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Two Blue Lines

by Julie Arduini  
3/31/2007 / Short Stories

My hands shook as I ripped open the cellophane wrapping, revealing the plastic wand that would reveal my future in two minutes or less. I scanned the counter, making sure I had my watch, the wand tray, and my Bible. If ever I needed to stand on His promises, it would be during those two minutes.

My trek to that test was years in the making but never before had I read the directions, never needed to. The answer always came early as a resounding no through extreme cramps and mood swings. I was an expert in charting, progesterone shots and doses of Clomid but this test was new. Late to meetings, late to church, late to work, that was my first time late for what truly mattered to us.

The instructions seemed foreign to me as I read them. My nerves were wound so tight it took me awhile to discern of all the miracles I might learn that morning, reading Spanish wasn't going to be one of them. I flipped the page over to English and closed my eyes. I knew a college degree gave me no edge on this test. I was frustrated that the directions seemed too hard for me to grasp. I couldn't focus. I had to. Chris was waiting in the kitchen with his coffee and bowl of soggy Corn Pops. Couldn't I just pull myself together and comprehend those instructions for just two minutes?

I made another attempt to read, looking at the little picture boxes to aid me. I picked up the wand, looking for the grooved end. My confidence was anywhere but in the bathroom with me.

"Honey, you okay in there? Everything going ok?"

He tried to keep an upbeat voice but I heard the nervousness on his last word. Our dreams hinged on me reading the paper, applying the steps, and waiting on the results.

"I'm, uh, I'm fine. I can't seem to understand the directions. I've read them in part about six times, once in Spanish, and I'm not getting it. Nerves probably."

I let out a nervous laugh, pressing the paper to my forehead like Johnny Carson used to as Carnac. Maybe the information could just seep into my brain that way. Chris responded with a warbled sound, probably his mouth partially full of cereal.

"I'm not an expert in these things or anything but gee Glenda, don't you just sit on the pot, get the wand, hold it just so, do your thing and wait?"

My husband, the simplifier. If only he had written the instructions. I knelt on the floor, instructions still crumpled in my hand.

"Ok Chris, give me two minutes."

I uttered a quick prayer before I transitioned to the vinyl blue seat covering. I placed the directions right to my side on the bathroom counter, next to my duck dcor toothbrush holder.

Deed done, I placed the wand on the tray and looked at the watch. Two minutes. Would I head for the Psalms or Proverbs? Hebrews Hall of Faith recap? I just laid myself out on the linoleum floor with my head and hands on the Bible. I had no words; I wasn't up to reading anymore. I just quietly cried. So many months we yearned to reach that point. Numerous conversations about what if our dreams come to pass. For all those months. When I felt like I released the entire dream and results to the Lord, I slowly stood up, a tad dizzy, and reached for the watch. My eyes avoided the wand. I didn't want to see until it was officially time. The watch revealed the time. Two minutes were up.

Hands shaky, palms sweaty, stomach in knots, I slowly leaned in to the wand. Anxiety so strong I retreated and went for the directions just one last time. I had to know for sure and for certain what the answers were. It wasn't a time to get the results backwards. I leaned in again, a wave of nausea threatening to overtake me.

"Oh Lord. Oh Lord!"

I opened the bathroom door to find Chris. He was in the kitchen pacing, eyes closed, fervently praying. I put my hands on his shoulders.


His ocean blue eyes searched my tear filled brown ones. I collapsed into his arms, freely weeping. After a few moments I pulled together enough composure to share.

"Two blue linesdaddy."

Julie Arduini,, is devoted to writing for Christ in ways that encourage and inspire. A graduate of the Christian Writer's Guild, her writing resume is on her blog's sidebar. Happily married to Tom, they have two children.

@2009 by Julie Arduini

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