Chapter Twenty Four

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When Lindsey arrived back at the house, he was thankful to realise that Karen had already been around to clean the place up a little after he had left in such a hurry earlier that day.

Now at almost nine o’clock in the evening, he decided to take a quick shower and then pack some of Lily’s things into her diaper bag, ready to bring into the hospital the next morning. He also packed a change of clothes for Stevie and a couple of her journals, knowing full-well that she was probably going stir-crazy without them.

As he made his way back to their bedroom, Lindsey stepped into the room that Stevie had hoped would be the nursery one day. There were boxes of dismantled furniture scattered around the room that she had not had the time to make-up herself yet. Lindsey looked around at the space, trying his utmost to envision what it is that Stevie would have wanted.

And then he knew.

The next morning, Stevie woke up to the familiar sound of Lily’s whimpering for her bottle. She stretched and tried to rub out the crick she had in her neck, after having slept the entire night with her head leant against the side of the arm chair.

“Morning, Lily-bee!” she sang, picking the baby up and ringing for a nurse who appeared a few minutes later with a bottle.

Just as the nurse was leaving, Lindsey arrived with two bags slung over his shoulders.

“Hey you!” Stevie crooned with a beaming smile on her face.

“How’re my girls doing this morning?” he said, leaning down to kiss Lily on the head as she went through her bottle, and then lingering a little longer on Stevie’s lips.

“Mmm, so much better now that you’re here!” she smiled up at him. “You look tired, Linds. Did you get much sleep last night?”

“Not much, I couldn’t sleep…” he admitted, before promptly changing the topic. “Any news from the doctor?”

“He came in a little earlier and said that if Lily continued responding to the treatment as well as she has been, then we might be able to take her home tonight!”

“Oh thank goodness!” he exhaled in relief. “I can’t wait to get her home.”

Almost as if he knew they were talking about him, the doctor strode into the room with a bright smile. Lindsey appreciated his sunny disposition, but was equally as astounded at how that man managed to keep a smile on his face for hours on end.

“Mr Buckingham! Good morning to you, sir!”

“Morning, Dr Perlman,” he smiled politely.

“Right so,” he began, clapping his hands together. “We ran the tests and it looks like poor Lily here has not had any of her shots yet.”

“None of them?!” Stevie gawped in shock.

“I’m afraid so. They’re usually administered soon after birth, but for whatever reason, Lily wasn’t given them. It could be one of the reasons she contracted the virus, but we can’t say for sure. Not to fear though, I have already organised for her to have them – all I need now is your consent!”

“Yes, yes of course,” Stevie agreed, passing Lily into Lindsey’s arms and scanning over the paperwork, before jotting her signature on the dotted line.

“Great!” the doctor exclaimed, taking the clipboard from Stevie. “And yours, Mr Buckingham?”

Lindsey looked over at Stevie uncertainly, but the nod of her head and the smile in her eyes spoke louder than words.

“Absolutely,” he breathed, taking the pen and scribbling his signature next to Stevie’s.

“Brilliant. A nurse will be along shortly to administer them. Now, you be a brave girl for Mommy and Daddy, Lily! Okay?”

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