Third On A Match

They got to the hospital. Parked practically in front of the door. He got out. Ran to the other side of the car. She could walk. He helped her anyway. She was nervous. He was scared. They went through the automatic sliding doors. In a hurried but cautious walk. A nurse took notice and knew. A wheel chair appeared. They rolled her to the room. He followed a few steps behind. She breathed heavily. The nurse reassured her. Told her not to be scared. She replied in the language she knew so well. “Estoy feliz.” She was laid on a bed. He stood by her. A doctor was called. The nurse tended her. The doctor arrived. He took a look. “Not yet.” But she knew. The doctor turned to him. “This will take some time.” He was scared. Helpless. He turned to her. Held hands. “Regreso.” Kissed. He stepped out. Still scared. More helpless. 1:55 p.m.. The day was hot. It was June. Her breathing grew heavier. The doctor was wrong. Into labor. Every minute was packed with a month. Good thing it was only a few minutes. She gave birth. The nurse leaned over with the baby in a blanket. “Es niño.” He walked back inside not knowing. He went into the room. Surprised. No longer scared. Feliz. He smelled of tobacco. The birth lasted the length of a regular Marlboro Red cigarette. If time were smoke. They had a child at 2:05 p.m.. She was never scared. This was not her first. Her other two sons were at school. This was the third.

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