Henry continued to tap his foot, twisting his hands together in his lap. He felt like he'd been waiting an eternity. Each minute seemed to stretch out, taking longer than the one before it.
Initially, Henry had accompanied his wife to the examination room, but all of his questions and hovering over Sarah only hindered the doctor and his nursing staff. So, Dr. Bradley insisted that Henry move to a waiting room, a dark and gloomy one no less, promising to come and speak to him as soon as he could.
But that had been over two hours ago.
All this sitting! All this waiting! Henry wondered if he ought to barge back in there and find out what was going on with Sarah and the baby. He felt like he had a right to know. Why hadn't Dr. Bradley come to speak with him yet?
Finally, after another long stretch, the door opened, and Dr. Bradley entered the room.
Henry's insides convulsed. He sprang from his seat and darted across the room. "Doctor, everything's okay, right? How's Sarah and the baby?"
The doctor raised a palm in a slow gesture. "Henry, let's sit down. Why don't you come over here?"
Henry's heart pounded in his ears. "I don't need to sit down. Just tell me. Tell me what's going on."
Henry allowed the doctor to take him by the elbow and guide him back over to his seat. He sat down, and the doctor dropped into a chair beside him. Dr. Bradly sighed and allowed a pause to fill the space between them. "Henry, I don't have good news to share with you."
Henry swallowed the knot in his throat. His eyes were hot as feelings of dread swirled in his head.
"Okay, just tell me please," Henry whispered.
"Henry," the doctor said, his composure faltering, "Sarah lost the baby."
Henry's face screwed up as he shut his eyes. "No," he whispered, holding back the tears.
"I'm afraid so," the doctor said, blinking. Then his mouth opened like he wanted to say something else, but the words never came out. He let out a sigh, and it seemed sad and lost.
"What is it?" Henry asked.
"I'm sorry, but I have to be the bearer of some more bad news."
"What could be worse than losing a child?" Henry asked, his tone dejected.
"Sarah has lost a lot of blood. She's hemorrhaging internally. We don't have any way to stop the bleeding."
"Oh God," Henry breathed. "Oh, God."
"I'm afraid she doesn't have long to live."
Henry stared at Dr. Bradley through wide eyes, unable to process the words he'd just heard.
"I'm sorry," the doctor said. "Sarah doesn't have much time. You need to say your goodbyes to her now."
Henry started to tremble. It felt like his brain was shutting down, every logical thought spiraling away ... out of his reach. None of this made any sense. None of it!
After a beat of uncomfortable silence, Henry crumpled over onto himself and began to howl.
Never in his entire life had he ever wept so hard.
"Everybody gets down; the key is how soon you get back up."
- Mark Cuban, co-host on ABC's Shark Tank and owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks
Printed with permission from Mark via email
From my upcoming book "COREAGEOUS".
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Color (Completed)Historical Fiction
WATTYS SHORTLISTED! During World War I, a black baseball player gets a second chance to play ball on an all-white steel mill baseball team, an action that shocks and divides an entire town. Targeted by opponents, his own team, and mysterious vigilan...