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Plus or Minus

The wait

By Gerald HolmesPublished 2 months ago Updated 2 months ago 4 min read
Top Story - October 2023
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

The drip, drip, drip of the leaking faucet punctuated the silence like gun fire. How many times had she asked Michael to fix that stupid sink? How many times had he said he would, but never seemed to get around to it?

How many times over the last two years had he sat there on the floor, in front of her, with hope in his eyes– each second feeling like an hour?

The silence between them was deafening but what was there left to say? They’d been in this same place so many times that there were no words left that hadn’t already been said. There were no words that could calm the fear that she felt at this moment. So he did the only thing he could and sat there on the floor holding her hand and hoping that she could feel his love in that touch. He needed her to feel him and know that he was there to hold her no matter what the result was.

He’d loved Tina since the first day they met and it tore at his heart to see the longing and fear in her tear filled eyes. This was everything to her and she was everything to him. She was his reason, his home, his lover, his best friend, his wife, his everything.

The old clock on the bathroom wall ticked away the seconds like a hammer beat to her soul; each tick and tock stealing away time as if it was a thief in the night. Time was such a funny thing. How could two years feel like two days but three minutes feel like a lifetime? Maybe it was because everything that she thought she was and everything that she wanted to be depended on those three minutes– three minutes that they’d lived six times already.

Each of those six times had started with great hope and ended with great pain. Each of those tear filled days had torn a little piece of her heart away and she didn’t think she could do it again. Ever since she was a little girl this was all she ever wanted. How could she not be able to do the one thing she felt she was born to do? She’d done everything right and followed the doctor’s instructions compulsively each time but still here she was, sitting on the toilet holding her husband’s hand like a lifeline.

Michael could see the fear in her eyes but he could also see something else there and he knew what she was thinking. She knew that he wanted this as much as she did and it broke his heart to see guilt in her eyes. Just last week he had told her that it was wrong to feel guilty about something that she could not control and he couldn’t live without her regardless of the result.

But this morning as he left the shower he heard the end of the phone conversation she had with her mother and felt his heart being pulled from his chest. She’d come from a long line of strong women that had grown large families like weeds. Her mother used to laugh and say that all her father had to do was walk past her and she would become pregnant. Tina reminded her mother of that story as she cried into the phone saying that she didn’t feel like a woman any more- she felt like a failure and had let her husband down.

Michael thought about all that this woman had given him as he held her trembling hands, while the clock ticked off the last few seconds of waiting time.

They had a connection like no one they knew and could almost read each other’s thoughts. Tina felt the strength of that connection as she stared into Michael’s eyes and felt his thoughts in her mind as clearly as if he had spoken them. He was telling her how much he loved her and that she could never let him down as she was his everything.

She couldn’t help but smile as Michael jumped when the alarm sounded, bringing them both back to reality. He stared at her for a second before walking to the sink and grabbing the test strip.

Michael stood there for a minute, with his back to her, shaking as he looked at the strip.

She could see something change in the air around him and knew the result before he turned, with tears in his eyes, and showed her the PLUS sign.

Overwhelmed with joy Tina fell to her knees on the floor, crying the happiest tears of her life. Michael joined her and held her tight to his body as she touched her belly thinking, “you’re so lucky, little one. You’re going to have the best daddy any child could hope for.”


About the Creator

Gerald Holmes

Born on the east coast of Canada. Travelled the world for my job and discovered that kindness is the most attractive feature in any human.

R.I.P. Tom Brad. Please click here to be moved by his stories.

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  2. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  3. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  3. Masterful proofreading

    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

  4. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

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Comments (32)

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  • Rachel Deeming26 days ago

    A truly lovely heartwarming story, Gerald. Took me back to those moments of uncertainty and want. A well deserved TS.

  • The Invisible Writerabout a month ago

    The opening scene was brilliant a dripping sink and gunfire also I like happy ending well done sir

  • Well done! Wonderfully emotional! 💕

  • Lamar Wiggins2 months ago

    Great entry, Gerald. Pretty intense and very well written and conveyed. I was so happy for them. And Congrats!!!

  • Kendall Defoe 2 months ago

    Baby time!!!

  • Caroline Jane2 months ago

    Eeee. Goodness... that was tense! Lovely ending. Congratulations on your top story. ❤

  • L.C. Schäfer2 months ago

    The suspense killed me! Congratulations to this couple 😁

  • Andie Emerson2 months ago

    You twisted my heart a little bit... congrats!

  • J. S. Wade2 months ago

    Beautiful story, masterfully written. Love it Gerald! Congratulations 🥇

  • Excellent words

  • Babs Iverson2 months ago

    Congratulations on Top Story!!!💕❤️❤️

  • Rita2 months ago


  • Donna Fox (HKB)2 months ago

    Oh, I love this!! Such a great story that turned from divested hope to joy!! Great work Gerald!!

  • -Sweet ♥️💯✌️📝🥹 Congratulations on your Top Story Gerald🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉

  • Celia in Underland2 months ago

    I have tears in my eyes. This was so beautifully and delicately done! Congratulations on a superb top story! 🤍

  • Naveed2 months ago

    Congratulations on your Top Story

  • Paul Stewart2 months ago

    Oh damn, this is so brilliant, Gerard, pure dead brilliant is a phrase we use in Scotland/Glasgow for something exceeding excellance and this is that. I love all the details...from the slight annoyance of the tap to the pain expressed by failed pregnancy attempts to the joy in the end. The pacing was also exceptional...the way you built up that tension they were both feeling as they waited. Congrats on a well-deserved Top Story and a great entry!

  • Donna Renee2 months ago

    This is fantastic! You showed the emotion encompassing them both in those agonizing minutes soooo well!! ❤️❤️❤️

  • Cathy holmes2 months ago

    There ya go, bro. Congrats on the TS.

  • This was so emotional and sweet! I love Michael and Tina!

  • Naomi Gold2 months ago

    Well, you’ve done it again. You’ve moved me to tears. 🥹 The love between these two was so beautifully conveyed through your words that I as a reader didn’t care if it was a plus or minus—because they had each other, and that’s all they need. The happy ending was the cherry on top. I hope to see this place in the challenge.

  • Carol Townend2 months ago

    This is such a beautiful story. I love the emotion that pours through it, and there is a lot of feeling in it.

  • Denise E Lindquist2 months ago

    So good! 😊💕❤️

  • OMG so emotional and deep... so real and sincere 💙 Anneliese

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