even last an hour. Hell, he was in the cell not twenty-minutes. And this shiner, yeah, lucky punch curtesy of my brother. He’s lucky I didn’t press for more time in the SHU or write him up for it. I only wrote him up for the fight.”
Shit. Sam sobbed into her face with her hands. This was not going to plan. “How could he do this to me?”
“To be fair, the guy we bunked him with isn’t the nicest of guys. I made a push to have Eli transferred to another cell. Hopefully his new cell mate next week won’t be as much of a problem.”
Sam lowered her hands. She hadn’t told a soul, but she couldn’t hold the secret in much longer. Hell, she was starting to show! She forced it out. She needed to tell someone, and Anthony was it.
“Tony, I’m pr-pregnant.”
His eyes widen. “Holy shit! How long?”
“I’m just shy of fourteen weeks pregnant
“Does Eli know yet? Shit, he doesn’t, does he?”
Sam shook her head. “I was hoping to go visit him this week and tell him. I haven’t even told the kids or…or Dad. You and my doctor are the only one’s that know.”
Anthony reached over the table and patted her hand, and held it. “I’m sorry, Sam.”
“When do you think I’ll be able to see him?”
Anthony sat up, more serious. “Well, I’ll get you the papers you need for the visitor’s pass, like I promised and put a rush on them so you could like I said I would. But Sam, he won’t be allowed visitors until he’s out of the Segregation Housing Unit.”
“Don’t tell him.”
Anthony shook his head. “Don’t worry, I won’t. I don’t even work that side of the prison, so I won’t see him for another week anyway. And besides, I doubt my brother would even speak to me if I called him over for a chat. COs typically don’t just mingle with inmates unless there’s a problem.”
“Thanks Anthony.” So, she had to wait a week. That wasn’t so bad, was it? Still, she was going to give Eli an earful when she saw him.