< — The Beginning and the End — >(3)
Lucia slowly got up from the bed, facing the morning sun. She had fallen asleep late in the afternoon as it was getting darker but when she opened her eyes, it was morning.
“Oh my goodness. Did I sleep that long?”
She didn’t wake up at any intervals and slept like a rock. She kept on feeling tired lately, but her body didn’t feel that refreshed. Rather than feeling sluggish due to the excessive sleep, her head felt light.
Lucia called her maid and asked her to bring water for washing her face.
“Has he left?”
“No. Master is in his office.”
Hugo came to the bedroom after hearing that his wife was awake. He arrived just when Lucia was about to change her clothes. Once the maid attending to Lucia discovered Hugo, she bowed her head and withdrew.
Hugo quickly approaching his wife, who was smiling at him, and hugged her. Lucia was taken aback by his sudden action and asked carefully.
“Did you hear…from the doctor?”
Hugo had been worried yesterday because he felt she was sleeping for too long. When he concernedly asked if it would be better for her to wake up and eat something, the doctor said:
[It’s okay for one day. Milady told me she felt tired these days, so it would be better to allow her to just sleep.]
While holding her sound asleep figure, Hugo could barely sleep all night. Her body had a slight fever, so it felt warm to the touch. Upon recalling the doctor’s statement that a mild fever was common early in pregnancy, Hugo tried to assuage his worries.
His mind was filled with all sorts of thoughts, so he ended up not getting a wink of sleep.
Pfft. Lucia burst out laughing.
“Did the doctor tell you to say that?”
The doctor made a long-winded speech as if she was taking the chance to make up for the past times when she felt inadequate before the Duke. For Hugo, listening to the doctor’s prattle was very excruciating, so he momentarily considered changing to a male doctor.
The doctor talked to Hugo about the sensitive mood of an expectant mother and scared him with examples of patients with various and extreme symptoms of depression.
She emphasized that due to their severe changes in mood, pregnant women tended to be more sensitive and could be easily hurt by something minor. Thinking that his own manner of speaking wasn’t exactly sweet, Hugo was worried.
[The Madam is currently showing signs of anxiety. At times like this, the husband has to comfort the wife and show your sincerity in welcoming the child.]
He didn’t know what to say so he recited it exactly like the doctor had told him to. Lucia lifted her head and cupped his face in her hands.
“Your words have no sincerity.”
“…It’s not that there’s no sincerity, I just honestly don’t know what to do. I don’t hate it.”
“I know what you mean. I’m also like that. It doesn’t even feel real. And it may not be pregnancy.”
“The palace nurse definitely didn’t diagnose wrongly.”
Lucia looked into his eyes. It was hard to tell what he was thinking from the neutrality of his gaze. She didn’t know whether she should be happy that her husband’s reaction was much calmer than she expected or whether she should be worried.
She was glad that he didn’t react in worse ways, such as denying it, since her pregnancy should be impossible or refusing that he was the father of the child.
“It is our child.” (Lucia)
The look in his eyes turned to that of puzzlement.
“Of course.” (Hugo)
Hugo couldn’t understand the meaning behind her words. He could not guess that Lucia was concerned that her husband might be suspicious of her fidelity.
Hugo had not thought of that at all. He only thought that his wife was still thinking about when he said that he didn’t want a child.
“I’ve said this before, but if it is your child then I am fine with it. I might be a little out of it because it is unexpected, but I do not hate it. If you’re upset then I’m sorry.”
“No. I am not upset.”
Lucia was very happy. And she was thankful to him.
He did not want to have children for a long time. Even though he said that he was okay with it if it was her child, it was something he said when he assumed that her getting pregnant was impossible.
But now, it had come to the forefront and become reality. And even then, he still said that he would accept the child. It meant that it wasn’t just pretty words that he was saying at the time to comfort her.
Lucia felt the anxiety buried deep in her heart melt away. She began to think that everything would be okay. She had a feeling, no, confidence, that when the child was born, he would be a good father.
Hugo looked at his wife for a while as she grinned happily, then he lowered his head and kissed her. Lucia wrapped her arms around his neck and shared a long, deep kiss with him.
“There’s a part I can’t understand.” (Hugo)
“Me too.” (Lucia)
How did she become pregnant? Just as she expected, her husband was also wondering about this issue.
“You think so too, right?” (Hugo)
“It was fine yesterday. Why is it forbidden as soon as we find out you’re pregnant?”
“The doctor must be a quack. I have to ask the palace nurse that diagnosed your pregnancy.”
Lucia sensed that what he was saying, and what she was saying, were not in sync. And when she vaguely grasped what he was talking about, her face gradually stiffened.
“What does she mean we can’t do it for three months? Is this not a plan to kill me?”
“Are you crazy? You’re going to go where, and ask who what?”
Lucia shouted as her face reddened and she hit his chest. Hugo had a shameless expression on his face as if asking what he did wrong. Lucia pushed his chest and removed herself from his embrace.
“Just try it if you dare. You won’t get a feet inside this room.”
The knowledge that he had to give up on the pleasure of the night was a bombshell of its own, but there was no worse torture than not being able to even touch his wife. Hugo stretched his hand to her again, but his wife shocked him by shaking him off and avoiding his hand.
“You said you were thinking the same thing.” (Hugo)
“No! I was thinking about something different. They asked us to be careful because the child could get hurt, so is that so important to you?” (Lucia)
“Hurt? There’s no way my child is so weak.”
Lucia was done with his dignified bullshit sophistry. She coldly turned around.
“Go and work on what you were working on. I want to rest.”
“Sleep, again? You have to eat something.”
“I’ll eat something later.”
Hugo gazed at his wife, who was lying on the bed, not even responding, then he left the bedroom.
[…psychological state will be very uneasy, there will be extreme mood swings, irritation will increase…]
Hugo sighed when he recalled the contents of the lecture, ‘A Study on the Psychological State of a Pregnant Woman,’ that the doctor gave him.
His wife was with child. It was beginning to feel a little bit real. The doctor said that they needed more time to know for sure, but from Hugo’s standpoint, there was no doubt about it. Otherwise, there was no way his gentle, good-natured wife would change like that.
T/N: I couldn’t stop laughing for this one. 10/10.