I have been struggling to fit in a character for Dawson’s Mission. She has not been easy to weave into the story. Then I had a light bulb moment: I already introduced the character I needed. (Don’t you love those moments?) This is more about Carolyn.
Carolyn Kendall lovingly held the precious horse carousel globe. Her mind drifted dream-like through the past. She didn’t have many fond memories over the course of her marriage but this was one, if not bittersweet.
Marvin, her husband, had pursued her relentlessly, promising her a lifetime of love and happiness. Carolyn, shy and socially awkward, caved in easily to his flowing words of love. The first six months of marriage were pure heaven. She’d been giddy with the amount of intimacy her new husband craved.
On their six month anniversary, his true nature erupted. It had been six months of failing to fertilize her eggs. Her own mother had bore fifteen children. His mother slid in second place with ten children. Surely, between the two, they could repeat such odds. Every month, thereafter, when the home pregnancy test showed negative, his fists came to life.
Five years into the marriage of hell, the gods finally smiled down upon her. Two lines on the pregnancy test. Tears of joy and relief streamed down her face as she showed Kendall. Sipping a beer, he’d eyed her wearily. A barrage of accusations of infidelity, followed with a reluctant promise of controlled fists. Carolyn was elated. A baby on the way and no more beatings as her body swelled with life. She silently vowed she would become pregnant as soon as possible after the birth of each child.
Avery’s lone town doctor saw patients for simple matters such as colds or the flu. He might occasionally attempt to reset the random broken leg or arm. This would mean monthly trips into the city to see a baby doctor. On the first such trip, excitement and anticipation see-sawed through her body as the miles sped by. When they’d arrived, Marvin informed her he would be back when he was ready to get her. Carolyn watched as the rusted Ford sputtered out of sight. A moment of panic shot through her as she worried he meant to leave her there for good; followed by a sense of peace at the idea.
How exciting it was to be fussed over, to have the official result of her pregnancy test, the congratulations, and words of advice from the doctor and his staff. She’d walked out of the doctor’s office, on cloud nine, clutching the prenatal vitamins. She knew it could be hours before Kendall came back. Spotting a quaint gift shop across the street, she spent time browsing.
It was here she found her globe. Kendall would be furious if he knew she’d spent money on herself but she didn’t care. This was to be for her first child, a daughter she hoped. She would come to this very shop and buy each of her children a keepsake; a tradition of sorts. On the way home, her secret treasure tucked safely in her purse, she held on to the hope life might not be so bad after all.
The next month was a time of relief and little attention from Kendall. He preferred to spend his time with beer and Sadie, the woman who’d bore him a son three years prior. Carolyn didn’t mind. Maybe Kendall would get Sadie out of his system once their child came crying into the world. Maybe they could even raise his son, with their own growing family. Maybe the man she fell in love with so long ago, would come back to her.
These were the hopes and dreams which carried her through the next few weeks. Morning sickness rolled over but she didn’t mind. It was one such morning when the phone rang. Carolyn wiped her mouth on the beige hand towel as she went to answer. It was the doctor’s office.