Monday, April 02, 2012
State of Shock
Rob and Celia are preparing for the move to their new house.
Only one more week of working two jobs, Rob thought while sugaring his coffee in the break room. He had taken the second job as a Starbucks barista for financial reasons right before Celia finally found a teaching job last September. As a result, the money he had been earning since, instead of paying their bills, had been put into savings. That pleased him, because they had discovered that Celia was pregnant – unexpectedly – right after she had started her new job. So while on one hand Rob was exhausted from working both jobs, on the other he slept better for the few hours he was in bed for the knowledge that he was building financial security.
He was sorry to see the job go. But Celia needed more support than expected as they approached their move and the birth of their baby within a month of each other. She was tired and fragile, and it meant a lot to Rob that she relied on him. He wanted to come through for her. The job had been good discipline, which could not hurt. Everyone he knew warned him that babies were so much work.
He returned to his cubicle and sat down. “Your cell phone rang,” his cubicle-mate Lucy told him. Just as he picked it up to check, his desk phone beeped.
“Rob Benton,” he answered, noticing that Celia had called on his cell.
“Thank goodness,” Celia said. “Mom’s driving me to the hospital. It’s way too early, but I think I might be in labor.”
Rob stood right back up. She can’t have the baby, he thought ridiculously, because we haven’t moved yet.
“Rob? Are you there?” Celia said. Rob realized he hadn’t said anything yet and was about to speak up when he heard Celia gasp in pain. His adrenalin surged but it only seemed to immobilize him further; he listened to a scuffle on the other end of the line.
“Robbie?” he heard his mother-in-law say. “You need to meet us at the hospital.”
Rob still hadn’t spoken. He turned and looked at Lucy, who was watching him, partly curious and partly aghast, presumably at his immobility.
Lucy stood up and grabbed the phone away from him. “What hospital?” she said. “OK. I’ll make sure Rob gets there as soon as possible.” She hung up and looked at Rob. “Rob. Are you there?”
He was, but he was busy panicking that if they had the baby now they wouldn’t get to move to the new house at all. He knew it didn’t make sense but he couldn’t get out of that groove. He looked at Lucy but wasn’t sure what he saw.
What happens next?