Out of Reach

This is a story of a teenage romance which blossoms into something beyond beautiful. It has twists and turns, where a young couple fall in and out of love with each other and other people. How do their lives pan out in the end though?


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20. The gift of birth

 

“Dylan!” I hear a yell coming from the bathroom. She probably wants me to get her out the bath again or something. Neither of us can wait for this baby to come out, it’s 18th February, four days passed her due date.    

   “I’ll be right there. I’m just making the bed.” I say, smoothing down the bed sheets.    

   “Dylan!” Comes another yell.    

   “I said, I’ll be one minute!” I shout back.    

   “No you won’t! Now.” She screams.    

   “Jesus H. Christ, Megan...” My voice trails off as I stand in the doorway of the bathroom. Megan is standing with her night dress on, only it’s wet. And so is the floor.    

   “Dylan.” She says quietly, “My waters have broken.”    

   “Err, right. I’ll phone the hospital to see if your place is ready. You put on a clean night dress and some shoes... Oh, and get your bag too. Meet me in the car, it’s unlocked.”    

   “Okay.” She waddles out of the bathroom, whilst I dial the number on my phone and listen to the ringing. Then, somebody answers.    

   “Hello, Metal Water Hospital, Harriet speaking, what can I do for you?” Says a small voice on the other end of the line.    

   “My girlfriend, Megan Strouler, has just gone into labour. I was wondering if her space is ready for her to come in.”    

   “Yes, yes, you can come whenever you’re ready.”    

   “Thank you. That’s great.”    

   “Okay? Bye then, thank you.” And the line goes dead.     

   I see Megan struggling down the stairs so I catch up with her and take the bag.     

   “Thanks.”     

   “It’s fine. Take your time, I don’t want you slipping.” I say, steadying her with my spare hand.    

   “I’m-“She’s having another contraction.    

   “It’s okay, sit on the step.” I lower her down as she winces.    

   She then stands up and smiles at me, but I can tell it’s a pained and scared smile.    

   “Come on, my brave girl, take it easy.” I hold her up as we walk down the stairs together, and then she walks out to get into the car.    I put the bag in the boot, and then slide into the driver’s seat.     

   “Have you got your seat belt on?” I ask.    

   “Yeah. Just drive.” She says, breathing heavily with her hands wrapped round her stomach.    

   “Sure thing, gorgeous.” I say in a terrible American accent.     

 

“Right, here we are. Are you ready to have this baby?” I ask her.    

   “It doesn’t matter does it, because it’ll come out sooner or later without my permission anyway?”     

   “Come on grumpy guts.” We walk towards the hospital hand in hand; stopping in the middle of the car park half way whilst Megan has another contraction.   

   

A crowd is gathered round her bedside, so I sit at the end of the room on a scratchy little chair and wait until the midwife declares that only one person can be in the room with Megan. The noise is unbearable; everybody is cooing and fussing about everything. Whenever Megan has a contraction, the voices get louder and more panicked, and then every time afterwards they laugh over it. Babies can be heard from miles away; I once read this fact that said a baby’s cry is louder than drill.     

   Finally, Georgina walks in, laughs at the scene, and then asks everybody to leave apart from the person Megan would like to have at the birth. I can see her whole family theoretically cross their fingers because they want Megan to choose them, but she chose the father of the baby. They all slump out of the room and leave us three together.     

   As the crowd minimises down to two people, I stand and walk over to the bottom of Megan’s bed and smile at her beauty. I am so excited to see our child in her arms, and see that it has her eyes and mouth, maybe my nose and skin tone. I will teach it everything I know, and tell it I love it every day. It will never go without a mother or father. It will be so clever, and therefore pass all of its exams in flying colours. Then, when it’s ready, it will grow up and settle down, to give me and Megan some grandchildren.     

   “Right then Megan,” Georgina starts, “I am just going to check how far you’ve dilated. It’s been 5 hours, so there’s no panic.”    

   “Okay.” She gives me nervous grin, I know she needs me so I go stand beside her and take her hand.     

   “8cm. That’s quite a lot in such a short space of time. I’ll check up on you in half an hour to see how you’re getting along. If you want anything, then just press the bell.”     

   “Thank you Georgina.” I say as she leaves the room.     

   “How good’s that, ay?” I say to Megan, stroking her tired face with my thumb.     

   “Very.” She yawns, before she has another contraction.   

   “Hello again!” Georgina beams, “Now, I don’t think there will have been much change, if any at all, but I will check just in case. So Megan, I’m just going to check if you have dilated anymore.” I hold Megan’s hand again and then Georgina says, “Gosh, you’ve dilated another centimetre! Just one more to go before I can move you to the other ward. I shall be back in another half an hour.”    

   She leaves the room.    

   “What do you want to call the baby if it’s a girl?” Megan asks me.     

   “I quite like Amelia. What do you think?”    

   “Yeah, that is such a pretty name.” I’m glad she likes it.    

   “What about if it’s a boy?”    

   “I like Ethan, or Drew.”    

   “Ethan’s nice.” She smiles, stroking her tummy.  

   “Right then Megan, let’s take another look at you.” Georgina bumbles in.    

   Megan gives me another nervous smile.    

   “Megan Strouler, I think you are all ready to go to the delivery room! Ten centimetres dilated already.”    

   I grab her hand as she gets pushed through the halls. We pass our families, and hysterics start up again. Normal families would wait at home for a phone call and a quick visit, but no, not ours.    

  “Right then Megan, we have your birthing plan here, and it says you’d like gas and air and an epidural if things get too painful. How do you feel now?”    

   “Could I please just have gas and air, and then later on I may want an epidural.” She asks politely.    

   “Okay. Just breathe in here, and then take a few short breathes.”    

   She practices.   

   “Right, so, chin on chest and push down into your bottom. You may have a baby in the next contraction.”    

   Megan pushes hard. I’m holding up one leg, she holding up the other, and then after a few seconds I hear a crying noise that brings tears to my eyes.    

   “Congratulations, you have a baby girl!” Georgina announces.    

   My heart does pirouettes inside of me, and I feel so in love with my crying red daughter and wonderful girlfriend that just gave me the best thing anyone could ever ask for.    

   Georgina passes baby Alden – Strouler to me in a towel, and I just look at her in awe. She has Megan’s big blue eyes, and soft red lips, and fair blond hair. She’s beautiful.     

   I pass her to her mother and watch the two girls in my life bond.   

 

   “Oh Dylan, she’s just gorgeous.” My mum says, crying and sniffing along with everybody else.    

   “It’s because she looks like Megan.” I say, also tearing up.    

   My dad comes and stands beside me, and ruffles up my hair.     

   “I’m so proud of you son.” He says, all choked up.    

   Lots of pictures are taken of the new young family, and I look back on the last nine months we’ve spent together. There have been tears, tantrums and plenty of fights. Together we’ve matured and bonded so much. I always want to be there for my little girl, always. No matter what happens, I shall forever stand by her, even if things don’t work out between Megan and I.     

   I’ll teach her to walk, and say words she struggles saying, and then I’ll teach her how to ride a bike without stabilizes. I’ll hold her hand all the way to her first day at school, and polish her little black shoes when she gets home from a tough day of playing. When her friends are mean to her, I’ll hold her in my arms, and then tickle her until she’s in fits of laughter. She’ll never have to worry about anything, because I’ll sort everything out and make sure she’s so happy. I’ll make sure that I know every single one of her friend’s names, and make them feel at home when they come to stay at her first sleepover. I’ll never embarrass her, and stay in the background whenever she wants, because from now on my future is her. She can choose what she wants for dinner, and can help me in the garden. Her dancing skills will be sky high, because I’ll take her dancing on her third birthday, but only if she wants to. When she turns into a teen, I’ll try to understand her as best as possible, and be cool when she gets a boyfriend. If any boy ever breaks her heart, I’ll break theirs. On her wedding day, I’ll walk her down the aisle with tears in my eyes, and kiss her on the cheek before giving her away to the man that is worthy.     

   Karen rushes in, spreading her bubbly personality over the walls of the crowded room like water spreading on toast.     

   “Oh my clever niece!” Karen exclaims, rushing over to her bedside and kissing Megan on the head. “Oh she is beautiful.” She peers at our baby, and then thrusts some giant daisies towards Megan, “Here, I bought you these.”    

   Megan smells them and then says, “They’re beautiful.”    

   “Just like baby.” I say, and nod at Megan, hoping she’ll catch on.     

   Megan gasps, then looks down at our child.    

   “Daisy.” She whispers. She looks up at me and I smile in approval. Tears fall into both our eyes again.     

   The room fills with cheering, clapping and lots of kind words.     

   I feel delirious. That is the only word to describe such feeling. My heart is just aching, because I am so in love. I don’t know why, but I do know that I hate and love this feeling at the same time. I want to hold Megan with my arms forever, tight and snug. I never want to let her go. It feels like lust, but I know that this is real. I know that even though it feels like I’m dreaming, I’m stood on my own two feet, with the rest of the world ahead of me. I’m ready to dive right in and live. Live with Megan, live with Daisy. Live for Megan. But more importantly, live for Daisy.     

   From this day forward, I declare I will be the best father I can possibly be. And one day, I will be the best husband. I never want to be separated from either of my girls, and if such a mishap took place, I know I’d struggle on my own.     

   I also can’t wait to grow older with Megan, so we can get married and possibly have more children.     

   On the night I propose to her, I will take her to our tree, and then take her beyond the fields, to a small town we used to go camping in when we were kids. There is never any light pollution there, so you can see every single star when there are no clouds. It’s so beautiful. I would get down on one knee, and hold up an engagement ring that would be almost star shaped. Inside of the ring, on the band, would be the engraved words: The love of my life, Megan Strouler. All around the outside band would be tiny little diamonds creating a wavy pattern, but they’d all be spread out, just like the sky on the night we tie the knot. I will say, “Megan Strouler, would you make me the happiest man in the world by accepting my hand in marriage?” She’d say yes, and then we’d sleep under the stars, wrapped in each other’s arms. As she would be drifting off to sleep, I’d whisper in her ear “Thank you.” And she’d croak back, “What for?” But I wouldn’t have to answer, because she’d already be asleep.     

   We would live in a pretty house with ivy crawling up the sides, and a little front door painted white. We would have a path that leads up through our front garden, which would be made of stone, and we’d have a door mat that says “welcome” on it. In the hallway, we’d have a wall hanging, reading “Home Sweet Home”, and in the kitchen we’d have a breakfast bar that our whole family would sit around in the mornings.     

 

“So, Daisy Strouler?” Georgina asks, clutching a clipboard with pen to her chest. I look down at my baby girl, then towards Megan. She smiles.    

   “Daisy Alden.” She says. I gasp, because I realise what a big thing Megan has just done for me.     

   “Megan?” I ask, “Are you sure about this? I don’t mind her being called Daisy Strouler, or in fact we could hyphenate both names.”    

   “No, I don’t want to. One day I’ll take your name, so I want our daughter to be the same.” I kiss her, only softly, but she kisses back.    

   “So Daisy Alden then?” Georgina asks again, with a neat smile wearing thin on her lips.    

   “Yes.” Megan smiles. She budges up so that I can lie beside her on the bed, and I put my arm round her shoulders. She has always fit just perfectly under the pit of my arm, like a jigsaw.    

   People begin to slowly filter out of the room, leaving us nice comments to treasure and sweet presents to look over when we return home. All excited energy soon drains from me, and I’m left with a full feeling in my heart, similar to when I’ve just eaten a homemade Sunday roast. I can’t help but grin, even though I feel so tired and emotionally drained. Daisy’s eyes are closed, and her little eye lashes cast feathery shadows on her cheeks. I’m reminded of the night Megan and I conceived her, because she holds the same amount of beauty. I kiss her miniature forehead, and do the same to Megan.    

   “I love you.” She whispers.    

   “I love you too.” I say, “Thank you.” She kisses my cheek, and I close my eyes, hopefully able to regain some energy ready for the eighteen busy years ahead of us.  

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