Not long after the wedding, January became pregnant with their first child. She gave birth to a beautiful baby girl they named February; a second child was conceived shortly before February became a toddler. Martin Luther was born a few months later.
Although she loved her children, January found the prospect of motherhood frankly overwhelming. The babies seemed sweet enough…although Martin Luther seemed content to spend all his time playing with a strange little doll some distant relative of Connor’s had sent him…but they were so noisy. And messy. And…worst of all…smelly. January had somehow never figured on all of the disorder having small children would result in. Her only refuges from the constant chaos at home were her job and her garden. Connor did his best to help, but often got himself completely wrapped up in a book and would just seem to forget that the kids even existed. Worst of all, January could never look at her own two kids without thinking of the two she had taken Connor from. She had heard that Diana had given birth to a son named Harrison, but Connor never made any effort to be part of either his or his daughter Delilah’s lives. January loved Connor but knew in her heart that the way they had built their life together was wrong and could never really enjoy her children without that realization eating away at her conscience.
Eventually, life fell into a settled routine: Connor tried to focus on writing his novels — when he managed to remember their plot lines — while January steadily climbed the corporate ladder. Meanwhile, though largely ignored, their children grew. Both were somewhat odd sorts: blonde, friendly February adored brightly colored getups and never met a stranger, and Martin Luther could barely be cajoled away from his creepy toy.
Although close in age, February and her little brother rarely interacted with each other and had very little in common. February loved pretending she was racing down the highway in a shiny speedster….
while Martin Luther loved…playing with his doll, Marie.
Martin Luther had, once, brought a girl home from school to play with, but had quickly rejected her as a potential friend because he felt she was “weird.”
“She always wears a helmet because she thinks rocks are going to fall on her head,” he explained at breakfast, before carefully arranged Marie at the table where he was pretending to hold court. February eyed his doll, struggling to come up with a witty comment involving irony…alas, she had yet to learn the meaning of irony.