I am not at home. Her initial reaction was to sit up straight to scan her surroundings. Ouch. Okay, that didn't feel right. Her head felt heavier than usual and her hands looked somewhat blurred. The bright light didn't make it easier for her to see. Where was she? And more importantly, why was she here? Letting her eyes adjust to the room, Florence traced her thoughts back to the latest event she could remember. She recalled her fierce discussion with her sister followed by darkness. She must have passed out at some point. Instinctively she touched her belly, already knowing the answer. This could only mean...
"Good evening Mrs. Collins. I am Brianna Steel, your nurse for today. How are you feeling? I will need you to undergo a few medical checks now, starting with a quick examination of your blood pressure." Brianna was a small woman with close-cropped hair and astoundingly blue eyes. Despite her petite frame, she firmly put the blood pressure meter on Florence, her practiced hands resting on her arm.
"I am not married", Florence replied.
"Sorry?" The nurse looked up, frowning.
"I don't know what has happened during the last few hours, but I am positive that I am still single."
"I don't understand..."
"You called me Mrs. Collins, but I am just Ms. Collins... or Florence, if you prefer that."
Brianna blinked twice before she broke out laughing.
"Ms. Collins, I mean Florence, You are clearly well enough to hear the good news", she said while wiping off a tear of joy.
Florence tried to straighten herself up again, but couldn't manage it herself. She felt embarrassed when Brianna helped her to sit up right, not being used to this kind of treatment.
"Do the good news explain why I am not able to feel my own child? Did you drug me to eliminate the pain I felt before I...?" She wanted to cry: 'before I lost complete control over my body and risked both of our lives', however it suddenly felt too personal to say. And she couldn't admit her own failure in front of a stranger. She had to stay strong for her own and her baby's sake.
Florence expected Brianna to snap at her, tell her to leave the hospital immediately and never come back, which the nurse obviously didn't. Instead, she smiled warmly and sat down on the visitor's chair next to her.
"Do you trust me that everything I will now tell you is nothing but the truth and only the truth?" Brianna made it sounds like an offer, the option to refuse or to listen to her. Florence decided to go with the latter, giving her a small nod.
Brianna returned her gesture. She folded her hands in her lap, fixing her gaze on her patient.
And then, within the next thirty minutes, she proceeded to tell Florence about everything that had happened during the last few hours. Beginning with her sister's call for the ambulance until her emergency c-section, always making sure that Florence was calm enough to digest the flood of information. She didn't have to worry, as Florence was an eager listener and didn't even dare to interrupt her once during her report. Only at the end, when Brianna had already been quiet for a few minutes, did she raise the sole question on her mind: "Can I see him?"
Florence never knew she could love a human being so much. That she would do anything for him. Looking at the frail baby in her hands, she knew that she would even die for him Her son. It felt strange yet deliberating to call him like that. At least until she had decided a name for him. Not that any name in this world would even remotely fit her heavenly angel, as he was too precious to have an ordinary name. She knew that she would wait for her sister to come up with a suitable name. In the same moment she remembered their fierce fight and felt her enthusiasm dampened. What if Sydney wouldn't visit her because of their recent fall-out? What if she didn't care about Florence anymore? The sheer thought of it made her feel sick in the stomach, her hands cradling the baby to calm herself down. No, she couldn't afford to freak out now. Even though she had a healthy baby, the doctors and Brianna still kept checking up on her and made sure that both mother and child were safe and sound. Florence would have preferred a quieter environment. The more people introduced themselves, the more she grew tired. When a new nurse entered the room, she was already fast asleep.
"Are you sure she is here?" Florence looked at Brianna, several thoughts crossing her mind. She might just want to see if I am still alive. She might not even care as much. But what if she does?
"Yes, your sister is here to see you. Do you want me to ask Dr. Brandon to call her?"
Florence bit her lip. "Yes. Call her. Please."
Brianna turned around to the doctor approaching them, giving him the direct instruction to call Sydney. Florence couldn't hide her smile. The roles were clearly reversed here.
"Can I do anything else for you?" Brianna turned back to Florence, still waiting for her to ask for a favor. Just that Florence wasn't the type of person to ask for favors.
"I think I will wait for Sydney." Florence hesitated, before she added: "But thank you for everything. Really."
Both women locked eyes with each other, no explanations needed.
When Sydney entered the room and was smiling brightly, Florence relaxed slightly and waited for her sister to start the conversation, which she promptly did. She let her in on all the extra information, not taking a single break. And Florence, who had feared a second fight, was more than happy to listen to her excited little sister talking about the recent events from her own perspective. She didn't directly tell Sydney that she had already seen her son, who was now being taken care of by the staff team. She completely forgot to tell her about it the second her ex-boyfriend entered the room. And probably about everything else too. In this moment Kaleb was just a marginal figure next to Kai.
Kai, who shouldn't be here. Who shouldn't be part of this very moment. And now he just stood there. How could he. She had more than clearly told him to get the hell out of her life. Never come back again. And yet he had the guts to do so. Asshole.
Florence looked at her sister. "I. don't. want. to. talk. to. him. Ever again."