5.29am (Part Two)
This is part two of a three part story.
“Honey, I think my waters have broken.”
I heard the words, but they seemed glued to the telephone handset.
As they unstuck, all my routines disappeared and adrenaline propelled the shock through my system.
In the end, there was only a brief delay as the news sunk in, and I went into top gear, my heart leaping and strengthening with each beat in expectation of my newborn baby that would be born well beyond these prison walls.
“OK, I’m on my way. Phone Mum and see what she says.”
I hung up and called my colleague who was on call to replace me should I need to go to the maternity.
“My wife’s going into labour, I need to leave straight away.”
“No problem, get ready to leave and we’ll do the takeover at the entrance. Give me ten minutes”
I left my meal in the microwave, picked up my jacket and started the long walk back to the entrance.
I kept the keys in hand and jingled them to fill the nocturnal silence of the long corridors in between the clanging of each dividing door.
My head was full of disposable nappies and babies bottles.
I’m not ready for all this, I thought.
By the time I reached the Prison Reception, a lone Guard was deep in conversation with my colleague, and they waved as they saw me emerge from the Prison.
My colleague saw or sensed my discomfort and smiled as if he knew what was going through my mind.
“I’ve been there and done that,” he said, clapping me soundly on the shoulder-blades. Although my head was overfilling with dreadful expectations, I remembered that he too had had a baby last summer.
I hurriedly gave him a report of the evenings activities and signed over the keys, making sure that the Guard countersigned the form and entered it into the log.
As I went out into the car park to get my bike I think my colleague said, “Good luck,” but it was drowned out by the revving of my bike while I put on my helmet and gloves for the 10 mile ride through the Geneva suburbs.
It was just after 1am.
I was glad that the roads were clear and the weather was clement. It would take me almost half an hour to get home. I twisted the throttle to get more speed and used both sides of the road to cut corners.
It all became a balance between speed and getting home without having an accident.
At long last I arrived in our car park, and without taking off my helmet, I headed towards the front door of the apartment block. Troubled by the noise of a motorcycle I turned and realised it was mine and that the key was still in the ignition.
I returned, took out the key and rushed back, hurtled upstairs several steps at a time, and half fell into the apartment.
Worried by the silence, I burst open the door to the living room.
Had my wife already left for the maternity?
I found a smaller version of her in a strange position on the sofa. Her breathing was laboured and her features betrayed the contraction she was surely experiencing.
My whole body came abruptly to a halt and all my pent-up energy left suddenly as I struggled to stay on my feet.
I folded onto the sofa next to her and clumsily put my arm around her shoulder as we waited together for the contraction to subside.
Her expression eased and her breathing slowly returned to normal.
“OK?” I enquired.
She nodded, but I could see that the pain lingered.
“What did Mum say?” I asked.
“Just to relax, drink some tea and get as comfortable as possible. She said it was far too early to go to the Maternity.”
Although my Mum used to be a Midwife, and I knew she was a strong contender for Natural Birth, her confidence and professionalism couldn’t bridge the 100 miles between us.
I felt my own concerns take precedence. It was too hard to watch my wife suffer.
My wife’s body tensed again and I saw the pain creep back into her face, disfiguring her graceful features.
The contractions were surely coming too frequently. We had to act quickly.
If ever there was a time to scoop my wife into the car and whisk her to the maternity this was it.
Unfortunately, although we had the car,I didn’t have a driving licence.
I picked up the phone and dialled my Mother-in-Law.
“Hi, she’s in labour and we need to get to the Maternity.”
The words had leapt out before I’d had the chance of arranging them politely.
“Now,” I said, for good measure, in case she hadn’t fully understood.
I heard the click as she put down the phone.
It was 2.15am.
This is day 5 of a 31 day challenge to write a minimum of 500words a day. (Todays word count in this story = 818 words)
So far I’m on track, I’m enjoying myself ,and I learn something new every day.