You Are What?
I burst into the hospital’s entrance. The cold air from the a/c was a mixed blessing after the hot June heat. Two people cringed in front of the reception desk. A child’s feet swung like a pendulum while sitting in a chair. Several people waited for an elevator.
“There you are, Mike.”
I turned and spotted Josie’s brother striding toward me. “Yeah, I got your text. How is she?”
“In surgery. The doctors haven’t told us more.” He turned on his heel, motioning for me to follow him to the waiting room.
We went up a flight of stairs and down two corridors before reaching the waiting room. Josie’s parents were there, and we exchanged tense nods. A muted television hung in the corner streaming CNN. The scent of bitter coffee tinged the air.
I sank into a cushioned seat and clasped my hands together. I wasn’t a praying man, but such thoughts entered my mind.
I hope she’ll be all right.
Goose bumps formed on my arms. Josie’s dad took to pacing while her mom shooed him to be still. Carlton glared at me but didn’t say a word. I wanted to tell him it wasn’t my fault, but I was the one who knocked up his sister.
I got Josie into this mess. I should’ve been more supportive instead of reluctant. What if she never forgives me?
I swallowed a lump formed in my throat. My tie was choking me. As I loosened it, I took a shaking breath.
What if she didn’t make it?
I tapped my fingers upon the chair arms, crossed my legs and uncrossed them. I cracked my neck and fingers. I tried focusing upon the TV, but I didn’t care about peace talks, riots, or anything except Josie.
I should’ve reacted differently to the news. I should’ve remained here instead of taking that assignment in Boston. I should’ve asked her to come with me. We could’ve started our family together.
All the shoulda, woulda, couldas wouldn’t matter if she didn’t come through this surgery.
The door opened and we all jumped at the sound.
“Mr. and Mrs. Carrows?”
“Yes?” They answered.
“Your daughter came through the cesarean and is in recovery. She had a little boy. He was responsive and breathing on his own. Very good signs for a premature birth. They’re very lucky, and you can visit her in about thirty minutes to an hour. A nurse will be in to show you the way.” The doctor smiled before exiting the waiting room.
I released the breath I was holding. Josie had a boy. Our son.
I was a father.