Read (2008) Down Where My Love Lives Online

Authors: Charles Martin

Tags: #Omnibus of the two books in the Awakening series

(2008) Down Where My Love Lives

 

For Christy

Thank you for throwing your blanket over me. Without it, I would have grown cold.

LAST OCTOBER, AFTER THE SOYBEANS HAD PEAKED at four feet, the corn had spiraled to almost twice that, and the wisteria had shed its purple, a November breeze picked up, pushed out the summer heat, and woke Maggie. She rolled over, tapped me on the shoulder, and whispered, "Let's go swimming." It was two in the morning under a full moon, and I said, "Okay." The tap on the shoulder usually meant she knew something I didn't, and from the moment I'd met her, Maggie had known a lot that I didn't.

We rolled out, grabbed a couple of towels, and held hands down to the river, where Maggie took a swan dive into the South Carolina moonlight. I dropped the towels on the batik and waded in, letting the sandy bottom sift through my toes and the bream shoot between my knees. Leaning backward, I dunked my head, closed my eyes, then let the water roll down my neck as I stood in the waist-deep black river. Summer had run too long, as summers in Digger often do, and the breeze was a welcome comfort. We swam around in the dark water long enough to cool off, and Maggie spread a towel over the bleached white sand. Then she lay down and rested her head on my shoulder, and the moon fell behind the cypress canopy.

A while later, as we walked back to the house, her shoulder tucked under mine, Maggie knew that we had just made our son. I didn't know until four weeks later, when she came bouncing off the front porch and tackled me in the cornfield. Grinning, she shoved a little white stick in my face and pointed at the pink line.

Soon after, I started noticing the changes. They began in our second bedroom. Previously an office, it quickly became "the nursery." Maggie returned from the hardware store with two gallons of blue paint for the walls and one gallon of white for the trim and molding.

"What if she's a girl?" I asked.

"He's not," she said and handed me a paintbrush. So we spread some old sheets across the hardwood floors and started goofing off like Tom and Huck. By the end of the night, we were covered in blue paint and the walls were not, but at least we'd made a start.

The smell of paint drove us out of the house, so Maggie and I shopped the Saturday morning garage sales. We found a used crib for sixty dollars, the top railing dented with teeth marks. Maggie ran her fingers along the dents like Helen Keller reading Braille. "It's perfect," she said.

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