Gerard arrives at the hospital.
Mikey glanced at his brother then reached over to gently cover his hand with his own. “Gee, try to relax.”
Gerard’s eyes popped open, “How the fuck can I relax? Something is very wrong, Mikey. I can feel it. Why haven’t we heard anything? Why isn’t anyone answering?”
“Probably because they are with Willow at the hospital and they can’t use their cell phones.” Mikey answered knowing it was a lame answer but he didn’t know what else to say.
“Something’s wrong.” Gerard said again feeling the knot in the pit of his stomach tighten. “I just know it.”
“You think something is wrong with the baby?” Mikey asked.
“No.” Gerard said shaking his head slightly, “I know the baby is okay.”
Mikey was confused, “How can you know that?”
Gerard lowered his voice, “Because grandma showed our daughter to Willow and me.”
The look on Mikey’s face was one of shock, “Grandma showed you?”
It was hard for Gerard not to let his eyes fill with tears, “I never told you but grandma showed Willow our daughter before she was ever conceived. She let Willow know that our daughter needed to be born because in her lifetime she would do something that would be very important.”
Mikey sat back and let his brother’s words sink in. “That is why Willow got pregnant.”
Gerard could only nod.
“But you saw her too? Grandma showed her to you?” Mikey was struggling to understand.
“That night when I brought Willow back from Savannah was when it happened. I told Willow I loved her and it didn’t matter to me that she’d gotten pregnant. I told her I loved her and trusted that she would never do anything to hurt me.” He paused and his voice broke, “Grandma came with our daughter so that I would understand.”
“Wow.” Mikey said in awe, “What did she look like?”
Gerard let his mind fill with the memories from that night, “She was so beautiful but transparent and she shone with an inner light.”
Suddenly Mikey realized that it was Willow Gerard was concerned about not the baby. “So you are worried about Willow.” He whispered.
A single tear rolled down Gerard’s cheek that he quickly brushed away, “Yeah, Willow. I’m so fuckin’ afraid something is wrong.”
“But maybe she just went into labor early.”
Gerard shook his head, “We would have heard from Ma if that was what had happened and everything was okay.”
Several minutes passed before Gerard looked over at Mikey, “She’s my whole life. I love her so much.”
Mikey’s heart went out to his brother, “I know, Gee but you gotta have faith that she’ll be okay.”
“Faith.” Gerard repeated, “Yeah, faith.”
Donna walked back into the waiting room wiping the tears from her face, “I talked to Mikey.” She broke down and began to cry again, “I couldn’t talk to Gerard.”
Alicia rushed to hug her. “It’s okay, Donna.” She led her over to the bank of chairs and they sat down, “What did you tell him?”
“Just that they had to perform and emergency C-Section.” She closed her eyes, “I told him the baby was in an incubator but that she is okay.”
Alicia nodded, “How long until they get here?”
“Within an hour.” Donna answered.
Don spoke from his seat across from the two women, “Donna why don’t you go on home and get some sleep? I’ll stay here and wait for Gerard.” He saw her begin to shake her head so he added quickly, “Just for a few hours then you can come back and stay with him.” He knew she was tired from the long hours all of them had already spent in the hospital.
Jamia walked into the waiting room, “The nurse wanted me to tell you that the baby is doing fine.” She hoped that bit of good news would somehow help ease some of the pain. “They said you can come to the nursery and see her.”
Donna broke into fresh tears as Don stood and reached for her hand. “Come on. Let’s go see our granddaughter.”
Alicia who was curled up in one of the uncomfortable chairs spoke softly, “Donna go with him.” She urged softly.
“I want to be here for Gerard.” She said unable to stop her tears.
“You have time.” Alicia reminded her.
Donna slowly let Don lead her out of the waiting room.
Jamia sat down heavily next to Alicia, “Do you think you should call Mikey?”
Alicia closed her eyes willing herself not to cry, “I can’t. I’m afraid Gee would take the phone from him.”
“I’m gonna call Frank.” Jamia said sadly, “The rest of the guys need to know what happened.”
Alicia nodded, “Yeah, I’m sure they are going crazy not knowing.”
Jamia started to stand but fell back into the chair, “Alicia, how could this happen? I just don’t understand. It’s so unfair.” Tears filled her eyes.
“Cause life is fuckin’ unfair.” Alicia answered breaking into tears.
Gerard watched Mikey’s face closely. As soon as he disconnected the call he erupted “Who was that? What’s going on?”
“That was Ma.” Mikey said softly.
“Why the fuck didn’t you let me talk to her?” Gerard asked.
Mikey tried to calm his brother, “She said she just wanted to let us know that Willow had to have an emergency C-Section. She said the baby’s lungs aren’t quite developed and that they put her in an incubator but she’s doing good.”
“What about Willow?” Gerard shouted causing the cab driver to flinch. “What did she say about Willow?”
Mikey looked down, “Nothing and she hung up before I could ask.”
Gerard pulled his cell out and dialed his mother’s number. The call went directly to voice mail. He tried his dad’s number, Alicia’s number, Jamia’s number but no one answered. “Oh fuck, Mikey. I told you.”
“Gee try to stay calm.” Mikey pleaded, “Well be at the hospital soon.”
Gerard lowered his head into his hands. Suddenly the night he saw his grandma and daughter flashed into his mind again. In his head he was replaying Willow’s words. “Gee everyone has a time to be born and a time to die.” His heart stopped. Oh God, had she known something would happen when the baby was born?
Mikey saw Gerard flinch. “Gee, what is it?”
Gerard looked up with tears in his eyes, “Mikey, I’m so fuckin’ afraid.”
“She’s so tiny.” Donna whispered as she and Don stood looking through the glass at their granddaughter. The nurse had pushed the incubator in front of the window so they could get a better view of the infant.
“But you heard what the nurse told us.” Don reminded her gently, “She’s doing fine. By tomorrow they think she’ll be out of the incubator.”
Donna moved closer into his embrace. “She looks like Gerard.”
Don smiled, “She is a beautiful baby.” He said letting his gaze fall once again on the tiny infant.
Gerard opened the cab door at the hospital entrance before the vehicle had even stopped. Mikey quickly paid the driver then rushed to catch up to his brother.
“Gee” Alicia’s voice called out making both men stop short.
Gerard felt his heart stop when he saw her face. “Tell me.” His voice shook.
Alicia took her brother in laws hand into hers. “Come on. Everyone is up in the ICU waiting room.”
Gerard shook his head trying to understand, “ICU?”
Alicia’s voice was soft, “Willow is in Intensive Care.”
Gerard felt his whole body shake. He’s been so terrified she was going to tell him Willow was dead. “What happened?”
Tears began to fall down Alicia’s cheeks, “The doctors aren’t sure what happened. When we got to the hospital Willow was having contractions.” She took a deep breath trying not to sob, “Something went wrong during the C-Section.”
“But she’s okay, right?’ He was trying to desperately hold on.
Alicia turned to the elevators willing herself not to break down.
Donna saw Gerard come off the elevator and rushed to him. She hugged him tightly.
“Ma, what the fuck is going on?” Gerard asked as she led him over to the waiting room. “Someone better tell me what is going on.” He saw his father and pleaded with his eyes for an explanation.
“When she arrived at the hospital the doctors realized that the baby was in distress.” Don’s voice was low, “Willow’s blood pressure was dangerously high so they decided to do an emergency c-section.” He took a deep breath, “The baby’s lungs aren’t fully developed but she’s going to be fine.”
“What aren’t you telling me, Dad?” Gerard sat down next to his father searching his face for answers.
“During the operation Willow’s heart stopped.” He said reaching out to take his hand. “The doctors are afraid she may have suffered a stroke during the birth.”
Gerard closed his eyes, “Oh God.” He whispered.
Don squeezed his hand, “The doctor is waiting to talk to you”
“But is she gonna be okay?” Gerard’s voice was pleading.
Once more Don squeezed his hand, “Son, we don’t know. That’s all any of us know right now.”
Gerard jumped to his feet, “I have to see her.”
Donna, who had alerted the nurses that her son had arrived, joined them. “Gee the doctor is on his way.”
“I have to see Willow.” Gerard couldn’t make his mind work all he could think was he had to see his wife.
Donna hugged him tightly, “You have to talk to the doctor.”
“Mr. Way?” An older man walked over to the group. “I’m doctor Kale. Willow’s doctor is out of town. I delivered your daughter.”
Gerard pulled away from his mother. “What is going on with Willow? I want to see her.”
The doctor nodded, “Please come into my office.”
“No.” Gerard shouted, “I want to see her now.”
The doctor understood. “Mr. Way, there are things you need to hear first.”
The others watched in silence as the doctor led Gerard down the hall and into a small office.
Gerard walked back into the waiting room, his face emotionless.
“Honey, what did he say?” Donna said rushing to her son’s side then helping him to the nearest chair. Sitting next to him she asked again softly, “What did he say, Honey?”
Gerard’s voice trembled, “They still aren’t sure what happened. He said something about eclampsia. He searched his mind trying to recall the doctor’s words but right now he was having trouble thinking straight. “Her blood pressure was too high.” His voice shook with emotion, “She suffered several seizures that’s when her heart stopped.” He lowered his head in his hands unable to continue.
Donna put her arm around his shoulders and hugged him as his body shook. Finally he was able to continue.
“They are running more tests right now.” Tears filled his eyes, “But she might have suffered a stroke. Oh ma, she’s not responding. She’s in a coma.”
“Do they think she will come out of it?’ Donna whispered.
Gerard shook his head, “They don’t know. Fuck I just want to see her but I can’t right now while they’re running the tests.”
Mikey sat down at Gerard’s other side. “Bro, Willow is a fighter. She’s gonna be okay.” He was near tears but wanted to give his brother strength.
Gerard lowered his head again.
Across the waiting room Alicia was watching them while trying not to break into tears. She had made a promise she knew she had to keep.
Gerard looked up to see his sister-in-law standing in front of him.
Alicia took a deep breath, “Willow gave me this” She held out an envelope. “She made me promise to give it to you as soon as you got here.”
He stared at her a moment, “She gave this to you?”
Alicia nodded, “Yeah, when she started having really hard contractions we decided she had to get to the hospital but before we left the house she went to the bedroom. I saw her shove this into her pocket. When we got here before they wheeled her away she handed it to me. She made me swear I’d give it to you.”
His fingers trembled as he took it from her hand. “I’ll be right back.” He muttered heading for the hall and some privacy. He was terrified to read the letter. He knew what was written inside was going to break his heart.