You Can't Take It With You-The Carmichaels

"1-2-3 and 1-2-3 and POINT YOUR TOES!"

Essie stumbled and neatly fell, but Mr. Kolenkhov quickly grabbed her arm before she hit the ground. While she was adjusting her glasses, she missed him rubbing his eyes and shaking his head in frustration.

"My Pavlowa, you will forgive me, but I must be leaving. My doctor is going to be checking my blood pressure tomorrow, and I have been instructed to avoid high-stress situations until then..." He looked at Essie again and shuddered.

"Goodbye, Mr. Kolenkhov!" Penny and Essie called in synch.

Quietly, Essie made her way up the stairs and into her and Ed's room. Still in her frilly dancing dress, she climbed into the bed, pulling an afghan over her head. She inhaled the distinct, comforting scent of candies, rosin, and Ed. Soon, she felt herself drifting off...


She awoke with a start. "Ed!" she exclaimed with a sharp intake of breath. "When did you get home?"

Ed sat down next to Essie. He had gently pulled her head into his lap, and was lovingly stroking her curly head. He looked down at her and replied, "About fifteen minutes ago. Well, how are you today? Feeling better?"
"Not really, but it's just a cold. It'll be gone soon." She smiled and playfully rubbed her nose on his arm.

"Essie!" he cried, exasperatedly. She laughed, and jumped on him, wiping her nose on his shoulders, chest, socks, wherever she could.

Ed wiggled away from her, and grabbed his hat from the top of their dresser and threw it at her. It landed lopsidedly on her head. She sat there with a confused expression on her face and blinked, glasses askew again.

Ed laughed and leaned back, back propped up against the headboard of the bed, and held his arms out. Essie curled up comfortably i them.

Essie, while always a bit odd, had been one of the most good-looking girls at their small public high school. But she didn't really have any friends; just a more popular girl named Jane Applesby. Ed and Jane began to date when he first moved to New York. Eventually, though, he grew tired of Jane's constant complaining and badmouthing of her friends, especially Essie Sycamore.

"Just look at her!" Jane would exclaim. "She's so short!" or "She's so thin!" Also commonly heard was "She's always making those stupid candies with the even stupider names, like 'Magical Star Crunchies' or 'Pink Unicorn Delights'...And she's so pathetic! Every time we're together around her, she looks all depressed. It's obvious she likes you...Like she's supposed to get any sympathy from me! "

One time, after a fight, Ed broke up with Jane and planned to ask Essie to be his girl in order to get back at Jane. But when he asked Essie to the school social, she said no. That had frustrated him; now he was determined to have her. He pursued her doggedly throughout his teen years, only to realize, after three years of obsession, he really cared for her-really! He supposed it showed, because finally, one day Essie said yes.

And so their Senior Prom was their first date. The second one was their wedding day.

The two continued to sit there on the bed, contentedly together for a few more minutes before Essie murmured softly, "Ed?"

"Mmmm?" he mumbled in reply.

"Let's keep it a secret."

"What? The nose thing? But why does it even matter...?"
She giggled softly again, and then kind of rolled onto his lap, with a leg on either side of him. She then leaned forward and kissed him softly. "Nevermind, I'll tell you later"


That night, after dinner, Ed and Essie were in their room. Ed seemed to be suffering from severe shock, although he shouldn't have been surprised.

"You're pregnant?!"

"Yes, of course I am. You remember the night we came home from that Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movie-"(He did, scowling at the thought of his wife flirting with the handsome Kirby boy) "-And the night after that, and the one after that..." She winked.

"And you want to keep it a secret?"

"Only for a little while. I want to surprise everyone!"
He sighed. Like it'd really be a surprise...Everyone knew what they'd been doing. But he looked at her as she fluffed her carefully crafted curls and peeked at him through the mirror, looking over the tops of her glasses.

"You aren't going to tell anyone, are you, Ed?" She looked somewhere between stern and pleading. He couldn't fight that. But before he could promise that he wouldn't, she jumped in and answered smugly for him. "No, of course you aren't."

She was absolutely infuriating, but he loved her just the same.

"Ed, should we start thinking about names?"

"We don't even know if it's a boy or a girl yet!"

"Well, we can think of BOTH types of names: Boy and Girl!"

He kissed the back of her head. Oh, boy...