When she was nearly six months pregnant, she finished her second Pseumish book. She loaded Return to Pseumish on a flash drive, and then hid it in a special case in her room. She stood for a few minutes looking around her lonely house. “I do love it here, but I should travel some before the baby comes. I can’t just wait around the house for James. He didn’t even know when he would return,” she thought. “Hmmm, where do I want to go?” She sat on the chaise and planned her trip. She would ride the bus to Venice and spend a week there. Taking the flash drive to her publisher in London was a necessity; so that would be next. She would drop off the flash drive and enjoy London for a couple of days. Then she would fly to Zurich, Switzerland. She wasn’t sure how long she would stay there. From there she could ride a train all the way back to Trieste. She figured that was a zigzag enough trip for a spy. She told Amedeo and Emiliana about her plans. They, of course, thought she was crazy for traveling so extensively while pregnant; and alone at that. She laughed them off and told them, “It’s now or never.” She also shared her concerns about James. Not his occupation, but how his work kept him away so much. She told them that he didn’t know about the baby. They were always sympathetic listeners and had wise words to share with her about anything she was going through. The following day, she packed her bag. She decided to take a big one and leave it half empty for purchases along the way. She called a cab to take her to the bus station. The trip was a little over an hour by bus. Anna was breathless at the sight of Venice; or maybe it was just the baby pushing up on her lungs. Either way, Venice was beautiful. She caught a cab from the bus station to her hotel. Hotel Rialto took her breath away as much as the city had. It sat on the water and was very luxurious. She was glad she had chosen to stay a week there. The valets and concierge were going out of their way to welcome her and help her when she arrived. They were obviously going ‘the second mile’ for her since she was pregnant. She took a long, warm bath after she had settled into her room. She dressed up as best she could being six months pregnant and went out for dinner. On her second day there, she thought she spotted someone following her with a camera. At first she was a little worried; then she was angry. She realized it must be the spy network keeping tabs on her. “Well, I suppose I’ll do my best to ignore them,” she said to herself. She found she couldn’t spend a lot of time on the gondolas because she was more prone to sea sickness while pregnant. She had to laugh out loud at how the Italian men tripped all over themselves trying to be kind to the pregnant lady. She didn’t have to touch a chair in her entire stay in Venice. Someone was always there to scoot it in and out for her. Mostly, she enjoyed walking in Venice. She walked several hours every day. The little woman who came up to her room at night to rub her feet was her new favorite person in the whole world. “You take care of the pregnant feet, signora,” the sweet woman would say. She wanted to tell her that her feet were not pregnant, but didn’t out of affection for this wonderful woman. All too soon, she was at the end of her visit to Venice. As she arrived at the airport, she said, “Ciao, Venezia. Hello, London.” When the plane was in the air she had her first thoughts of James since she had left Trieste. She was thinking about her first flight from London to Milan with him. She was so scared, but so in love with him. They had been lovers on the plane and lovers for two days afterward. How things had changed. She tried to put his last visit home in a positive light, but it only turned dark and depressing. He did not smile or show emotion. He didn’t want to hold her as he had done before. She felt the now familiar knot making its way to her throat and decided she needed to think about something else. She did not want to cry.
In London, she checked into her favorite hotel. They knew her, but were shocked to see her maternal state. She immediately noticed that the British weren’t as keen to care for pregnant women as the Italians had been. “Oh well, I’m only here for two days,” she thought. She met with Bob and gave him her new book. He was thrilled, of course. “If you need to make any modifications, just call me. I’m not living in London anymore and can’t get here often enough to work on it,” she told him. She hoped he would not fish for any more information. Thankfully, he was busy and cut their appointment short. She visited a few of her favorite places in London before arranging her trip to Zurich. She bought a soft ankle length coat for her stay in Switzerland. The flight was beautiful. She felt so peaceful staying in a hotel in sight of the Alps. The food was comforting for a pregnant woman. The people were friendly and made her feel welcome there. She wanted to stay a week there, but the cold started to get to her. So, she only stayed four days and then she arranged for her train ride to Trieste. The train trip was filled with amazing views. She would have enjoyed it much more had there not been a strange man across the aisle gawking at her. He was constantly trying to engage her in conversation, but she had no interest. He sounded American. When he wasn’t trying to talk to her, he seemed to be pushing every button on his cell phone making a horrible racket. He started to get pushier and was offended that she wouldn’t talk to him. He couldn’t imagine why she would not want his companionship. After all, she was a helpless pregnant woman. She tried her best to make him aware of her capability and that she had no need of his help. She wondered if he was trying to be annoying or was he genuinely creepy? This was the only moment in her travel that she wished she were not alone. He was really upsetting her. She had to go to the bathroom and he got up and waited for her outside the door. She finally talked to a conductor who passed through the car. The conductor had compassion and moved her to another car. Only the last hour of her trip was peaceful. She vowed to never ride a train alone again. She managed to evade him at the Trieste train station and was so thankful when she was back safely in her home again. Over all she was glad she had taken the trip, and she could now be more tranquil about waiting in her home for the baby.
After she unpacked and started some laundry, she went downstairs to check in with her neighbors. She told them all about her trip. Emiliana told her she looked happy and healthy, so it must have been a good trip. She cleared her throat and asked, “Did James come while I was gone?” They both shook their heads. “He is not good to you,” Amedeo said. She didn’t know how to respond. In a few moments, she stood and excused herself. She found she was suddenly very tired. She slept for several hours that afternoon. When she woke she sat on the chaise in the dark and thought. It had already been two months since James left. Images of the Bond women came again to haunt her. Did he regret marrying her? Was he even thinking of her? Surely there was a way to do his job and still come home to see her. Her doubts and fears were getting the best of her. She got herself up and went to the kitchen to find something to eat. She patted her belly and said, “I’ve got to feed you, don’t I?” In the back of her mind she was asking herself, “How long should I wait for you, James?”
this book is copyrighted.