“You have that look again on your face.”
“What look?” I asked him, not bothering to look at him from the book that I was trying to read. ‘Trying’ was the operative term because I had stopped reading a few minutes ago, and was more like staring at the book instead. I think I had this wishy-washy smile on my face, coupled with an amused look.
He described it way better than I did: “That look of wonder.”
I closed the book that I had and tossed it to the foot of the bed. I was craving for chocolates but I didn’t tell him that, because he’d probably tease me again. At least my cravings are normal this time, and not the kind when I tell him that I am actually craving for a Chicago pizza, which of course I couldn’t get because we are not in Chicago at the moment and I am sincerely want the authentic one.
He has to suck it in. I’m pregnant. He’s not the one dealing with all the morning sickness craziness.
“I want you to feel something,” I said, and I took his right hand, placing it atop my left breast, and a mischievous look appeared on his face, and I immediately know what he was thinking.
“No, not that,” I told him, and he just grinned at me, waiting patiently. “Feel,” I whispered, and I did my own waiting until he could finally feel it.
And then that look of wonder also appeared on his face, closely followed by what I recognized as worry. “What…?” was all he could say, and I smiled.
I did it again—breathing deeply and then exhaling until every puff of carbon dioxide is out of my body—and his worry disappeared. He was feeling my heartbeat, every single one of it. It was one of those moments when my heart acts up, when each heartbeat is loud enough to reverberate through my body. With each inhale of oxygen, my heartbeat would race—one, two, three, four, five beats—and alternately, with each exhale, my heartbeat would slow—one… two… three beats.
“It’s called sinus arrhythmia,” I told him. “When I inhale, my heart beats faster, and when I exhale, my heart beats slower. I’ve had it since I was born, I think, but I only noticed it more now because of the stress I’ve been dealing with.”
“Lying next to me stressed you out?!” he asked, and I laughed. He took his hand off my chest and he rolled his eyes at me.
“No,” I said, trying to get my serious mode on. I managed to keep my fit of laughter at a minimum until it finally faded away. “I’ve been stressed at work, and because I was a bit busy that I wasn’t able to exercise. And I don’t know if the pregnancy has something to do with it. My heart’s been acting up lately. I get episodes like this even when seated or lying down.”
“By ‘episodes’ you mean when your heart feels like it wants to get out of your chest.”
I nodded. I took his hand again and placed it on my chest, and I knew he couldn’t feel it anymore because my heart wasn’t as loud as it was earlier. “There, done,” I whispered, and he didn’t want to believe me. He placed two fingers on the side of my neck, feeling for my pulse until he found it.
“It’s your normal thing,” he said with amusement, and I nodded. “It’s a heart condition, hun. It’s not supposed to go away. It acts up every once in a while, but it’s not going to go away.”
“Should I worry?”
I shook my head, taking his hand off my neck and placed it on my cheek, kissing his palm. “It’s like your asthma, H. It’s there, but you don’t notice it until it wants to be noticed.”
He nodded, finally understanding. “I got that analogy,” he said, still contemplative. I moved so that my head was on his shoulder. I placed my right hand on his chest, drawing on it, keeping quiet. We stayed that way, until he spoke again.
“You know that movie with Rob Schneider in it?” he said, turning his head so that while he was speaking, his lips were pressed to my forehead.
“He has a ton of movies.”
H’s chuckle rumbled through his chest. “I know, but the one where he got trapped in another chick’s body—”
“What about it?”
He placed his finger on my chin and he lifted my face, and I gazed into his emerald green eyes. Wonderful and wonder-filled eyes. “There was one scene there, where the girl was telling the guy how he makes her heart beat faster and slower at the same time.”
“You’re literally that. The girl with the heart beating faster and slower in the same breath.”
I pressed my lips against his and I felt him smile against my lips. “My prized find,” he whispered, and kissed him again, deeper this time. He clutched me closer to him, and my heart raced in my chest, and I knew that this time it had nothing to do with my arrhythmia anymore.