September 30, 1995
The I-beam swings haphazardly in the clouds. Teetering and tottering in the crystal blue sky, it’s the perfect juxtaposition of artificial and natural – steel illuminated by the sun. Over a ton of metal effortlessly cascades through the air on the whim of a crane. It almost looks like a graceful ballet dancer as it swirls and twists, dips and dives. It’s mesmerizing, actually.
And then disaster strikes.
A deafening crack of a snapped chain sounds through the once peaceful air. The lively chatter of construction workers and architects instantly morphs into chaotic screams. Everyone runs, seeking cover from the impending doom.
As the massive beam plummets to the ground, people scramble, frantically grabbing others along the way to pull them to safety. It all happens so quickly. In the blink of an eye, it seems as if everyone will escape unscathed.
Until they don’t.
The beam changes direction, up-ending itself. Head architect, James Crane, exits the shell of the building. Hard hat on and earplugs in, he’s always one to follow procedure to make sure that his work site is safe. His eyes are pulled away from the clipboard of today’s itinerary as the shadow of a passing figure flashes before him.
His eyes are drawn skyward. The sun blinds him; his sunglasses are tucked into his front pocket rather than perched across his nose. He doesn’t have a second to process anything.
Crushed beneath the massive weight of the steel beam, the last thought that passes through the mind of James Crane, is of his wife, Lucy and his unborn daughter.
Lucy Crane is consumed with decorating the freshly painted nursery. If ever there was a woman more excited to meet her first child, well, Lucy’s jubilance would put them to shame. Purple frills and pink lace don every surface of the room. It’s a princess’ heaven and a mom-to-be’s dream come true.
Lucy is sitting on the floor sorting through baby clothes that she received this past weekend at her baby shower. Holding a glittery onesie with an attached pink tutu up against her eight-and-a-half month pregnant belly, she whispers quietly to her unborn daughter, “Maybe one day you’ll be a ballerina … Melody.” She tucks a piece of hair behind her ear and taps a finger against her lip as she contemplates one of her husband’s, James’ top name choices. “Hmm, no that just doesn’t sound right.” Still going through baby names, Lucy and James haven’t been able to find one upon which they both agree.
Last night as they lay in bed, they settled on a short list of names that they each liked. Lucy was leaning towards more trendy names – Jessica, Ashley, Emily. James, on the other hand, wanted his daughter to have a less popular name; she was one of a kind, after all. Well, how could Lucy argue with that? From the moment she told her husband of less than a year that she was pregnant, he absolutely radiated with love and joy. So conceding on his name preference was a small way that she could repay him for how he’s taken care of her through the entire pregnancy.
They’d been high school sweethearts and in the seven years that they’d been together, they’d shared a lifetime’s worth of love. When James would place his lips up against Lucy’s swollen belly, obviously a recently added gesture of love, and talk to their child, she could swear that her heart would burst at the overly full feeling of love.
On a mission to finish her sorting and put away all of the baby clothes, Lucy snaps out of her happy musings of her husband and their baby. But when she comes across and purple sequined outfit, she can’t help put place it across her belly and talk to her daughter once more. “This is going to look absolutely perfect on you…Melanie.”