Adult story: Homeless – CHAPTER 17
All nerds know how to plan ahead. Let’s face it—that’s what we do best. I had a bag packed for Jennie and daughter by mid-October and had plotted alternative routes to the hospital in case there was an accident or construction. I had run several drills like the fire drills schools are required to hold. Jennie wasn’t due until the first week of December. I just wanted to be prepared. I’m a nerd—I admit it.
There was one thing I couldn’t plan for—overcoming my own nervousness. I was on the computer—where else would I be—when Jennie walked in. “Doug, do you think you could drive me to the hospital?”
“Huh? What’s wrong?”
“Nothing, darling; it’s just time…you know, time for you to become a daddy. Turn your computer off. You’ll probably be there for hours. I’ve already phoned Dr. Cullen.” I put Lady out then locked up and helped Jennie into the SUV.
I was shaking when I climbed behind the wheel and Jennie noticed. “Close your eyes, Doug, and take a deep breath. Relax. Okay, now lean across the console and kiss me.” I did and Jennie broke it about a minute later. “I’m counting on you, Doug. Take your time and drive carefully. We’re in no rush. In fact, you’ll probably have to come home to feed Lady. These things usually take hours and hours.”
“Why didn’t you tell me you were having contractions?”
“Because I knew you’d react like this. You’re as nervous as a cat in a rocking chair factory. You’ve been doting on me for the past week. I know it’s because you love me, but we have a long road ahead of us so let’s just take it one step at a time. Okay?” I nodded and leaned over to kiss her cheek. Jenny smiled then asked, “Did we just have our first argument?”
“I don’t think so. You’re right…I am nervous, but mostly I’m terrified that something will happen and I’ll lose you and the baby.”
“You need to relax and have confidence in the doctor and the hospital. Women have been having babies for thousands of years. We have an excellent doctor and we’ll be in an excellent hospital. Even more important, you’ll be with me every second once the delivery begins. I know you’ll be strong for me when I need it. Now…don’t you think we should leave the garage?”
“Oh.” I put the SUV in gear and backed into the driveway. Then I began the drive down into Myrtle Beach to the hospital. I tried to drive normally, but there was nothing normal about how I was feeling. I doubted I’d have been able to make it if not for Jennie’s support. I felt an enormous sense of relief when I dropped Jennie at the hospital door, giving the keys to the valet. I had her in a wheelchair seconds later on the way to obstetrics. Then began the worst part of this ordeal—the waiting.
Dr. Cullen came in to examine Jennie roughly every two hours. For all I knew she might have gone back to her office between visits. Finally, after we’d been there almost six hours she told me we’d probably have another four to five hours before the birth began. “Go home, Doug. Feed Lady and put her out and grab a sandwich for yourself. If you do that you’ll still be back in plenty of time.” I was ready to protest when she pulled me down for a kiss. She whispered, “Please…do it for me,” when she broke it. I knew I was finished when she batted those long eyelashes at me. I kissed her again then turned to walk out the door.
I was at home with Lady about forty minutes later and I was determined to be back at the hospital with Jennie as soon as humanly possible. I put Lady’s dinner together while she was outside. She looked around for Jennie, even running to our room in search of her. Once she was finished eating I had a decision to make. How long would I be away?
How long before our daughter would be born? What was the weather supposed to be like tonight? Once I knew the night would be relatively warm I made my decision, moving Lady’s bed to the garage and leaving the garage door open for her. I backed out and drove through the gate, making sure that she did not follow me. I walked back into Jennie’s room just as she was going through another contraction. I hated seeing her in such pain.
“Did you eat,” she asked with a groan.
I responded with a sheepish look. “I couldn’t. I’m too nervous.”
She pulled me to her for a long kiss. “I figured that so one of the nurses offered to make a PB and J sandwich for you. It’s here on the table. Would you go to the cafeteria and get two big drinks. Dr. Cullen told me not to get anything with caffeine, so Sprite or ginger ale for me. Okay? Please? You’re going to be the best dad ever!” I practically ran from the room, down the stairs and into the cafeteria by the entrance. I was back in about five minutes with the drinks and I was panting something fierce from the run.
I ate my sandwich and helped Jennie with sips of her drink. I had just finished when Dr. Cullen came in again. She looked my way after examining Jennie for what seemed to be the thousandth time. “It won’t be long now…probably two to three hours.” I breathed a sigh of relief and pulled my phone from my pocket.
Jennie and I had spoken by phone with Toni, Andrea, and Allison at least once a week, but more often when we could. They told us how school was going and we were pleased to learn that Andrea had applied to Villanova in addition to Rutgers. We knew that she’d hear from them sometime in January. Allison answered the phone this afternoon.
“Hi, Allison,” I began. “Looks like today is the day. I’m in the hospital with Jennie as we speak.” I could hear her calling her mom and sister. Soon they were chattering away and I was sure they’d continue when Jennie felt a huge contraction. I ended the call then, promising to phone when the baby was born regardless of the time.
Our daughter must have been impatient because she began to assert herself about an hour before Dr. Cullen expected her. Jennie was pushing and breathing and grunting when the doctor rushed into the room. I held Jennie’s hand and wiped the sweat from her brow. I gave her sips of Sprite and prayed like I’ve never prayed before—prayed for Jennie, prayed for our daughter, and—mostly—prayed that I’d be strong enough for both of them.
Someone must have been listening because at 10:13 that evening it was done. Dr. Cullen cut the cord, the nurse washed and weighed our daughter and handed her to Jennie. Damn! She looked just like my wife—light brown hair and clear blue eyes. She had her first meal, suckling at Jennie’s breast, and then she was taken to the nursery for a few hours. I hugged and kissed Jennie and told her how much I loved her about a hundred times before leaving. I knew Jennie was exhausted and needed to sleep.
Walking down the corridor to the elevator, I pulled my phone from my pocket. I was just leaving the building when I placed the call. Andrea answered. “She’s here—six pounds, nine ounces…Jennie’s hair and eyes. She’s beautiful just like her mother.”
(MOM, ALLISON—SHE’S HERE! JENNIE HAD HER BABY! What’s her name, Doug? Did you decide?)
“Yup! We decided on Andrea Allison.”
(OH MY GOD! MOM! MOM! THEY NAMED THE BABY AFTER ME AND ALLISON!) I was sure I could hear the celebration in progress up in Hoboken as though it was right in the parking lot with me. I hoped nobody in the neighborhood planned on sleeping anytime soon.
Eventually things settled down and Toni told me I was on speaker. “Yes, they’re both okay…better than okay. Andrea is a bit wrinkled, but, of course, I think she’s beautiful. Her hair and eyes are just like Jennie’s.” I could hear the girls begging to come for another visit and I could also hear Toni tell them that they’d imposed on us enough.
“Jennie and I have talked about another visit and we think it will be fine, but we also think it should be after Christmas. You should spend the holiday with your families. I’m on my way home now, but I promise we’ll call tomorrow when Jennie and Andrea are home.” We chatted for another five minutes as I spoke with Andrea, Allison, and even Charlie before I was allowed to end the call.
I phoned my mother, starting my end of the conversation with, “Hi, Grandma,” She agreed to come down to help as soon as she could get here. I was one tired nerd when I pulled into the driveway that evening and I’d had the easy part—by far.
Lady was on her bed when I approached the garage. Leaving the car outside, I opened the door to the house for her then pulled the car into the garage. Once again, Lady searched the entire house looking for Jennie. “Tomorrow morning, Lady…Jennie will be back tomorrow morning and she’ll have a tiny surprise for you then, too. C’mon, I need a shower and then it’s to bed.”
I slept that night, but I missed my wife terribly. I was accustomed to the touch of her arm over my chest and the sensation of her smooth skin against mine. I missed the sweet aroma of her shampoo. Hell, I just missed HER!
I must have been thrashing in my sleep because Lady was aroused, pushing her snout under my arm and barking several times. I wondered at first if there might be an intruder, but she calmed down as soon as I did. “I guess it was me, eh Lady. Was I disturbing you? Wait until tomorrow night,” I said with a chuckle. I wrapped my arm around Lady’s head, pulling it down to the bed, petting her and scratching her ears until I had fallen asleep once again.
I was told to be at the hospital at ten and nerds are always punctual. It’s part of who we are. I was just outside the door when I heard the nurse tell Jennie she thought I’d be late. After a brief chuckle Jennie told her, “That’s because you don’t know my husband.”
She asked me what the time was when I walked in about five seconds later. “Exactly ten, why?”
“Oh…just a little bet I had with the nurse. What was the reaction in Hoboken?”
“Guess.” I continued when I saw that Jennie was busy with our daughter. “Total pandemonium; Andrea was thrilled with the name and she asked if they could come for another visit.”
“I’ll bet Toni told her they’d imposed enough.”
“Exactly…word for word. I told her we’d already discussed it and you can offer this afternoon when we call them. I’ll have to email some photos, too.”
“Okay, but no flash; Dr. Cullen told me her eyes aren’t ready yet. Why don’t you take the bag? I’ll take Andrea as soon as I’m in the wheelchair.” I was thrilled now that I’d made all the payment arrangements more than two weeks ago. I thought I’d be a nervous wreck if I had to sit in the accounting office for even a minute now.
I went downstairs a few minutes before Jennie so I could have the car ready for her and Andrea. I took my daughter from her mother and placed her into the car seat with the utmost care, making doubly sure she was safe and secure then I helped my wife into her seat. I thanked the nurse and the valets and began the most careful drive of my life.
I drove five miles under the speed limit all the way home, even waving politely when some drivers honked their horns in frustration. I breathed a sigh of relief when I finally pulled into the garage. “I want to go in first, Doug. I’m sure Lady will be a little wild when she sees me. Leave Andrea here for a minute until I get seated then you can bring her in. She’ll be okay.” I was sure she was right. The fence was closed and secure, but just to be sure I closed the garage door with the remote.
I helped Jennie to the door and I could see the wisdom in her remarks immediately. Lady was never permitted to jump up at us or our visitors, but she raced wildly around the room when she first saw Jennie. I took her coat and helped her into an easy chair while she told Lady to “sit.” Only then did I put the jacket into the closet and return to the garage for our daughter.
I was holding her carefully, my hand under her neck, as I placed her into Jennie’s lap. Lady looked at Jennie then took a sniff and looked back at Jennie again. “Protect,” Jennie told her as Lady leaned in for another sniff. I knew the introduction was complete when Lady pushed her nose under Andrea’s hand and kept it there leaning against Jennie’s thigh.
Andrea slept for more than an hour then awoke crying. I took her into our room and changed her diaper and her onesie. Her head on my shoulder I returned to the living room where Jennie had already opened her blouse to expose one of her breasts. Andrea suckled as soon as her mouth found her mother’s nipple.
I sat next to Jennie to watch this timeless tableau—mother and child. “I don’t think that anyone could love more than I love you at this moment. I thought that I really loved you before, but now….”
“I know exactly how much you love me. Doug—just ever so slightly less than I love you. I’ve often thought how fate brought us together. Now I believe it was divine providence—an act of God—that brought us together. And I was right—you did want to fuck me.”
“Hell, I always want to do that, but, unfortunately, our sex life will have to be second now.”
“I don’t know—babies sleep a lot, you know.” I smiled and kissed Jennie. I did know that. Nerds know a lot of stuff like that.
Parent Post: Homeless – by senorlongo
- Homeless - CHAPTER 2
- Homeless - CHAPTER 3
- Homeless - CHAPTER 4
- Homeless - CHAPTER 5
- Homeless - CHAPTER 6
- Homeless - CHAPTER 7
- Homeless - CHAPTER 8
- Homeless - CHAPTER 9 - 10
- Homeless - CHAPTER 11
- Homeless - CHAPTER 12
- Homeless - CHAPTER 13
- Homeless - CHAPTER 14
- Homeless - CHAPTER 15
- Homeless - CHAPTER 16
- Homeless - CHAPTER 17
- Homeless - CHAPTER 18
- Homeless - CHAPTER Epilog