I was woken up to kisses on my shoulder.
It felt so nice I was almost tempted to pretend I was still asleep. But he probably knew I wasn’t anyway so I rolled over, stretching. I rubbed my eyes to remove sleep before I looked up at him. He wasn’t wearing a shirt. His brown hair was all messy from sleep and his eyes were slightly closed.
“Hey beautiful.” His voice was deep and croaky. He had sexy morning voice.
“Hey.” I said. I really hoped I didn’t have bad morning breath.
“You slept like the dead last night.” He smirked. I giggled. “Did you enjoy yourself last night?”
“What?” I asked. “You couldn’t tell?”
Phillip and I had barely left my room all night. He ordered pizza at around ten o’clock at night and we ate pizza on the couch in our underwear, watching reruns of old Disney channel shows. I understood why people liked sex so much.
“And you’re okay?”
“Yeah.” I said, running my hands through his hair and trying to neaten it up. “Are you?”
“You can’t tell?” Phillip replied cheekily. He leaned over to kiss me and I wound my arms around him tightly. He rolled on top of me and kept kissing me, a smile still on his lips. The moment was ruined when my phone started ringing loudly.
I pulled away and looked at him. he glanced at the screen on and said, “Felicity.” I reached for it and he grabbed my hand, pinning it to the bed. “Let it go to voicemail.”
“It could be important.”
“Let it go to voicemail.” He said as it stopped ringing. I sighed and let him keep kissing me, until the phone rang again. I groaned and leaned over, picking it up.
“Oh my god, Rhea where the hell have you been?” I heard Felicity yell. I winced at the loud noise.
“Felicity it’s six in the morning. What is it? Are you okay?”
“NO! I’m the farthest from okay. Definitely not okay.”
“What’s wrong?” I sat up.
“I’m in labour! You need to get over here, like, right now!”
“What?!” I yelled. “It’s too early! The baby isn’t supposed to be here for another four weeks!”
“Well do you want to tell the baby that?!”
“Is anyone with you?”
“No. I called my mom but she’s working this morning.” She yelped in pain. “Hurry!”
“Okay, okay!” I hung up and flung the covers off myself, snatching my jeans and bra off the floor.
“Rhea? What’s going on?” Phillip asked.
“Flick. She’s gone into labour.” I said, wriggling into my jeans and running into my wardrobe to find a clean shirt and slip my bra on.
“Isn’t it early?” he asked.
“Yes.” I said, “But sometimes it happens and I need to get to the hospital now.”
“Okay. I’ll drive you.” He said as I came out of the wardrobe, dressed but not feeling at all ready. I quickly tied my hair in a ponytail and tried not to stare at Phillip as he got dressed. He snatched up his car keys and I grabbed my phone. I got my own keys and made sure all the lights were off before I slipped into a pair of ballet flats. Phillip grabbed his own shoes and ran for his car in just socks, jumping in the driver’s side, sticking the key in the ignition and waiting for me. I locked the front door behind me and ran for the car. As soon as I was in Phillip reversed. I buckled myself in and bit my lip the entire way to the hospital, making sure to call Felicity’s mom and my own parents. Phillip parked in front of the entrance.
“Go, I’ll catch up. I’ll park.” He said, leaning over to kiss me heatedly before he pushed me to get out. “Go. Go.”
I got out of the car and ran to the entrance. Lennie was there and he smiled when he saw me.
“Rhea! So good to see you, cutie. What are you doing here.”
“My best friend, Felicity Normandy. He’s in labour. Which room is she in?”
Lennie jumped into action. “Oh! Um, she’s in…” he typed on the computer, “Room twenty two, fourth floor. Do you need me to take you up?”
“No I’ve got it.” I said, running for the elevator. “Thanks babe!”
“You’re welcome!” Lennie called after me.
My heart was beating erratically in my chest and I was filled with worry for my best friend. When the doors opened on my floor, I raced out, heading for her room. She was in a bed with a pink blanket draped over her legs, dressed in a starched white hospital gown. Her forehead was sweaty and she was trying to breathe.
“Flick!” I cried, running over to her and hugging her but quickly letting go. “Are you okay?”
“Contractions are seven minutes apart. Another hour or so and I could be ready.” She looked up at me and I saw the fear on her face. “I’m scared, Rhea.”
“It’ll be alright.” I smiled gently, sitting on the bed next to her, grabbing her hand. “I’m here now. Phillip is in the waiting room. I’ve called your mom and my folks.” I said. “I’m not leaving your side.”
Felicity nodded, still scared but I think comforted. “Okay.”
I couldn’t really begin to describe what the next two hours was like. Felicity had a short labour, thank goodness, with no complications. At first the doctors would let me into the birthing room, but Felicity kicked up such a fuss and wouldn’t calm down until they let me in. They said that I wasn’t family, but Felicity had simply replied with, “Yes she is.”
Watching someone give birth is a terrifying, disgusting, but probably the most amazing thing on the planet. You were watching a new being come into the world, a person who would grow up and fall in love, have dreams, laugh and cry, succeed and fail. So much possibility wrapped in one tiny baby. It was beautiful. I wasn’t sure who was crying more, me or Felicity.
When the midwife handed me a strange looking a pair of scissors she showed me how to cut the umbilical cord. Then she wrapped the little baby in a fluffy pink blanket and handed it to Felicity.
A little girl.
Felicity was smiling, beaming really. I’d never seen her so happy. The baby was healthy and had the lungs to prove it. She squirmed and wriggled in Felicity’s arms and after a little bit she stopped crying, growing quiet and breathing easily. I gave Felicity some privacy to get cleaned up and changed, and she dressed the little munchkin in a little onesie that looked small enough to fit a teddy bear. The baby was premature, but not so much that she would be in danger.
Felicity was in her room by herself, her baby in her arms, sleeping soundly. She smiled at me, looking tired but happy.
“Hey,” she said.
“Hey.” I sat next to her on the bed, looking at her daughter and then at her. “You look tired.”
“So do you.” Felicity retorted. “What were you doing last night?”
I saw the opportunity to make a dirty joke but I restrained myself. “Nothing special.” Was all I said. I pointed at the bundle. “What are you going to name her?”
“I can’t decide.” Felicity said. “You pick.”
“No way!” I exclaimed but then I remembered that the baby was sleeping. I lowered my voice, “What names do you like?”
“Okay, so you list them and when I hear one I like too, that’s the one she gets.”
“Okay. Well, I like Demi, Sophie, Clara, Ivy, or Flora – ”
“Flora.” I said. “I like Flora.”
Felicity grinned at me. “Flora it is.”
I sighed and decided that Felicity’s hair was annoying me, so I tied it in a braid for her. She jerked her head away. “Hey, I’m the mom here, not you. Stop coddling me.”
“I’m sorry.” I said. Felicity moved her arms a little bit.
“Do you want to hold her?”
“Um…” I’d never held a baby before, but I wanted to hold my niece. “Alright.”
I reached down and scooped the baby up in my arms. I’m not sure why, but I made sure her head was supported by me elbow and I cradled Flora gently, rocking her a little so she wouldn’t start crying. She fussed a little bit, obviously sensing I’m not her mother, but she settled anyway and went back to sleep.
“She likes you.” Felicity said, “Not even an hour old and she has good taste.”
“She’s definitely your daughter.” I said. There was a muted knock on the door and I turned around. Phillip was there, still looking a little rumpled from literally rolling out of bed to come here.
“Hey,” he said, as he entered, “How’s mom doing?”
“Oh god.” Felicity dropped her head back. “I’m going to be called that at some stage. Jeez. I feel old.”
“You’re eighteen.” I chuckled. Phillip gave Felicity a hug and placed a bouquet of flowers on the table next to her. I smiled at the sweet gesture.
“So?” he asked. “Boy or girl?”
“Girl.” Felicity said, looking at the baby in my arms. “Flora.”
“That’s a nice name.” he said.
“Rhea picked it because I’m indecisive.”
“You? No.” Phillip grinned, looking at Flora. He didn’t see Felicity stick her tongue out at him. “Can I hold her?”
“No!” I moved her away from him. “Back off! It’s my cuddle time!”
Felicity started laughing.
Phillip and I eventually had to leave the hospital. They wanted to keep Felicity and Flora in overnight just for observation, but the doctors think that even though Flora is a premature baby, she’s a healthy weight and there’s no signs of complications.
“You know, you looked absolutely adorable holding Flora?” Phillip asked as we walked up to the front door of my house. My parents car wasn’t in the driveway.
“You’d be a great mother one day.”
“Slow down, tiger.” I chuckled nervously, trying to get the key in the lock.
My phone buzzed in my pocket. I took it out as Phillip and I entered the house. A message from Felicity on Facebook.
Felicity: Have you seen this?
Underneath it was a hyperlink. I clicked it. It opened up to Melanie’s profile page where her latest status read, Such a cute baby. Shame her mother is a whore. Underneath the caption was a picture of…of Flora.
“What?!” I whispered. How on Earth did she get that picture?!
I showed him and Phillip’s face went pale. “How did she get that picture, Phillip?”
“I…I don’t know.”
“You took that picture.” I stated. “I saw you.”
“I know. But I didn’t put it on Facebook, I just sent it to my mother!”
“Well how did she get this photo, Phillip?! Felicity is going to go crazy! She’ll never hear the end of it.”
“I know! I don’t know!” Phillip looked at me. “Hang on. Do you think I sent it to her?”
“No of course not.” I said. “But I don’t know how else she could have gotten it.”
Phillip’s face went dark. His eyes dropped from mine and I knew that he had figured it out. He swore harshly and my eyebrows went up.
“Phillip? What is it?”
“Melanie knew the password to my Dropbox account. All my photos instantly upload to there when I take them or save them. I haven’t changed it. I didn’t think I needed to. She must have been looking through it for something to use against you and Felicity for months.”“No offence,” I sighed, walking away from him, “But you’re an idiot.”