No one knows who we are there
All I want is to give my life only to you
I've dreamt so long I cannot dream anymore
Let's run away, I'll take you there
soundtrack: Anywhere by Evanescence
Landry walked along the beach. It was hot, hotter than it had been all season and beads of sweat collected under her hair and along her neck. Shading her eyes she tried to see the other end of the shore but the sun was too bright.
The sound of waves crashing against the rocks filled her head as she continued to walk. The ocean gently lapped at her legs, warm and wet until she could feel the dampness rise all the way up to her waist. A small voice in the distance called her name...was it her name? It was so soft, childlike but drowned out by the incessant pounding of the surf.
She walked further following the sound when she saw him, Ryan, standing there in the bright sun holding a child, their child. He was smiling, happy, and her heart swelled with love. She tried to reach them but he was so far away, too far. It was too bright, the sun, and it blinded her. The surf crashed against the rocks, thunderous, pushing her back. She needed to reach them.
Bay View: South Shore 2:00AM
A sudden, intense pain ripped through her and she woke with a start. "Oh no," she gasped. She was soaked, her bed sheets were soaked. Realizing her water had broken, she sat at the edge of the bed waiting for the contraction to pass, breathing through it the way she learned. Glancing at the clock, she groaned. "Only 2 A.M. These things never happen at a decent hour."
She paced for awhile in and out of the baby's room, staring at the ocean, the clear night sky a deep blue like the finest sapphire. Landry was scared; her mind was still clouded from her dreams.
Struggling to remain calm Landry went down the stairs and called Ryan. The phone rang over and over, a dull, droning sound when it occurred to her that he might not be home, or alone. As she was about to hang up and try his cell, Ryan picked up.
"Yeah," his voice was rough with sleep.
"Ryan, it's me. My water broke." Her voice faltered as another wave hit nearly blinding her.
He pulled himself up and out of bed alert now and questioned her. "How far apart are the contractions? How long do they last?"
Relieved to hear his voice she relaxed a little. "They're about 10 minutes apart and 30, maybe 45 seconds long. Ryan, it hurts. Please hurry."
"I'm on my way Lan. Hold tight."
Landry looked around quickly. Her bag was by the door and Ryan had one at his place just in case. Everything was going to be all right.
Ryan hung up the phone and threw on some clothes. He hesitated in the hallway and glanced at the spare room. He meant to get a crib; he'd need to do that after Landry came home.
Grabbing the suitcase by the door, just in case, Ryan headed to Landry's beach house.
Downtown Metro Area - St. Mary's Hospital 9:12AM
Pacing back and forth in between contractions Landry tried to focus through the pain. It had been nearly 6 hours and the nurse told her walking would speed up the labor. Ryan sat in a nearby chair and watched her warily. At one point she withdrew completely and he thought she was in some other world unaware of her surroundings.
"You want me to massage your back again? Get some ice chips?" He felt helpless as she gripped the counter top as another wave forcefully hit.
"What I wouldn't give for another hot shower! Or coffee! Ryan, did you finish the baby's room at your place? What about my mother? Did you call her? She can help the first couple of weeks." Another contraction hit and she tried to work through it, her face growing pale as she tried to put on a brave face.
"All right Landry let's see how far we are," the nurse who entered the room helped her up on the exam table and checked her. "I think we're ready! I'll get the doctor."
Landry glanced back at Ryan and smiled. "This is it Ry! You did finish the baby's room right?"
"Yes, I finished it," he lied.
The doctor walked in and stood by the bed. "Are we ready to have this baby?"
"Hell yeah!" she croaked as she struggled not to push.
Not long after Landry gave birth to a baby boy. She lay back exhausted and lightheaded but content. "Is he all in one piece?" her voice trembled as the doctor finished up. Her eyelids were leaden but she willed them to stay opened. She needed to see her son.
"Would you like to hold your son?" the nurse handed the baby to Ryan.
Ryan held the child overwhelmed as he stared down at the tiny life in his arms. It didn't feel the way he expected; he felt powerless for the first time in a long while. "He's perfect Landry."
"He needs a name Ryan. You have to choose." Landry's voice was weary but her eyes were bright as she watched them. She struggled to get up but couldn't.
"Riley, we'll call him Riley."
"Ryan..." she reached out for him but he seemed to drift further and further away. She heard the surf once more roaring in her head; the white heat of the sun blinding her until she was forced to shut her eyes. She drifted slowly into a deep sleep.
Handing the baby back to the nurse Ryan went to the bed and smiled down at her whispering, "You did good baby." He laced his fingers through hers gently and then rested her hand on the gurney.
Ryan let her rest as he walked to the lobby and called Landry's mother.
He pushed through the door and headed for the florist down the street. Ryan was outside for only a few seconds when the doctor approached calling his name. A sudden wave of apprehension overtook him. Ryan braced himself. "Is there a problem with the baby?"
"No, Ryan, the baby is fine." He stood there stone faced and listened to the drone of Dr. Lafferty's voice.
"...we did everything we could...I'm sorry..."
"...an aneurysm...we had no way of knowing...extraordinary measures..."
NEXT CHAPTER: Sessions Chapter 5