Tia looked at me. She looked so fucking scared. It was killing me.
“I’m not gonna let anything go wrong. I’m here. I have you. Forget your legs and think about names. What are we naming him?”
“Her. This is definitely a girl. I feel it.”
“I feel like it’s maybe a boy,” I said. “It would be karmic justice if I had to have a beautiful baby girl to worry about for the next fifty years. Do you really think I deserve that?”
Tia laughed while crying. “This is so definitely a girl.”
I wiped her eyes.
The nurse winked at me as she stepped past me. “Good job, Daddy.”
Daddy. Fuck. I totally had this karma coming to me.
Carina was born a half an hour later. Beautiful. Tiny. Perfect. The most beautiful baby girl ever born.
I stepped out of the room begrudgingly to stretch, at Sarah’s insistence, leaving Sarah and Luciana with them for a minute.
The smell of hospitals made my gut feel sour.
I took the elevator down and stepped outside to get some air.
I had a lot of sleepless nights and grey hairs coming. And I deserved every one of them.
I did not fuckin’ deserve Athena O’Connor, now Ferrano.
“She’s yours if you want her.” I heard my Pop’s voice in my head that night as I slept sitting up in a chair in the hospital room with my wife and daughter. “Yeah. Yours. For whatever.”
I looked up at the sky. It was a grey morning, but the sun was peeking through with five long rays reaching down toward me, like fingers through the clouds.
I let the sight soak in for a minute.
“Thanks, Pop,” I said.