Lawrence jumped up from the couch he was sleeping on when he heard a very loud cry. It was Ava’s scream which overtook the beeping sound of the Monitor.
He walked as fast as his leg could take him towards Ava who was lying on the hospital bed in tears as she clutched her chest tightly. she was in pain.
Lawrence panicked and ran out of the room to get help.
Eventually, he was able to get a Doctor and a nurse who followed him immediately to Ava’s ward. But they told him to wait outside the ward as they attended to her.
Lawrence has never been so scared in his life as he was now. He prays nothing happens to Ava. He was just getting to know her and he cannot afford to lose her now. Besides, Luis needs his mom.
About 12 minutes later, the Doctor came out from Ava’s ward and Lawrence turned to him for answers
“Will she be okay?” He asked in fear.
“We are losing her Mr Williams. But She said she wants to have a word with you. I’m so sorry.” The middle-aged doctor said as he gave Lawrence a light squeeze on his shoulder.
Lawrence nodded sadly and entered Ava’s ward. She was already lying down on the bed. But her heart rate was not normal. One could tell from the monitor.
When Ava saw Lawrence approaching him, she tried to sit up.
“No, no, you shouldn’t stress yourself, Ava.” Lawrence said as he sat beside her on the hospital bed and burst into tears immediately as he remembered in a few more minutes, he will be left alone to look after his son. He knew nothing about children. Where the hell was he going to start from?
Ava saw Lawrence crying and she started tearing up also. She took Lawrence hands in hers, looked him in the eye and said
“Promise me you will take very good care of yourself and Luis. Please promise me.”
“It’s not going to be easy Ava. But I’ll try. I will try my best to be the best father to Luis.” He said in tears and Ava nodded.
“It pains me that I won’t be here to watch him grow. Please let him know he is the best thing that has ever happened to me. You and Luis will always have a place in my heart and I will always be watching you both up there.” Ava said in a raspy voice
“We will miss you, Ava. So much.” Lawrence sobbed and Ava gave him a sad smile. Who knew Lawrence Earl Williams could also be emotional.
“Here’s the key to my apartment. Some of Luis’s things are there; Few clothes and toys that I bought for him. You can pack them. Then also, the few clothes I have, you can send them to the orphanage. The landlord’s number is on the fridge in my apartment, you can get back to him to return the apartment keys. Then I have some change in my account for the man my father is owing. What is left in my account is not up to half of what my father is owning but please give the money to my landlord, he will hand over the money to Mr Gills.”
“Mr Gills is the one your father is owing?” Lawrence sniffed.
“Yes, he lives next to my landlord.”
“I will pay the debt. How much is it?” He asked.
“A little over $10,000”
“Don’t worry, I will settle it.” He assured.
“Thank you. That means you can use the money in my account for Luis or give it to the orphanage” She said as she handed him her card.
As soon Lawrence collected the card, Ava let out a scream and clutch her chest with her right hand.
The doctor entered Ava’s ward but this time with two nurses as they came to attend to Ava.
Lawrence stood in shock as tears continued to fall from his eyes. He watched as the doctor and nurses did what they could to save Ava. But unfortunately, she gave up. It all happened in front of him. It was like a film trick.
“She’s gone.” He whispered as he fell on the ground and cried his heart out.
Lawrence had never felt lonely before in his life. He had to bear this pain alone. There was no one he could lean on. No one to tell him it’s going to be alright. It was just him and his son who was still fighting for his life in the incubator.
The next day........
Doctor Peters resumed her shift and gave her condolences to Lawrence. They talked about the burial arrangement and also filled out Luis’s birth certificate.
After that, Lawrence went to Ava’s apartment to do all that she requested him to do. While packing the clothes she said she bought for Luis, He came across a white shirt with dark prints on it which states “Daddy’s little boy.” Lawrence could not help with the smile that took over his face and that smile turned to a sad one when he remembered Ava. She was a good person and he prayed her soul rest in peace.
He also packed up Ava’s stuff and left them at the orphanage along with the money in her account. He met with the landlord, handed over the apartment keys to him and wrote a cheque, requesting him to give Mr Gills. Ava had an outstanding rent but he settled it. He took all Luis things and dropped them at the hotel where he was staying. While he was packing, he had seen an album which contains Ava’s picture, he took them also so he could show Luis in the future.
After Lawrence was done, he took a shower and went back to the hospital to go check on his son. Of course, he did not fail to put on his Shade to avoid attention.
“He’s improving.” Doctor Peters said to Lawrence as they both stood by the incubator, watching baby Luis.
“I noticed.” He replied with a sad smile. Baby Luis had gained a little weight.
“I think by next week, he should be out of here.” She said and Lawrence nodded, not taking his eyes away from his son.
“Here’s the list of what you need to get for him. I also listed some books you can buy and some website videos you can watch to help you learn more about babies.” Doctor Peters said as she handed over the list to Lawrence.
“Thank you,” he replied as he went through the list.
He had asked Doctor Peters for help earlier on what to buy and where to learn from.
“You will go through this. I have no doubt you will be a great father. Ava will be so proud of you.” Doctor Peters encouraged Lawrence.
After Lawrence left the hospital, he proceeded to the mall and bought some things he thought Luis might need for now and he also bought some books to help him learn more about babies before heading back to his hotel room.
He got to the hotel room, ordered dinner, took his shower and tried to do some work on his laptop. He stopped for a while and thought of calling Ethan. He used the phone in his hotel room and dialled Ethan’s number.
“Ethan it’s me.” He said.
“Hey bro. I’ve been expecting your call.” Ethan said and you could tell from his voice that he was worried. The last time he spoke to Lawrence was yesterday when he told him about Ava’s death. Lawrence sounded so heartbroken and Ethan was worried for his best friend because he was all alone.
“Yeah, I’ve busy all day. Planning Ava’s burial and looking after Luis.”
“Luis?” Ethan questioned.
“Yeah, his name is Luis. Luis Ivan Williams” Lawerence replied as he remembered he never told Ethan his son’s name.
“Okay. So when is Ava’s burial?” he asked
“I can still make it to Detroit. Let me come over.” Ethan pleaded. He wanted to come to support his friend.
“It’s okay Ethan. I think I can cope. Just stay over there and look after the company.”
“I admire your strength, Lawrence. You are handling things so well.” Ethan admitted.
“I’m surprised too. I guess my son gave me the strength.” Lawrence replied with a sad smile. He loved the way he called Luis his son.
“So how is Luis?” Ethan asked.
“He’s fine. He’s improving. The Doctor said he should be out of there in a week.”
“That’s good news. So that means we should be expecting you guys in two weeks?” Ethan asked.
“Yeah. Maybe. I want you to help me out, Ethan. I need to get stuff for Luis. I will order them online and maybe you can help with the arrangement.”
“No problem. Anything for my nephew.” Ethan smiled.
“How about finding a nanny?” Ethan asked.
“I’m still thinking. But I’ve not decided,” he replied.
“You know you will have to get one eventually because of work,” Ethan said.
“Yeahhh.. I will let you know my opinion on that later,” he replied.
“Have you hired a new secretary for me?” Lawrence asked. His former secretary quit a month ago.
“Yeah, we have about 25 applicants. The interview is scheduled for tomorrow.“Ethan replied.
“Okay then. Please, I want someone competent.” Lawrence pleaded.
“You don’t have to worry. I will take care of everything.” He assured.
“Lawrence, Mom is worried about you,” Ethan said, referring to Lawrence’s mother, Abigail.
“She said she has been trying the number you used to call her but it isn’t going through and your number is also not reachable,” Ethan said.
“You should call her,” he suggested. ” Or are you angry at her?” he asked.
“Of course not,” he replied.
“I understand Lawrence. Your mom acted out of anger and trust me she’s so worried about you. She’s been bugging me all day, asking how you are doing and even Lenora wouldn’t let me rest.” Ethan said.
“My regards to them. Tell them I’m okay”
“Okay bro, we’ll talk tomorrow right?” Ethan asked.
“Sure, goodnight,” Lawrence said, Ethan gave his reply before ending the call.
The truth is that Lawrence is not angry with his mother. He refused to call her or any of his siblings because he is ashamed. He is embarrassed from all what had happened and does not know how to face them yet. To him, it’s as if he had let his whole family down.