After a while Luke raises his head. He has a strange, unreadable expression on his face.
“So…tell me, Becky,” he says lightly. “Is it Armageddon or Pomegranate?”
“What?” I look at him, confused.
“This morning, when I got home, I was trying to work out where you’d gone. I rooted around in your drawers for clues….” He hesitates. “And I came across that gender predictor test. You’ve found out, haven’t you?”
My heart gives an almighty thud. Shit. I should have thrown the test away. I’m so stupid.
Luke’s smiling, but I can see a trace of hurt in his eyes. And suddenly I feel really terrible. I don’t know how I could have been planning to leave Luke out of such an important moment. I don’t even quite know anymore why I was so desperate to find out the sex. Who cares?
I put one of my hands on his and squeeze it. “Actually, Luke…I didn’t do the test. I don’t know.”
Luke’s rueful expression doesn’t change.
“Come on, Becky. Just tell me. If only one of us is going to be surprised, there doesn’t seem much point in waiting anymore.”
“I didn’t do the test!” I insist. “Honestly! It was going to take too long and you had to have an injection….”
He doesn’t believe me. I can see it from his face. We’ll be in the delivery room and they’ll say “It’s a boy!” or whatever, and all he’ll think is “Becky already knew.”
A lump suddenly rises in my throat. I don’t want it to be like that. I want us to find out together.
“Luke, I didn’t find out,” I say desperately, tears stinging my eyes. “I really, honestly didn’t! I wouldn’t lie to you. You have to believe me. It’s going to be an amazing…wonderful…surprise. For both of us.”
I’m gazing up at him, my whole body tense, my hands clutching my skirt. Luke’s eyes are scanning my face.
“OK.” His brow finally relaxes. “OK. I believe you.”
“And I believe you too.” The words fall out of my mouth with no warning.
But now I’ve said them, I realize they’re true. I could demand more proof that Luke’s not seeing Venetia. I could get him followed again. I could be totally paranoid and miserable forever.
In the end, you have to choose whether or not to trust someone. And I do choose to trust him. I do.
“Come here.” Luke draws me in for a hug. “It’s OK, sweetheart. It’s all going to be fine.”
After a while I pull away from Luke. I take a deep breath, trying to compose myself, and get down a couple of mugs. Then I turn to him.
“Luke, why did Venetia say you were having an affair if you weren’t?”
“I have no idea.” Luke looks mystified. “Are you absolutely sure that’s what she meant? You couldn’t have misinterpreted what she was saying?”
“No!” I retort crossly. “I’m not that stupid! It was totally obvious what she meant.” I rip off a piece of Fabia’s paper towels and blow my nose on it. “And just so you know, I’m not having our baby delivered by her. Or going to any of her stupid tea parties.”
“Fine.” Luke nods. “I’m sure we can go back to Dr. Braine. You know, he’s e-mailed me a couple of times, just to see how you are.”
“Really? That’s so sweet of him….”
The doorbell rings and I start. It’s them. I’d almost half kind-of forgotten.
“Who’s that?” says Luke.
“It’s Vogue!” I say in agitation. “The whole reason I’m here! For the photo shoot!”
I hurry into the hall, and as I see my reflection in the mirror I feel a jerk of dismay. My face is blotchy; my eyes are all bloodshot and puffy; my smile is strained. I can’t remember my way round the house. I’ve totally forgotten all my yummy quotes. I can’t even remember who my underpants are by. I can’t do it.
The doorbell rings again, twice.
“Aren’t you going to answer?” Luke has followed me into the hall.
“I’ll have to cancel!” Woefully, I turn to face him. “Look at me. I’m a mess! I can’t be in Vogue like this!”
“You’ll be wonderful,” he replies firmly, and strides to the front door.
“They think it’s our house!” I hiss after him in panic. “I told them we live here.”
Luke shoots me a what-do-you-take-me-for? glance over his shoulder, and swings open the door.
“Hello!” he says, in his most confident, head-of-a-huge-important-company voice. “Welcome to our home.”