Renee sat down in the faded orange chair of the hospital waiting room. She fiddled with one of the strands of her long auburn hair and made numerous silent prayers to up above. She looked 2 seats down and saw Zac looking at his nails. He continued fidgeting until he broke down to chewing on his nails.
"You never will break that habit, will you?" Renee asked smiling at him. "Just calm down. I am sure she is fine. If I know Nicole, and I do, she is giving the doctors hell for keeping her in there longer than she wants to be!! Lord knows she has probably complained about their food already and I can't bear to think of the poor nurses having to put up with her music!" She continued, trying to lighten the mood.
Zac smiled at her and nodded. It didn't ease his worry any and soon he had knawed of the ends of all his fingernails.
"Here Nerves, take some gum. Nicole will kill me when she realizes that I let you do this to your fingers!!" Renee said chunking a piece of gum towards him. He caught it and soon was blowing and popping bubbles rapidly and in quick secession.
"Ugh!! I know you are nervous, we all are, but you are going to end up pissing off some of the other people in here if you don't chill. Come on. Let's look at the nursery. The babies should calm you down. Maybe we will see your's come in!" Renee suggested, all but picking him up and carrying him to the maternity level.
Zac nodded and stood up. He glanced over at Taylor and then walked over and told him where they were going in case a nurse should come looking for them.
"Whatever man." Taylor said, also nervous and upset at the break up with his long time girlfriend Bridget.
Zac glanced at Renee and then back at Taylor before shaking his head and following Renee out the doors of the white room.
"So..... Renee.." Zac searched for a conversation starter.
" Look pretty-boy, I know you are nervous but for Nicole's sake, calm down. And please don't try and start a meaning less conversation with me. That pisses me off and you know it. But if we must talk, we should talk about the baby." Renee stated, not even turning to look at him from her steady gaze at the signs on the walls, indicating the direction of the nursery.
"UH..okay. What about it?" Zac asked.
"IT???? Ha! I was right! You have no idea what the sex of it is do you? Nicole said that you two knew but I knew she was lying!! She just didn't want me to try and name it! She will get it for this!" Renee proclaimed, gloating in her achievment of worming it out of Zac with out even knowing it.
" Look, I am not here to get my ass kicked by my wife so do me a favor and drop it. She has 98 Doc Martens in a variety of colors and textures and I am not to eager to memorize them by how they feel when they make contact with a body part!" Zac said before spotting the direction sign.
"Hey there it is!" he pointed at the grey sign hanging from a rod attached to the top of the wall.
"Good job, drop-the-slacks-Zac! Now, lets find the room of angels!" Renee spoke, before walking towards the double doors to the observing room of the nursery.
Zac followed her, eager to get her back for calling him that forbidden nick name.
He didn't get a chance to, however because as soon as he walked in the room, Taylor came bursting in after him, breathing hard.
"Zac, a doctor needs to see you in the lobby." He said before practically gasping for air.
Renee looked startled. "Why would the send a doctor instead of a nurse?" she asked, perplexed at this.
"Maybe the nurses are all busy. This is a small hospital. What do you think Zac? Zac? Where did he go?" Taylor questioned air a Renee bolted out the door right behind Zac.
Zac sped down the hallway, scared to death of going through the doors but even more afraid of not.
He saw the doctor standing in the room with a clipboard in his hands. He hated the way that doctors showed no expression to incline if it was good or bad. It was as if they didn't care at all.
"Um...sir? I think you are looking for me." Zac voiced after forcing himself through the doors.
"Hmm... oh. Are you Zachary Hanson?" the doctor questioned, scrutinizing him through thin framed glasses.
"Yes, thats me. Is she okay? What is the baby? Can I see them?" Zac breathed in a rush.
Renee stood behind him, waiting for the answers.
"Well sir, I am happy to say that you have a beautiful son." The doctor stated, waiting as Zac got hugged by all his friends in the room: Isaac, Taylor, Renee, Liz, Anna, Nicole's parents, his parents, and the siblings of the two. It was a crowded room.
The doctor cleared his throat and then waited for everyone to quiet down. He had to wait 3 miniutes for this to be acheived, but he did so patiently.
"I am however sorry to say that the young lady did not make it through the birth." He continued to give the details as the whole group was suddenly grief stricken and all the girls began to sob and lean on each other for support. Isaac and Taylor held Zac up, because if they would have let go, he surely would have hit the ground. Zac's own two knees were not supporting him. He felt like a hollow had been knocked out of him.
Renee looked for a shoulder of one of her female friends to cry on, and finding none, she turned to Taylor. He didn't say a word as she cried. Just hugged her. As he watched Zac suffer an incredible loss, he began to wish he had someone to love who would return his love. He had thought what he had with Bridget was real, but when he proposed, she dumped him and said she wasn't ready. He was now holdin his Best friend of 2 years in his arms and all he could do was hug here. He mentally kicked himself and brought her over to a chair to sit on his lap.
"Look, I know this time isn't convenient but if I don't say it now, I know that I never will. I love you Renee." he said as she shook with sobs racking through her body.
She raised her face to his and kissed him for a long time.
"You have no idea how long I have wanted to do that. Nicole used to always try and reassure me. She was always so brave. I wished I could be her and I would get jealous." Renee began to cry even harder as she admitted her jealousy and remembered conversations with Nicole.
Her attention was drawn back to the doctor talking to Zac.
"Sir, you will want to see the baby and name it. Follow me." the doctor said, momentarily showing emotion of sadness.
Zac was finally able to walk for himself and he followed the doctor in to a hospital room. There his now dead wife was on the tabel, covered with a sheet. The nurse held a precious bundle in her arms, crying as though he understood that he had just lost his mother. Zac walked over and gently took the baby into his arms. The crying immediatly stopped as Zac began to sing a song to him that his mother had listened to and always seemed to hum. The sweet low strains of "If tomorrow never comes" by Garth Brooks reached the baby's ears and seemed to calm him.
Zac, still carrying the baby, walked over to the table and pulled back the sheet far enough to expose the face of the woman who had given her all to bring the baby in the world. He kissed her forehead and placed the sheet back over her.
"What shall we put on the birth certificate sir?" the doctor questioned pen in hand.
He looked at the baby and remembered the discussion\arguement that he and his wife had had just two weeks ago over the childs name. She had protested for James Walker, but Zac had stubbornly insisted on Micheal Anthony.
"James." he said still looking at the baby. "James Walker."
He signed a few papers and walked out of the hospital with the baby as he silently cried tears over his loss and gain.
Several of my stories are up for an award at the 'more than words' fanfic awards. "If Tomorrow Never Comes" is up for two! Best Zac Story and Best Tear-Jerker.
Please go and vote!: