“Mando!” I was dusting the guest room furniture when I heard the voice. I looked up to see Manny standing there. He had brought the workers up to do some more work on the nursery. I laughed.
“Man-Do? Really? Would you do that to your child?”
“I might,” he said. “But since I’m gay I may never get the chance to find out.” I tried not to look shocked. I had no idea Manny was gay. I saw him suppress a smile as he said, “Are you going to judge me now?”
“Have you judged me for being unwed and pregnant?”
“Not in the least,” he said.
“That’s how I feel about you being gay, Manny. It doesn’t change who you are to me. You’re my friend. Your lifestyle doesn’t factor into that.” He smiled broadly then.
“Thanks, so Man-do?”
Laughing, I said, “No way.” He left to head for the basement. Now that Alex wasn’t having parties down there every night, there was a lot less for him to do. I saw him a lot more. But that was good. I liked him a lot. I finished the guest room and was passing by the nursery. I hadn’t allowed myself to look at it… especially after witnessing more than one fight between Cassandra and Alex over it. I wasn’t sure how I felt about it still. Too many conflicting emotions.
“Miss?” I stopped. One of the workers was calling to me.
“I needed an opinion on something. I saw that you were pregnant… I’m sorry, I don’t mean to presume…”
I laughed. “I am pregnant,” I said. It was so obvious yet he was afraid of offending me.
“Is this nursery for your baby?” he asked.
“Yes, at least for now. I’m sure Mr. Reigns intends it for anyone who needs it.”
“Oh, well since it will be your baby’s for now, maybe you could look at the closet for me and see if it looks like it will work.”
“Um… sure,” I followed him into the room and stopped dead in my tracks. The walls were a pale blue color… so pale they were almost white. The windows, two large ones, were trimmed in dark blue and the seat cushions in them were a dark and light blue paisley. There was a white crib and dresser, a changing table and a rocking chair… It was huge and it was beautiful and it was completely furnished, right down to toys and blocks in the dark blue squares that hung on the walls. There was even a bookcase filled with bedtime story books. I had tears in my eyes.
“Miss? Are you okay?” one of the workers said.
Embarrassed, I shook off my emotion and said, “Yes, it’s just so lovely. You’ve all done a great job.”
“Thanks, most of it was Mr. Reigns’ direct instruction. He didn’t get technical on the closet though.” He pulled open the double doors of the closet and my jaw dropped. It was a walk-in closet with rods above and below to hold clothing and a spinning rack for hats and shoes. I knew that was what they were for, because they were both full. So was the upper rod. There were clothes and hats and shoes and an entire wall filled with diapers. I’d bought him one or two things, but this was an entire wardrobe. “You see this here?” he said, pulling a smooth oak table out of the wall. “It’s supposed to be another changing space. It folds up out of the way here when you’re done with it. I’m just worried it’s too tall. Mr. Reigns approved it, height and all… but I look at you and think you won’t even be able to reach the baby.”
I walked over closer. He was right. The table came up level with my neck. I looked at him and said, “How tall are you?”
“About six two,” he said.
“Will you stand right here?” I asked him.
He came over and stood next to the table. I knew what it was for. It was Alex’s table. It was where he would put the baby when he changed him. The tears flooded my eyes again. He really was preparing to be a father.
“You okay?” he asked again. I smiled and nodded.
“Just pregnancy stuff,” I said. “I think if that’s the way Mr. Reigns asked for it, he probably has his reasons. I’d leave it.”
“Okay, thank you, Miss.”
“You’re welcome,” I told him. I took one last look at the beautiful room. Then I walked back out and got my cart from the hall outside the guest room. I started to push it towards the master suite when I suddenly felt a gush of warm liquid rush down my thighs and puddle on the floor. I looked down at it in horror. Did my water just break? It couldn’t have… it was too soon. I took a towel off my cart and draped it over the puddle in the floor. As I bent over a pain ripped through my stomach as if to prove that too soon or not, this was it.
I made sure the puddle was covered so no one would slip in it and I waddled into the guest room. Taking my phone out of my pocket, I called the front gates. The man on duty today was named Raymond and he was always really nice.
“Hi Raymond, it’s Victoria.”
“Hello there, Miss Hart! How is the day going?”
“Well Raymond, I believe that I’m in labor.”
“What?” he sounded nervous suddenly. “What should I do?”
I smiled through the pain of the next cramp… or contraction I suppose it was. “I’m going to call an ambulance Raymond. I just wanted to let you know so that you wouldn’t be surprised.”
“Miss Hart, you sure seem calm for a lady who is about to have a baby.”
“It’s a really good act,” I told him, honestly. “I’m a wreck.” I hung up with Raymond and called the ambulance. I told them the address and that the front gate was expecting them. Then I hung up and waddled to the elevator. I was getting nervous because the pains were becoming more intense. I didn’t want to have the baby here. When I got to the main level I made my way to Karen’s office. One look at me and she was on her feet.
“Vicki? What is it?”
“The baby is coming,” I said. “My water broke and I’m having contractions.”
“Oh no! How early is it?”
“About five weeks,” I told her. I was trying not to think about that. I was trying to stay positive. I think Karen realized too that this was no time to worry. It was too late for that anyways.
“I’ll call an ambulance,” she said, picking up the phone.
“I did that already,” I told her. “I also let the front gate know they’re coming.”
She laughed. “Even in labor, you’re efficient. What should I do then? Should I call Alexander?”
“No! No, don’t bother him. I can do this. I’ll call my roommate. She’ll come be with me.” Karen looked sad, but she nodded. I heard the doorbell ring and looked back at her and said, “Wish me luck.”
“The best,” she said with a hug. “As soon as my shift is over I will be there. I can’t wait to meet him.”
I put my hand over my belly and felt a flutt
er of anticipation. “Me too,” I said. My little man would be in my arms by the end of the day. I refused to believe that anything could go wrong.
I had just finished with my first meeting of the day when my phone rang. I looked at it and saw that it was the house calling. I excused myself and stepped out into the fresh, salty air. “Hello?”
“Mr. Reigns, it’s Karen.”
I could tell by the tightness in her voice that something was wrong. “What is it, Karen? What’s happened?”
“I’m not supposed to be calling you. She didn’t want to disturb you…”
“Karen, just tell me what is wrong.”
“Victoria’s waters broke. She’s on her way to the hospital.”
“Oh my God, alone?”
“She said she would call her roommate, but for now, yes, she’s alone.”