Epilogue (Chase's POV)
"Hold on, love, we're almost there." I gripped Carli's hand tightly, my focus divided between her and the road ahead.
It was a few minutes before midnight, and I was awakened by the sound of her screeching in pain. Her pregnancy was due this month but I seriously didn't expect it to be now. Not bothering to change my clothes, I frantically carried her to my car, beads of sweat trickling down my forehead as I did so. My emotions were a mix of excitement and anxiety as I glanced at her distorted expression. I was going to be a Dad, and I was too nervous my hands couldn't stop from shaking.
Finally, we reached the hospital, and I wasted no time dilly-dallying as I carried her out of the car and into the building. My arms shook and my knees wobbled but I didn't stop until she was safely placed on a stretcher.
"Is she going to be fine?" I asked one of the nurses when Carli was brought inside the ER.
"Don't worry, Sir. She'll be okay," she said and walked inside to assist with the operation. I was left there, plopped down on a plastic seat, feeling nervous. I wanted to be inside, to be with her, to make sure she's okay, but unlike any other hospital, St. Paul's didn't allow that, so I had no choice but to wait.
Moments later, one by one, our friends started arriving, lessening the unease in my gut.
"Where is she? Is she alright?" It was Gwen, who too gave birth a few months ago, with Ken, Zach, and Sarah along with her.
"I don't know," I said, accepting the hugs they gave me. "But I hope she's alright."
"She'll be fine, man," Zach said, clapping my shoulder. "She's strong."
I sent him a thankful smile.
"I'm really excited to know the baby's gender though," Sarah chimed in, easing the tension. I smiled at that.
See, Carli and I decided not to spoil ourselves for the sake of surprise. We both liked guessing, and apparently, we'll be knowing the answer in a few moments. To say I was excited was a huge understatement.
"I hope it's a boy," Ken said. "So that our Luke could have a playmate."
"I think it's a girl," Gwen told him. "And besides, even if it's not a boy, she could still play with Luke and Lucy. The twins will love her."
"Or him," Ken added.
I laughed. "C'mon guys. Whether it's a boy or a girl, it's perfectly fine. I mean, we could still try again afterwards."
"Cheeky," Gwen grinned. "But seriously though, I can't wait to see Carli and your precious little baby."
I sighed. "Me too."
The six of us went to get some coffee while waiting for the operation to finish.
"So, how's business?" I asked them as we sat on the plastic chairs once again.
Zach shrugged. "It's going, fine. We've expanded, actually."
"That's great," I said.
Zach took business management at NYU - like I did - and took over his family's restaurant business after he graduated. Sarah, however, pursued her passion for psychology and was now a licensed practitioner. Their fields were poles apart but they managed to make things work and were actually planning of getting married this year. Suffice to say, everything that's happened before was worth it.
"How about you guys?" I asked Ken and Gwen. I've been busy with work myself that I had no time to check on my friends.
"Fantastic," Gwen answered cheerily. "But I'm taking a break now, you know, with the pregnancy and stuff."
Unlike Zach and Sarah, the two of them had matched professions. Ken, being the movie junkie that he was, studied film in college and was now working with Hollywood as an amateur director. He was very passionate about his job so it was no surprise if he gets really famous one day. Gwen, however, wrote for entertainment magazines. She and Ken moved in the same environment, and both were really good in their own fields.
"How about you?" Ken asked."I heard your company's really doing well."
I shrugged. "Yeah, fortunately. A lot of investments are actually coming in."
After I graduated, my parents immediately trained me for managerial position in preparation of my future role in the company. Now that they've already decided to retire, Dad has promoted me to CEO. It was challenging since we had a wide network and several branches all over America and in some parts of the world but Carli has been keeping me on my toes. She studied finance and was now helping me manage some of our bank subsidiaries. She also co-owned a restaurant with Zach and they've been doing well so far.
I was glad that everything fell into place and all of our lives managed to turn out really well. Our friendship was just getting stronger.
Our conversation was cut short when the doctor came out of the operating room. "Mr. Hayden?" She called.
"That would be me," I said, standing up from my seat. "How was it, doc?"
She only looked at me for a few seconds before a smile escaped her lips. I let out a sigh of relief. "Your wife is fine. And so is your baby girl."
"Oh my God," I breathed. "Thank you."
"You're welcome," she said. "But..."
At that, my smile vanished. "But what? Is there anything wrong doctor?"
She only raised her eyebrows at me. "Sir, are you wearing Mickey Mouse pajamas?"