John shimmied on the chaise to get comfortable. “My father had had a heart attack. He was at St. Bonaventure, so I decided to visit him,” he said.
“Okay, so what does this have to do with babies?” asked Sarah.
“Well, I’m getting there Doc. You’ve got to understand. I hate hospitals,” John said.
“It is perfectly normal to feel that way, John. It is a very common emotion,” Sarah said. “A lot of people don’t like to be reminded that they are one step away from a life changing illness or accident.”
“That’s not exactly my problem Doc. Let me finish my story,” he said.
“Go right on ahead,” Sarah said. “Tell me your story.”
John entered the hospital with trepidation, carrying a small flowering plant of some kind and a bright yellow metallic helium balloon reading “Get Well Soon”. The security guard at the entrance smiled and waved. John waved back, but focused his attention down the hallway toward the elevators. He was about to make a sprint walk for them when a young man grabbed his arm.
“Doctor, you’ve got to help me,” the young man said. “My wife is in labor.”
John looked to the security guard for help. The guard was already picking up the phone and dialing. John felt a bit relieved that help was on the way. He turned to the young man and said, “You’ve got the wrong guy. I’m sure someone-“
The young man interrupted John. “I know you’re not her doctor, but she needs someone now.”
The guard put down the phone and gave John a thumbs up. “I called maternity and told them you were on the way with the mom to be. I’ll go grab the wheelchair.”
John let go of the balloon and watched it drift to the ceiling. He handed the plant to the young man. “Let’s go get your wife,” John said.
Sarah stopped writing and looked at John incredulously. “Okay, wait. So you impersonated a doctor? Do you realize how much trouble you could get into?” asked Sarah.
John rolled onto his side so he could look at her. “Well I figured that unless I did something the poor woman was going to have the baby in the car because no one else was coming,” he said.
“Carmine, don’t you think you’re pushing the truth just a little here?” asked Sarah.
“I’m John,” he said.
“Sorry. I don’t know why I keep making that mistake,” Sarah said.
John laid back onto the chaise. “That’s why I’m here,” he said in a soft voice. “That’s why I’m telling you this story.”
“Okay. Let’s see where this goes. Please continue,” Sarah said.
John, the young man, and the security guard rushed out of the hospital and into the cool night. A young and very pregnant woman was sitting in a Honda Civic with the passenger door open. Her eyes were clenched shut and her breathing was rapid and shallow. John and the young man danced around each other like two of the Marx brothers, trying to figure out how to help the pregnant woman get out of the car. Finally her contraction passed, and she was able to lever herself out of the vehicle without either man’s help. The security guard held the wheelchair steady as John and the young man were able to maneuver the pregnant woman into it. She managed to sit before the next contraction hit.
John had watched enough television to know that having contractions that close to each other meant the baby has almost there. He patted her shoulder. “Don’t worry. Woman have been doing this since the beginning of time. I’m sure this will be simple.”
“We’re having twins,” replied the young man.
John felt like he had got slapped across the face. When he came to he looked to the security guard. “You heard the man,” John said. “She’s about to have twins. Let’s go!”
The security guard took off at a fast walk. John looked like he was about to run the opposite direction, but then he caught sight of the young man looking at him with desperation, so he followed the guard inside. The guard swiped his badge at the elevator and the lift came immediately. The four of them piled into the elevator and the guard hit the button for the eighth floor. As the elevator ascended, an awkward silence descended on the three men. The pregnant woman didn’t care as she dealt with her contraction.
Finally the doors opened and two nurses hurried to rescue the pregnant woman from the three men. The young man slapped John on the back and headed after his wife who was being pushed by one of the nurses. The second nurse looked back at John. “Well are you coming Doctor Crane?” she asked.
John looked at the security guard, but the security guard just gave him a thumbs up. John shook his head and walked off the elevator. “She’s having twins,” John said.
The nurse fell in beside John, following the retreating wheel chair. “Then I guess we’re playing a double header tonight,” the nurse said.
John paused mid step, then laughed. “That’s a good one,” he said.
“Are you okay Doctor Crane?” asked the nurse.
John nodded. “Let’s go play ball,” he said.
Sarah stopped him there. “So you are telling me you delivered twins?” she asked.
“Well, it was twins, so they called in another doctor to assist me,” John said.
“Assist?” Sarah asked as she kept writing.
John tried to ignore the question, but when Sarah refused to say more for a minute, John filled in the silence. “Okay, so she did the actual delivery, but the babies were so cute.”
John held a baby in each arm. The proud mother and father beamed with happiness. John smiled down at the little ones. “They’re perfect,” he said to the new parents. Just then both babies began to cry and looked like they were looking for John’s nipples. “Oh no, not again,” he said. He quickly gave the babies back to their mother. “You feed them.”
Sarah shook her head in disbelief, but continued to write. John laughs. “That ended much better than before,” he said.
“Did you ever get to visit your father?” Sarah asked.
That stopped John from laughing. “I did. I even got to deliver my plant. The balloon stayed in the lobby though,” John said.
“Do you regret that decision?” asked Sarah.
John paused in thought. “I was close to my dad,” John said. “He was always there for me.”
“What does that have to do with the balloon?” asked Sarah.
“That is a good question,” said John.