“Shall we have a bottle of champagne?” Ramsey looked around the table expectantly.
Arthur glanced at his wife and then nodded and Ramsey motioned to the waiter. As the conversation meandered over the show and who had done well and who had not, I wondered why Ramsey hadn’t mentioned the baby. I watched him holding forth on his opinions about the riders and their horses. He was a charismatic speaker, and very charming, making sure to keep Helen in the conversation even though she wasn’t a rider. Fifteen minutes later another couple arrived, friends of ours from Washington, Sally and James Ridgely. Sally and I were old friends from the social scene in D.C. and I was glad to see her. By now we had ordered a second bottle of champagne and the conversation was becoming louder by the minute. I glanced around the bar noticing other tables full of riders from the show. Laughter rang out as they regaled each other with tales of previous shows and boasted about their rides.
“Shall we have some dinner?” Helen asked.
I noticed her flushed cheeks and the slight slur of her words. The champagne had gone to her head. “I think that’s a grand idea.”
It was late by the time we went upstairs to our room. I felt slightly dizzy and nauseated, the room spinning as I closed my eyes. “Why didn’t you tell Helen and Arthur our news?” I asked opening my eyes and focusing on the door across the room.
“What news? Oh, that. I thought it might be indecent.”
I sat up. “Indecent? What does that mean?”
“Well, Vinny, it isn’t really dinner conversation to bring up our sex life.”
“Having a baby hardly qualifies as our sex life. I thought you might want to share it with them. They are good friends, after all.”
I got off the bed and walked as steadily as I could toward the bathroom. Anger had replaced my drunkenness and now all I wanted was a soak in the bathtub away from Ramsey. I turned the knobs letting water course into the large tub and then closed the door and locked it.
Two weeks later we were on the ship bound for the Philippines. I had known about this posting for two or three months but the reality of it only sunk in after we were out on the open sea. I was newly pregnant, leaving friends and family behind, with the possibility of war looming on the horizon. Ramsey was aide to General Wainwright who was being put in charge of training the Filipino soldiers for this eventuality. Our argument had been left behind as we moved through the gray waves toward the east and the unknown. The horses were being shipped on another boat set up for this purpose and I worried about them being nervous in a dark compartment below decks. It would take a week to get to Manila.