This is Issue 19 of Hope On The Rocks, entitled "Catch-22".

This issue is Esther-centric.

211; Catch-22

Rogersville is a really nice town. I like the people here, and especially them I live with. They have all welcomed us with open arms.
I am sharing room with my boyfriend, Ridley, in the huge house we live in.
Right now, I am at the marketplace, looking for something that nobody should know I am looking for. It’s not because it’s embarrising, because it’s not. It’s more because Ridley would freak out if he figured out.
I pass a stall with improvised shoes and clothes. There’s a nice jacket that I might buy for Ridley later. But not now. I have to focus.
“Can I help the young lady?” I hear a voice say. I turn around, and see a stall, bigger than the others. Behind is a man in a wheelchair, missing both legs. Miles and Al told about this guy. They said his name was Axel Durwin.
“Hi.” I say and smile, walking over to Axel’s stall.
“You’re looking for anything?” Axel asks. “Chances are I just might have it.”
“I will just look.” I say and smile to Axel.
“Suit yourself.” Axel says.
I begin to look over the stuff Axel sells; rare medication, batteries, oil lamps, instruments, sheets. He basicly has everything you would want.
“You know, if you tell what you’re looking for I can tell you if I have it.” Axel says. I look up.
“I...” I begin. I don’t want to tell what I’m looking for. I don’t want anyone to know. “I will just look.”
Axel looks at me for a few seconds. It makes me uncormfortable.
“I will not run out and tell everyone what you’ve bought.” He says and manages a friendly smile.
I don’t know... If he does have it, and I buy it, he will know anyway. I might as well try.
I kneel down and whispers: “I need a pregnancy test... But please don’t tell anyone.”
Yea, I know. Pregnant? Now? I don’t know... I have been sick the last week. Morning sickness. I fear that I’m pregnant. If I am, Ridley is going to kill me.
Axel leans back. “Well, I only have one. Ain’t free.”
I take off my silver necklache and hands it to Axel. He looks at it for ten seconds or something. Then he looks at me, and discretely looks through a bag for a small yellow box. He hands it to me.
“Thank you.” I say and turns around, sticking the pregnancy test in my pocket.
“Hey, lady.” Axel says as I proceed to leave. “You live with that guitar-guy, right?”
I turn around, and assume he is talking about Miles. “Yes, why?”
He throws a small box to me.
“Picks.” He just says. I nod and leave.

Later, I am sitting in Ridley’s and my room. I have the answer. It’s bittersweet. It’s nice, but sad at the same time.
“So, honey, what’d you do today?” Ridley asks, his scottish accent very clear. I think that was why I fell for him.
I haven’t told him the answer yet. He doesn’t even know I bought the test.
“I... just relaxed I guess.” I say. I am sitting in the bed, only in t-shirt and panties. I am looking down, afraid of what Ridley might say.
“You guess?” Ridley says and smiles. He walks towards me, kneels down and looks me in the eyes. “Are everything allright, honey?”
I look him in the eyes too, bite my lip and take a deep breath.
“I... Ridley, I’m pregnant.”
The words hit Ridley as a bucket of water. He freezes, just looks at me for, at least, five seconds. It feels like more, though.
Finally something happens; a smile appears on his face. He gives me a hug and says: “That’s amazing.”
I am so reliefed. I hug him back.
“We shouldn’t tell the rest.” I say after hugging for a few seconds.
Ridley looks at me. “I guess. We don’t want them to freak out.” He kisses me. “Does anyone else know?”
“I bought the test from Axel. Nobody else.” I say and smile.
Ridley nods. A smile appears on his face again. I hear a silent laugh. “We’re gonna have a little kid.” He says and kisses me again. “We’re gonna be parents.”


  • None


Hope On The Rocks - Arc 2
Previous Arc: 108

Issue - Centric Character
201, Make That Four - Miles
202, Follow The Leader - Chad
203, Hospes - Ridley
204, Rogersville, Pennsylvania - Al
205, A New Agenda - Miles
206, Nautilus - Lia
207, Homecoming - Odin
208, Now We Wait - Chad
209, Amo - Miles
210, Fifteen Dollars - Al
211, Catch-22 - Esther
212, Beautiful - Miles

Next Arc: 301

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