“Be down in a minute.” He called out as he walked over to the dresser to grab his watch. He fastened it on his wrist then took one last look in the mirror. Suddenly his gaze fell to the framed photo and he smiled. Gently he reached out and lifted the image letting the memories of that day fill his mind. Willow looked so beautiful in her wedding dress but the look on his face in the photo conveyed the truth, he felt a love he’d never believed had been possible. A love that came deep from his soul. That day nearly five months ago when they had become one in marriage and in spirit was the best day of his life.
“So far.” He whispered as he set the photo down. The birth of their daughter was yet to come.
“Gee we’re gonna be late.” This time it was Mikey’s voice calling out to him.
“I’m coming.” He yelled back.
“So how are you feeling?” Mikey asked Willow as they sat waiting for Gerard.
“Fine.” Willow smiled.
“He’s really nervous about leaving you.” Mikey said lowering his voice. “He wanted to cancel.”
Willow sighed, “I know but this appearance is important and besides the baby isn’t due for several more weeks.”
“Yeah, well you know Gee. He’s a worrier but when I told him that Alicia will come and stay with you while we’re gone he felt better.”
“She called right before you got here.” Willow told him with a smile. “And she’s gonna make dinner so I’m happy.”
“You look happy but tired.” Mikey said looking at his sister in law closely.
She nodded, “I am tired. The last couple of nights I’ve been having trouble finding a comfortable position when I lay down.” She ran her hand over her very pregnant belly. “And baby likes to kick me a lot.”
Gerard appeared and immediately took a set next to his wife. Gently he placed his hand on her stomach. “Hey you in there. Give your mom a break.”
Willow laughed, “She can’t help it. It’s getting to be a tight squeeze in there.”
“Well that’s no excuse to kick her beautiful mom.” Gerard teased. Suddenly he looked into Willow’s eyes, “I wish I didn’t have to go.”
“Gee.” Willow touched his cheek, “We’ve been over this a million times. Baby isn’t due for a couple of weeks and you’re only gone be gone one night.”
“One night is too long to be away.” He said shaking his head sadly.
“Hey this appearance is for charity.” Willow reminded him. “A great charity and you don’t want to let them down.”
He sat back and sighed, “Yeah, I know.”
Willow wanted him to be in a good frame of mind. “Just remember that when you get back we go to the doctors on Monday and you get to hear our daughter again.” She knew how much he loved to hear the baby’s heartbeat.
“How come you always refer to the baby as a girl?” Mikey asked. As far as he knew they hadn’t allowed the doctor to tell them the sex of the baby.
Willow and Gerard looked deeply into each other’s eyes. It was Gerard who spoke, “We just know.”
Tears sprang to Willows eyes, “Yes, we just know.” She smiled.
Mikey was touched to see the love these two shared was so strong. “Well Gee tell your wife and daughter goodbye. We gotta get to the airport.”
Gerard leaned over and kissed Willow. “I love you,” he breathed against her lips.
“I love you.” She answered with her whole heart.
“And I love you.” He said dipping his head and placing a kiss on Willow’s stomach. “Be a good girl while I’m gone.”
Willow struggled not to cry. She didn’t want to be an emotional wreck when he left. “Now get going.” She smiled. “And don’t forget to call me after the show.”
“It will be late.” He reminded her as he stood.
“Doesn’t matter.” She placed her hand over her stomach, “We’ll be waiting for the call.”
Mikey was already standing at the door. He looked back at Willow. “Alicia will be her in a few hours.”
Willow nodded and added happily, “Yep and she’s bringing a movie for us to watch.”
“Right.” Mikey answered. He hated to be a nag but his brother was still standing by the sofa looking down at Willow. “Come on, dude.”
Gerard rolled his eyes, “Okay, chill.” He leaned over and gave Willow one more kiss the turned to the door. “See you tomorrow.” He said looking back at her.
Willow smiled, “Love you.”
“Love you, Sugar.”
Once the brothers were at the airport they met up with the other band members.
“Hey Gee.” Ray said spotting them first. “How’s Willow?”
Gerard smiled, “Beautiful.”
Christa who was accompanying them, laughed, “He didn’t ask how she looked. He asked how she’s doing?”
Gerard grinned, “The answer was right for the question. She and the baby are doing beautifully and my wife is beautiful.”
Mikey wandered over to where Frank was sitting leaving Gerard with Ray and Christa. “So where’s Bob?” Gerard noticed he was nowhere to be seen.
“I’m here.” Bob answered joining them. “Traffic was a bitch.”
“Well you could have stayed last night with Willow and me.” Gerard told him.
Bob had flown in from Chicago yesterday so that the band could have a short practice session but hadn’t wanted to impose on the newlyweds. “Oh hell no. You two are so sicky sweet happy I’d have gone into a sugar coma.” He teased
Gerard laughed, “We are not.” But he knew it was true. He and Willow were over the top in love.
Ray and Christa moved towards some nearby seats and Bob took the opportunity of being alone to speak to Gerard. “Hey, I’m really glad you and Willow are so happy.”
Gerard nodded, “She is the best thing that ever happened to me.”
“Yeah, she is.” Bob nodded, “I’m just glad you finally realized it.”
They had never spoken about what had happened before now. “Man, thank you for trying to kick my ass to make me realize how wonderful she is.” Gerard said softly, “That night you found me in the bar…”
Bob raised his hand to silence his friend, “All in the past. I knew Willow was the love of your life. I just hoped you’d figure that out.”
“I almost didn’t.” Gerard said sadly, “I almost fucked it up.”
“But you didn’t.” Bob said wanting to keep the mood upbeat. “And look at you now. You have a beautiful wife and soon you’re gonna be a dad.”
“A wife who I love with all my fuckin’ heart.” Gerard said softly. “And a daughter.”
Bob looked at him closely, “You guys know it’s a girl, don’t you?”
A small smile played at the corner of Gerard’s lips. “Yeah, we know.” He admitted, “But keep that to yourself okay?”
“My lips are sealed.” Bob reached out and clasped his shoulder, “I’m really happy for you.”
“I love this house.” Alicia said walking around the kitchen. “Mikey and I need to find something like this.”
Willow smiled, “We couldn’t believe it when the realtor show it to us. I mean how lucky that it had just come on the market and we were the first people to view it. Gee and I walked through it once, looked at each other, and knew it was perfect.”
Alicia ran her hand over the granite top counter, “It is perfect. And how cool it already had a nursery?”
“A nursery that we both loved at first sight.” Willow said softly becoming lost in the memory. “We walked in and the sun was shining through the windows and it just looked so right. I could just see Baby in that room.”
Alicia smiled, “Well Baby will like it if she’s a girl cause I’m pretty sure a boy won’t like that lilac paint and the unicorn mural.”
Willow laughed, “Gee likes unicorns.”
Alicia snorted, “Yeah so does his brother. We got us some strange men.” She took a seat at the oak table and looked across into Willow’s face. “So how are you really feeling? Are you scared?”
Her question caused Willow to blink in surprise, “You mean about the birth?”
“No,” Willow spoke softly, “I know Baby will be born healthy.”
Her friend’s eyes narrowed, “Is this a psychic thing?”
Willow laughed, “You mean about me being sure? Yeah, it is.”
“I thought so.” Alicia smiled, “I can kinda tell sometimes when you talk that you know things. I’m guessing you know Baby is a girl.”
Willow giggled, “Maybe.”
“Uh thought so.” Alicia answered. “So any idea what day?”
Willow’s smile slipped, “No, that I don’t know.”
Something in Willow’s eyes bothered Alicia, “Well since you know your daughter will be healthy there’s nothing to worry about, right?”
Willow looked down and took a deep breath, “She’ll be healthy and beautiful.” Before Alicia would say anything else she slowly pulled herself out of the chair. “I’m gonna take a nap before we watch the movie, is that okay?”
“Sure. I’ll just watch some TV.” Alicia said standing also. “Are you sure you’re feeling okay?”
“Just tired.” Willow lied.
When she entered the bedroom Willow went directly to the small writing desk in the sunlit corner of the room. Before she began to write she bowed her head and uttered a small prayer.
The roar of the music and the crowed was still ringing in his ears as Gerard left the stage.
“That was great.” Mikey said putting his arm around his brother. “They love the new song.”
Gerard nodded happily. Suddenly he saw Christa rushing past Ray and heading towards him.
“Gee, Alicia just called. Willow’s at the hospital.”
“What?’ What’s wrong?”
She shook her head, “I’m not sure. She said that Willow started having really strong contractions.”
“But the baby’s not due for weeks.” Gerard felt his stomach drop. “Fuck, I have to get home.”
The rest of the band members sensed something was wrong and rushed to his side.
“Mikey, call Alicia. See what the fuck is going on.” Gerard pleaded.
Mikey nodded and moved slightly away to find a quieter spot to call.
Brian joined the group and Frank quickly told him what was happening. “I’ll call the airport.” He said “We’ll get you on the first flight.”
Gerard felt like everything around him was surreal, “Yeah, thanks.” He rushed to grab his things.
Mikey started to follow him but Christa put her hand out to stop him. Leaning close she whispered in his ear, “Alicia sounded really scared. I didn’t want to say this in front of Gerard but as soon as she got Willow to the hospital she said she knew something was wrong.”
Mikey felt his heart drop, “Wrong?”
Christa blinked back tears, “Yeah, something about Willow’s blood pressure being way too high.”
“Oh fuck.” Mikey closed his eyes a minute trying to control his fear, “Alicia’s not answering her phone. I sent a text.” He looked down, read her reply and his whole body began to shake.