Maternity Ward, 3:42 AM

#flashfiction inspired by today’s Daily Prompt on the website of J C Cauthon
[364 words]

 

It’s a hospital so there’s that odd mix of quiet and not so much. Plus, it’s a maternity ward, so there’s new mothers feeding their new babies at all hours. I can hear that peculiar shuffling noise you get when people try to walk in slippers and the squeaking of the nurse’s non-slip soles. The quiet is broken from time-to-time by a piercing alarm. Nurses run from their station, only to stroll back muttering about yet another mother pulling the alarm cord instead of the one for the light.

Me? I’m sitting in the corner quietly. Waiting …

Waiting? Uh-huh, waiting … until Janet decides whether that argument we were having when she went into labour is still making her mad enough to block me from her life. Yuh-huh, I’m the baby’s father, so I’ve been to the nursery but they won’t let me get any closer than the other side of the glass, and it’s killing me. That’s my little boy in there, my son. I don’t want him to think he has one of those deadbeat dads. I mean, OK, so I was being a bit of an ass teasing an overdue pregnant girl, but I’m only 19 too.

No, we didn’t plan it – it happened, as these things are inclined to if you don’t do anything to prevent it … and we didn’t. And although we were both so made up when we first found out, the reality of it all has been dawning on us both. And it’s made us more than a little scratchy. I mean, we’re just a couple of scared teenagers really. Our folks have been great, really supportive ‘n all, but still. This … is … it. Our life from now on revolves around this little guy.

A nurse beckons me over. I rush so much that I almost trip over my own feet. “Is she …?” I start. The nurse smiles and nods. I go into the ward and there’s Janet, she’s been feeding our little guy. She’s smiling … and she’s also crying a little bit. “Here, come ‘n hold him” she says and that’s it – I’m lost, done for, I’m in love.

 

© Debra Carey 2017

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