Apologies for the late post. This month, we’ll be doing another story series. This one will deal with the characters we were introduced to in “Evicted“, but will jump around in order of when they occur, so each post will have a master list at the top so you know they order in which they happen, even though that isn’t the order they will be posted in.
He thought it was a joke when she called to say that she was in labor. He had just finished taking his GED exam, and was pulled into the office to take a phone call.
When she said she was at seven centimeters, a fact he still didn’t understand until she explained that meant 70% to push-time, he laughed. “Really? You expect me to believe that we’re having a baby on April Fool’s Day?”
Kennedy sighed. “Philip, I don’t have time for this. You can be here for the birth of your daughter or not. You’re the one that has to live with it.”
Phil knew then that she wasn’t joking. He had wanted to pay for a cab to the hospital, but he couldn’t justify throwing money away when he was hours away from being a father. He was paralyzed with indecision when someone who had taken the test with him came outside.
“Hey, you need a ride somewhere?”
“YES! To the hospital!” Phil blurted.
The stranger looked startled, and surveyed Phil up and down. “You hurt?”
“No! Oh god, no! My daughter is being born today! Like now!”
The stranger laughed and led Phil to their car, where he hopped in the front seat.
Phil had been hearing about his daughter, and thinking about his daughter, for months. He had been thinking of names the whole time. He realized that he didn’t know anything about girl names.
It was one of the dancers at work where he wiped down tables and poles and dance floors that suggested the name Rian. He liked it. He could imagine his daughter dotting the i with a heart. He always thought it was cute when girls did that. He shared all of this with the stranger, who seemed happy for him, excited with him. When he got out of the car, before he shut the door, he clearly heard the stranger say “future deadbeat dad”. He never forgot that moment, and he resolved to always take care of his daughter, no matter what it took.
It was harder than he thought it would be to find the right wing, and then the right room. The room smelled funny, and Kennedy was sweatier than he had ever seen her. She looked relieved to see him. They didn’t know anyone else in the room; she had gone somewhere else for her prenatal visits.
Phil stood awkwardly near the doorway until she waved him to her side.
“Hi.” She said, out of breath.
“Hey.” Phil shoved his hands into his pockets.
“How did your test go?”
“I think fine. I wish I knew right away.”
“Soon.” Kennedy reached out for one of Phil’s arms. “I promise not to crush your hands.” It was the closest she had come the entire pregnancy to saying that she was scared. Phil understood.
Phil didn’t remember falling asleep, but he woke up to hear Kennedy’s voice, strong and agitated. A social worker was in the room. “Discussing options”. Phil knew it was a social worker and knew what she was there for without even needing to be awake all the way.
“No. Heard this. Parenting. Bye.”
The social worker took the two of them in, shrugged, and dropped a pamphlet and a bit of paperwork on the bed. He reached for it, noting that one of the forms was the birth certificate. He didn’t even remember signing it.
“Oh, fuck!” He exclaimed when he read his daughter’s name.
“What?” Kennedy asked.
“There’s a typo. They put Rain instead of Rian.” He groaned. He had no idea how long it would take to get it fixed.
“No, I did that. She didn’t look like a Rian. She looks like a Rain.”
“I saw her. No she doesn’t.”
Kennedy called for a nurse, who brought their daughter in. For the second time, Phil held his daughter, but this time, he looked at her mother, too. He noticed that they both had eyes that turned down at the corners. Like raindrops.
“Yeah, I guess she is a Rain.”
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