Eucatastrophe ~ h.s.

This isn't how I planned any aspect of my life to occur.

The plan was simple: Finish university with a 4.0 GPA, Get a well-paying corporate job that's more intense than the assistant job I've now, Find a man that loves me for me, Get married at a gorgeous ceremony, Have beautiful children, Grow old with the man of my dreams and watch our kids mature right before our eyes, and Then fall deeper and deeper in love with our time together.

That Night wasn't supposed to happen. My life wasn't supposed to turn out like this.

*Contains: Language, mild sexual content, and a bit of violence. Content could be triggering for some.*

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23. ✗ twenty-two ✗

SHAY

16 June

“Harry, we gotta go!”

For once he’s the slower of us both. I’ve been ready to go, nervously pacing the foyer on the ground floor for like twenty minutes. He told me as soon as he finished up a phone call in his office that he was going to quickly shower and change his clothes, but that was thirty minutes ago.

In that span of time I was able to eat a little breakfast, answer a few emails, and now worry about the day to come.

Today is our first appointment with Dr. Surrey. I had been afraid that I’d never be able to get an appointment with her, in fears that she has her hands full with other patients. Sure enough, our appointment had been set at my prospected eighth week pregnant, putting it about a month after returning from Australia.

Australia.

The honest to God best four days in my entire life. Sure we had to go to meetings on a few of those days, but even the meetings in that country were better. The sun was always shinning, and when it wasn’t people were still cheery and wearing clothes to keep them cool in the abnormally warm winter.

After our beach date, which lasted until sundown, Harry and I spent the days growing closer and closer to each other. The talks were nice, the kisses sweet, and the dates were beyond amazing.

The Saturday we were there, we toured the newly built Sydney location of Styles Corp., scoping out the new levels where hundreds of people will be working and giggling like children in the office that was reserved just for the man of my dreams himself. It was about the same size as his London office, but with a better view. But Harry would only be there a couple times a year anyway, so the office didn’t really matter.

After the tour we went out for a lovely lunch downtown, where Harry treated me like a queen, and then spent the rest of the day shopping, where Harry bought everything he possibly could for me, against my will.

That Sunday we spent the morning, into early afternoon, in bed watching movies and getting a bit of work done. Harry had made dinner reservations at a really fancy restaurant, where we dinned in style and left with full stomachs. I remember the laughter that coursed through the dimly lit restaurant as other patrons gave us dirty looks for our volume.

Afterwards, Harry and I took a walk hand-in-hand around the Sydney Opera House, admiring the view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge at sundown.

Monday, we worked.

And Tuesday we took far too many selfies that is expectable for two grown adults to take. It was like we just couldn’t put our phones down, we had to capture every moment. We captured every moment throughout the traveling process as well, until we touched down in London early yesterday morning, and recorded many a tired lip sync battles that we’ll forever hold dear to our hearts. The remainder of our time off spent cuddled tiredly in bed until this morning.

In the last month, Harry and I kept to ourselves mainly. We’ve been mainly busy with work, and by that I mean that Harry is terribly busy work and I’m doing my best to keep his head in the game. Everything recently has been focused on the expansion. They set a date for the grand opening, sometime later this year, which is sooner than we all expected. Other than that, our lives have been pretty normal, well as normal as can be.

And today… well today, you know. I woke up this morning buzzing with nerves…

A soft humming awakes me from my slumber, a slumber in which I’m hoping will last a few more minutes. Unfortunately, with the humming brings a warm hand to my hair and casual finger combing of my waves. My eyes open in a flutter and I find myself staring at the bare chest of a firm body beneath me. I stir in his grasp and rest my chin on his chest so that I can look up at him.

“Morning, beautiful.” His voice is raspy and deep, meaning he hasn’t been awake long, perhaps only a few minutes before I. I smile lightly and let my eyes close before resting my cheek against his chest again. “No, don’t go back to sleep.” He pouts.

“Why not? I’m so tired.” I complain, pouting my bottom lip out like a child.

“Because today’s the day.” I gulp nervously as soon as the thought dawns on me. I reopen my eyes and bite down on my lip whilst snuggling further against Harry’s side. “Today’s the day that we actually get to see that you’re growing another human.” I can’t help but slightly chuckle at his phrasing.

“Yep. Today’s the day.” I mutter, rolling off Harry and onto my back. Harry sits up as soon as he’s free and throws the duvet off him before covering me completely so I don’t catch a chill from the cool room around us.

“I’m going to go answer some emails and make a few calls then get ready to go.” He says, smiling down at me. He places both hands on the mattress before leaning down and pressing a light kiss to my forehead. “I’m so excited.” He turns and exits the room as I let out a sigh and stare up at the ceiling.

“Today’s the day.”

I’m a nervous wreck and as far as I know Harry is as cool as a cucumber, like usual. I spent a good twenty minutes in bed earlier just freaking out over something I can’t control and not to mention now I really am freaking out about it. My heart is racing and as much as I try to calm the beating down, I just can’t seem to grasp a normal heart rate. I need to calm my racing heart because I know it’s not good for the baby.

“I’m ready.” Harry announces, skipping down the last few steps excitedly. I spin around and place a smile on my lips. Harry’s got the biggest smile on his lips and he looks as lively as ever. He’s been happy ever since I told him I’m keeping the baby. “Are you okay?” He asks me, grabbing his wallet and keys off the table near the front entrance.

“Great.” I say through gritted teeth as I grab my purse from the floor.

Taking deep breaths slowly as I walk towards Harry at the open doorway. Harry holds his hand out for me and I take it, never letting it go, even when we arrive at the hospital minutes later.

Traffic, surprisingly, was non-existent, meaning I had less time for a deep breathing session as I had hoped. The entire ride Harry was asking me about the appointment too and expressing his excitement.

Do you know what they’re going to do when you get there?

I’ve never been to one of these things before, but I’m so excited.

Do you think we’ll get pictures?

What’s the baby going to look like this early?

I read it may look like a bean.

He acts like a child on his first day of school, asking a billion questions and talking at a mile a minute.

As much as I had wanted to reach over and strike him in the back of the head, I concealed the annoyance and focused on the breathing until the hospital came into view. And I had kept my composure until we were at the door.

“Harry.” I mutter, the smell of the hospital greeting my nostrils as soon as we step through the threshold; a smell that I hate with every ounce of hatred in my body. My times in the hospital weren’t well spent, and hopefully this time would change that. My nerves were still eating me away and what ifs swarm my mind.

What if there’s something wrong? What if I can’t keep calm? What if Harry freaks and leaves me alone?

“What’s wrong?” Harry asks, looking down at me as I shift my eyes around me. I shake my head, regretting speaking up. Harry squeezes my hand and pulls me from the main hallway down towards the maternity wing. We stop short in the quiet hall, delaying our already late trip to the wing. We both look round to find a mostly empty hallway, aside from a few nurses and us. “Shay, tell me what’s wrong.”

“I’m just-“

Before I can even finish what I want to say, tears spring from my eyes and stream down my cheeks as my throat begins to tighten up. It’s taking everything in me not to start uncontrollably sobbing and crying out.

“Shay.” Harry mumbles out, his emerald eyes scanning every inch of skin on my face. I bring my hand up, covering my mouth and wiping away the tears as they continue to fall. Harry continues to stare down at me, the wheels turning in his head. I drop my head and rest it against Harry’s chest, taking a deep breath and hiding my face away from his view.

“Too many damn things are swarming round in my head right now.” I admit through quiet sobs.

I reach down and grasp Harry’s hand bringing it up with mine to my chest, placing it above my left breast, where my heart lays. I hear Harry intake a sharp breath as his palm warms my clothed skin.

“Shay, your heart is beating like crazy.” Harry points out, removing his hand before wrapping both strong arms around my body. “You need to calm down, and trust me I know that’s easier said than done but you need to try.” I nod my head against his chest and inhale deeply through my nose, exhaling through my mouth a couple seconds later. “That’s it, just breathe with me.” Harry takes my hand this time and places it against his firm chest. “In.” I feel his chest expand from underneath my palm. “And out.” His chest falls, my mind focusing only on the way his chest moves when Harry’s breathes.

I feel his lips on my hair, peppering soft kisses here and there. He breathes deeply with me for a few minutes, my breathing ultimately slowing and my heart no longer feeling as if it’s going to beat out of my chest. All because of him.

“Are you okay now?” He asks after, squeezing me lightly and rubbing his hand along the expanse of my back.

“Yes, a bit.” I sniffle, pulling my face from Harry’s chest. I stare straight ahead at the fabric of his t-shirt, seeing faint mascara smudges from my eyes. I reach out and try to dot them away with my fingers, which does absolutely shit. “I’m sorry I ruined your shirt.” Harry looks down, shaking his head as he takes both of my hands in his.

“I like it better this way. Now it doesn’t look so brand new.” I sniffle again and sigh deeply; trying to blink away the remaining tears left in me. If I’m going to cry today, I’m going to do it now and get it over with. No more tears for Shay.

“Thank you.” I mumble, looking from our joined hands to Harry’s flawless face. There’s worry etched across his features and I hate that I’m the cause of that worry, but it soon fades when my eyes meet his. “I don’t know what I’d do without you.” I find myself admitting lightly, my cheeks igniting in crimson as soon as the words leave my lips. Harry just smiles down at me before placing a swift kiss the to the tip of my nose.

“Are you ready? Because if you’re not we can stay here for as long as you will prefer. Dr. Surrey can wait.” I inhale deeply through my nose before exhaling and shaking my head.

“No, we should go.”

Harry squeezes my hands once more before disconnecting one and bringing it to my cheeks. The soft skin of his thumb pad runs along underneath both eyes before finding his pocket. He keeps our other hands together, giving me a soft, reassuring squeeze before we continue our journey into the maternity ward. Our feet take us to the desk where several nurses in colorful scrubs greet us warmly.

Harry leads me to the woman at the far end with a pair of pink scrubs adorned on her figure. She’s smiling whilst she types away on her computer, her smile growing in size when she spots us standing before her. I find myself wondering if that’s what I look like when I work.

“Hi, Shay Nichols.” Harry says for me. It’s a good thing he’s speaking because I don’t think my mouth would know how to work in a moment like this.

Harry untangles his hand from mine before snaking around my waist and tugging me into his firm side. The woman smiles largely up at me before typing a few things into the computer.

“Here we are, loves,” She exclaims in a thick Scottish accent, grabbing a sheet of paper and placing it before her, “A nurse will be out to get ya’ in a wee bit. In the mean time ya’ can have a seat in our waiting lounge.” Harry thanks her for the both of us before turning us around to face the chairs where the woman had gestured.

About a third of the seating is full, expecting parents chatting quietly or flipping through parenting magazines with pregnant women on the front. They all look so relaxed and at peace, as I look on the verge of a breakdown. Not one of them seems put off by the setting around them, most of them obviously having been here before.

Harry and I take a seat near the corner of the area, ensuring space from most of the parents except a woman to my right. Her stomach is very swollen, maybe seven months along if I’m to guess, but I’m not an expert. I find myself mindless admiring her as we take our seats.

She’s flipping through a magazine with a content look on her flawless face. If there’s anything that I’ve read on pregnancy websites or in articles written about pregnant women, it’s the famous pregnancy glow. This woman is the definition of glowing.

“What do you say after this we stop for Chinese take away?” Harry suggests, pulling me from my trance at the woman to my side. I nod my head in response to his question, barely even registering what he had asked before answering. “Shay, you’re okay.” Harry slid his hand onto my lap and gave my thigh a squeeze. I glance up at Harry and give him a small smile, a thanks for him sticking by my side. My eyes find his hand on my thigh and I place my hand atop of his, intertwining our fingers.

“First time?” I nearly jump out of my skin as the woman beside me speaks up. For a moment I thought my brain had somehow tricked me into thinking this model of a woman had spoken to me. But as my gaze meets her’s, I realize that I’m not imagining things.

“Uh, yeah.” I answer, clearing my abnormally dry throat. I feel as if all the water in my body has been drained in a matter of seconds. “That obvious?” I ask, showing her a small, forced smile.

“Oh yes, but it’s not always a bad thing.” She lets out a chuckle, extending her hand for me to take. “I’m Mary.” I take her hand softly and shake it lightly.

“I’m Shay, and this is my…” I pause, gazing over my shoulder at Harry, “my fiancé.” Might as well play into the lie whilst we’re at the hospital.

Harry’s face seems to grow ten times happier at his title whilst he reaches across me to shake Mary’s hand.

“Harry.” He says for himself before dropping her soft, manicured hand.

“I take it this isn’t your first?”

Stupid question Shay, of course this isn’t her first child.

“Third.”

“Wow.” I gush, finding myself smile at the thought of motherhood.

“Trust me, being a mother is the best title in the entire world, behind wife.” She states, smiling over at Harry and then back at me. “You’ll know soon enough. When’s the wedding for you two?” I gulp nervously, glancing over at Harry. He seems completely calm still as if we weren’t about to be caught in a lie.

“Sometime next spring, when the flowers have bloomed. Shay just loves that time of year.” I find myself staring at Harry in shock.

I’m not sure if he’s really just bullshitting or if he knows that my actual favorite time of year is the spring. I do love when the flowers have bloomed and the weather is beginning to warm slightly. If I had mentioned it to him it would’ve been ages ago. I don’t know how he’s remembered that small detail.

“Some advice?” Mary asks, placing her hand on my forearm. I turn my attention back to her and nod my head.

“Please.”

“Just keep a happy thought in your mind and relax. These appointments seem scary, but they’re really not that bad. You’ll get used to them, plus you get to see your little one for the first time so that’s something to look forward to.” I smile to her and glance at my flat stomach.

I had been so caught up in the anxiety of the day and thinking about everything that could possibly go wrong, that I forgot to focus on the positive. Today will be the first time that I can set my eyes on visual proof that I am in fact carrying a child. Today will pave the way for everything that is going to happen from now on until I die.

“Shay Nichols.” My head snaps in the direction of a curvy nurse with a clipboard in her hands. She scans the room with her eyes before falling on Harry and I, her smile growing in size. I swallow nervously before standing to my feet with Harry. We both thank Mary before meeting up with the nurse. “Pleasure to meet the both of you. I’m called Leigh, follow me right this way.”

Harry and I look at each other before joining hands yet again and following Leigh behind the threshold of the waiting lounge into the actual office that is set up in part of the ward. Our trip is quick and mostly silent, Leigh showing us the way to a room near the back of the hall.

“Please, slip off your shoes and bag and step onto the scale.” She says as soon as Harry and I have entered the small room.

She shuts the door behind both of us whilst my eyes take in the small area. There’s a bed near the corner of the room, with an ultrasound at the left, the screensaver jumping around with the hospital’s logo on it. The room is clean and formal looking, like any good doctors’ office.

“Miss?”

“Right, sorry.”

I slide my bag off my forearm and hand it to Harry before sliding off my flats and kicking them to the side. I exhale deeply before stepping up onto the scale, not bothering to look down at the numbers.

“Fifty-four kilograms.” She mutters to herself before jotting the weight on her chart. I glance in the direction of Harry, who’s frowning slightly whilst sitting in one of the chairs. I ignore his expression and step off the scale.

I had weighed around fifty-nine kilograms before recent horrific events had occurred. The weight loss was a side effect of the stress, anxiety, and pressures my body was facing. Now it just seemed dauntingly low for a pregnant woman, even if I am only around two months along.

“Height is 170 centimeters.” Leigh calls out after measuring my height. “Take a seat on the bed for me.” Harry stands immediately, helping me onto the bed and afterwards stays at my side, knowing I want him as close as possible. “Just a quick check of your pulse and blood pressure and then I’ll call for Dr. Surrey.” I nod and look up at Harry, whom looks deep in thought.

His eyes are cast down at our joined hands, his thumb rubbing softly over my knuckles. I find myself admiring his face whilst his focus is elsewhere. His jawline is incredibly sharp, almost like God himself has sculpted it. His green eyes are the most beautiful shade I’ve ever seen, so vibrant and full of expression. There’s a slight stumble etched across his upper lip and I find it quite appealing. I enjoy the way it feels on my skin when I kiss him. And speaking of kissing him, his lips are perfectly plump and pink. Perfect.

I only wish he were the father of this baby so that he or she would be as gorgeous as he.

“What are you staring at?” Harry asks and I shake out of my trance to find his eyes looking into mine. There’s a small smirk toying at the corner of his mouth and his tongue darts out to wet the pink lips I love to kiss so dearly.

“Blood pressure 120/68 and pulse is seventy-five, both wonderful.” Leigh compliments after she’s finished. She writes her notes down and leaves after asking me a couple questions. Before she leaves, she adds a compliment that I find intimidating for an odd reason: “You’re a beautiful couple.”

“Thank you.” Harry and I say in unison, my cheeks feeling hotter by the moment.

“Dr. Surrey will be in shortly. She usually doesn’t attend appointments like these, but she seems especially drawn to the two of you.”

With a curt nod and a soft smile, Leigh closes the door, leaving us in peace.

“What’s wrong?” I ask immediately, thinking back to the frown on his face after I had been weighed. I’ve a feeling of what the frown was about, but I don’t want to assume.

“Nothing’s wrong.” Harry states, wrapping an arm around my shoulders and pressing a kiss to my temple.

“Harry,” I warn, pulling away so that I can look to his face, “I saw the frown on your faces minutes ago. I know something is, or was, bothering you. You can tell me, I won’t be angry.” Harry sighs and drops his arm from my shoulders, only to snake it around my waist.

“I’m worried about your weight.” I lick my dry lips and look in front of me at the shiny tiles on the floor, nodding my head to his concern. “Fifty-four kilograms is too low, love, especially for you being pregnant.” I nod my head again and lean into him, resting my head against his.

“I know.” I say, before pulling my head up. “I want you to know that I’ve never intentionally-“ Harry cuts me off with his lips meeting mine for a brief moment.

“I know, Shay. I just worry, that’s all.” He whispers, closing the gap between our lips again. I bring my hand to his cheek and cradle the side of his face, kissing him back softly. Our lips dance together in a slow and passionate way before a loud knock upon the door causes us to pull apart. Dr. Surrey could not have worse timing.

“Hello!” She sing-songs, entering the room and closing the door behind her. “It’s so lovely to see the both of you again. I can’t tell you how pleased Dr. Barnes and I were when you gave us the news. Pregnancy and motherhood is a wonderful thing, unfortunate of the situation but a blessing either way.” She says happily. “How’ve we been feeling?” She asks, hugging the clipboard to her chest.

“Pretty great.” I honestly say.

“Are you still experiencing morning sickness and headaches?” Dr. Surrey asks, looking me directly in the eyes. I find it quite intimidating, but I clear my throat and find my voice, though shaky and nervous.

“Headaches have subsided, but the morning sickness is still kicking my ass.” I admit, chuckling lightly along with Harry. He stays at my side, rubbing my back in circles, calming the nerves within me.

“Try crackers on the bedside table to help with the nausea, and drink plenty of water.”

“Easier said than done with the water. I’m in the loo having a wee triple the normal amount.” Dr. Surrey laughs, her head falling back and a smile prominent on her lips.

“Oh yes, you’ll be experiencing the frequency from now until the birth. Though the baby is very tiny at this stage of pregnancy, your uterus is still growing which decrease the room in your bladder.” I purse my lips together and take a peek at Harry’s face. Surprisingly, he hasn’t adorned a discussed look at the talk of my uterus. He seems very content, with a smile on his face. “Any other symptoms you’ve discovered thus far into it?” I bite my lip and glance to Harry as I say:

“My boobs are so sore.”

Dr. Surrey laughs as I watch Harry’s eyes double in size and see him physically gulp as he looks over at me. I can tell he’s trying with everything in him not to look down at my boobs and keep his eyes focused on my face. He bites his lip and smiles down at me before running a hand through his curls.

“And I’m tired all the time.” I admit with less enthusiasm.

“Well, Shay, those are both very common. Your breasts,” She begins, glancing to Harry and trying not to snicker, “will ultimately grow a cup size or more to prepare for nursing once the baby is born, if you do choose to breastfeed. Either way you chose the ducts in your breasts are going to still be preparing. The tenderness should only last through the end of the first trimester. As for fatigue, you’re creating a human it’s going to tire you out. So rest all you can and take naps if it comes to it. Make sure you’re getting enough iron in your diet as well, it should help. As for you-“ She glances to Harry.

“Me?”

“Yes you. Make sure she’s well rested and not working herself too hard.” Harry nods furiously. “Also, no fondling of the merchandise, they’ll be growing in size so it won’t be comfortable. Hands to yourself.” I’m pretty sure it’s my face that paled more than Harry’s at the mention of him “fondling my merchandise”. We still couldn’t help the light chuckle that left our lips. “Now, shall we get to the part where we see this little baby?”

“Yeah.” I say breathlessly as I glance to Harry. He moves out of the way for Dr. Surrey and comes around on my other side.

“Just bunch your shirt up and roll the top of your pants down to your hips.” She says as she begins to prepare the machine at my bedside. I look to Harry as he helps lower me to my back, my eyes never leaving his.

I can feel my heart beginning to race again, but the look in Harry’s eyes tells me to calm my pulse for this. I slowly pull my sheer top up and roll the top of my pants down. I still feel slightly awkward showing skin in this area to Harry, but I suppose I’ll have to get over it. Dr. Surrey tucks a cover into the waistband of my leggings so that the gel doesn’t get onto my pants before reaching for the probe and gel bottle.

“This may be a bit cold.” I nod and look to Harry as she squirts the clear gel onto my bare abdomen. I wince at the temperature, my wince alarming Harry slightly in his spot.

“Just cold.” I assure him. He exhales deeply before gripping my hand in his and watching Dr. Surrey work.

She uses the probe in her right hand to spread the gel around a bit before focusing her attention around a portion of my abdomen. I watch her hand move, unable to see the screen from my position. I grip Harry’s hand tightly, gathering his attention to which he lifts my hand to his lips and presses a kiss to the skin.

We go a few more minutes in agonizing silence, Harry and I staring at each other with so much blank expression that I feel the need to cry again if the silence lasts any longer. My eyes drift closed as I pray for the sound of a heartbeat to carryout through the room. I know I was weary to be pregnant before, but now that I’ve accepted it I just need everything to be okay. I think my heart will shatter otherwise.

A gasp leaves my lips when I hear the thumping sound throughout the small room.

“There we are.” Dr. Surrey breathes out with a smile on her lips. “Hiding from us, so you’ll know he or she is going to have a flare for the dramatics.”

“Great.” I mutter sarcastically as I glance up to Harry. He chuckles lightly and kisses my hand again, the relief evident on his face, as I’m sure it is mine.

“He or she is looking very, very good. Perfect size, really healthy.” Dr. Surrey says, shooting Harry and I a smile and a wink. “Have a look,” She turns to screen in our direction and my free hand flies up to meet my mouth.

It simply looks like a bean and to anyone else it would be just that, but to us it’s completely amazing. It’s my bean, the bean that I’m creating with my DNA and energy. You could see the slight formation of a head and tiny, tiny little circles that look like the beginning stages of appendages. Until now the only proof of pregnancy that I had was illness, fatigue, and soreness I hadn’t been able to see the proof with my own two eyes. And that proof is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.

“Oh my God.” I breathe out, the tears falling like waterfalls from my eyes. I know I said I was done crying earlier, but I was just bullshitting. There’s no way I couldn’t cry at a sight like this. “That’s so amazing.” I begin crying harder when the little baby began moving ever so slightly. I

tear my eyes from the screen to find Harry leaning down so he’s about level with my head. He’s staring so intently at the screen, lips glued to the back of my hand and eyes glistening. Suddenly, a tear rolls down from his far eye, streaking his skin and dripping onto the back of my hand.

“You’re crying.” I sob out. Harry blinks and looks down at me.

“I know.” He utters, his voice breaking slightly. “I know.” He repeats as a few more tears fall. “This is just so amazing.” 

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