An introduction to several main characters. Some vital information for later on down the road.
The smell of a hospital brought back painful memories that were overbearing. I knew what would happen, just like every other time I went to the hospital for any reason; I would throw up until I couldn’t possibly vomit anymore and then cry myself to sleep. Vivid nightmares would follow and I would have a difficult time making it through the following day. It was a reaction I had experienced since the day my mother died and I didn’t expect today to be any different.
But today was in fact, different. Today I wasn’t at the Lennox Hill Hospital in New York City waiting for someone to die. It was quite the opposite, actually. I was sitting quietly tapping my foot on the linoleum floor in the outdated waiting room of the outdated maternity ward. The entire room looked as though it hadn’t been remodeled since the early eighties. Brass fixtures overwhelmed the room along with nicotine stained walls. How the walls of a maternity ward in one of the best hospitals in country were nicotine stained was a secret no one could figure out. But the lack of proper décor wasn’t what had my foot tapping the floor anxiously.
Today my best friend since grade school was in labor with her first child. Kristen was the only person who knew what I had been through as a child, the pain and suffering I was continuously experiencing. Though I had indeed finally let my mother’s death go when I was eighteen, it still hurt. But I was determined not to let the scene of the hospital get to me. Not today at least. Kay had been there for me every day for the past fourteen years. Now it was my turn to be the support system. And supporting I was. She had been there since five am when Kay called her screaming that her water had broken. Well, labor was lasting hours. And hours. I had been in and out of Kay’s room throughout the day, giving her the encouragement that was required. It was now seven forty-five in the evening and there was still no word on Kay’s condition.
I looked around at the people who sat nearest me. Two were Kay’s parents, both in their mid fifties and the most caring, generous people you could ever meet. Kay’s mother, Joyce, was the person who helped fill the void of my lost mother. Richard, Kay’s father, was quiet but had a big enough heart for the entire family. Together, they would make phenomenal grandparents. Kay’s brother in law, Evan, sat to my left listening with his long, greasy blonde hair, to his iPod. He wasn’t exactly a failure, per say, but he wasn’t exactly ambitious either. No one really knew what he would do with his life but at this point they all assumed it to be absolutely nothing.
Kay had met her now husband, Seth, in their freshman year of high school through Evan, the drug dealer behind the bleachers. But the pot smoking had merely been a phase that lasted about two puffs. She didn’t have the stomach for it. She met Seth after going to inform Evan that she had changed her mind about buying weed and it was love at first sight. They dated all through high school and got married before either were even twenty-one. Somehow though, everyone knew they would last until the very bitter end. The bitter end would be due to Seth’s mother.
Across the room sat Seth’s mother, Satan’s Mistress herself. Or, to those who hadn’t experienced her wrath, she was known as Merna. She was bitter and selfish with the personality of a rock- a sharp, unforgiving, useless rock. It was expected she would die alone and broke because of her oh so cheery personality and imaginary deep pockets.
I had been so entrenched in her own thoughts that I had failed to hear my name being called, twice. “Sophie? Sophie Carter?” the nurse repeated for the third time. I quickly stood up apologizing. The nurse, Pattie, informed everyone sitting with me that Kay was now fully dilated and was being prepped for delivery. “Mrs. Sawyer has asked for you Sophie, and only you” Pattie said, smiling. I sighed in relief, knowing I wouldn’t have to deal with Merna’s constant whining about the uncomfortable chairs and ugly wall fixtures any longer.
Pattie placed a gentle hand on my back, leading me to Kay’s room, obviously unaware that I had been on this quick trip countless times throughout the day. I gave her a small smile as we neared the room, quickly thanking the sweet nurse before placing my hand on the door handle. Pattie walked off and I took a long, deep breath before entering the room.
I was surprised to see the happy couple engaging in what looked to be an uncomfortable stare-off. I cleared her throat and Kay immediately looked at her, grinning from ear to ear, her emerald green eyes shining brightly. Kay looked absolutely stunning, even after nine months of pregnancy and nearly 15 hours of labor. Her honey colored hair was pulled up in a messy bun and she was void of any trace of make up but her natural beauty shone through. In the chair beside her sat her doting husband, Seth. Seth was fairly attractive, with blonde hair and deep blue eyes. He stood at about six foot, which complemented Kay’s smaller five foot five stature. They were a lovely couple.
“Hey Soph!” Kay squealed enthusiastically. Seth rolled his eyes playfully, leaning back in his chair before turning his attention to me. “Kay thinks the baby will be a boy but it’s quite obvious that it will be a girl. Kay has been too temperamental during this pregnancy to be carrying a boy.” He said looking bored. Kay shot him a glare and looked back at me still standing in the doorway.
“Sophie tell Seth that he is wrong! I have not been ‘temperamental’ during this pregnancy. And we are having a boy. I just know it.” She huffed, showing air quotes when she said ‘temperamental’.
I shrugged nonchalantly as I made my way to the chair opposite Seth on the other side of the hospital. Only then did I notice a nurse in the room setting up the equipment; apparently the delivery wasn’t a worry for anyone in here. The atmosphere was incredibly calm.
“Kay is always right Seth. I don’t know why you continue to argue with her, we all know it’s pointless.” I answered after a moment. Seth rolled his eyes again but only to be met with an ear splitting scream from his wife, making me jump out of my skin. Kay immediately grabbed my hand and ordered Seth to fetch the nurse. Grateful for a break, he didn’t hesitate to sprint out the door. I focused my gaze on Kay and noticed her expression showed just how terrified she was.
“Shh calm down Kay. Everything is going to be fine. You have Seth and I are here and you are going to give birth to a beautiful baby boy. Just relax.” I cooed in her ear while running my fingers through her hair slowly in an attempt to ease her worries. Luckily it seemed to be working.
“I-I’m okay Soph. Just please don’t leave me.”
“Of course not. I’m here.” I reassured, smiling.
“Fat chance of her ever leaving us babe.” A new voice said from the doorway. I looked over my shoulder to see Seth, dressed in a hospital gown, smirking at me. I childishly stuck my tongue out at him but he just laughed. Seth and I had always maintained a relationship that closely resembled a sibling rivalry.
The nurse that I had noticed prepping machines earlier shoved a hospital gown in my face muttering something that resembled “Put this on for health reasons” but I could be wrong. Regardless, I didn’t think she gave it to me to use as a bib, so I hurriedly tied it around my body. As I sat back down, Kay seized my hand again and dug her nails into my skin, making me wince slightly.
“Kay, you’re hurting Sophie. Please calm down, I promise you’ll do fine.” Apparently Seth had noticed my discomfort. Kay gave me an apologetic smile but her grip didn’t loosen.
After another half hour of pushing, screaming, and nail digging, Kay had successfully given birth to a gorgeous baby boy. Of course. As soon as the doctor announced that the baby was a boy, Seth grinned widely but soon hung his head in shame noticing the smug look on Kay’s face. He would never learn, Kay was always right.
A few minutes later, without even holding the small baby, I left to go fetch the others in the waiting room. Yes, I am just that selfless. I tossed my hospital gown in the nearest trash can before wincing at the sound of the she-devil.
“What the hell took so long Sally!?” Merna screeched as I entered the waiting room, calling me by the wrong name yet again. I personally think she knows exactly what my name is but hates me just enough to conveniently “forget” since she’s aware of how much it pisses me off.
“Well Merna, whil-“ I was soon cut off by a new addition to the crowd, Jeremy, Kay’s older brother.
“Hey Sophie Girl! How’s Kay? Did she have the baby yet?” He asked excitedly, embracing me tightly. I smiled at the silly nickname that I hadn’t heard in so long. He was two years older than Kay and I but had given me the nickname when I was in eighth grade. I had hated it at first but have come to love it.
“Hey Jer. I just came from her room. She had a boy! Eight pounds and adorable.” I exclaimed. “But the nurse said only two visitors at a time and Kay asked for her parents.” I gestured towards Joyce and Richard. They both beamed, thanked me for being with Kay, and swiftly walked towards Kay’s room.
Merna huffed and slouched back down in her chair, muttering about how she should have been the first to see the baby since she had been here for so long… even though she hadn’t been at the hospital nearly as long as everyone else. Well, except for Jeremy, who had flown in at the last minute from Boston. Remembering that he was still standing beside me, I turned to him and smiled. He caught me gaze and grinned back. Interlacing our fingers, he pulled me towards the opposite end of the waiting room, giving us a little privacy.
Kay had only been wrong once in the entire time I had known her and that was in regards the relationship Jeremy and I had. She had thought we made a good looking couple and swore he fancied me. She was right. Finally, after months of him pestering me, I agreed to a date. I was 15 and he was 17. I had been attracted to him for a while and didn’t see the harm in a few dates. He had Kay’s honey colored hair but light blue eyes instead of her green ones. He was a handsome boy with a huge heart and an amazing personality and I wanted to be closer to him at the time. It went smoothly for a while but we slowly drifted apart and agreed that being friends was for the best. We kept in touch when he moved away to college and have remained close friends to this day. He was the only guy I could fully trust. My father had left my mom about a week after she had told him she was pregnant, forcing her to raise me alone. Then, once she died, I was placed in a series of foster homes due to a lack of family. The foster families were cold and sometimes abusive, effectively shattering my ability to trust men.
“Oh Sophie Girl, it’s so good to see you!” He told me, bringing me into another hug. I gladly returned it and sat down in the chair behind me.
“You really should visit more often, Jer.” I scolded him lightly. My expression lightened though when a new idea popped into my head. “Jeremy you should move to New York! Now that you have a nephew here and all…” I trailed off, realizing that may not have been reason enough for him to just drop his career. I looked up to see a huge smirk plastered across his face.
“What?” I asked confused.
“You know, if you missed me that much you could just tell me. No need to pull my innocent nephew into this.” He replied sarcastically. I just rolled my eyes.
“Whatever Jer. So how have you been? Still working on cars?” I asked, looking up at him honestly interested. Jeremy owned his own shop in Boston where he fixed up old muscle cars that he bought. He then resold them for profit, and judging by his attire which consisted of a Calvin Klein dark blue dress shirt and casual jeans, I’d assume the profit was decent. For a moment I found myself wondering why he would wear such clothes just to fly to a hospital but I quickly shook the thought when he answered my question.
“Yep I still have the shop and business is great.” He smiled.
“And how have you been Miss Sophie? Any men in the picture?” He asked smirking. I scoffed.
“Yeah, sure Jeremy. You know full well that you were my last real boyfriend.” I sighed. “I really wish it would’ve worked between us. Why couldn’t it have? You and I could have been great Jer.” I grumbled quietly. He caught all of it though and chuckled.
“I have no idea why we didn’t work out Sophie Girl. But you know that I believe everything happens for a reason. So it must have been fate.” He shrugged. I nodded still contemplating. I watched as he continued to glance at the wall behind me, drumming his fingers on his thigh the entire time.
“My parents have a horrible way of completely forgetting about me.” He frowned. I then realized what he meant. I looked at the clock and realized it had been nearly twenty minutes since his parents had left to see Kay. Just then I saw Merna stalk out of the waiting room towards the cafeteria. I rolled my eyes and stood, motioning to Jeremy to follow me. We made our way to Kay’s room to find Joyce and Richard exiting. They hugged us both and informed us that they were leaving us for the night but would be back early the following morning. Joyce had a huge smile on her face with teary eyes and Richard looked at me in what looked to be admiration, but I couldn’t be sure. Slightly confused, I grabbed Jeremy’s hand and led him into Kay’s room.
Author Note Alright! Chapter One is up! Please leave some feedback! Much love - Avery