Baby Born Dead
The constant droning of beeps and buzzes were annoying, How did you stop these alarm clocks? I wanted to take a hammer and smash whatever was making the sound. I groaned and rubbed my head, it was throbbing. The beeps seemed to become more frantic and louder with the action. I didn’t realize it before, but the humming, a female voice, stopped suddenly. I opened my eyes to find a woman in her mid-twenties in a nurses’ uniform with a vase of flowers in her hands. They slipped out of her hands as she stared at me. She rushed out of the room without a word to me.
I took the time to look about where I was. It seemed to be a very sanitary hospital room. The walls were a stark white, as with the floor and ceiling. The beeps, I found, belonged to a heart monitor by my bed. The bed, which was mighty uncomfortable, was also white with little pictures of blue kangaroos all over them, which appeared to be little dots. That’s when I noticed my unicorn, Uni, next to me.
The door flew open and a whole slew of people came prancing in. A man walked up to me with a stethoscope and a little flashlight in his hands. He flashed the little light in my eyes.
“Do you know who you are?” He asked in a deep voice.
“Yes, I’m Jacqueline-“ My voice, it was different. Almost higher sounding. What was going on?
“Jacqueline?” He pressed.
“Jacqueline Mae Shoemaker,” I finished. “My parents are Shelley-“
“We don’t need to know that. Do you know what happened to you?”
“No, sir, I don’t.”
He sighed and dropped the light in his coat pocket. “Jackie- I can call you that, right?” I nodded. “You’ve been in a coma for four years.”
I stared out the window, emotionless. How could I have lost so much time? What had happened to me? Where did I go?
“Honey, you haven’t said a word since I signed you out. Is something wrong?” My mother broke the silence between us. It has been a week since the doctor told me about my diagnosis. They wanted to keep me under observation for a while, to see if I was ready to go into the real world again.
“What isn’t wrong, ma? I lost four years of my life. What is worse than that? I don’t even know why or how or if it actually happened. I remember closing my eyes and it felt like ten minutes later, and I was waking up to find out I was gone for four years. I don’t possibly know what could be worse than that. Four years,” I mumbled. I started to cry then.
I lost four valuable years of my life. Who knows where Ash and Abbi could be now? The army was always moving people. They could be in Alaska and Arizona while I’m stuck in Germany for all I know. I could have a little sister or brother. I could have a dead relative and not even know. I hated this, not knowing was not the way I rolled. I always knew everything. Whether it be that my friend got a new boyfriend or some guy I barley talked to was abused, I knew about it. Now, I knew nothing about everything. Not only that, but I lost my senior year and three years of my adult life. I was now, what? Twenty?
“Holy *edited by mod*
“Watch your language!” My mother shouted.
“I’m twenty years old…” I mumbled.
My mom smiled. “Time sure flies, don’t it?”
“Doesn’t it,” I corrected her.
“She chuckled. “Some things never change.”
“Time does fly,” I agreed. “I just didn’t know how fast until it was gone, all in… two minutes?”
“I understand, honey-“
“Do you? Do you really?”
The rest of the ride home was silent.
Two Weeks Later
I was just starting to get a hold of reality when my friends came over. To catch me up, they started to tell me all of the major things that I had missed.
One thing that clued me in on what I had partially missed was the fact that Ash had a bloated stomach with a ring on her left ring finger. Abbi had a smile on her face, that wasn’t too abnormal, but the fact that she, one, didn’t have a jacket on and, two, wasn’t wearing ANY black were two things I was NOT used to.
I stared, mouth agape. I didn’t mean to be rude, but how could I not?
“Hey!” Abbi squealed as she bounded up the steps to me and engulfed me in a hug.
“H-hey?’ I stuttered.
Ash smiled, rubbing her stomach.
Once we were inside and settled with drinks, me with an Amp and Ash and Abbi with a glass of water, they began to talk.
“Well, after our… ‘incident’”- I remembered what Ash was talking about, but only faintly- “you, obviously, got into a coma. So did Abbi, but only for about a year and a half. Paul and the rest of the guys stayed at our school for senior year, which, by the way, I had to endure by myself. Once that was done, Paul was just itchin’ to ‘own’ me, as he puts it. He popped the question and I accepted. We’ve been married for three years now. I have on boy, Alexander, and I am nine months pregnant. Alexander is one and a half years old. He’s my angel boy. Other than Paul, of course. But he’s my bad boy,” she smiled a devilish smile.
“OK, too much info for the poor girl,” Abbi interjected. I was thankful for that.
“Look who’s talkin’,” Ash accused.
“Should I know something?” I asked.
“You may as well tell her,” Ash shrugged while playing with her wedding band.
Abbi sighed. “OK. So, I’m in college on scholarship for my art. Um, I’m in my second year and I met Jared. I knew him from before, but I was always so shy around him that I never actually talked to him before. In college, we were in almost all the same classes. I got to know him, and he asked me out and we’ve been together ever since,” she smiled.
“That means that we were right, Ash,” I looked at her.
“Remember? We predicted Abbi’s future on one of our sleepovers? We said that she would meet some guy in her freshmen year of college and that they would get out of college together and end up married with a baby boy,” I said as though it were obvious.
“I can’t believe you remember that,” Ash said.
“I was basically asleep for four years, not dead. I remember some things,” I laughed. They both laughed. “So, what’s gonna happen to y’all two?” I asked Abbi.
“I dunno. They aren’t living here anymore. Jared told me about their secret and that the ‘problem’ wasn’t here anymore. So they moved back to their home town in Washington. It’s spring break for the colleges in the states. I’m going to a college in Washington so I could be closer to Jared and we moved in together. I came over on a plane just last week. Ash never left, she was the better friend, but I had scholarship, I couldn’t pass it up. I hope you understand that.” Abbi reached across the table and patted my hands.
“No, I know. I’m glad you didn’t stay if you had that opportunity. But, what about Paul? Wouldn’t that mean he was here?”
“Yeah, Paul was here for three years before Sam made him come back home. He didn’t know I was pregnant at the time.”
“And you didn’t think to tell him?” I asked.
“I did… last week. He’s sleeping at home right now,” she smiled.
“I know, I know. I should’ve told him. Abbi already gave me that speech,” she smiled sheepishly.
“I have to go to the bathroom,” Abbi announced.
“Have fun!” I shouted as she walked away. She laughed at me over her shoulder. Ash chuckled, too. “Are you in on Paul’s secret?” I asked.
“I just said that he had to be on patrol. So, yeah, I know.”
“Do you think that Jared and Abbi…” I let my sentence fall short.
“Oh my gosh. I never noticed it before, but you might be right. Jared must’ve imprinted on Abbi,” she stared at me, wide-eyed.
We both squealed for our friend.
Abbi came back around the corner, cautiously.
“Should I be scared?” she asked.
“No,” Ash and I said with a giggle.
Speaking of imprinting. Did he stay? Was he here and didn’t come and see me? Was it even possible to stay that long away from me?
I bit my lip, not wanting to ask but needing to know.
“Seth?” I asked as I looked up at them.
They exchanged a look before they contemplated what to say. Before they could say anything, there was a whoosh of liquid hitting the ground. Ash’s eyes grew wide as she looked at me.
“My water just broke,” was her answer to my question.
Abbi and I sprang into action. Me calling Paul and Abbi helping to get Ash into a car.
:) What’cha think?