Chap. 3

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Sarah Campbell

I didn't expect to spend my first Friday night as a student here at Vanderbilt at the hospital.

But when my older brother Ryan called to inform me that his wife, Meredith, was finally having her baby, I'd rushed down here without a second thought.

Their daughter Lizzie already had my heart. And I can't imagine what Jace will do to it as well.

My older brother Caden was sitting next to me in the waiting room, his hands laced behind his head as he stretched out in the plastic chair.

"Where's Joel?" I questioned, rising up to my feet to pace the floor.

We'd been here waiting for two hours now, and no word on the status of the baby.

My parents were still en route to the hospital, leaving just Caden and I to kill time together.

Caden was an aspiring author, and was currently rewriting his book to format it to proper manuscript format as he worked on querying for an agent.

It sounded like a foreign language to me, but for Caden he was more than excited. And he'd been telling me all about the changes he'd made to his current book, which sounded like a jumbled mess to me.

"I've tried calling him a few times now," Caden said, checking his phone. "No answer."

It's a Friday night. He's probably out, not paying the least bit of attention to his ringing phone.

Joel was three years my senior, but he was the least responsible out of the seven of us. He was the most laidback one of the lot, at least he had been. Ever since the discovery of his Bulimia and the diagnosis of his Anxiety I'd noticed subtle changes in his behavior, but he was the same Joel overall. Definitely still irresponsible for sure.

"What if the baby comes out a girl?" Caden asked me. "What do you think they'll change the name to?"

"What can you do with the name Jace?" I asked.

Caden furrowed his eyebrows together in concentrated thought. "Lacey?"

I nodded in agreement. "Josie?"

"Jackie."

"Jamie."

"Maisie."

"Why are you guys listing girl names?" Joel asked, plopping down next to Caden.

He was wearing a pair of basketball shorts and a Nike dryfit shirt along with a pair of Nikes, his hair sticking up as though he'd run his fingers through it.

"Did you just come from the gym?" Caden asked him.

"Yeah?" He leaned forward, resting his forearms on his kneecaps. "I had my phone on silent while I was working out, and then I checked to see that I had a thousand missed calls and texts, so I came straight here."

"Have you had dinner?" Caden questioned.

"Well not yet but-"

"The baby's not here yet," Caden declined. "Go down to the cafeteria and grab a bite."

Caden had always been the most protective over Joel, and after his stint in rehab he'd always been the one to look out for him. At first we were worried it'd annoy Joel, but he'd taken to it quite well, using Caden's assistance to help him plan and balance his meals. And now it was just like a second nature to the rest of us.

"Well how long has Mer been having contractions?" Joel asked, his eyes flickering between Caden and me. "I'm not missing this birth."

"I got here about two hours ago," I filled in. "Cade? You got here about three hours ago right?"

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