Imelda scrubbed hard at some old beans crusted on the wooden plate from last night's dinner. They stubbornly refused to come off, but Imelda persisted. Soon, the brown grime began to give way. She never left the dishes piled up like this all day to get grimy and smelly, but she had been very busy all day and had neglected most of her daily duties.
She continued her work, chiseling away at the next dish. Héctor would be home soon and would definitely notice the messy house. She always kept it in such mint condition and for it to be in such disarray like this could hardly go unobserved. Would he say something? Imelda didn't know what she would do if he did. Even if he didn't say anything, she wasn't sure if she'd be able to contain herself; she was far too nervous and excited all at the same time.
She stopped scrubbing for a moment and looked down at her stomach. They had barely been married two months. What would he think? They were both still so young.
She sighed and gently rested a hand over her abdomen. She would have to find some way to tell him; a gentle way. Knowing his disposition, he'd probably be completely shocked. She wouldn't be surprised if he ended up fainting. So what would she say? How would she break the news?
Imelda put down the dish and rag she was currently using and straightened up, imagining her husband standing in front of her in the doorway. "Héctor, I have something to tell you," she said simply. She changed her voice in an effort to match his. "Oh really?" she said in a deeper and exaggeratedly upbeat voice, "What is, mi amor?"
She turned away from the imaginary Héctor who stood in the doorway to face the wall in contemplation. She used her regular voice again. "Well, you might have noticed that the house is a bit of a mess today."
Héctor's voice: "What? Oh, I hardly noticed. Messy? No, I know you're always working so hard!"
Back to her own: "The thing is, I couldn't go about my usual chores today because I had to make an important visit."
Héctor: "A visit?"
"Sí. I went to see Dr. Jiménez today and he gave me some very interesting news."
"News? Oh, mi amor! What is it? Are you sick?"
"No, no. It's just..." Imelda took a deep breath and then rested a hand over her stomach once more. "Héctor, you're going to be a father!"
She turned around in her excitement as she said these words only to come face-to-face with the real Héctor. He had obviously only just entered, home from the plaza. He stood in all his gangly glory with his guitar slung over his shoulder, eyes wide, and jaw slack. Imelda froze at the sight of him.
"H-Héctor," she stammered, completely caught off guard.
He remained stoic in the doorway, staring numbly at her. He had definitely heard her. Imelda's mind spun as she desperately tried to think of a way to explain, to comfort him, or something. She had no idea what he was thinking! Was he angry? Pleased? Confused?
"Héctor, I-" she began, stepping closer to him.
His eyes travelled down to her belly and he stared in wonder. "Is it true?" he asked slowly, "Are you really...?"
"Sí," she replied in defeat, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean for you to find out like this-"
But then much to her surprise, Héctor was sniffling. Imelda started. He wiped at his eyes and shook his head as more tears came. Imelda didn't know what to do. He was crying. Actually crying! Oh no, he was sad... No, he was angry. He didn't want children! What had she done? She should have been more careful in breaking the news to him.
"Hé... Héctor..." Imelda said cautiously, reaching out for him.
Now he was full on weeping, covering his face an bawling into his hands. His sobs could probably be heard from outside. Dios mio! What had she done!? She had never seen him in such a state. She had not realized he hated children so much.
"Héctor, there's nothing we can do," Imelda said loudly over his cries, "The baby is coming and... I'm sorry. Please, just calm down. It won't be so bad."
Suddenly, his sobbing sounded a little different somehow; less weepy and more like... laughter? Yes, he was laughing through his tears. Imelda was yet again caught off guard as she watched her husband's face light up with spastic chuckles, bouncing back and forth between moorish cries and hectic laughter. Oh no, she had broken him, he was going crazy.
Before she knew what was happening, he was rushing towards he and sweeping her off her feet in a great twirling hug, still laughing and crying all the while. Imelda let out a yelp of surprise as he did so, but eventually joined him in laughing.
"Héctor!" she cried out as he continued to spin, "Héctor, stop!"
He finally set her down, grinning from ear to ear, his cheeks wet with tears. She smirked, still holding onto his shoulders. "You're happy, then?" she asked with some caution.
"Happy? Imelda!" he declared, "This is the best thing that has ever happened to me, since marrying you obviously."
Imelda poked him in the shoulder, smiling. "I just wasn't sure if you wanted..."
"Of course I want kids!" Héctor stated, "Why, only today I was just saying to Ernesto that I wished I had a kid to play with. I've always loved them." He pulled her closer, smiling. "In fact, I think we should make a whole lot of them."
Imelda giggled and poked him in the shoulder again. "Easy there, Casanova. I think maybe we should focus on this one right now."
Héctor pulled back just enough so that he could rest a hand on her stomach. "This one," he repeated quietly, sounding awestruck.
Imelda put a hand over his, smiling. "This one."