Saint Valentine's Gift
The dinner had been prepared and, as tradition dictated, would be served in the living room. This year's Valentine's day dinner however, was a bit unusual due to the circumstances. Two Bagels with Ceasar dressing, cucumbers, wheat crackers, and cheese on the side. Jake had prepared the meal himself, although he wasn't sure how he felt about eating it.
After lighting the candles, he filled the two champagne flutes with sparkling cider and presented dinner to his wife Kathryn, who in her 37th week of pregnancy was more than happy to be at home with her husband on this romantic evening.
Jake and Kathryn Bennett had never gone out on Valentine's day so this was not unusual. Neither liked to make reservations, fight the crowd, and go through all of the hoopla just because everyone else did. They enjoyed making dinner together, lighting some candles, and enjoying each other's company.
After dinner they would have their trademark strawberry shortcake dessert. Kathryn being pregnant just made the decision to follow tradition that much easier.
With today's roses as the centerpiece, the coffee table became their makeshift table for two at their favorite restaurant in town. Sitting on the floor, the two of them laughed at the situation.
"These reservations were tough to come by honey" Jake said as he leaned over and kissed Kathryn on the cheek.
"You're lucky I know people."
"I AM a lucky lady" Kathryn joked as she sipped her cider.
Wrigley, the 3 year old German Shepherd, took one look at tonight's entree and decided he wanted nothing to do with it. Curling up on his bed he let out a sigh as if he was disappointed there would be no steak.
Jake hopped up to turn on the ipod, he found some old jazz to complete the scene. With his back turned, he hears Kathryn gasp and whips around.
"I...think so." Kathryn shakes her head
Jake was leaping into action, gently helping Kathryn up and walking her towards the front door. He grabbed her coat and wrapped it around her. After calling Doctor Mills, who was already at the hospital, they grabbed the hospital bag and headed to the car.
"Jake, are you okay?"
"I think I should be asking you that, don't you think?
"I'm okay, but I know how you freak out."
"I just wasn't thinking it would be tonight."
"I know, I really wanted that bagel" Kathryn says in an attempt to keep Jake calm.
They arrive at the hospital in just under 10 minutes, it would have been sooner if Kathryn hadn't made Jake slow down. After checking in, they are shown their room. Kathryn's breathing is becoming heavier as the contractions had begun.
The next 5 hours are a blur, with Jake feeling helpless as his wife gave birth to a healthy 7lb 5 oz baby boy. Born at 11:26pm on Valentine's day, Jake was there to hold his wife's hand, give her support, talk to arriving family members, and do anything else needed. More than once he was told by his wife that he had done quite enough already, 9 months ago. Both are exhausted, but are eager to be with their new baby boy.
Matthew Laird Bennett is brought back to them shiny and clean. They both smile at each other after being called Mommy and Daddy by the nurse. Holding the baby, Kathryn looks over at Jake.
"We did it."
"You did it, my part was done a long time ago!"
They both stared at the child, beaming with pride.
"You know, I still want that bagel." Kathryn said to her son
"I have a feeling our romantic Valentine Day dinners are a thing of the past."
"Replaced by birthday parties." Kathryn agreed.
"Fredrick Douglas, Jack Benny, and Jim Kelly just to name a few."
"What are you doing?"
"Famous Valentine's Day birthdays" Jake says, looking at his phone.
They both laughed as they thought about this, Valentine's day birthday parties, they both thought it sounded like fun.
Other Short Stories by Weestro:
- The Healing Process
Dr. Prabu's encounter at the grocery store has a lasting effect on him.
- The Family Man
Family man Darren Boyd finds himself sitting in a parking lot waiting for a stranger.
- Unskilled Labor
For David, life is about avoiding attention, until one day when life grabbed his.
- An Ordinary Life
Two characters stuck in the prison of writer's block.
- The Defender
A short story about a chance encounter between two old high school teammates.