John woke up with the phone ringing on Aileen’s side of the bed.
At first it was a distant echo in his instantly forgotten dream of work, castles, football and large jiggling breasts.
A strange combination but who knows how dreams work?
The call persisted as he rose through the foggy haze to reality, but he ignored it, thinking that Aileen would answer and who the fuck is calling at this time of night anyway?
But as he came back in to consciousness, he remembered that Aileen had got up some time ago, so who was that calling at this time of night?
He rolled over, stretched and answered the phone .. “Hello?”
“Hi, it’s me,, I’m in the bath, can you make me some tea and toast?”
John looked at the clock and took a moment to focus.
“it’s almost 3am, what are you doing in the bath and why do you want tea and toast at this time of night?”
He had been happy to go along with her cravings, the desire for tinned fruit in syrup, rice crispies and ice-cream by the gallon, but tea and toast in the bath at 3am?
“My waters broke about an hour ago .. remember?”
“Shit, sorry, why didn’t you tell me?”
“I did tell you, but you grunted and went back to sleep.”
“Oh, okay, I can’t remember, sorry! .. I’ll be through in a minute.”
Ten seconds later he was standing at the bathroom door, Aileen naked and her tummy swollen, smiled as she saw him.
“Today’s the day you become a daddy”
“I know, scary isn’t it?, it’s been a long time coming, but I’m glad the day has arrived”
“That’s easy for you to say, you’re not the one walking about with a five kilos of baby stuck up your jumper and feeling tired all the time”
“I know, i know, but you know what i mean, I’m glad that today’s the day and I know that you’ll be glad when it’s all over and done with.”
He kneels beside her, one arm leaning on the bath, the other stroking her tummy then turning his face towards her.
“I know that you’ve had your doubts, I’m sure that you know that I’ve had mine, but I’ve never had any doubts about this and no matter what happens, I’ll always be there for you and the baby.”
Aileen put her arm around his neck and pulled him towards her, and kissed him on the lips.
“I hope so, I really hope so”
An hour later they arrived at the Glasgow Southern General’s Maternity unit. A custom designed building back in the early 70s built in the concrete that was ubiquitous at the time. It may look dated but had every modern facility necessary for care of mother and baby.
After the briefest of discussions with John and Aileen, the nurses whisked Aileen off for an examination, leaving him looking over at the distant hills towards Ben Lomond and the Arrochar Alps.
This is it he thought, today is the day that everything changes.