Ordinary Amner Hall: The Photo, страница 1
Kate reclines in her overstuffed chair. Head back, feet up. She is mindlessly gazing at the telly. Her baby girl is dozing in her arms, nursing. They have been like this for an hour. The baby is not eating. She is only sucking, soothing herself into oblivion. Kate wishes she could put her down. She knows as soon if does, she will wake up, and begin her loud and obnoxious fussing. This way, she remains sweet and angelic. So, Kate resigns herself as human pacifier for the new little creature.
George, her toddler, is one floor above them. She could hear him, in his crib, screaming at the top of his lungs. His screeching annoys her. She switches off the baby monitor, and slams it down on the table beside her. Why leave it on, she thought, when I can hear him, plain as day, without it. Several minutes pass. And, finally, quiet. Dare she hope? She reaches for the remote, switching the telly to the security channel. She finds the feed from the camera monitoring George's room. Yes! She see's her boy, in black and white, on the screen. He has finally laid down, giving in to his nap. Back to her program. She sighs, rejoicing. She should have about one hundred and twenty minutes of peace, before he's at it again. She switches on the baby monitor, once more. She hears him sniffling from his long hard cry. There is a tinge of remorse for letting him cry it out, like that. But, only a tinge.
She is exhausted from her morning of nothingness. She has not left the house. She has not had a shower. She has not brushed her teeth, or her hair, or put on make up. She had a cup of tea, first thing, but other than that, she has not eaten. She has not had a real conversation since William left at half past seven. She has only been up and down, a million times. Keeping George out of harms ways, with one arm, while holding the baby to her breast with the other.
She is happy for a break from his constant motion. She's about to doze off, when her mobile rings. The baby stirs, she begins sucking, vigorously, eyes closed. Kate wiggles in her seat, looking around. "Where is the damn thing?" she murmurs the question to no one. She's sitting on it. Shifting her weight, her fingers grasp the phone beneath her. It's her communications director, again, ringing her from his office in London. She does not want to talk to him, but she forces her finger across the screen, accepting the call. "Yes, Ollie?" She tries to smile.
"Sorry to bother, Your Royal Highness. Only, I'm wondering when to expect the photos of Princess Charlotte? Have you taken them yet?"
"I have taken them. They need a bit of editing, and then I'll email them too you."
"So, perhaps, this afternoon?"
"I have no timeline for you, Ollie." She snaps, "You'll have them when you have them."
"We have to give them something. No one has seen her since her birth. It's been 4 weeks."
"I know how long it's been!" Her voice raises.
"Forgive me, Ma'am. I don't mean to irritate you. I'm only trying to keep the paparazzi off your front lawn."
She softens, a little. "I know that. I'm sorry. (Sigh) I'm just... I'll get them to you. Soon. I promise."
The conversation ends. With her outstretched arm, she turns her iPhone on herself. Click. A photo appears on the screen. She looks forlorn, her baby contentedly tussling at her bare bosom. "There! There's your stupid photo, Ollie." She wondered what he'd think if she emailed him that. "I think that should keep the rags off our backs for at least three more weeks, whaddya say, Charlotte?" She coos to the baby, who grasps her index finger. Kate raises the small hand to her lips and kisses it softly.
It is late in the evening when Kate, greets William at the door. Charlotte is in her arms. "Sorry I'm late. I took one last call, and it took longer than expected." He leaned in to kiss her lips, but, pulled away. "Eww. Bad breath."
She handed him the baby. "Here! Now that you're home, you can hold her, and look after George, and I'll go brush my teeth."
Just then, George burst in on them. "Papa! Papa home! Papa home!" He exclaims, throwing himself at William, attaching to his leg.
"Hey! Little boy! What are you doing up? It's way past your bedtime!" He says, following Kate into the kitchen. Carrying Charlotte and dragging George as he holds tight to his leg.
She explains, "He napped too long."
"Why didn't you wake him?"
"Because, I took a nap as well."
"Well, I hope you're well rested. He looks like he could go all night." George was chattering loudly, squeezing his Papa's leg with all his might. William grasped a handful of his blonde hair. Gently, he tilted his head upward. He looked into the little face. "You're wild, mate!" He said playfully. "Wild!"
George giggled, and screeched happily back at his father. "Wild!"
At the same time, Kate looks down her nose at the pair of them, "Does it look like I'm well rested?" She heads toward the back stairs. "I may take a shower, too."