Six Pack Days of Intention

By Sharon D. Tweet


Caroline Stratford leaned against the door jamb and gazed at the emptiness, contemplating. The great room-shift and furniture shuffle had happened a month ago, after their wedding. The vacuum had been run and a good cleaning of the walls performed. All that remained were the blinds on the windows.

Hmm… A vision for the space began to form in her mind and it startled her. She sprang off the door jamb and looked around, afraid someone may have heard her thoughts. Well, that’s ridiculous, Caroline. Intrigued, she returned to her position and let her mind resume its thought.

Her husband watched her from across the hall. Her long brown tresses were woven into a French braid, exposing her bare neck and shoulders. A tank top and cutoff jeans accentuated her figure and sun kissed glow. He smiled. I am one blessed man, Lord. He padded barefoot across the floor to lean against the opposite side of the opening. “So, Sunshine, what do you see in there?”

Redirecting her gaze to rest on her husband, the familiar nickname gave her a giddy feeling. I hope he calls me that forever. “Honestly?”

“Of course.” Rick’s six-foot, one-inch model physique was clad in slacks and a short-sleeved button shirt; his damp hair slicked back, hiding its natural wave.

She locked eyes with him for a moment and an innocent curve turned on her lips before returning her gaze to the empty room. “Well, a nursery.”

The words hung in the air and his breath caught in his throat. A nur… what? He looked into the empty room, back at his wife, down at her midsection, and back up to her face. She doesn’t seem the slightest bit phased by that. What? He opened his mouth to speak, but no words came out.

Caroline shifted her gaze to Rick and instantly realized her carelessness. Oops. I guess I didn’t really think that through. “Oh, Ricky, I –”

“Are you… are we…?” Expressions of astonishment, excitement, and confusion took their turn upon his face.

She watched him fumble for words. “I’m sorry, Ricky. No, I’m not pregnant. I was just thinking. I didn’t mean to…” She did not know quite how to finish as she witness the emotions on his face.

It was quite a bit to process in such a compact moment. The thought of a baby. No baby. Do I want a baby? He blinked and took a breath as his features settled on a look of contented expectation. Of course, I would absolutely

Caroline stepped up next to Rick and slid her arms around his waist. She looked up into his chocolate brown eyes. “But I’m glad to see you’d be so pleased if I were.” She felt his hands glide around her.

He looked down into her emerald green eyes and eagerly leaned in for a long kiss. Pulling back, he nuzzled his face into her neck. “Pleased, indeed.”

She sighed. “Oh, Ricky.” She blinked to clear her mind and took a deep breath. “If we keep this up, we’ll lose all track of time.”

He reluctantly loosened his grip, but kept her in the circle of his arms. “I don’t suppose today is a good day for that.” At the shake of her head, he smiled. “So, what else were you thinking about the room.”

Content to remain in his embrace, she glanced into the room. “Well, we’ve found homes for all the wedding presents, and my boxes are either unpacked or set aside for another time. The house is settling more and more into our space.”

“You no longer turn right at the hallway to go to your old suite.” He cast her a mischievous glance as he swayed from side-to-side.

She snickered. For almost three years, Rick’s house had been her home-away-from-home, as she, her brother, and Rick all lived a unique house-sharing, back-and-forth life. Her old suite had been a haven on the opposite side of the house. “Well, it’s not quite automatic to turn left yet, but it is getting easier. I still perform many impromptu twirls in the hallway to correct myself.”

Rick grinned. “Well, you know this house was made for dancing.”

She hugged him a little tighter. “Good thing. Anyway, looking into that room this morning, that is what I see.”

He breathed in the fragrance of her shampoo. Mmm, mint. That’s new. The fresh scent cleared his thoughts. He looked over her head, into the room. “Well, I learned long ago to never question your creative eye. You’ve always been the more artistic creator, and when brought to fruition, you’ve not been wrong once.”

His generous compliment warmed her heart. He had always been supportive of her and her creative ventures. She looked into the room as the vision became a little clearer. “Aw, shucks, Ricky. Thank you.”

They stood in silence for a few moments, each contemplating the space and its possible future use.

Rick’s architectural mind began to design. “You know, I could –”

Caroline stepped away from him. “Oh no you don’t! Don’t go designing some elaborate two-story contraption for our nursery.”

He looked at her in mock surprise. “What? I was just –”

“Don’t give me that innocent look. I know what you were just. Save those thoughts for the play room when they’re older. Our nursery can be something simple and serene.”

He cocked his head to one side and narrowed his eyebrows. “They, huh? Oh, Sunshine, I’m liking the sound of this more and more.”

A blush settled upon her cheeks as she looked at her husband. They had only been married for a month and a half, but after almost fifteen years of friendship, she knew him well.

Before she could say another word, her attention was drawn to the deep, rich tone of their grandfather clock’s chimes. The sound filled her with warmth and familiarity. I will always love that sound.

Rick watched her smile. “Are you ever going to get tired of it?”

She waited for the chime to end; its resonance hanging in the air. “Nope.” She straightened and stepped toward their suite. Rick followed. “And I’ll always be grateful to Jackson for the gift; and the fact that it sounds almost identical to the one from our childhood. I was sad to have to leave it. Walking into our home after our honeymoon and hearing its chime was the perfect greeting. I knew that I was, in every sense, home.”

Rick stepped into their walk-in closet to retrieve his sports coat, socks, and shoes. “I love how it sounds throughout the house. Funny how I didn’t even know the house was missing it until it was here. It was always a your house thing. Now, I can’t imagine being here without it.” He walked into the main room and sat on the end of the chaise.

Caroline finished putting on her earrings. “Which is funny since it’s such a fixture at the house.”

Rick reached out for Caroline’s hand and the two walked toward the kitchen. “And now it is for us, too.” As they passed the beautiful clock, its wood frame finished in the same tobacco oak as Caroline’s bedroom furniture, they could hear the faint click of the mechanism within.


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