Life After You

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Chapter 31

When I finally come to, I see Dr. J and Tori standing over me. Dr. J is at the foot of my bed, sitting directly in front of my feet. My legs are spread apart while Tori has one of my knees and a nurse has the other.

“Welcome back Olivia.” Dr. J smiles.

“The baby...” I mumble, “Where’s the baby?”

“He’s still on his way out, you need to keep pushing. You gave us quite the scare back there.” He says, referring to the ambulance ride.

“You mean I’m still in labor?” I ask as my eyes widen.

“Precisely. Now push please.” Dr. J smiles, lifting the sheet up and over my knees to give him access to the baby.

“Come on Liv, you can do it.” Tori smiles, small amounts of tears in her eyes.

“Tor, why are you crying?” I ask after pushing for a few seconds.

“I thought you were going to die Liv, your heart completely stopped.” She says with a deep frown.

“Why don’t I feel anything?” I say, realizing I am no longer in pain.

“Since you passed out and weren’t moving, I was able to give you an epidural after the paramedics got you into your hospital bed. I figured the pain is what caused your heart rate to pick up and that’s why it stopped so suddenly.” Dr. J explains.

“Thank you.” I smile.

“Okay Olivia, I need you to push again. This time I need a really big one, okay?” Dr. J instructs.

I nod and take in a deep breath before I start pushing as hard as my body will allow.

“Great job Olivia! We have passed the head and are now at the shoulders, one more big push come on!” Dr. J smiles.

I give my last push all that I’ve got and I feel a weird sensation followed by warm liquid. Tori immediately beings to cry as her smile grows.

After a few more seconds, I hear tiny crying.

My baby.

I see Dr. J wiping him off and placing him in a blanket. Dr. J stands up and slowly walks over to me, gently lowering the small bundle down and into my already outstretched arms.

“Congratulations Olivia, a healthy and beautiful baby boy.” Dr. J quietly says.

As I take him in my arms, I immediately look down and stare at the face of my perfect little boy.

“Oh my God... you’re absolutely perfect.” I begin to cry, tears falling from my eyes uncontrollably. “Hi baby boy... I love you so much!” I cry, leaning over slightly to place small kisses against his tiny forehead.

“Tori look at him... isn’t he perfect?” I cry, looking up at my best friend.

“He’s the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.” She coos, gently running her index finger over the baby’s tiny fingers.

“Thank you so much Dr. J. You’ve been amazing throughout my entire pregnancy, and I will never forget you.” I smile up at Dr. J who is beaming at me.

He chuckles lightly, “Don’t worry Olivia, you still have a few more post-partum appointments with me, and I will stay in contact to check in on you from time to time.” He smiles.

“Sorry, this is just a little overwhelming.” I laugh, not once taking my eyes off my little boy.

“So... the time has come Olivia. What’s his name?” Dr. J asks.

Tori looks at me with a questioning gaze, waiting for my answer.

I take a few seconds to look at my baby. I study his every feature, and notice that he already looks so much like Landon. His bold chin, perfectly chiseled nose. I can’t see his eyes yet, as they have not yet opened, but I can already tell they will make me melt just as Landon’s once did.

I slowly started to feel myself falling in love all over again. However, this kind of love is entirely different.

“Maverick Landon Cavalier.” I finally say, looking up at Dr. J and Tori with a wide smile.

“Maverick... I love it.” Tori smiles, peering down at the tiny human in my arms.

“I am going to leave you all to your privacy. I will send Riley in, that alright?” Dr. J asks.

“Of course.” I smile. “Thank you Dr. J.”

As Dr. J leaves, Tori pulls a chair up beside me so she can continue looking at Maverick.

“I can’t believe he’s finally here. It still feels like only yesterday when you found out about him.” Tori says, causing me to remember that very dramatic, yet painful day.

“God, I wish Landon were here.” I find myself saying, small tears filling my eyes yet again.

“He’s here Liv. Trust me.” Tori smiles.

I smile back and a few moments later, my hospital room door opens.

“Riley... I want you to meet someone.”

Riley rubs his hands with hand sanitizer and the smile on his face is so big, I think all of his teeth are actually showing. He slowly walks over to the side of my bed and peers down at the bundle in my arms.

I slowly raise the baby and gently place him into Riley’s arms.

“Riley, meet your nephew. Maverick Landon Cavalier.” I smile.

“Hello Maverick!” Riley beams. “He’s so beautiful Liv. I’ve never felt this type of love before.” He says.

“You’re telling me.” I laugh.

“I called dad, he’s flying out tonight and will be here in the morning. He’s bringing Barbara and Brian with him.” Riley smiles.

“Thank you so much! I thought they would have to wait until they were actually supposed to come down in two weeks before they were able to see the baby.” I sigh in relief.

“Your big bro gots this.” He smiles, still looking at little Maverick.

“Riley, let me hold him.” Tori pouts.

Riley gently hands Maverick over to Tori and I can see that Tori’s heart instantly melts.

“I’m going to be your most favorite Aunt in the world!” She smiles.

“Uh babe, you’ll be his only Aunt.” Riley says cautiously.

Tori shoots him a glare and he blows her a kiss playfully.

After a few moments, Tori places Maverick back into my arms and I beam with joy as I hold him.

“I can’t believe I brought this little boy into the world. Me. Olivia Harper. I am a mom.” I say out loud to myself.

“You’re going to be an amazing mother. There’s no doubt in my mind.” Tori smiles.

After a while of just sitting here, my hospital room door opens and a nurse walks in.

“Alright guys, Olivia needs to get some sleep, I’m going to take little Maverick to the nursery so we can administer his newborn shots and vaccines, as well as run a few tests like hearing and a couple others. You two can wait in the lobby or you can head on home until tomorrow.” The nurse smiles toward Tori and Riley.

“We will come back tomorrow when dad and Landon’s parents get here.” Riley says. “Get some sleep.” Both Riley and Tori kiss little Maverick on his forehead and then leave.

“Once the tests are done, I will bring him back in to sleep with you.” The nurse smiles, taking Maverick from my arms and placing him in his bed.

“Thank you.” I smile, watching her wheel Maverick in his little bed out of the room.

No more than two minutes after the nurse leaves, I allow myself to fall into a much-needed sleep.

Maverick Landon Cavalier.

“Wakey wakey!” I hear Riley announce as he and Tori enter my room. Maverick is still asleep in his bed next to mine.

“Hey guys. What time is it?” I ask.

“Ten in the morning.” Tori laughs.

“Dang, they let me sleep that long?” My eyes widen.

“Well you’re going to need all the sleep you can get here while you have extra help with the baby. Once you get home, you’ll have wished you were able to sleep longer.” Tori says, walking over to Maverick and peering down at him.

“Hey little guy.” She quietly whispers.

“I brought you some snacks.” Riley smirks, holding up a bag from the store.

“Bless you.” I sigh happily, as I take the bag from his grasp.

I pull out a bag of chips and dig in, not caring that this is going to be my breakfast.

“How is the breastfeeding?” Tori asks.

“Weird, but I’m slowly getting the hang of it.” I say.

“Does it hurt?” She asks again.

“Not really. It’ll hurt more when he starts to grow teeth.” I say, not at all looking forward to that.

“Ouch.” Riley says, empathetically rubbing his chest.

“I still have a while before I have to worry about that anyway.” I shrug, eating more of my chips.

“Dad said they should be here any minute last time I talked to him.” Riley says. “Although, that was ten minutes ago.”

As if on cue, my hospital door slowly opens revealing my dad, Barbara and Brian.

“Where is he!” Barbara beams, pushing my dad and Brian out of the way.

I laugh and point to where he is on the other side of my bed.

“Oh, let me see, let me see!” Barbara rushes over to Maverick and gently picks him up.

“Oh Olivia... he’s absolutely gorgeous! He’s Landon made over!” She smiles, tears building up in her eyes.

“I can’t believe I’m a grandmother. Oh Landon, I wish you were here.” She says while looking up into the air. “Brian, come say hello to your grandson.”

I watch as B walks over to Barbara and he takes Maverick from her arms.

B has always been the macho type, so actually seeing tears form in his eyes is something that I will honestly never forget.

I feel myself beginning to cry as well while watching the both of them cuddle their grandson.

“What’s his name Olivia?” Barbara suddenly ask.

With a wide smile on my face I say, “Maverick Landon Cavalier.”

Both Barbara and B’s eyes widen and they beam at me with delight.

“That’s a wonderful name! Little Maverick. God I can’t believe you’re finally here.” Barbara cried some more.

“Sweetie, Maverick has another grandfather wanting to meet him.” B smiles.

Barbara looks up at my dad and smiles tenderly. “Of course he does.”

Barbara slowly walks over to my dad and I cry with joy as I watch Barbara place Maverick into his arms.

Maverick makes a cute little noise the second he is put into my dads’ arms.

“Hey dad, I think he likes you.” I smirk.

“Well I surely hope so!” He lightly chuckles, holding Maverick closer to him.

“Hey kiddo.” He smiles down at Maverick. “Whatever you do, don’t listen to anything your uncles says.” He smirks, causing Riley to pout.

“I resent that.” He crosses his arms over his chest.

“Only teasing son.” My dad laughs while looking at Riley.

“You’ve got one pretty cool Uncle, kiddo.” He says looking down at Maverick again. “And you have an amazing mother.”

I smile at my dad who sends me a wink before walking over and placing Maverick in my arms.

“I’m so proud of you sweetie.” My dad says, placing a kiss against my forehead. “He’s beautiful.”

“Thanks dad.” I wipe a tear from my cheek and then laugh.

“It’s too emotional in here, someone fart or something.” This makes every laugh and then we all spend the next hour just chatting away about anything and everything. Barbara begins taking photos of Maverick with the help of Tori, and my dad, Riley and B all stand together talking about the latest Raiders game.

After a little while, there’s a knock at the door.

“Who is it?” Riley sings while approaching the door.

“Noah.” I hear and my eye instantly shoot toward the door.

“Is it okay if I let him in?” Riley asks.

I nod.

Riley slowly opens the door and Noah walks in with a small bouquet of flowers in one hand, and a small teddy bear in the other.

“Um, everyone... let’s go to the cafeteria and get some lunch, yeah?” Tori announces to the room. Everyone agrees and walks out, leaving Noah alone with me.

“Hey.” I smile. “Didn’t expect to see you here.”

“Yeah, well Riley texted me about what happened... and I wasn’t too sure if you would want me here or not, but the next thing I knew I was buying these and ended up here.” He sheepishly smiled.

“No, it’s fine. I’m happy to see you.” I reply with a smile.

“Are you sure? I can just drop these off and go. I don’t want to overstep.” He slightly frowns.

“Noah, sit down and meet Maverick.” I laugh. He gingerly takes a seat on the edge of my bed and peers down at Maverick.

“Wow, he looks a lot like Landon.” Noah says, smiling. “I’m really happy for you.”

“Thank you. He’s pretty incredible.” I smile looking down at my son.

“This is for him.” Noah nervously smiles, handing the small teddy bear over to me. The teddy bear has on a light blue shirt that says, “You Rock!” written on the front.

“It was all I could find with blue.” Noah laughs.

“It’s adorable, thank you.”

I take the teddy bear and lean it against Maverick who crinkles his nose, but then just barely cracks a smile as he feels the softness of the teddy bear.

“I’d say he likes it.” I smile.

“What a relief!” Noah lets out a breath.

“You’re cute when you’re nervous.” I find myself saying.

“Sorry, I’ve just never been in this situation before.” He looks down at his lap.

“Hey, neither have I. We will learn as we go.” I assure.

“You’re strangely calm right now.” Noah says, causing me to look up at him.

“I feel calm.” I reply. “It’s like everything is right where it’s supposed to be. Even you.” I say.

“Listen, Olivia... I know we have only been dating a few months now, and I know that you’re going to have a lot on your plate, but I just wanted to tell you that I will be here to help and support you with whatever you need. I don’t want you to think that I’m trying to replace Landon or something like that, but I want to be here for you... and for Maverick.” Noah says, causing my heart to flutter.

“Thank you Noah. That really means a lot to me. I know you aren’t trying to replace Landon, in fact, I’m sure Landon is grateful that I will have someone to help me out. The future is whatever we want it to be, so we can just take it one day at a time. Sound good?” I smile.

“This may be wrong of me to say, but it’s kind of surreal sitting here with you. I mean, if things worked out differently back then, this could be our baby.” He says, and I suddenly feel sad.

“Everything happens for a reason Noah. Honestly, I’m really happy everything turned out the way that it did. I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but I’m glad I have Landon’s baby.” I say, trying my best not to sound harsh.

“I’m glad that I have this piece of him with me, so I can always keep him close to my heart.” I smile.

“I understand.” Noah smiles too. “I would feel the same way if our lives were switched.”

“Thank you for understanding. And who knows, if things work out for us in the long wrong, it could still be us sitting here with our baby in the future.” I grin, causing Noah’s cheeks to turn a slight shade of pink.

“Don’t worry; it’ll be a very long time before I’m ready for another kid.” I laugh. “I’m going to have fun trying to lose this baby weight.”

“It’ll fall right off. Either way, you still look beautiful.” Noah smirks, leaning over slightly to place a kiss on my forehead.

“Well I guess I should get going and leave you with your family.” He says, starting to stand up.

“You can stay, Noah.” I say, placing my one hand against his knee.

“Are you sure?” He asks.

“Yes.” I smile.

After a few moments, the door to my room opens and everyone comes barging back in.

“Noah, dude, you gotta try this!” Riley hands Noah what appears to be some type of jello and I scrunch my nose up at the foul looking plate.

“Uh, I don’t think so.” He mimics my facial expression.

“Oh come on, live a little!” Riley says, pushing it into Noah’s face.

“Riley, give it a rest, he doesn’t want any.” My dad sighs.

“But it’s jello!” Riley protests.

“For God sakes Riley, not everyone likes jello!” My dad says, causing Noah and I to laugh.

“I do.” Riley replies, sitting down in a chair to continue eating his food.

“Awe, I’m sure jello likes you too babe.” Tori coos while patting Riley’s head.

“Oh what a cute little teddy bear!” Barbara smiles while looking over at Maverick. “Did you bring that Noah?” She asks.

“Yes mam, I saw it and had to get it.” He smiles.

“So cute!” She says, while taking Maverick from my arms. “Grandma needs some baby lovin’!”

“He’s all yours. My arm was starting to get tired.” I admit with a laugh.

“Just wait until everything becomes tired.” B jokes. “You’ll be like a walking zombie!”

“Brian!” Barbara scolds her husband. “Don’t’ tell her that.”

“What?” He holds his hands up. “It’s true! I remember what you were like.”

“Don’t listen to him dear, you’ll be just fine.” Barbara smiles while shooting daggers at her husband.

“Cool a zombie! Can we do your makeup and video record you?” Riley asks in full seriousness.

My eyes turned to slits. “No Riley.” I deadpan. “You cannot record me.”

“Oh come on! It would be so cool, Liv. Right Noah?” Riley looks over to Noah and Noah honestly didn’t know whether he should agree or disagree with Riley.

“Um, I don’t think she would like that very much.” He finally says.

“You’re so whipped.” Riley mumbles.

“And you’re not?” Tori asks while raising an eyebrow toward Riley.

“Absolutely not! I am my own man.” Riley proudly states.

“Riley...” Tori begins. “Shut up.”

“Yes dear.” Riley says, slouching down into his seat.

“Yeah, and I’m the one who’s whipped.” Noah laughs, which causes my dad and B to laugh too.

“You boys are incorrigible.” Barbara says. “Maverick, please do not grow up to be like your uncle.” Barbara says, causing everyone to laugh some more.

“Hey! There is nothing wrong with growing up to be me!” Riley defends himself.

“Sure, son.” Our dad laughs.

Out of nowhere, there’s another knock at the door.

“Dang Liv, you’re popular today.” Tori says.

Everyone glances toward the door when it slowly opens. My jaw almost falls to the floor when I see who it is.

“Claire!” I smile wide. I sit up in bed and hold my arms open to her, inviting her in for a hug.

“Hello Olivia!” She walks across the room and envelopes me into a hug. “I heard you were here with little Maverick and I just needed to come and see you.”

“I’m so happy you did!” I beam.

Claire is the nurse who helped me get through everything that happened with Landon. I didn’t think I would ever be able to step foot outside of this hospital when he died, but Claire believed in me and made sure that I was okay. I honestly don’t know how I ever would have gotten through those few days without her.

“So, where is he?” She smiles.

“Here you go.” Barbara says, stepping over to hand Maverick to Claire.

“Oh he is just absolutely precious!” Claire beams. “I am so happy for you Olivia.”

“Thank you Claire, that means so much to me!” I smile. “And thank you, for everything that you’ve done for me.”

“I would do it again in a heartbeat.” She smiles, handing Maverick back over to Barbara.

“You take care okay sweetie? And be sure to come back with little Maverick and visit me!”

“You bet we will!” I smile, giving Claire one last hug.

“Bye everyone!” Claire announces as she leaves.

The rest of the day is spent catching up and laughing and while I look around my hospital room at everyone here, I couldn’t help but continue smiling. I was smiling so much that my cheeks were starting to hurt. All of these people are so special to me, and they don’t even know it. Or, maybe they do. I like to think they do at least.

I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for each and every one of them, Riley and Tori in particular. They have been my rocks these past nine months, and I know for a fact I wouldn’t be where I am right now if it weren’t for them.

I look around at everyone and then I look down at Maverick who is currently sleeping in my arms.

My, has this little boy changed my life. I knew from the second I heard his heartbeat that he was going to give my life an entirely new meaning, and he has done just that. I don’t know what lies ahead, but I know that I will do everything in my power to give this little boy the absolute best life I can give him.

I know he will wonder what happened to his dad, and I will explain everything to his as he gets older, but for now, I will happily be both mommy and daddy to this amazing little boy. He is my entire world, and he’s only a day old.

Looking down at his innocent little face, gives me purpose. I have a purpose now, and that purpose is to be this little boy’s mom. My purpose is to take care of him, and guide him to have the best life he can have. Sure, we may have some bumps in the road along the way, but I’ve come to learn that bumps are only temporary and love in infinite. As long as there’s love, there’s nothing that we can’t do.

I kiss my son against his forehead and my heart melts at his small dimpled smile.

I know we will be okay.

I instantly think of Landon and I smile. I know he’s smiling down at us right now.

While life may go on after you Landon, you will always be a part of our story. You will always be inside of my heart, as that is the only place that you and my mother dwell.

You may not be here anymore, but you will always be it for me. I will never forget our story.

After all, it’s you, Landon. It will always be you.


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