Never Too Far (Chapter 32)


The cell phone Rush had bought for me was sitting on the kitchen bar when I walked out of my room. This was the third time this week he'd left it somewhere for me to find. This time it had a note attached.

I picked it up.

Think about the baby. You need this for emergencies.

That was a low blow. Smiling I picked the phone up and put it in my pocket. He wasn't going to give up until I accepted it. Today was my second doctor's appointment. I'd told Rush about it on our third date Monday night. He'd been very determined to take me on dates all week. Last night I'd begged him to just stay in and watch a movie. He had made his point. Everyone in town had seen us together. I was sure they were all sick of seeing us together by now. The thought made me smile even bigger.

I slipped the phone back out of my pocket. I had forgotten to remind Rush about today's appointment last night. Now I had a phone so I could call him. His name was the first one on my contacts list under favorites. I wasn't surprised.

It rang three times before he answered.

"Hey, I need to call you back," Rush's voice said in an annoyed tone.

"Okay but…" I started to say when he muffled the phone to talk to someone else. What was going on?

"Are you okay?" he snapped.

"Yeah, I'm fine but – "

"Then I gotta call you back," he interrupted me before I could finish then he ended the call.

I sat there and stared at the phone. What had just happened? Maybe I should have asked if he was okay. When he didn't call back in the next ten minutes I decided I'd better get dressed for my appointment. Surely he would call back before it was time to leave.

An hour later and he still hadn't called back. I debated on calling him or not. Maybe he had forgotten that I'd called. I could always borrow Bethy's car and go to my appointment. On Monday when I'd told him about it he'd seemed excited about going. I couldn't just leave him.

I pressed his number again. It rang four times this time.

"What?" Nan's voice startled me. Was he at Nan's?

"Uh, um…" I wasn't sure what to say to her. I couldn't tell her about my appointment. "Is Rush there?" I asked nervously.

Nan let out a hard laugh. "Unbelievable. He told you he'd call you back. Why don't you give him some breathing room? Rush doesn't do needy. He's visiting with his family. My mom and dad are here and we're getting ready to go have a family lunch. When he is ready to talk to you he will." Then she hung up.

I sank down onto the bed. He was having a family lunch with his sister, mother and my father. That was why he hung up on me? He didn't want me to know he was with them. His family lunch came before me and the baby. This was what I'd expected but then he'd been so sweet and protective. Was I being needy? I wasn't a needy person but I had turned into one. Hadn't I?

Standing up, I laid the phone down on the bed. I didn't want it anymore. Nan's hateful voice as she told me they were eating with her father taunted me. I grabbed my purse. I had time to walk down to the offices and borrow Bethy's car.

I was sweating by the time I made it to the course offices. So much for looking nice for my appointment. That didn't matter really. It was the least of my problems. I walked up the steps and Darla met me as she was coming out of the door.

"You don't work today," she stated when she saw me.

"I know. I need to borrow Bethy's car. I have a doctor's appointment in Destin that I… uh … forgot about." I hated lying but telling her the truth was just more than I could handle.

Darla studied me a moment then reached into the pocket of her slacks and pulled out her keys. "Take my car. I'll be here all day. I don't need it."

I wanted to hug her but I didn't. I wasn't sure she'd be comfortable with that kind of reaction to a simple doctor's appointment. "Thank you so much. I'll put gas in it," I assured her.

She nodded and waved me on. I hurried down the steps and climbed into her Cadillac to head toward Destin.

The drive over wasn't bad and I only had to wait fifteen minutes before they called me back to the exam room. The nurse was all smiles as she pulled out a machine with a small screen on it.

"You're only ten weeks along so to hear the baby's heartbeat we're gonna need to do an ultrasound. We should hear the heartbeat and see a little bitty baby in there too," she explained.

I was going to see my baby and hear it's heartbeat. This was real. The few times I'd imagined this day I hadn't imaged being alone. I had thought someone would be with me. What if they can't find a heartbeat? What if something is wrong? I didn't want to be alone for this.

The doctor walked in with a comforting smile. "You look terrified. This is a happy moment. All your vitals are good. No need to be so nervous," he assured me. "Now lay back." I did as he instructed and the nurse put my legs up in the stirrups.

"You aren't far enough along to do this externally and be able to see or hear the baby. We need to do a transvaginal ultrasound which means we need to go in vaginally. It doesn't hurt. You'll feel some pressure from the wand, that's all," the nurse explained.

I didn't watch them. The idea of him sticking a wand up me only made this worse. I focused on the screen.

"Okay, here we go. Easy, be still," the doctor instructed. I watched the black and white screen, waiting patiently for something that resembled a baby.

A small thumping sound filled the room and it felt like my own heart had stopped beating.

"Is that…?" I asked, suddenly unable to say anything else.

"That's it alright. Thumping just right too. Nice and strong," the doctor replied.

I stared at the screen and the nurse pointed to what looked like a little pea. "There he or she is. Perfect size for ten weeks."

I couldn't swallow past the lump in my throat. Tears rolled down my face but I didn't care. I just sat transfixed looking at the tiny miracle on the screen while his heartbeat filled the room.

"You and the baby are both doing excellently," the doctor said as he slowly pulled the instrument from inside me and the nurse pulled down my gown and gave me her hand to pull me up.

"A little blood tinged discharge is perfectly normal after this procedure so don't be alarmed," the doctor said, standing up and going over to the sink to wash his hands.

"Keep taking those prenatal vitamins and come back to see me in four weeks."

I nodded. I was still in awe.

"Here you go," the nurse said, handing me a small pictures from my ultrasound.

"These are mine?" I asked, looking down at the pictures of my baby.

"Of course they are," she replied with an amused tone.

"Thank you," I said as I looked at each one and found the small pea I knew was alive inside me.

"You're welcome." She patted my knee. "You can get dressed now. Everything looks great."

I nodded and wiped away another tear that had broken free and was rolling down my face.