The heat has subsided, the sun is low in the sky. A gentle breeze is waving in from the balcony. I turn off the stereo, put the book aside, close the AirBook, then measure the length of the silent room with pointless steps. The room hasn't changed much. The in-laws are sitting downstairs, staying in contact with home while nothing is happening here. Flucha's in a car somewhere, driving to the store for groceries and drinks, three days overdue. My beer is getting warm.
The months leading up to this weekend were eventful at work and quiet otherwise. Biology took its course without drama or complications, shaping up a belly where there was none before and rounding it into a fine sphere of just the right size. Periodic poking from inside gives evidence of new life – which does not want to materialize.
I've lived on the edge these last few weeks, a bag with all necessities with me at all times, always ready to leave at a phone call or text. There was little rest, but the weekly journeys home and rare work-related travels occurred at a level of peace I had not known before. I tend to get pangs of alarm when the train starts moving or I hop onto a bus. Do I have my ticket, my wallet, passport, keys? With everything in place in the bag, traveling was relaxed and joyful.
Last Friday, I returned to Heidelberg with the tranquility of the seasoned traveler. There was no rush, no phone call to precipitate panic, not even the need to leave work early, and my travel wallet held all the necessary documents. I leaned back on the train, had a beer and a soup, and read a few sections of an abandoned newspaper until the journey was over. I arrived as always, and everything was as always.
The weekend that followed, a.k.a. due date and day plus one, we spent hiking the Odenwald – as much as that's possible with a party that includes two retirees and a woman ready to pop. An hour on the Philosophers' Way and a hike down from Königstuhl are more than what old wives will tell you brings about labor, but Flucha, her belly bopping sideways, enjoyed the action and didn't slow down once.
The doctor didn't have anything helpful to say this morning. Things are going all right, but they're not going anywhere, or at least not anywhere soon. We were given a grace period of a week before more drastic action is considered. I'm wondering what to do now. I could go back to work to save my vacation days, at the cost of fretting so much that I couldn't work and risking a mad dash back to Heidelberg, possibly missing the delivery. Or I stay here and fret without work to distract me until the inevitable happens. Whenever it happens.