Groaning Amanda blinked. Her eye lids felt so heavy and he head felt like someone had taken a meat mallet to it. What was that sound? It sounds like but it couldn’t be. “Lee?” she murmured. She head a rustling sound and that sound again like a half strangled muffled cry.
“Amanda?” Lee lifted his head and stared at her crumpled on the floor. “I’m sorry…so…so sorry,” he repeated as he crawled over to her. He tried to hold in the sob that wanted to be released and the strangled cry she had heard earlier came out.
Lifting her hand she stroked his face “this is not your fault,” she tried to smile “well not all of it anyway.” She tried to sit up but the room swam alarmingly before her eyes. Pinching her eyes tight she swallowed several times waiting for the topsy turvey world to stop tilting.
“What’s wrong?” Lee croaked out “are you hurt? Ill?” He wanted to gather her in his arm but refrained too afraid he might hurt her or she’d reject him.
“No not hurt just….dizzy” she attempted to smile but knew her effort fell flat when she looked over at him. “I don’t know what’s wrong. I haven’t felt well for days.”
Her words felt like a slap to the face. He should have been here instead of out with the guys from work nursing his woes away in the bar. What if something would have happened? What if she had passed out coming down the stairs? He gulped over the images that flashed through his mind. “I’m taking you to the hospital” he announced as he gathered his feet beneath him.
“For what a migraine? The flu?” Amanda protested as Lee picked her up and carried her down the stairs. “This is unnecessary” she told him as he sat her on the couch in the living room.
“Shush I’ll decide what’s necessary,” he mumbled as he called a taxi “maybe we should look into buying a car.”
“Don’t be ridiculous” Amanda protested “I’m ok. I don’t need to see a doctor. I don’t need to…” her eyes bulged as her hands flew to her temples kneading them.
Dropping the phone “Amanda stay with me honey,” Lee yelled at he as she turned a pale and fainted. She slumped on the couch leaning heavily upon Lee.
Waiting for the doctor finish the examination Lee sat silently in a chair observing everything. Hospitals he hated them. He could feel the cold sweat dotting his hair line and upper lip. His feet wouldn’t stay still as they tapped out a repetitive beat while he waited for what felt like hours. Every time the doctor hemmed and hawed he felt like strangling the poor man. Just tell them already what was wrong. What could possibly be taking him so long?
The door opened and a middle aged plump nurse entered she spared a brief smile in Lee’s direction before handing the doctor a file and leaving as quickly as she had come. Lee watched as the doctor sat down and read the contents. He could feel his heart pounding in his chest. Amanda looked over at him, her eyes wide with fear.
“Well,” the deep voice of the doctor boomed in the room causing Lee to jump form his chair. To cover his alarm Lee walked over to Amanda and took her hand. The doctor smiled as he spoke “its conclusive” he said.
Mind racing Lee wondered if that meant Amanda had some dreadful disease. Cancer? Oh god it’s cancer. He squeezed her hand afraid to let her. “How long?” she asked her voice filled with fear and he knew she had jumped to the same conclusion he had.
Glancing at the file the doctor said “about seven months.”
Seven months, seven months and she’d be gone. He’d be alone again. He couldn’t do it. Couldn’t live through that pain again. There had to be something they could do. A second opinion, a specialist, anything, something. Lee groped fro anything to give him hope. He watched as the doctor’s lips moved but he couldn’t hear anything of what he was saying passed the buzzing in his ears. Shaking his head he heard bits and pieces of the conversation. Turning to look at Amanda he wondered why she wasn’t upset. On closer observation she looked almost glowing.
“Lee did you hear the doctor?” she asked a frown appearing between her eyes “we’re going to have a baby.”
A baby….seven month…not cancer….not dying. He tried to smile as the room closed in around him. The buzzing in his ears intensified as his vision dimmed becoming dark. His knees turned to jelly as he heard Amanda call his name.
“Honey I’m home,” Lee called as he entered the house. Since they found out Amanda was pregnant she no longer was able to sense when he was home. After scaring her her multiple times Lee had gotten into the practice of calling out to her upon entering the house. She turned from the stove her stomach protruding just a little. He felt the rush of fear he always felt when he thought too long about becoming a father again. The instant gut wrenching worry that something would happen. He tried to keep the worry from his eyes and voice now that Amanda couldn’t sense him any more. He found it a blessing in disguise while she found it difficult to cope with the loss.
“You’re home early,” she commented coming up to him to give him a hug “are you hungry?”
“I will be by the time whatever your cooking is done,” he said putting an arm around her waist “I love you” he said quietly before pulling away.
“Hey,” she reached out touching his face “are you alright?”
He started to nod hesitating a moment too long. Just enough to alert her that no he wasn’t as aright as he wanted her to believe. “I’m scared” he finally said exhaling loudly.
“Afraid?” she echoed him staring steadily into his eyes “I’m scared too” she admitted “I’m scared that I won’t be able to function when my abilities come back. Will I cringe on the floor while my baby cries for attention?”
Looking at the floor Lee couldn’t bring himself to put his fear into words. How could he tell her that he was afraid to open himself up to this new child? What if something terrible happened? What if he loved them more then the kids he had already lost? Could he love the new baby without be reminded of the ones he lost?
“Lee?” she asked her voice gentle and soft “I know we didn’t plan on having children. I know you didn’t want children. I’m sorry that you’re being forced into something you didn’t want. But can’t you find it within you to accept the baby? Please for me I….I don’t think I can do this on my own.”
Hearing those words cut him to the heart. He reached for her pulling her close “it’s not that…I don’t know if I can open that part of myself up again. I lost three babies already. I don’t want to risk losing another. I don’t think I can go through that again.”
She moved her head from his shoulder gazing up at him “I should have known…should have realized how difficult this would be. I’m so so sorry. I was too locked into my own feelings that I didn’t see how this would affect you.” She took his hand and placed it on her stomach “this is a gift not a replacement for the ones you lost. I would never do that. Could never do that. This baby is uniquely ours. Can’t you think of it as a new opportunity?”
“I’ll try” he said running his hand over her stomach “I’ll try,” he repeated.
“That’s all I ask,” she leaned forward placing a soft kiss on his cheek “I’ll try to be more understanding and considerate of your feelings; especially now that I can’t sense anything anymore.”
A strangled cry half laugh half snort erupted from deep with him “that’s a good thin isn’t it. I have to admit I’ve gotten used to you being able to sense my feelings. I’ve forgotten ow hard it is to communicate.”
“So have I but we’ll have to work on that together” she pulled him close laying her head on his shoulder “just don’t shut yourself off from me.”
“I’ll try” he smiled down into her soft brown eyes. “I love you” he said as he bent to kiss her mouth.
Waddling into the house after shopping for baby things she found Lee talking to a real estate agent. Setting her bags down she walked over to them “Lee?” she said then “what’s going on?”
Smiling Lee introduced her to the real estate agent who had helped him find their current house. “I thought with the baby we would need a larger house.”
“I like this house,” she protested frowning at him.
Taking her by the arm he walked a few steps away from the agent. “Don’t you think the house is too small for us and a baby?” he asked keeping his voice low.
Crossing he arms Amanda could feel anger bubbling to the surface “so you decide when we move? Without discussing it with me?”
“Amanda please be reasonable” he pleaded “this is just a one bedroom house. Where are we going to put a baby?”
Turning away from him Amanda stared angrily at the real estate agent “that’s besides the point. You didn’t discuss it with me. Don’t you think I might want a say in where we live?” She walked away from him, past the agent and out of the house.
He shrugged ruefully at the agent “I’m sorry I should have discussed it with her first.”
“Completely understandable” the man said handing him his card “when you’re ready give me a call.”
“I’ll do that and I’m sorry for wasting your time.” he walked the agent to the door. Lee looked at the bags of things Amanda had come home with. He picked up a card that had fallen from her purse with half it’s contents spilling out onto the floor from when she dropped it. “Sim Construction Company” he read. Frowning he went outside looking for Amanda.
Finding her looking out to sea he handed her the card “were you planning on telling me?”
Taking the card Amanda nodded “he had such wonderful design of the houses he remodeled. I thought…”
“I love this house. I don’t want to move. It’s the first place I felt at peace.” She turned to looked at him “I thought if he could renovate our house to accommodate the baby we could stay.”
“Is that what you want?” Lee asked “I bought this house without your input. Don’t you want a house that you and I picked out together?”
“Is that what you want?” Amanda asked him.
“I want to be wherever you feel safe,” he told her.
Smiling at him “then I want to stay here.”
Holding the card up “then I’ll call the contractor and see what he can do.”
Squealing in delight Amanda jumped into his arms “I love you.”
Three months later in the middle of the night Amanda shook Lee awake. “The baby’s coming” she said shaking his shoulder.
Jumping to his feet he stood stunned like a deer in headlights. It took Amanda yelling his name multiple times before he snapped out of his daze. Grabbing her overnight bag he helped her down the stairs. She squeezed his hand “it’s going to be alright,” she said as they walked from the house to the waiting taxi.
“You called the taxi?” he asked as his brain cleared.
Nodding “right before I woke you up.”
Lee held her hand through the next several hours until they heard the first cries of their newborn child.