Characters: Alice, Cindy
Summary: Alice doesn’t know what to do with herself.
Notes: Canon. Something similar may appear in a future chapter, so can be consider a spoiler.
Word Count: 525
Alice placed her hand on her lower back as she slowly straightened herself up. She couldn’t help the grunt of discomfort that escaped her lips, causing Cindy to look up from the beans she was weeding.
“You need to go inside and put your feet up, honey. Eight months pregnant is no time to be a hero and help me with the garden.”
“I need to do something,” she moaned. “I feel so useless when I’m sitting around, unless I’m working on something for the Red Cross, and I don’t think I can sew another bandage today.”
Cindy got up and brushed her hands off on her skirt. She walked over to Alice and guided her to the bench in by the pond, forcing the younger woman to take a seat. Cindy then went into the house, where she poured two glasses of lemonade from the pitcher in the icebox, and returned to join Alice.
“I know how frustrated you are, at least about the being pregnant part. I wore James and his father out with redecorating the house when I was as far along as you were.”
“Maybe I should have waited to decorate the nursery a bit longer,” Alice muttered. “At least I’d have something to do, even if it wasn’t for the war effort.”
“Honey, don’t you think that taking care of yourself so Nick doesn’t have to worry is part of the war effort? Keeping the boys’ moral up is a huge part of the war effort, and nothing will keep Nick’s moral up more than knowing that you’re doing what you need to do to make sure that baby of yours comes out happy and healthy.”
Alice pursed her lips. “I know it’s important, but it’s not as tangible as my Red Cross work or helping in the victory garden.”
Cindy threw back her head and laughed. “I would hardly call a garden that’s as old as ours a victory garden, but I know what you mean. Tell you what. When the vegetables are ready for canning, which some of them will be soon, you can chop, dice and slice them up for me. You can sit down as you do it – I’ll clear off the old table for you. That way you’re helping but not on your feet.”
Alice nodded, knowing that it was the best offer she was going to get. “But what am I going to do for the rest of this afternoon?”
“Call Shirley and tell her to come over and amuse you for a while. Goodness knows that girl’s got a case of the blues to rival your own. If Walter Gavigan makes it back from SimEurope, I’m standing in line to wring his neck for running off to war without putting a ring on her finger first.”
It was Alice’s turn to laugh. “I think it’s a pretty long line, Cindy. With Shirley in the lead, followed by both her parents and her little brother.”
“I’m not sure who I’d be more scared of in that situation; Shirley, Sterling, or Viola,” Cindy mused aloud, causing both of them to dissolve into giggles once more.