Authors: Julie A. Richman
MOORE THAN FOREVER
Julie A. Richman
All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2013 Julie A. Richman
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
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A Julie A. Richman Book / published by arrangement with the author.
Cover designer: Robin Harper of Wicked by Design
Table of Contents
The signposts were there. I just needed to follow them …
1. a post bearing a sign that gives information or guidance.
2. any immediately perceptible indication, obvious clue, etc.
1610–20; sign + post1
SCHOONER & MIA
Kami and Seth were seated in a distant corner of the Maternity Waiting Room at NYU Langone Medical Center when Charles Sloan arrived.
“Any news?” He tossed his leather bomber jacket onto the chair next to Seth, too keyed up to take a seat himself.
“No, all we know is that she is in with Gary and we think he’s going to do an emergency C-section on her.” Kami took a sip of the lukewarm coffee she had picked up at an all-night grocer. Making a face, she wondered aloud, “Why am I still drinking this?”
Pacing the waiting room, Charles casually surveyed the other occupants, although there was actually nothing casual about what the trained security professional was doing. Circling back to Seth and Kami, he stopped to ask them, “Do you know what time Schooner’s flight gets in?”
“No,” they responded in unison.
“I’ll bet he’s beating himself up that he is not here with her,” Charles was shaking his head. “Poor Meezie, how scary for her to be in there all alone after everything that has happened this fall. Thank God, Gary is her doctor. At least he’s a familiar face.”
Seth was biting his nails, “I’ve been such a bitch to her for the past week. I feel terrible.”
“She’ll love you again once she’s seen that nursery.” Kami patted his hand and Seth looked satisfied.
“Let me find out when Schooner’s flight gets in. I’ll either go or I’ll send one of my guys to pick him up and bring him straight here.” Charles pulled out his phone and began texting, as he resumed his pacing.
Charles: What time does your flight get in? I’ll have someone pick you up.
Five minutes went by before a text came through to Charles’ phone.
Schooner: I’m not on a flight. What are you talking about?
“What the fuck?” was Charles’ kneejerk reaction. Looking at Kami and Seth, he was totally perplexed, “Would she not have told him? She told all of us.”
“Maybe she didn’t want to worry him?” Kami conjectured, but knew that didn’t make sense the minute it was out of her mouth. “No, he would have been her first call,” and with a weary look, she shook her head, “unless she was really pissed off about something.”
Panic flashed across Seth’s face as the other two looked to him for an answer. No one knew Mia Silver like Seth Shapiro, “Oh no,” he began dramatically, “I have a feeling Vindictive BBC is in the house.”
“Shit, I need to call Schooner,” turning, Charles walked out into the hall.
Schooner answered on the first ring, “Hey Bud, what’s up?”
“When was the last time you spoke to Mia?”
“About 9 P.M. your time. What’s going on? Is she ok?” Immediate alarm was evident in Schooner’s voice.
It took a moment for Charles to process that Mia had not called Schooner to let him know that their son was about to be born, seven weeks prematurely.
What the heck was going on?
“I got a text from Mia a little before five this morning saying that her water had broken and she was on her way to the hospital.”
“Oh my God. Is she ok? Is the baby ok?”
“She’s in surgery with Gary right now. None of us have seen or talked to her, so we don’t know what’s going on.”
“I have to get there. I’m going to drive up to LAX now and get on the first flight. Even then, I won’t be there until late afternoon. Shit,” he paused, “shit, shit, shit.”
Charles could hear Schooner moving around on the other end as if he were quickly packing.
“You’ve got to keep me updated.” Alarm had escalated to panic.
“You know I will,” Charles reassured him.
“Crap Charles, I had a huge fight with her tonight. She wanted to know when I was coming home and I told her that I didn’t know. She was really upset and hung up on me and I didn’t call her back. Fuck, I could kick myself.”
“Hey, no one knew this was going to happen,” Charles was trying to calm his friend, knowing he was about to get behind the wheel of a car.
“Yeah, but she’s going through it alone and I’m not there for her. I’m going to miss Nathaniel’s birth. I’m not there for them. If something happens to either of them…”
Charles could hear a car door slamming and an engine starting, “Schooner, be careful driving. Call me when you have flight info and I’ll keep you updated on events here.”
“Hey Charles, if you see her, tell her I love her. And tell her that I’m on my way.”
“I will. We’ll see you this afternoon.”
Walking back into the waiting room, Seth immediately jumped on him, “You have that ‘Oh shit’ look on your face.”
Charles sat down next to Kami and faced the two of them. “He didn’t know,” shaking his head. “Meezie didn’t call him.”
“What?” Seth was shocked.
“It seems they had a huge fight earlier tonight. She wanted to know when he was coming home and he told her he didn’t know. She hung up on him and he never called her back.”
“Not a good move, Schooner,” Kami was shaking her head.
“You know he’s kicking himself. He’s on his way to LAX right now.”
“Yeah, but he wasn’t here with her, he’s not in there with her now and if anything happens to Nathaniel, he’s not here for it.” Kami put down the nasty coffee and stood up. She turned to Seth.
“Don’t give me that look, Kami. I know how ugly this is going to be. She didn’t let him know. That is the ultimate fuck you.”
As they waited for news on Mia and Nathaniel, a dark pall settled over them. Mia had drawn a line in the sand, and by not letting Schooner know, she was clearly telling him that she was ready to go it alone.
“He was really just trying to do the right thing,” Charles defended. “The guy is a really good father.”
Seth looked distraught. “He is. He takes it very seriously, but right now he is missing the birth of his son and the circumstances here are not optimal.”
Trying to lighten the air, Kami was resolute on remaining positive, “They’ll work it out. They love each other.”
Seth looked at her as if she were the ultimate BBC, “Oh please, have you ever met Vindictive BBC?” he shook his head. “My beautiful nursery may never get used.”
Night had fallen when he entered her hospital room. Lights from the city’s buildings filtered in through the blinds’ slats, casting patterned shadows across her bed.
Silently, Kami rose from a chair in the corner of the room when he entered. He went to her and gave her a hug.
“Have you seen him?” her voice a mere whisper.
He nodded. Even in the darkened room, the wet glint from his moist eyes was visible. “I held him. He’s so tiny and so beautiful. How is she feeling?”
“She did well today. They’ve already had her up walking and she fed Nathaniel.”
He nodded again and just watched her sleep.
Putting a hand on his arm, “Call me if you need anything.”
Schooner silently pulled a chair over to Mia’s bedside. He wanted to kiss her forehead, her hand, her lips, but he didn’t, for fear of waking her.
It had taken forever to get to New York. As if the forces of nature had conspired against him, weather delays had backed up many major airports and planes had not been repositioned. Charles Sloan had given him the news that his son had been born. At four pounds-two ounces, Nathaniel was breathing on his own, being monitored closely in the NICU in an open crib with heat lamps.