Delivery

By: Tamara Black



“It’s nothing, I’m sure,” he said, waving his hand.

“They won’t tell me anything.”

“I know a few people here. Let me see what I can find out.”

“The nurse said the doctor is coming soon.”

“Yeah, they say that when the doctors aren’t going to be back for a while.”

“You’d check into it for me?”

He nodded. “No problem.”

“Thank you again,” I said sincerely.

I watched as he turned and left my room. As I waited for him to return, hopefully with good news, my emotions got the better of me again. Tears streamed down my face. I wiped them away, trying to stay strong. As a single mom, I’d have to be tough.

Many things went through my mind. I had to call work and let them know I would need my maternity leave. They would hate it, but I knew my rights. Truthfully, I would miss working with Mrs. Wilson, my home health care patient, my responsibility.

With a baby in my life, I would have to work even harder. Thoughts of Orlando, my husband, fluttered up from the recesses of my mind where I’d buried them respectfully as I tried to move on with my life. My world had been shattered when I heard he died in action somewhere in Afghanistan.

Fuck that country, I thought. Why are we even still there over a decade later?

None of it made sense to me. Daniel walked into the room, breaking me out of my thoughts.

“Did you find out anything?” I asked him, the desperation audible in my voice.

He smiled. “Yes, Danny is fine. He just came out a bit early and needs some extra special love. You didn’t tell me you were so early.”

“I was in a lot of pain,” I said.

“I know. My roommate Reggie is never going to believe this story,” I said. “I’m glad he’s okay.”

“You really think so? Why wouldn’t they tell me?”

“The nurses can’t.” He glanced over his shoulder at the hallway. “I shouldn’t be either, so you didn’t hear it from me, okay?”

I smiled as he winked at me.

Did he really just do that?

“I’m going to go and let you rest, but if you don’t mind, I’d love to stop in later tonight to see you and Danny. I might be able to write a paper on the experience for some extra credit.”

“That would be nice,” I said, my mind put at ease. “Thanks again, Daniel. I’m stressing about so much being on my own.”

He tilted his head to the side slightly. “On your own?”

“My husband died in Afghanistan two months ago,” I said, not sure why I was sharing such personal information with a relative stranger.

After he helped deliver my baby, we had a special bond of sorts.

“I’m so sorry.”

“You’re fine. I’ve been adjusting.”

“Strong women like you are rare in this world.”

Unsure of how to take the compliment in our situation, I smiled politely.

“I’m going to rest, I think,” I said, scooting down on the bed. “Thanks for …”

I stopped talking and winked at him.

He waved, turned, and walked out of the room.

That ass, I thought, smiling to myself as I pulled the thin hospital blanket up to my chin.

Immediately after thinking it, a pang of guilt ran through me. My husband had died months ago, but I still mourned him almost every single day. Danny, our child, would remind me of him all the time, so I had to be strong and stay single so I could dedicate myself to our son.

Why didn’t I name him Orlando? The thought flashed in my mind suddenly. After Daniel had helped me, I thought it was only right. Orlando would understand, I told myself as I closed my eyes. Just to rest them a bit.





THREE





Daniel





July 25th, 2016 - Monday





I stood next to Reggie in the lab and stared at the cadaver in front of us.

“Now I know why they call it Gross Anatomy,” he said.

“Funny, but I have an even more amusing story for you.”

“Yeah? What?”

“I was on a delivery run earlier today, and the woman went into labor.”

“Get out of town,” he said, looking at me.

“Seriously. It was nuts. I had to deliver it right then and there before the paramedics arrived.”

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