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Her News

 You paused for a moment and I heard you smoking
on the other end of the line.
I pictured your expression, one eye screwed shut against the smoke as you waited for my reaction.
I was waiting for it myself, a list of my own news gone suddenly cold in my hand.
Supposing my wife found out, what would happen then? Would I have to leave her and marry you now? Perhaps it wouldn't be so bad, starting again with someone new, finding a new place, pretending the best was yet to come.
It might even be fun, playing the family man, walking around in the park full of righteous indignation.
But no, I couldn't go through all that again, not without my own wife being there, not without her getting cross about everything.
Perhaps she wouldn't mind about the baby, then we could buy a house in the country and all move in together.
That sounded like a better idea.
Now that I'd been caught at last, a wave of relief swept over me.
I was just considering a shed in the garden with a radio and a day bed, when I remembered I hadn't seen you for over a year.
"Congratulations," I said.
"When's it due?"

by Hugo Williams
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