Stella and I were inseparable for 3 long years. Those were three wonderful years that I will certainly never forget as long as I live. But what goes up must come down; and that's exactly what happened to us. Every little thing set us off at each other, which turned into a heated argument.
But believe me, after we had time to cool down, I would look at the most beautiful and genuine girl in the world, and she would turn back to me. We would realize that this was not going to work out, but we didn't want to speak those words out loud. Enjoy the moment and take it all in. We were hoping for something that would never happen.
Our communication stopped. We would leave each other for long periods at a time. We missed each other terribly but tried to push that aside. Eventually I started casually seeing other girls.
Then one day I got a call from Stella. I couldn't make out much, but I heard something about a hospital and it sounded urgent before she hung up. No matter what our status was, Stella would always be a top priority. Driving over the speed limit and narrowly avoiding a couple of fatal accidents, I finally arrived at the hospital. I flew out of my car and flung open the doors. The nurse directed me to a smaller, separate area of the hospital. I got a couple seconds of relief that she wasn't in the ICU or anything like that.
No, instead, Stella lay in a hospital bed, staring down at her arms. She looked tired and exhausted. Adrenaline pumping, I quietly spoke.
She turned her head slightly to the left to meet my eyes. Hers were tired and red. Her hair was pulled back into a messy bun, and a few beads of sweat lined her hairline. Stella's pale blue eyes stared back. I started walking into the room very slowly. It was silent.
She bowed her head and squeezed her eyes shut, turning slightly away from me. I continued stepping forward until I reached her left side of the bed. My hand automatically flew out to stroke her long hair, like I used to. i noticed she had died it many shades darker. I didn't like it.
"I'm sorry." was all she whispered. She shifted her body toward mine. In her arms she held a newborn baby.
Surprisingly, I was calm. I now realized why she had frantically called me over here. It takes two to have a baby, after all.
"You don't have to stay," she said, meaning that I didn't have to stick around for the child.
"Stella, if you think that you're going to be doing this alone-"
"Well you're wrong."
She stared at me with saddened eyes.
"Boy or girl?" I asked.
"Girl." replied Stella with a hint of a smile, so small you couldn't have noticed it unless you were me. "I named her Darcy."
She remembered, I thought. I looked at Darcy for real for the first time. The tips of her hands peeked out from under a bitty pink blanket, barely exposing her microscopic fingernails. Clumps of brown hair lined her head, flipping upward at the end. She definitely had my hair. This was definitely my child. Without hesitating, I reached out to hold her.
My first impression was how tiny she was. She barely weighed anything. I felt so overpowering to her, and that scared me. It all hit me at once.
"Was she born full-term?" I asked.
"No, I was barely nine months. They said its a miracle she's healthy." Stella wiped her eyes with the back of her hand.
"It's a miracle that you're healthy," I countered. "I'm just glad that you're okay." Even though they both had to stay in the hospital a few extra days for precautions, I considered her to be okay.
"Harry, we can't raise a baby on our own. We couldn't even stay together. What happens then? What happens when she turns three, we both give up on each other again?"
"Stella, don't think about that."
"I can't!" she screamed out. Darcy slightly stirred in my arms. I began rocking her gently. Stella began silently crying.
I can't stop either, I thought.
"I know, Stella, but try. Let's try..."
It was a matter of minutes before both the girls were soundly asleep.