We’re not going to make it. Dean Purcell thought, changing his bicycle’s blown tire.
“We’re going to be too late…” Maria said to Dean, leaning against a tree beside the road.
“Why don’t you ride on ahead and get there. Tell Brian I’ll be a few minutes late!”
“I was just thinking that myself, love. I’ll see you in a little while!” She kissed him on his sweaty brow and rode off in excitement. Dean watched her go, smiled deeply, and set himself to task.
Brian Mitchell was almost back from the restroom, when he heard his wife’s scream from down the hospital’s hallway. Right, he’s going to come during the five seconds I stepped away to use the bathroom! He hurried in to find a resident physician grimacing in pain at his wife’s grip on his hand.
“Well, Amy. I see you already found another man while I was away. I guess I can’t leave your side for five minutes. Are you really that desperate?” He quipped.
Sweat dripping down her face, she shot daggers at Brian. “Bring him here.” She ordered the resident, releasing her grip on his hand and pointing at her husband. Relieved, the resident scurried past Brian with a quick nod.
“I did say I’d always be here for you. Do you remember that?” Brian said as he took Amy’s hand. She crushed some bones in his hand in agreement.
The nurse interrupted, “Okay, push! The OB will be here any moment. Maybe not soon enough!”
Amy released a guttural cry and pushed with all her strength.
Maria popped her head in the door and snuck up to the bedside. “Hey, Dean’s just a few minutes behind me. We’re here for you! Go, woman! Get that baby out!”
Dean left his bike with an attendant in the lobby, continuing down the hall toward the Labor and Delivery unit. The stairs were faster. He had to get there. He knew the baby would not wait on him.
On the correct floor, he hurried.
“Gordon!” He called to an orderly in the hallway. “Where are the Mitchell’s?”
“Dean! Hey! Don’t stop. They are down there in room 7.”
“Thanks, bud. Send my love to the husband and kids for me!”
The scene brought tears to his eyes. Amy swaddled a crying baby, surrounded by Brian and Maria. He gave Brian a bear hug. “Sorry I’m late. My bike gave out halfway. We can both blow torch the bike in reparations later.”
“I guess we’ll forgive you, since you introduced us in the first place.” An exhausted Amy said, smiling up to Dean.
“Just part of my expert party organizing skillset, girlie. My real calling is working alongside you in the hospital here. I always knew you were a great nurse, but only half as good at that as you are at creating a beautiful child. I’m impressed with your work, you two.” He leaned down to see the baby’s face more closely. “Hello, Mr. Reid Mitchell. Welcome to our world!”
Dean smiled at Maria. He sat down beside her and caressed her back. They admired the little family looking to each other and their new addition. Things could not be better today.
The OB came in a few minutes later.
“Well, I have nothing but good news. Two items. First, the delivery went well. Reid is a healthy, strong baby- good cry strength.” He laughed, “You can start feedings right away. We’ll let you guys relax, and we can have a coach come in if need be. Also, as a second point- Dean, good to see you again, on the other side of caring for and supporting patients. Maria, nice to meet you finally! And on such a great occasion as this! Fortunately, I have some news for you two as well.”
Dean and Maria looked at each other in surprise. The doctor turned on the television and flipped the channel until he found for what he was looking. “There’s been an emergency Lottery drawing. I think you may want to hear the winners.”
Dean and Maria gasped as they read the scrolling headline.
“Dean and Maria Purcell are declared the winners of the Lottery. Due to an emergency situation, you are asked to report to your nearest hospital for further instructions on how to claim your ‘Prize.’”
“…What?” Dean exclaimed, excitement welling up inside him. He looked at Maria, who had a frenzied look in her eyes.
“There has been an accident, and there is now a boy, practically a newborn, who is without parents to care for him.” The doctor continued. “The alert went out this morning for a Lottery call. And your names came up! Imagine that! Although under unfortunate circumstances, it would seem that both families have received a prize today. Dean and Maria, if you’ll come with me, we’ll go see him now. I heard the child is a boy. His name is Paul.”
Dean looked to Brian and Amy, whose faces were a mix of emotions.
“Well get out of here, Dean!” Brian said. “We’ll be fine! Happy for you two!”
Dean took Maria’s hand and helped her stand. Everyone gets a Lottery ticket when they marry, but very few ever win, Dean thought. Never really thought it would be me!
“I guess we’ll see you in a while,” Dean said to the Mitchells with a nervous grin.
In apprehension, the couple followed the physician out the door to claim their ‘Prize.’