She walked...no lumbered...no waddled into the coffee shop, her round and extended tummy upsetting the newspapers on the counter.
"I need a double mocha and a blueberry scone," she said, her voice desperate.
"That mocha's decaf, right?" the kid behind the counter asked.
"No." Her voice was sharp. "I want a double freaking mocha. Full strength! Lots of whip! Chop, chop!"
"But don't you think that would be bad," he said, snotty tone behind his words. "I mean, in your condition?"
"And what exactly is my 'condition'?"
"Um, really?" He looked at her stomach. "It's kind of obvious. And I'm not giving a highly caffeinated drink to a pregnant woman. We have plenty of fruit juices."
She reached both of her swollen hands across the counter, taking the young punk by the collar of his annoyingly peach polo shirt. She pulled his skinny, pimply head close to hers.
"Listen, you little idiot, and listen closely. I want that coffee. I have gone forty weeks obsessing over everything I've put in my mouth, terrified that I would damage my little baby. But no more. Oh, no. No more. I haven't had a single cup of coffee, not even a sip of wine. Do you have any idea what that does to a person? I've stayed away from tuna and feta cheese. Don't even get me started about how many times a day I have to pee!"
"I'm sorry, lady..."
"You're sorry? Are you really?"
"Yeah." Gulp. "I really am."
"Then get your saggy pants wearing booty over there and steam that milk!"
"Okay. Thank you."
She released him, rubbed her hand across her belly and whipped her hair around. "Don't forget that blueberry scone."
"I'll be right on that, ma'am." He scampered to create her drink.
"Reina!" a woman from across the shop called. "Is that you?"
Reina swung her pregnant body around, knocking over the plate of cookie samples.
"Oh my goodness!" she squealed. "Leslie!"
The woman hugged. The boy behind the counter peeked over the whipped creamed mocha, marveling in her ability to go from homicidal to bubbly happy all within 5 seconds.
"Ma'am," his voice quivered. "Your mocha and scone."
"Oh, thanks! How much?"
"Don't worry about it. It's on the house."
"How sweet of you!"
"So," Leslie said, putting her hands on her hips, accentuating her thin waist-line. "What's new?"
"Not too much." Reina answered. "Gosh, I haven't seen you since college!"
"I know! I didn't even know you were expecting. How exciting. Who's the father?"
"Eddie. As in, Eddie that I used to date? That Eddie?"
"Yup. This is our first."
"How about that." The smile left Leslie's face. "When's your due date?"
"Oh, last week. I'm a little overdue."
"My goodness, Reina. Shouldn't you be home with your feet up?"
"Nah. I feel fine."
"Well, look at you. All up and going and carrying twins."
"Um, I'm not having twins."
"Are you sure?" Leslie looked directly into Reina's. There was some kind of attitude set in her face. "You're pretty big for just one baby."
"You think so, do you?" Reina put an edge on her voice.
"I do." Leslie challenged. "Isn't your doctor worried that you've gained too much weight?"
"No. She thinks I'm doing just fine."
"Well, I think you should probably lay off the scones." Leslie puckered her lips and cocked her head. "Don't you think?"
Reina's fist connected solidly with Leslie's left eye. She picked up her mocha and scone, stepped over Leslie and found a table.
She sipped the perfect mocha and felt her baby bump around her womb. It made her smile.