• Linda Nygard

The Secret

Sheila continued to feel woozy.


“Let’s get you back to the tent.” Evelyn suggested.


“Good idea.” Sheila said as she stood up. Within seconds Sheila began to wobble and fall forward. Rocky caught Sheila before she had a chance to complete the plunge.


“Easy there,” he cautioned while slowly sitting her back down.


“I can do it.” Sheila insisted. “Just give me a few minutes.”


“I don’t think so,” said Rocky. “We need to get you there safely.”


Leroy the clown stepped up. “I can give her a ride in my wagon.”


“That’s mighty kind of you.” Rocky smiled.


“I’ll be right back.” Leroy went around to the back of the mess tent and emerged sitting upon his tall tricycle, towing an adult sized Red Wagon.


“Madam,” Leroy said with a tip of his hat, “Your chariot awaits.”


Sheila again tried to stand. “I can do…” Her words were cut short by a heave and a gag. She plopped back down on the log.


Rocky reached out his hand. “All right Baby Doll. Humor me this one time.”


With a clown on one side and a cook on the other, they lifted Sheila and sat her in the wagon. She took the opportunity to lie down on her side and curl her legs up. “You win.” She exhaled.


“Hop on Evelyn. Give the lady company.”


“Don’t mind if I do.” Evelyn said as she sat in the wagon next to Sheila’s fetal position.


Rocky leaned over to Sheila. “I’ll check in on you later.”


She winced and forced a smile as Leroy began to pedal them away from the mess tent.


“I figure it’s time to let you know.” Sheila whispered to Evelyn.


“Know what Sheila?”


She looked up. “I’m pregnant.”


“Rocky?”


“No.”


“May I ask? Then who?”


“A husband.”


A look of confusion crossed Evelyn’s face. “Husband?”


“Yes.”


“When?”


“Before I joined.”


“That was…” Evelyn began to calculate the length of time Sheila had been with the circus.


“Four months ago.”


Up front Leroy was minding his own business but could not help overhearing the word “pregnant”. This was privileged information that Leroy did not want to possess. He hated secrets, especially the women kind. Keeping his focus straight ahead he peddled the trio closer to Sheila and Evelyn’s tent.


“Why didn’t you tell me Sheila?”


“I was hoping it wasn’t true. Maybe it was a false alarm. But too much time has passed.”


“Have you seen Doc?”


“I didn’t want word out.”


“You think Doc would say something?”


“I don’t know. I don’t know.”


Leroy stopped pedaling. “Ladies, your humble abode.”


“Thank you, Leroy.” Evelyn said as she hopped off the wagon.


Leroy stepped off the bike and helped Evelyn lift Sheila up off of the red wagon.


“Almost there.” Evelyn pulled back the tent and the three shuffled inside.


Sitting Sheila on the bed Leroy stepped back. “Glad I could be of service.” He turned on his heels and left the tent.

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