The Perfect Life
She moaned in pain again. I looked at my watch fearfully as I sped along the main streets, going over the speed limit by at least twenty-five. It had only been two minutes since the last contraction.
I slammed on the brakes just as I was about to hit the car in front of me, and swerved into the right lane, nearly missing another car who had to slam on its brake into order to not run into my back bumper. Both drivers honked angrily, but I ignored them and continued to swerve in and out of cars, getting dangerously close to hitting them each time. But my defensive driving training from the LAPD made me confident in my moves, having used them many times while chasing down criminals through the crowded streets of Los Angeles.
My wife moaned again, and I immediately was filled with concern. They were getting shorter. She grimaced in pain, holding her over-large stomach with both hands as if to control some of the pain.
I thought for a moment how everyone always grasped the part of them that hurt, even though it never really helped at all. But the thoughts were quickly driven from my mind as I barely escaped plowing into another car once again.
“Two blocks to go,” I muttered reassuringly to her, turning sharply again. I floored the car’s gas pedal; the car lurched forward as the roadway was clear for a few hundred feet ahead of us.
I moved to pass a car quickly on the left, then cut in front of them again in order to make a sharp right turn. I made a left into the hospital and stopped right in front of the hospital’s main doors. I thrust the gear into park and opened my door, running to the other side. I opened my wife’s door and placed one arm under her knees, the other behind her back, and lifted her gently before running into the hospital, the doors of the car still wide open.
~ :: ~
She screamed again (as the doctor yelled “Push!” for the umpteenth time) and I grasped her hand even tighter, wiping my free hand across her face so the sweat wouldn’t get into her eyes.
“It’s okay honey, just a little more,” I whispered to her solemnly, caressing her smooth cheek with my hand. She screamed again and she pushed harder, and I winced. But only for a second.
A moment later a cry was heard. My wife was breathing heavily, but no longer moaning or screaming in pain. The doctor approached. “Your son,” she said with a smile as she placed the small boy into my wife’s arms.
And at that moment, time froze. The pain and stress of pregnancy – on both ends – was immediately forgotten. It was all worth it. My heart burst with joy and I looked at my son, beaming, who was still crying healthily in his mother’s arms. I stroked his head with the palm of my hand, and his tiny arms flailed wildly, moving this way and that.
He was beautiful. I kissed my wife on the forehead, and at that moment, life was perfect.