John, the hero, is helping his new bride, Mary, the heroine, deliver her baby. John has attended all the Lamaze classes and is so in love with Mary that he married her even though she was pregnant with another man’s baby. (The father is a no account handsome devil.)
“Just concentrate on your breathing, darling.”
“Let’s switch places. I like that idea even better.”
“This training was very good in theory but I feel very dizzy.” John begins to think about his new daughter. Her first day at school. Trying out for cheerleader. College graduation. Giving her away!
The midwife gently taps John on the shoulder. “Congratulations, you have a healthy bounding boy.”
“No that can’t be true! The ultrasound showed she was a girl. No doubt about it.”
“Sometimes a doctor will read the ultrasound pictures incorrectly. The important thing is that you have a fine healthy boy. He has an apgar score of 10.”
“You don’t understand! It’s never a boy when you marry a woman who is pregnant with another man’s baby. Never, never, never. One hundred percent of the time it is a girl.”
“Sir, I think you’re hallucinating. Please sit down.”
“This will not stand! A little girl will look like her mother – a woman I dearly love. But a little boy will look like his worthless father. I will be reminded of that jerk every day of my life. Besides, the other man’s son will always be smarter, more handsome and win more scholarships than my own children.”
“Sir, that’s all speculation.”
“What are you? A midwife or a lawyer? I tell you this will not stand. I’m making a call right now.” John pulls out his cell phone.
“Who are you calling, Sir?”
“I’m calling the editor. This outcome was not the original deal.”
“You can’t call the editor! That’s alienation. That reminds the reader she is reading a romance. It’s not allowed.”
“Alienation? You want alienation – that’s me. I'm alienated and I tell you that it never happens that the child is a boy. Never! So why is it happening to me?”
“John, John wake up,” Mary said.
“What’s going on?”
“You passed out during the delivery. I thought you were made of sterner stuff.”
“What do you mean ‘sterner stuff’? Why do you think men don’t have babies?”
“Take a look at, Patricia, our beautiful new daughter.”
“Of course, daughter. We’ve known she was a girl since the ultrasound pictures.”
“Mary, I love you so much. I’ll be the best father for our child that I can possibly be.”
John looks up at the ceiling and offers a prayer of relief, “Thank you Melissa, thank you.”
“Melissa? Who’s Melissa?” Mary says looking at John with very narrowed eyes.
“Melissa…Melissa…Oh, yes, she’s the ancient Greek Goddess of happy births and happy endings.”
“Are you sure?” Mary’s eyes are just slits.
“Absolutely. I’ve never been more sure of anything in my life.”
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