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  • "How was the shooting range?" I ask, half-interested as I shut the passenger car door behind me. I lean over for a cursory kiss. "It was really good. I shot well today," he says.

    "Great. How's Steve?"

    "Good. Finally home for a few weeks. House is shaping up nicely...oh and Ivana's pregnant."

    "WHAT?! Are you serious?" The reaction surprises us both.


    A hand goes to my forehead and I brace it against the window, as if the news has lobotomized me. In a way, it has.

    "We shot five-stand today. There are eight stations and each clay comes at you from a different..."

    I hear nothing more. Ivana, pregnant? They're not even married. Been together less time than we have. Steve's been out of the country 10 months of the last 12. WHEN have they even had time to procreate? It was THAT easy for them? How? Why?! The surge of jealousy rises to my cheeks too quickly to stop it. Flushed with heat and cold with emptiness all at once, my mind can think of nothing else. I instantly imagine her and her swelling abdomen in the house we used to share with Steve. I imagine our old bedroom converted to a nursery. And I feel...bereft. The question really drowning my mind in jealousy has nothing to do with Ivana or Steve or the precious life they're going to have between them. Really, what I want to know is, why not us? Husband isn't deployed. We've been married 3 years.

    And it's not that easy.

    We're home by the time I can talk about shooting skeet again. I try desperately to recover from the unexpected blow, talking myself down from anger and up from doubt, yet my heavy sighs prompt Husband's arms around me, and I exhale my desire into his chest.

    "It's okay, baby," he soothes, kissing my hair. "Our time will come."

    Jealousy and hope quarrel within me as I sink into his strength, for in that moment, I have none to offer.
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