The moment I disconnected with Charity I called her father who got on his radio while still on the phone with me ordering “a bus” to his address stating he is en-route and will be there shorty. I then gave the driver a new waypoint: Jamaica Hospital.
Hitting traffic on the way we got there fifteen minutes after Mr. Banks who was already in the delivery room with Charity. There were two uniformed cops outside the door. I approached with scepticism but neither made a move. The nurse who looked up as I entered, however, did. “If you’re not an immediate family member you’re gonna have to wait outside.”
“Bubbie no! Don’t go anywhere I need you!”
“I’m right here baby. I’m not going anywhere.”
“Only to the waiting area, lover boy.” The nurse said as she shoved me out of the room.
As one of the cops pointed in its direction I took out my phone and called dad. Before hanging up a beep came through indicating a text. It was from Todd: “Dude do you have yesterday’s bio notes? Can’t find my notebook anywhere.”
“Yea I’ll give them to you tomorrow. We have a text next Tuesday, FYI.”
“Damn. You can’t give me them now?”
“Tied up at the moment. Talk soon.”
Dad stormed into the waiting area, wrapping his arms around me as I got up from the blue plastic chair.
“How is she?”
“I don’t know anything. The nurse kicked me out before I could ask. But Mr. Banks is in there, got here before me.”
Dad inhaled deeply, exhaled slowly. “That’s good. We’ll wait here. Carl knows where to find you.”
After several hours I began pacing. Dad came back with cups of coffee, a newspaper for him, and a Hostess cupcake pack for the both of us. Didn’t even know he liked these. Finishing both I sat down and barely paid attention to an episode of Roseanne on the TV bolted to the right corner wall.
I looked around. A mother stared into space as a young boy lay on her lap with his eyes closed. Behind her a male checked his watch, scratched his head, checked it again, got up to stretch, checked his watch again. There was crying, an inaudible announcement, nurses shuffling papers at a desk, a security guard behind the desk looking around.
Back-to-back episodes of Full House aired followed by Saved by the Bell. Jessie and Rebecca were getting married, Zack and Stacey Carosi were saying their goodbyes. Boy Meets World; Cory kissed another girl, Angela has doubts about her relationship with Shawn. Five minutes into The Nanny Mr. Banks came out in a pair of scrubs. I jumped out of my seat before he could approach.
“The baby is doing fine. She’s just about ready to push it out. I’ve talked to the nurses, they’ve agreed to let you in if you behave. I gave them my word you would.” Mr. Banks handed me a green gown. “Put this on and then go watch your baby come into this world.”
Mr. Banks smiled and shook my hand with a hearty grip. I ran into the bathroom, threw on the gown, left, walked into the delivery room to Charity screaming. Immediately I went to her side, clutched her hand.
“Bubbie. You’re here!”
“I’m right her baby. I’m never going anywhere.”
Charity squeezed my hand with strength I had no idea she could ever have. Through gritted teeth I said “I love you, Charity.”
“I…love…OWWWWWW!” She looked at me. “Look what you did to me goddamn it. I’m in fucking pain and it’s because of your dick you sonuvaOWWWWWWW…..love you bubbie.”
“She’s ready, doctor.” A nurse said.
Charity squeezed with more force. Good thing it wasn’t my pitching hand. Through labored breathing she began to push. It sounded like she were trying to drop a deuce that wouldn’t come out. Suddenly the room began to smell like feces. Looking down showed Charity had, in fact, pushed some out. Better not let her know I know.
“Keep pushing, Charity. The baby’s coming.”
“There would be no baby if you wore a fuckiowwWWWWW. Chase, it hurts so much. I don’t think I can do this.”
“You’re the strongest woman I know. Stubborn, but tough as hell. I’m glad you’re the mother of my baby.”
“Tell me you loooowwwWWWW. You sonuvabitch. You did this to me! Get a vasectomy when I’m through bringing your baooowwwwwww I love you Chase.”
“I love you.”
“The baby is crowning.” A nurse said.
“Alright Charity give us one big push.”
Charity gripped my hand with both of hers. We locked eyes. I loved this woman. She loved me. Sweat poured down her contorting face as she tried with all her will to bring our child into this world safely. The first trials this baby will be put through in a never-ending stream as his or her life flashes before our eyes. I’m scared, but looking into Charity’s eyes life seems easier. We’ll get through this. I know it.
“Something’s wrong.” A voice said. The nurses then huddled around Charity’s open legs, looking down. I was too scared to join them. “Her breathing is labored. Get her to an incubator.”
The nurses ran out of the room with something in their hands leaving Charity and I bewildered. “I’m going to need to draw some blood from you both. It seems like your daughter is in need of a transfusion.”
Before I knew it the doctor stuck us with a needle and then left just as a nurse came back in. “I’ll inform the other gentleman.” She said, and then vanished.
It happened so fast. My baby was being brought into this world. Then, she was being carted away from her mommy and daddy.
I looked at Charity who had a different kind of tear stream flowing. I held her. “It’s a girl.” She said through whimpers.
The doctor entered the room wiping his hands on a towel that he then stuck in his pocket. “We have a problem. The blood samples I got from you two aren’t a match for the baby. That’s not all.” The doctor lowered his head a moment while placing his hands at the hips. “It would seem that you aren’t the baby’s father, young man.”
My eyes widened as I felt Charity grip my hand as tight as during the birth. “Wha…how….how is that possible?” I looked at the doctor then dropped my eyes to Charity who quickly looked away. “How is that….how is this baby not mine?”
I placed my hands on my temples and rubbed. Time seemed to slow down but the doctor brought me back to reality. “We need to figure out a solution. What about the older gentleman who was in here before?”
“My father and I are the same blood type. If I’m not a match…”
“Do you know who the…real father, is?” The doctor asked, softening his voice.
I turned to Charity as she nodded. “I have an idea.”
“You have an IDEA?!”
Charity cowered away. The doctor immediately stepped between us. I made no movement towards her though.
“It’s not like-”
“Like what? You didn’t cheat on me?”
Charity shook her head. Tears fell.
“Do you remember the night of the dance at your school- that fancy party I wore the black dress for?”
“That was the night the baby was conceived, isn’t that what you said the doctors told you?”
Charity nodded. “What I didn’t tell you…” More tears. I felt my face loosen. The doctor seemed to respond to the changing atmosphere too as he slowly stepped out of the way.
“That night I went to the bathroom, and…”
“Baby, tell me. Please.” Tears of my own began to fall.
Through labored breaths Charity said, “No…Novak- he followed me into the bathroom, and….”
She didn’t have to finish the rest. I ran to her side, held her tightly. “I remembered something about that night, later on. That girl from your school- the one who pressed charges against you. She was there. She…I think she helped him.”
I turned back to the doctor. “Can you go to the waiting area and bring her father and the gentleman with him in here.” The doctor nodded and ran out the door. I kissed Charity’s forehead.
Raped. My lady was raped. By the one person I despise the most. The doors swung open once again bringing Mr. Banks and my father with them. I looked from my father’s face to Mr. Banks explaining the situation.
“I know where he is. You can’t bring a platoon with you. His daddy will only get in the way. It has to be me who goes. But I need you to drive, sirens blazing.”
Mr. Banks nodded. “I’ll stay here with Charity.” My father said, walking to the other side of the bed.
“Chase.” Charity said as I placed a hand on the door. “Don’t do anything stupid.” I gave her a quick nod and opened the door.