I wake up with a start, the house phone is ringing loudly on the nightstand beside me. “You get it…” Max mutters in a groggy voice, covering her face with her pillow. “Fine, but you’re getting it next time,” I say as I reluctantly answer. “What is it? It’s 2 in the fucking morning”. The caller is talking a mile a minute, so I can barely hear what they’re saying. “Slow down, slow down. Tell me what’s happening”. Max sits up, now curious as to who I’m talking to. “Wait…. seriously, Right now?” I say, getting excited. “We’re on our way”. “Chloe, What’s wrong?” Max asks once I hang up and jump from the bed. “It’s time”
As we drive to the hospital in only out pajamas. We have been waiting for this moment for 9 long months. It all started a couple of years after we got married, and Max and I were at the point in our relationship where we wanted to start a family. Unfortunately, none of us could have kids…. so the next best thing was to adopt. We joined that program where couples who couldn’t care for their unborn babies and put them up for adoption instead of… you know… the other option. Anyways we had to be approved first, which took a lot longer than expected, and after about 2 years we were. God, I remember that day. Max had been so excited. But…. at the last minute, the mother backed out. *sigh* I didn’t think we’d ever get over that. For months, we couldn’t say “Kid” or “Child” or “Baby“, without wanting to break down in tears. Again we waited for another year. Then one day we got a call, A young couple had registered their baby and we were the next in line.
I start pacing anxiously in front of the door to the delivery room, “Come on, come on. How much longer is this going to take?” I say, growing impatient. “Relax, Chloe. Things like this take time,” Max says, quietly reading her book. I don’t get how she does it, But I guess after everything we’ve been through, she’s learned to stay calm in stressful situations. I finally give up on worrying and sit next to her. “So…. what do you think it’s going to be?” I ask even though I know the answer. “A boy” Max replies plainly. “Aww, come on. You don’t want a little girl so we can do her hair and play with makeup and….”. “And you’re a giant nerd,” Max says, looking up from her book, resting her head on my shoulder. “I can’t believe this is actually happening. Chloe, we’re going to be parents”. I smile at the word ‘Parents’. We’re going to have a kid to call our own. “I know,” I reply. “I can’t wait”.
We’ve been waiting for about 18 hours when a doctor come up to us and says that the delivery was a success and we are now the proud parents of a healthy baby boy. Max and I are overjoyed, hugging and kissing each other and crying all at the same time. “Can… Can we see him?” Max asks, shaking a small bit. The doctor nods and leads us into a small warm room where the couple is saying their final goodbyes to their son before handing him off to complete strangers. It’s heartbreaking, to say the least…. watching as the mother kisses his forehead and passed him on to the father who does the same. He looks up and gestures for us to come forward. “You two take good care of him now, ya hear?” He says, handing Max; who had begun crying again; our newborn son. We nod, unable to get any words out .I can’t even start to imagine how difficult it must be for the couple. I offer to exchange information so that our son can know who his birth parents are, but the decline. “Thank you but, no… it is hard enough saying goodbye, it would be too much to explain why we had to do this,” the mother says with a forced smile. We thank the couple for everything and head out to our own room.
Once there, Max gives me a chance to hold the baby and I look at him with pride. He has beautiful fair skin with a bunch of freckles covering his face, Curly red hair covers the top of his head. He looks up at me curiously, we won’t know what color his eyes are until he’s much older, but for now they remain a beautiful shade of pale blue. “Hey there, little guy..” I say, choking on my own tears. I sit down on a chair and start unswaddling him, seeing how tiny he actually is. He has tiny little hands and tiny little feet….. he’s perfect. Max comes up next to me, letting the baby grip onto her finger. “Hm, That’s a nice grip you’ve got there, kid,” She says, trying to slide her finger out of our son’s chubby little fist.
“Did you bring the list of baby names?” Max asks as we take turns holding the baby. “We can’t leave until we give him a name”. ‘Shit, I totally forgot’ I curse to myself. “You forgot it, didn’t you?”. “Come on, we were in a rush!” I say, feeling a bit guilty. “It’s fine, we’ll just have to come up with one for you now,” Max says to the baby in a cheery voice. “Ok… how about Zane?” I suggest. Max looks up at me with a dead serious face. “No”. “Josh?”. She shakes her head. “Ethan, Chris, Shawn, Cody, Sam, Abel?”. “No, no, no, no, no and no,” she says, continuing to play with the baby. “Well, what do you have in mind?” I ask, curious to hear ‘her’ list of names. “I do have an idea but you’d never be for it”. “Try me,”. She doesn’t reply at first. “Well?”. “I was thinking something like ‘Nathanial or Nate or…..”. “Nathan?” I say, completing her sentence. Max nods, but still refuses to look at me. She had already told me that if we did have a son, she wanted to name him some variation of ‘Nathan’, I…I didn’t exactly react well to the idea of my son being named after a psychopath who had tried to kill both of us multiple times and had unintentionally killed Rachael Amber, but I get why she wanted to name him that. I knew Max felt responsible for the actual Nathan Prescott’s murder, but there wasn’t really anything anyone could have possibly done to change what happened to him. I don’t say anything in return, I just gently pick up the baby and start rocking him gently. I don’t exactly agree with the name Max had suggested, but the more I look into my son’s pale blue eyes, the more it seems to suit him. I smile at his innocence and potential. “Let’s make something good out of a bad name,” I say, resting his head over my beating heart.
“Welcome to the world Lil’ Nate”