At six, I was setting the table for dinner while the girls played in the playpen when there was a rapping at the door.
“Uhh…who is it?” I asked.
“Open up, Valerie! I know you’re in there!”
It was Joel. I’d know that voice anywhere.
“Damn right!” Joel thrust open the door and lunged towards me. Before I could make a move, he grabbed me and started to drag me outside. I then went into total panic mode and started to have contractions in my belly.
“STOP!” I shrieked. I started to wriggle free, but Joel put a gun to my temple.
“I’m gonna shoot you if you don’t cooperate, bitch!” he threatened.
“LET ME GO!” I finally got out of Joel’s clutches, grabbed the gun, aimed, and shot him square in the chest. Then, I called 999. An operator answered immediately.
“I’M IN LABOR! GET ME AN AMBULANCE NOW!!!”
“Ma’am, we’re sending one as we speak. What’s your name, and how far along are you?” she asked.
“FIVE MONTHS! MY NAME IS VALERIE COCHRAN!” I burst into tears. “I don’t want my baby to die!”
“Honey, the EMTs will make sure it doesn’t. Just breathe until they get there, okay?”
The ambulance came less than a minute later, and one of the EMTs carried the girls to the ambulance while two more got me situated. They asked me for my name, how this happened, my medical history, social security number, and anything else they could think of. As they placed me in the back of the ambulance, one of them asked who they should call.
“My boyfriend, Niall Horan,” I said. “He’s my baby’s father.”
“Thank you, Miss Cochran,” he said. “Just breathe until we get to the hospital.”
We were on our way back home with Husnal (we’d found her on the other side of London) when my cell phone rang. It was an unknown number, but I picked up out of curiosity. “Hello?” I said.
“Is this Niall Horan?” the male voice on the other end said. There was a combination of sirens and crying in the background.
“Yes, it is,” I said. “Who’s this?”
“This is Rob Palmer, one of the EMTs from St. James’ Hospital in London. We have your girlfriend, and she’s gone into premature labor.”