Womb for Rent (Amanda Brian) – Chapter Nine

I would love to give birth like Talli: Two hours after her water broke, the baby’s there. Derek’s with her all the time and is actually supportive, all the while having emotional epiphanies.

A loud wail filled the room as Talli heard her baby’s first cry.  
Derek stared at the squalling infant the doctor held in his hands.  “Well Daddy, it’s time for you to cut the umbilical cord.” 
Derek moved forward to take the scissors from the nurse.  He snipped the cord with shaky hands.
[If I was the nurse, I wouldn’t let him cut nothing as long as his hands are shaking.] The nurse reached out and took the scissors from Derek’s limp hold, then directed him back to the chair next to Talli’s bedside.
The doctor looked up in concern, “Derek, are you all right?  You look a bit pale.”
[Because between a mother who has just given birth and a newborn, the doctor will focus on the father.]
“That was the most amazing moment of my life,” Derek admitted, tears streaming freely down his face.  “I actually watched my son being born.” [Well, duh.]
Talli watched the play of emotions cross Derek’s face [can a play cross something? Why not say “watched the emotions play on his face”? Ok, wait, that sounds stupid, too.], her body shivering [do I have to say something?] despite the warm blankets the nurse piled atop her.  
The nurse patted her hand.  “A lot of new fathers react this way.  They never expect it to affect them, but it always does.  You rest now.  I’ll be right back with your baby.”
“Thank you,” Talli whispered, her limbs felt as though she had climbed mountains.
Derek stood, his hands tight on the edge of the bed for support, until he could trust himself to stand unaided.  He leaned over and brushed a gentle kiss on Talli’s lips.  “Thank you so much.  You can’t imagine what this means to me.”
Talli closed her eyes and drifted into a deep sleep, the feel of his lips her last conscious thought.
[Can a feel be a conscious thought? I don’t think so. The thought would have to be “Oh, I’m feeling his lips!”. And who the hell thinks like that?]
Derek sat in the rocking chair and reached out nervously as the nurse gently placed his newborn son in his arms.  After a long minute, the baby’s dark eyes opened to peer directly into Derek’s. [Don’t all children have blue eyes at birth?]

The next morning, Talli opened her eyes and blinked in the brightly lit room.  Roses of every color and size adorned every available nook and cranny. [I hope, she’s not allergic.] She pushed herself upward in the bed and winced at the discomfort she felt.  
“Hey good looking.  I was wondering if you were going to sleep all day.” 
[She just had a child. She can sleep as much as she wants.] Derek sauntered into her hospital room, his tuxedo shirt rumpled, arms laden with presents.  His rugged good looks only enhanced by the lines of fatigue that etched his ebony eyes. [I don’t know one single person who actually looks better when tired. That just doesn’t work.]

Although there is so much to talk about (like the baseball bat and the football Derek just bought for his son), Talli tells Derek about her great conversation with the gossip woman she had the night before about his qualities as a lover on the back seat of a limousine. And guess what, that conversation became headline. Twice. In two different news papers. Isn’t there anything else happening in Detroit?

Well, Derek doesn’t mind and anyway, they are interrupted by Maimie, Joseph and Anthony. Anthony tells them that they raised 500.000 $ for the Children’s Castle (100.000 by an anonymous gentlemen because of Talli’s put down).

The nurse brings the baby (who by the way not only has his daddy’s ebony eyes but also his mother’s auburn hair) and everybody turns their attention to the little boy. Maimie tells Talli to comes home soon and Derek announces that he will name the boy Tyler Paxton Cameron. Talli is touched that Derek includes her name and her hopes rise again that maybe Derek actually likes her.

Everybody leaves and Talli tries to make Derek tell her how he feels about her. Unfortunately, his telepathic abilities are not that good.

Unspoken thoughts rushed through her head.  Tell me, Derek.  Tell me how you feel about me.  Do I mean anything more to you than just Tyler’s mother?  Say you love me and you want me to stay on at Cameron Manor.  Please, say you want me to be your wife.
“Talli, I…”
A knock on the door drew their attention from one another.
“Hello, anybody home?”  K.C. Masters stood on the threshold, her arms laden with flowers and gifts.  With a smile, she entered the room, unaware of the tension surrounding the pair.

So Derek leaves and Talli and K.C. are alone. K.C. comments on how Talli is in love, which she tries to deny, to no avail.

A week later, they are at home again. Everything seems to be fine, but appearances are deceiving. Maimie notices, Derek does not and Talli makes a mysterious phone call. “I need to talk to you. Do you think you could come to the house?” She closed her eyes and sighed. “Thanks, I really appreciate it.” She let the receiver drop back into the cradle and allowed the tears to fall freely.

Turns out she talked to Anthony. She tells him that she has fulfilled the contract and she can’t stand anymore to stay at the house with Derek and Tyler, without being able to actually be Tyler’s mom.

“What about Maimie and Joseph?” Talli questioned.  “I really should tell them.”
“I’ll take care of telling them.  Are you sure you don’t want to stay?” Anthony paused.  He hoped what he was about to do wouldn’t be the downfall of his friendship with Derek. Something like this definitely pushed things to the  limit.
[Because giving Derek bad news automatically ends your friendship with him. The reason is that Derek can’t distinguish between message and sender. He’s funny that way.]
Talli shook her head no, the auburn curls cascading gently over her shoulders. [This sentence is so bad. So, so bad. Can you shake your head yes? In the American culture? I know that there are some people (as in civilizations) in the world who do it the other way round, but in the US you really don’t have to explain it, do you? And the gently cascading auburn curls? Cascading is not gentle. It just isn’t.]“Someday, the charming knight on his white steed will come for me and sweep me off my feet [that’s so naive that it’s cute], but not now I’m afraid.  Take care of yourself, Anthony.  I’ll miss you, you’ve been a wonderful friend to me.”

Derek is outraged when he hears that Talli left without saying good bye. Anthony hands him a letter where she explains everything.
Maimie reacts pretty cooly, saying that once Derek misses her enough, he will know that he loves her and he will want her back.

A week later on Christmas Eve (which means that Tyler was born at least 6 weeks early, by the way), Talli visits the Children’s Castle. Sarah tells her that Derek had been there with Tyler and that Derek became really sad when she asked where Talli was. Again Talli’s hopes rise.

In the meantime Derek drives by the house he grew up in. Another family lives there now and Derek sees that as a sign that it’s time for him to make a new start. He and Tyler.

On New Year’s Eve, Maimie starts lecturing Derek about how he made a mess of his life by letting Talli go.

“Derek, I think it’s high time you sat down and thought long and hard about why you did want a baby. And while you’re at it, think about Talli as well.” Maimie’s voice was harsh as she opened the nursery door and strode away.

Derek is impressed and thinks about the time when Talli was there.

Derek stepped into the [Talli’s] room and reached for the book. The page fell open to a section on cravings. He smiled as he recalled their on-going battle about the vast variety of food Talli found herself craving during her pregnancy. He thought back to a night months before when at midnight, Talli stood by his bedside and informed him she needed a coke float with chocolate ice cream or she would just die. He obligingly got up and went out, stopping at four ice cream parlors that were already closed for the night before he convinced one owner to make the float for him. It had cost twenty-five dollars, but was well worth the money spent for the look of utter adoration Talli had bestowed upon him at his arrival home. [Is he crazy? Is she crazy? Even if she’s pregnant, she has to live with the fact that she can’t have everything whenever she wants it. If I was Derek, I would have told her to go fuck herself and let me sleep. And it would not be a very fond memory.]

Derek goes for a walk with the dogs, thinking about Talli all the time.

If he were to find Talli, would she be willing to come back? To forget the past and continue on as they once had? To forge a new beginning?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: