Marguerite was outside. She couldn’t stand to be in the house with Thao’s wife any more. The woman was driving her crazy, treating her like she was a servant at her beck and call. She was insufferable and bossy.
That morning, she had walked into the living-room while Marguerite was dusting the furniture and said to her, “When you’re done cleaning, I’d like you to go to the drugstore and get a home pregnancy test for me.”
Marguerite stopped what she was doing to look at her. There was a curious expression on the other woman’s face–a sort of jubilation. “You want me to go the drugstore get you a pregnancy test?” she asked. On the surface, she appeared calm but inside, she was in turmoil. If it turned out that Linh was pregnant, then, she would have to end her relationship with Thao and move out. She hoped and prayed that Linh wasn’t pregnant.
“Yes. You can take the bus and go, can’t you?”
“Why can’t you go and get it yourself?”
“Why should I when you can do it for me? Now, when you’re done here, come and see me and I’ll give you the money.”
Marguerite took her time cleaning and then, reluctantly and slowly she made her way to the terrace where Linh was relaxing. “I’m going out now. Do you have the money for the drugstore?”
Linh had smiled and given her the money. “Here’s the money for the pregnancy test,” she said. “Make sure you get the Clearblue one.”
Marguerite had taken the money from her. “Anything else?” she asked.
“No. That’s it for now.” Then, Linh had turned her head dismissively. Fuming, Marguerite had walked away.
She went to the drugstore first and then, to the grocery store. When she returned to the house, she took the groceries first to the kitchen and unpacked them before she went in search of Linh who was in the living-room watching television. Without saying a word, Marguerite gave her the bag with the pregnancy test inside and the change. Then, she turned and walked away before Linh could say anything.
After getting dinner ready, Marguerite had come outside for a breath of fresh air and to clear her mind. She had no idea if Linh had gotten up from the sofa and gone to into the bathroom to do the pregnancy test. What if she were pregnant? She didn’t want to think about it but how could she not? If Linh were pregnant, she, Marguerite couldn’t remain there at the house. She would have to move out. A child would change everything. It meant that Thao wouldn’t divorce Linh and it meant that Linh might come and live here permanently.
These thoughts were running through her mind when she heard Thao’s car pull up. She turned as he turned off the engine and got out of the car. He walked over to her. They didn’t hug because it was possible for Linh to see them from the living-room window. “What’s the matter?” Thao asked Marguerite.
“It has been a very trying day,” she told him.
He grimaced. “Has Linh been giving you trouble again?”
“She has been her usual insufferable bossy self but this time, she had the nerve to ask me to go to the drugstore for her.”
“The drugstore? What did she need you to go there for?”
Marguerite hesitated before she said quietly, “A pregnancy test.”
Thao stared at her. “A pregnancy test?”
“Yes. I gave it to her after I took the groceries to the kitchen.”
He ran his fingers through his hair. “A pregnancy test.”
“Thao, if it turns out that she’s pregnant, I will have to move out.”
“Move out?” he repeated.
“Yes. I can’t continue to live here if your wife is pregnant.”
“You can’t move out,” he protested. The mere thought of her not seeing her everyday was unbearable.
“I will have to,” she insisted. “I can’t continue living here, especially if Linh decides to move in with you.”
“Where will you go?”
“I’ll find somewhere.”
“Marguerite, if she’s not pregnant, I’m going to ask her for a divorce. I can’t lose you.”
“And, if she’s pregnant, you’ll have to let me go.”
“I’ll go and get dinner ready,” she muttered before she turned and walked away, her heart breaking and the tears threatening to fall. He watched her go, his heart aching and his expression drawn.