Veronica yawned while she moved to the center of her brother's living room. Henry’s wife was on the couch snacking on some snacks while Veronica handled all the unpacking from their day at the mall. The room was filled with the scent of new clothes and the faint aroma of the pretzels they'd shared for lunch. Sarah’s hand was resting on her swollen belly when she pointed at one of the bags. “Can you get me one of those bars?”
“You just ate like five of them,” Veronica laughed. “That’s bad for the baby.”
“Can’t help it. These cravings are killing me.” Sarah had always been a bit distant and a bit cold when she spent time with Veronica. She loved Henry, yet she had never been a fan of the rest of the family. But ever since she had gotten pregnant, she had been different, warmer, and friendlier. Veronica was excited to be an aunt soon, and she was excited to hang out more with Sarah now that she was seemingly a new and better person.
As Veronica unpacked the bags and threw over a few protein bars, she couldn't help but laugh when she saw her brother’s wife devouring each one. Sarah didn’t seem to care that she was pigging out. Veronica had always known her to be self-conscious about showing her pig side.
As Henry’s younger sister brought some of the empty bags to the paper recycling bin, she realized that she had never been this close to Sarah before. They had spent the day shopping, laughing, and sharing stories, yet their closeness never crossed her mind until now. Sarah had never been close to Henry's family, always feeling like an outsider. But now, with a baby on the way, she obviously felt a need to connect, to be a part of something bigger.
And when Veronica pulled out a tiny onesie from one of the bags, holding it up for Sarah to see, the pregnant woman beamed with excitement. It was blue with little ducks on it, and Sarah snatched it from Veronica’s hands. "Isn't it adorable?" she asked the married woman.
"It's perfect," she said, her voice soft. Veronica's smile widened, and she carefully folded the onesie before placing it on the coffee table. “This was what you were trying to hide from me, huh?”
“You didn’t make it easy,” Veronica said softly. As the last bag was unpacked, Sarah looked at Veronica, a question on her lips.
She took a deep breath and asked, "Veronica, random question. I know we haven’t really hung out that much until recently. But would you like to go on a cruise with me? Just the two of us? Henry’s busy with work, and I wanted to take some time off to myself. But I don’t want to do it alone."
Veronica looked at Sarah, surprise evident on her face. But then she smiled, a genuine, warm smile that reached her eyes. "I’m open to it," she said. That was another thing too. Sarah was always doing something expensive and extravagant. Veronica wasn’t sure where her brother’s wife was getting all that money, but she wasn’t about to pass on a free cruise.
At this point, they were best friends, and Veronica wasn’t about to accidently make Sarah ask somebody else to go. With a baby on the way and a potentially new best friend, Henry’s younger sister wasn’t going to let anything ruin it.