After about fifteen minutes, when Lawrence had calmed down a little, Doctor Peters asked him if he would like to see Ava. He gave a positive response and they went to Ava’s ward.
She decided to give them some privacy as she knew they had things to talk about.
Immediately Doctor Peters walked out, Lawrence took slow steps towards Ava who was on the hospital bed with her eyes shut. She looked very pale and one could conclude that she was very sick. Her hair was wrapped with a sky blue scarf which matched her hospital gown. She had drips connected to her right hand.
Lawrence wasn’t sure if he should wake her up or not. He eventually took a seat on the empty chair beside her bed and kept on watching her sleep. Unconsciously, he caressed her right hand which caused Ava to blink her eyes.
“Sorry. I didn’t mean to wake you up.” He mumbled, guilt evident in his voice.
“You came?” She whispered, with brimming tears.
Ava was surprised he was here as she was already thinking her child will end up in the orphanage when she’s no more.
“Yes I’m here.” he managed to reply. Things were silent for a while between the both of them as they kept on staring at each other before Ava broke the Silence.
“He’s so beautiful” She whispered with tears in her eyes.
“I’m so sorry Ava. Sorry I was never there when you both needed me. I’m really sorry. I shouldn’t have replied you the way I did several months ago. Please forgive me.” Lawrence said as he wiped a tear that rolled down his cheeks.
Ava nodded her head positively and she bit her lower tongue to stop the sound of her tears.
“I never wanted to call you. But again, I felt you had a right to know about the existence of your child.” She spoke as she wiped away her tears with the back of her palm.
“And I was so stupid for not believing you” he replied
“Perhaps if I had reacted to the whole situation in a very mature manner, you and our child will not be going through all these.”
“I saw him Ava. He’s so tiny and looks very weak. I will never forgive myself if anything happens to him. I will never be at peace if anything happens to the both of you.” Lawrence sniffed.
Ava had a sad smile on her lips as she took Lawrence cold hands into hers and said “he will survive this. He’s a fighter.”
She looked into his eyes and said “he has your eyes. So beautiful.”
Lawrence chuckled in tears “I know right.”
“So how did you cope all these while?” he asked her as he helped her into a sitting position on the bed and he took a seat beside her on the bed. The two of them facing each other.
“It wasn’t easy but I tried everything I could. Usually, I did three jobs but I ended up getting fired in two because the pregnancy took a toll on me, again with my health issues, I was always falling sick.”
“But I tried to manage the little I earned as a waitress. Sometimes I got a huge tip and sometimes I got nothing. So I prioritize my spending. You know for the rent and food. As a pregnant woman, I was fortunate to get free health care throughout my pregnancy till delivery but I was still depressed because I had debts to pay.”
“My father was a gambler, he died leaving me alone to clear all his debt. Also, I couldn’t afford the prescribed medication for my heart condition because they were way too expensive.”
“I’m so sorry for all you went through.”
“How did you get my contact?” he asked.
“When you left that night, I found your complimentary card on the floor. That’s when I even discovered who you really are. Then when I found out I was pregnant, I never wanted to inform you because I had a feeling you were going to react the way you did. But I just felt I should do my part by informing you about the baby and then it’s up to you to believe if you want.” she said.
“I’m so sorry about that.” He apologised sincerely.
“It’s okay. Now I’m happy our baby will have his daddy with him even after I’m no more.” she said then looked him in the eye. “would you like to name our child?” She asked.
“You haven’t named him already?” Lawrence replied shocked.
“No. I wanted you to be involved. I was hoping you would be here today, that way he can have your surname. Although I have some names in mind.” Ava said and she asked Lawrence to pass her purse which was on the table and she took out a piece of paper with words written on it and handed it over to him.
Lawrence looked at the list and could not help but smile. There were about 14 names there.
“It’s hard for me to pick.” he pouted.
“I know. But you have to choose.” She shrugged.
“Okay, which is your favourite?” He asked her.
“I like Jace, Kyle, Jayden, Nathan and Lucas.” she said.
“I think they are perfect and Lucas is my younger brother’s name,” he said with a sad smile and that’s when he remembered. His family are all back home, planning his engagement party and he is here. But at the same time, he cannot leave Ava and his son alone. They both need him.
Lawrence brought out his phone from his pocket and that was when he noticed it had gone off. “Can I use your phone?” he asked Ava
“Sure, but I don’t think I have enough call card in it.“She said as she handed over the phone to him.
“It’s fine, I can recharge it through my bank account.” He said as he entered his pin and did some transfer. Then he began dialling his mom’s number.
Lawrence’s heart was beating twice faster. It was 10.43 pm in Detroit, that means it would be 9.42 pm in Austin Texas. The engagement party was meant to start at 8 pm. He was so damn sure everyone would be worried. He actually planned on calling them but it skipped his mind with everything that just happened.
After what seemed like forever, his mom picked up the call
“Hello?” he heard a very worried voice say.
“Mom, it’s me,” Lawrence whispered.
“How could you Lawrence? We spent months planning for today and you just disappeared. The food and decorations were just a waste, you made all our guests come for nothing. Do you know how disheartened this is? I kept on trying your number but it wasn’t even going.” His mom, Abigail, said with anger.
“Mom, I can explain” Lawrence interrupted.
“You owe me no explanation, Lawrence. Ethan already told us everything. You had a child and you kept it away from us. You didn’t even say anything to Silvia.” Abigail said from the other side.
“Mom, it’s not like that,” he said but was cut off.
“I thought I brought you up better than this Lawrence, I think you just lost Silvia for good. You could have trusted me and let me know whatever was going on. I’m really disappointed in you Lawrence.” Abigail said in between sobs and ended the call.
Tears welled in Lawrence’s eyes instantly. His mother’s words hurt him. This was the first time his mom ever used that word that she’s disappointed in him and he felt bad about it.
Ava noticed his mood and gave him a squeeze on his hand. She heard the whole conversation because Lawrence sat on the bed beside her while making the call and his mom’s voice was loud enough for her to hear.
Lawrence dialled Silvia’s number and she didn’t pick up. He dialled it for the second time and she eventually picked up.
“Hello.” Silvia said with a weak voice as if she had already been crying.
“Silvia it’s Lawrence, please don’t hang up on me” he pleaded because he knew Silvia very well. She was disciplined, straight forward, blunt and very rude.
“What do you want?” She shouted.
“Look, I can explain”
“There’s nothing to explain Lawrence. You cheated on me and you never told me and now you have a child. What’s there to explain again? ”
“I’m sorry Silvia, you should listen to my side of the story.”
“Oh, you want me to listen to the fact that you fucked someone else and never told me about it?” She mimicked.
“You have no case here Lawrence. You fucked this up. You fucked us up and you hurt me really bad. We are over. I hope you enjoy your new life.” Silvia said without remorse and hung up on him.
Lawrence sighed as he buried his face in his palm.
“I missed my engagement party today.” He said as he looked at Ava. She nodded, encouraging him to continue.
“Silvia and I have been dating for over a year now. I never told her about what happened between us. Trust me, I wanted to but I was so embarrassed about it because I knew she was going to freak out and likely break up with me and I never wanted that. I decided to make it official and propose to her today. You know, it was meant to be a surprise which I planned with my parents, siblings and some close relatives. But your call came in this afternoon and I had to rush down here.”
“I’m so sorry.” Ava replied.
“You have nothing to be sorry for Ava.” He said as he gave her hand a light squeeze.
“I’m now wondering if I ever loved her,” Lawrence said and Ava gave him a weird look.
“You guys dated for over a year. Of course, there must be some sort of chemistry.”
“Maybe. But it’s all over now. She broke up with me and mom is disappointed with me.” Lawrence said and Ava gave him a pitying look.
“it’s okay Ava. None of this is your fault,” he said.
“It will be fine. Your mom is just hurt but trust me, she will come around.” She assured and he nodded.
Before they could go any further with their discussion, Dr Peters interrupted them as she came to check how Ava was doing.
“How is my baby doing?” Ava asked with a sad smile.
“Good and growing. He’s asleep already.” Dr Peters replied.
“Ohhh, I was thinking of checking up on him before I go to bed.” she said disappointed.
“Don’t worry, you can do that tomorrow morning. My shift is over so I will see you tomorrow.” Dr Peters said after which she gave Ava a warm hug. She requested to see Lawrence outside for a second and they both walked out of Ava’s ward.
After Lawrence shut the door behind him, Doctor Peters took out an envelope from her lab coat and handed it over to him.
“The DNA result.” She mumbled.
Even though Lawrence knew deep down that the baby was his, he just wanted something to confirm his thoughts. He quickly opened the envelope. Lo and behold, The result confirmed his thought. He is the biological father. A sad smile crept into his face.
He quickly held out his hands and took Dr Peters hands into his.
Dr Peters was just in her early 40′s, married and a mother of four.
“Please do all it takes to save both of them. I cannot imagine my life without them.” He said sincerely.
“Your baby will be fine but I’m not sure about Ava.” She replied.
“please. Just do anything. I don’t mind paying a huge amount.” he pleaded.
“This is far beyond our power Lawrence. Ava has a weak heart. She was not able to take treatment for a long period and that has caused so much damage. I’m afraid she might give up anytime from now.”
Lawrence sighed as he buried his face into his palm. The thought of his son growing up without his mother is killing him already. Even though Lawrence and his mom aren’t on good terms at the moment, he cannot imagine his life without her.
“I also wanted to ask if you guys had come up with a name for the baby. We need to enter his details into the certificate.”
“We will sleep on that Doctor Peters. The name will be ready by tomorrow morning,” he replied.
“Alright then. I will see you guys tomorrow.” Dr Peters gave her goodbye and left.
Lawrence returned to Ava’s room. He took a seat beside her.
“We need to finalize a name for our son,” he said.
“hmm okay.” she replied.
“You can pick his first name while I chose his middle name,” he said.
“Luis... ” she replied and he nodded.
“Luis Ivan Williams. I love the sound of that.” he chuckled and took Ava’s hands into his. His expression turning to that of a serious one.
“Please promise me you will fight this. We need you Ava. Luis needs you.” he whispered and tears welled up in Ava’s eyes immediately.
“I really want to Lawrence but I don’t think I can. I really want to watch my baby grow and hear him call me mama but I don’t think that’s ever going to happen” she said as the tears began to fall.
“This heart disease is hereditary from my mom’s side. It killed my mom and now, me. Please take very good care of Luis so it doesn’t affect him also.” She said in tears and Lawrence embraced her into a hug.
After Lawrence managed to calm her down, they were able to tell each other about their lives. Lawrence told Ava about his family and work while Ava, on the other hand, didn’t have much to say. Her mom died when she was little and her father passed away a few years ago.
After Ava fell asleep, Lawrence called Ethan and explained everything to him. He begged his best friend that he needs some time off to take care of his family, Ava and his son needs him.
Ava smiled when she heard Lawrence call her and Luis his family. She had always wanted a family but never had that privilege. She hoped her son gets to enjoy all what she never enjoyed.