It is really amazing how good food and sleep can do wonders.
Within a few days Millie looked less pale and the dark circles around her eyes were gone, and thanks to the vitamins plus plenty of food and water she started to gain weight in places other than her belly which helped to fill her out some.
Alana said that the one good thing about growing up with a model/actress for a mom was that she knew all about hair and make-up. It was one of of the few things her mother had taught her. So Alana gave Millie a make-over. Alana cut off Millie’s damaged ends and styled her hair and added just a touch of make-up.
About a week later Millie came to talk to me.
“I have been giving it a lot of thought,” she said. “And I really think it would be best if I put the babies up for adoption. They deserve a better life than what I can provide for them. Do you know what I need to do to start the process?”
“I actually think I know a couple who would be interested.”
“My older sister Kristen and her husband have been trying for years to have a baby and so far no luck. I think you would like them. They were both in a band for years. Kristen sings and plays pretty much any instrument you can think of and her husband is an amazing guitar player.”
“What was the name of their band?”
“Really?! I love them. I am not sure how she got it but Molly had all of these music CDs and she would play them for me sometimes and I would try to learn how to play the songs. Puzzle’s Pieces was one of her favorite groups. Can I meet them? I like the idea of the twins going to a musical family.”
“Sure. I’ll give her a call.”
“Kristen, it’s Kaitlyn. Are you and your husband still thinking about adoption?”
“Well I recently took in a young girl who is pregnant with twins. She is really young and wants to give the babies the opportunity for a good home.”
“The father won’t mind her giving up the babies?”
“He won’t really have much say as I am hoping he ends up in jail. Call Kim for the details.”
“Worse,” I said.
“I would love to meet her.”
“How about tomorrow? But when you do come maybe you should come alone. I know your husband will want to be here too but I am not sure how she will react around a man right now. Let’s take it slow ok?”
“Sure, I will see you tomorrow.”
Millie and Kristen formed an instant connection talking about music.
After that Kristen came by every day to see her.
They would often play together. Millie is very talented.
And not just at the guitar. She has an ear for music and also play violin.
And piano. We love listening to her play.
She also went over to Kristen’s and helped her decorate the room for the twins.
And she was excited to meet Kristen’s husband Puzzles.
She told me later the three had a jam session. She was thrilled that she got to play guitar with the members of Puzzle’s Pieces.
Over the next several weeks Millie really seemed to flourish.
When she arrived she didn’t know how to read or write so Alana and Lucy would spend time working with her.
Lucy has been teaching her to read. She will sit by Millie on the couch while Millie reads and help her pronounce words she has trouble with.
At the end of the week Alana will get a packet of mail from Lily containing all of her missed assignments. While Alana works on her homework she gives Millie some simple writing and math exercises.
She struggles with it some but overall has picked up things quickly.
I have also started all three girls on a yoga schedule.
By the time Millie had been here a month I was happy with her overall weight gain. She was also thrilled at how quickly her hair was growing back. Alana gave her a bunch of headbands in different colors.
In early April there was a knock on our door and when I went to answer I was greeted by an older women and another young lady who I assumed was her daughter.
“Can I help you?” I asked.
“Yes, we were wondering is there a Lucy Porter living here?”
“Can I ask why you want to know?”
“She was dating my son Paul before he died.”
“Please come in,” I said.
“Yes, Lucy is staying here but before I go and tell her you are here can I ask why you want to see her? From what I understand you wouldn’t even go see her in the hospital after the accident. So why now?”
“I know I behaved terribly at the hospital as my daughter has pointed out to me numerous times. My husband died earlier in the year so to loose Paul and on Christmas I just feel apart. When the nurses asked if I wanted to see her I said no. It makes me sound like a horrible person but I kept thinking why couldn’t see have been driving the car. Anyway Paul’s lease had been up at the end of December but his landlord was kind enough to give me some time before coming to box up his things. But at the beginning of March he called and said he couldn’t wait anymore as he had someone interested in the space. So Megan and I went over there. I knew Paul had been dating Lucy but, even though he was bringing her home for Christmas, I didn’t realize how serious they were until I walked into his apartment. I had been there before and it looked like a college guys apartment. Now it looked like a home.”
“It had those feminine touches?”
“Yeah, there were pillows and a throw on the couch, some potted plants that had unfortunately not survived, and framed pictures of the two of them all over the apartment. I had never seen him look happier then he did in those photos. Megan picked up one of the photos and asked me if I knew how Lucy was doing. I said I had no idea. She asked me if I had checked on her at the hospital and I said no. Then she said that she had wondered why Lucy hadn’t been at the funeral and asked if I had even let her know when it was going to be held. I said no I hadn’t. Meg asked why and I said because it was for family and I didn’t think she had any place there.”
At this point Megan jumped in. “I was so upset with her that I walked out of the apartment and told her that she could find her own way home. I told her that Paul would have been ashamed of her. That he loved Lucy and that he had planned on proposing at Christmas. I had helped him go ring shopping.”
“I honestly didn’t realize they were that serious. I had never once thought that she might be morning his death like I was. It was like a slap in the face. I tried calling the university to get her contact information but they wouldn’t give me any so I called a few of Paul’s friends and they told me that Lucy must have dropped out of school because they hadn’t seen her since before Christmas. The only other place I thought to try was the hospital hear in Appaloosa Plains as I thought they might have her billing information with an address. When I called the hospital I talked to a nurse Kelsey and I explained why I wanted to find Lucy. She couldn’t give me any information but gave me your name and said that you might be able to help me find her.”
“Let me go and tell her that you are here and see if she wants to see you. You can both go wait in the office right over here.”
I went upstairs and found Lucy reading one of her baby books.
“Lucy there are two women downstairs who would like to see you.”
“Paul’s mother and sister Megan. If you don’t want to see them then I can tell them. You don’t have to.”
“Do you know why they are here? Why now?”
“Well from what Paul’s mother just told me she feels bad for not reaching out to you after Paul’s death. She finally went and cleaned out Paul’s apartment and saw all the photos of the two of you together. She said she had never seen Paul look so happy. She wants to see you and apologize.”
“Do you think she knows about the baby? Is that why she is here?”
“I don’t see how? You didn’t even know about it until you woke up in the hospital. And the hospital couldn’t have given that information out to anyone.”
“But she is Paul’s mother so maybe they told her?”
“You and Paul were not married or engaged. The staff at the hospital wouldn’t have known if Paul was even the father so without your permission they wouldn’t have told anyone. The only reason Kelsey told me was because I am a doctor at the hospital. Now do you want to see them?”
“Yes, I will come down and see them. Do I look ok?”
“You look beautiful,” I said. “They are in the office so go in whenever you are ready.”
“Will you come with me?”
“I will come in with you for the introductions and then I will leave so you can talk privately. Then I will come check on you in 15 minutes. Does that sound ok?”
Megan and Paul’s mother (I just realized she never introduced herself to me) were talking but stopped when we walked in.
“Your pregnant?” Paul’s mother exclaimed. She quickly stood and quickly approached Lucy. She reached her hands out to touch Lucy’s belly and then stopped herself.”
“It’s ok,” Lucy said. “You can touch my belly if you want.”
“I can’t believe Paul never said anything.”
“He didn’t know. I didn’t know. I found out the night of the accident when the doctor came in and told me Paul had died in the accident but that the baby and I were going to be ok.”
I took that as my cue and quietly lift the room giving them a change to talk.
When I returned to the office 15 minutes later Lucy and Paul’s mom were hugging and I could tell both had been crying.
“Would you be upset if I return to Sunset Valley with Megan and Mrs. Drake – I mean Chelsea? They are going back home tomorrow and asked me to come with them. After the accident Megan picked up Paul’s dog Buster from the boarding facility and I have missed that slobbery boy. I grew up without a family and this will make sure that the baby always has a family. Megan told me that Paul had planned on proposing. She said she already considers me her sister. Chelsea asked me to call her mom but I am not sure I am there yet so we will try first names for awhile. But I would like my baby to be able to call her grandma.”
“No of course I am not upset. I think it is wonderful that you and the baby will have a chance at a family. Now I am sure you have some packing to do but first do you think they would like to see the baby? As you are at 20 weeks I had planned on doing an exam this week anyway.”
“I am sure they would love that.”
“Is that what I think it is?” Megan asked as she looked at the screen.
“Yes that is,” I said. “Looks like you are having a boy.”
“Paul,” Lucy said her eyes filled with tears. “His name will be Paul after his dad.”
I printed some copies for the ladies and gave them some privacy.
“Good bye, little one,” Lucy said as she pulled Millie in for a big hug.
“Bye Lucy. I will miss you. Will you write? Thanks to you I can read now.”
“Of course, I will.”
“You better send pics of this little lady,” Lucy said.
“I will. You had better do the same,” Alana said.
“I am going to miss you. I had always wanted a big sister and I couldn’t have asked for one better than you.”
Before leaving the girls posed for a group photo.
I gave each of the girls a copy and put mine on my desk.
“Call me when you arrive. My roommate from college Ruby Parks is practicing in Sunset Valley. I have already sent her your file. Here is her contact information so be sure to set up an appointment to see her soon.”
“I will. Thanks for everything. I wouldn’t have made it through these last four months without you.”
A few days later Alana’s cell phone rang. She was surprised because the only person she ever really talks to is Lily and Lily usually calls my phone.
“Hello?” she said. Then I saw her pale and say, “Oh, Mrs. Dowd, how are you? Ok, Amanda. I am doing well. I am guessing that since you are calling you heard from Shawn. You are? Oh I was so worried you would be upset or angry. Yeah, I would have preferred that as well. Really? You would do that? That would be wonderful, but are you sure? No, I can’t do that. I need to be . . . Yes, exactly. Oh, ok see you then. Mrs. Dowd, I mean Amanda, you have made me really happy.”
“I take it that was Shawn’s mom?”
“Yeah, he made arrangements to call her as soon as she was due back. He told them about me and the baby. They were a little disappointed that their 17 year-old (at the time) son and his 16 year old girlfriend found themselves in this situation. But Shawn is their only child so they are thrilled about becoming grandparents though she would have preferred we wait until we were older. They just got back from their big trip visiting other countries and were planning to sell their house, buy an RV and travel around this country. But now they decided instead of buying an RV they are going to rent a house in Riverview. Riverview is only 5 miles from Brentwood Academy. Students have to live at the school but can go off campus in the evening as long as they are back by curfew. They can also leave campus on the weekends to visit family. So Miranda can stay with her grandparents during the week and I can see her in the evenings, feed her, tuck her in before going back to school. I can also spend the weekends with her. Then after I graduate we will stay in Riverview until Shawn is done at the Academy and then we will all move to wherever it is that he gets stationed. I hope it is ok but Amanda wanted to be here for the birth of the baby since she knows Shawn won’t be able to be.”
“That is great news and of course it is ok. I am glad she will be here with you. When will she arrive?”
“She wanted to come right away but they are going to finish getting their house sold and their stuff packed up. Then they want to find a place in Riverview and get the house ready. She said she would come that third week in May.”
I knew May was going to be a crazy month but I had no idea how crazy. During the first week of May I got a call from Kim.
“I found him?”
“Millie’s father. I found him. He is from a town called Lucky Palms.”
“Oh Kim that is wonderful.”
“When I told him we had found Millie and she was alive he was so happy. He remarried about 5 years ago and he and his wife have a 4 year old son. He said he would get the whole family on the first plane here. I suggested he come alone so as not to overwhelm her. When he asked why, I explained some of the situation to him. He was very upset.”
“So he knows she is pregnant?”
“Yes, I hope it was ok that I told him.”
“I would have done the same. This way he can get over the shock before he sees her.”
“That is what I thought too. I would expect him first thing tomorrow.”
Millie and Alana were in the living room watching TV and talking. They have become very close over last several months.
“Millie can I talk to you for a second?”
“Sure is everything ok?”
“Yes why don’t we go into the office so we can talk privately.”
“I got a call from Kim today. She found your dad and he is on his way to see you. She said he was so happy to hear that they had found you. He never stopped looking for you. He got remarried and you have a little brother.”
“Does he know about the babies?”
“Kim did tell him you were pregnant but I am not sure if she told him it was twins.”
“When will he be here?”
“Kim said he was hoping to get the first flight here so I am guessing sometime early tomorrow morning.”
The next morning Millie was up bright and early. She had wanted to make sure she looked her best so Alana had helped her pick out an outfit and do her hair.
At around 10 am there was a knock on the door. I went to answer it.
“Can I help you?”
“My name is David Lancaster and I was told my daughter Millie would be here. Can I see her please. You don’t know how long I have waited for this day.”
“Please come in,” I said.
“Mr. Lancaster, I know when you see her you are going to want to pull her into your ams but you need to take it slow with her ok. She has been through a lot and she is not always comfortable around strangers.”
“But I am her father. Not a stranger.”
“Yes but she hasn’t seen you in eight years.”
“Ok, I will let her come to me.”
“My sister Kim told you that Millie is pregnant, right?”
“Yes she did. I can’t believe someone would — that her own mother would allow that to happen.”
“When you see her you have to set aside that anger you feel and not react. She will be worried that your anger is with her.”
“Ok, let her come to me and show no anger, got it. Now can I please see her.”
I was so proud of Millie. I had expected her to be shy and withdrawn but the minute her father walked into the room she ran to him and threw herself into his arms.
Then they both cried.
They held each other for awhile and then started to talk. David started telling Millie all about his wife Sophia and their son David Jr. whom they called DJ.
Millie wasn’t ready to talk about the camp other than to mention her good friend Molly. She told him about her new friends Lucy and Alana. She told him she was having twins and that my sister Kristen and her husband were going to adopt them.
“You don’t have to put them up for adoption. You can bring them home with us.”
“Thanks but putting them up for adoption is the right thing. I am looking forward to coming home with you and meeting my little brother. I think being a big sister will be fun. I can’t wait to go to school. We didn’t get much of an education at the camp but Lucy taught me how to read before she left and Alana is great at math and she has been teaching me. I think by the time school starts in the fall I shouldn’t be two far behind. I want to be a regular 14 year old not a teen mom. Kristen will give them an amazing life full of music. Hey do you still have Max?”
“Yeah, he is 9 years old but he is still the same goof ball you probably remember.”
“I can’t wait to see him.”
“I can get us on the first plane back to Lucky Palms,” he said.
“I can’t leave for a few more weeks, not until after the babies are born.”
“You can have them back home, we do have hospitals there.”
“No, Kaitlyn is my doctor and I want her to deliver them. I want Kristen there in the room with me holding my hand,” she said.
And then she fled the room in tears.
“What happened?” I asked.
“I told her we could go home. That I would get us on the first flight back but she said she couldn’t leave until she had the babies. I told her we have hospitals there and then she said she wanted you to be her doctor and Kristen with her. Before I could say anything she got upset and ran out of the room. What did I do wrong?”
“Nothing really, I think this is the first place in a long time that Millie has felt safe. We worked out her birth plan so she knows what to expect. Leaving here is scary and the thought have having the babies in a hospital she has never been, surrounded by people she doesn’t know, is terrifying. She is probably also worried that you will be mad at her for not wanting to go back with you right away.”
“Should I go talk to her?”
“I’ll give her a few minutes and then I will go talk to her. Also you should know that even if Millie had been open to going home with you as her doctor I wouldn’t have authorized it. She is 33 weeks pregnant with twins. I would never allow her to fly at this stage and Lucky Palms is over 1000 miles away by car and the trip goes through some areas where there isn’t a town for miles. What if she went into labor early and you couldn’t get her to hospital fast enough.”
“I didn’t think of that.”
“You have a few options. With twins 37 weeks is usually what we hope for which means she hopefully has about another month to go. You can go home to be with your wife and son and then come back in about 4 weeks or you can stay in Appaloosa Plains. There is a hotel in town or I spoke to my sister Kristen and explained who you were. She would love it if you, your wife, and your son all stayed with her until the twins were born. That is if you can be away for a month.”
“I will make it work,” he said.
I went up to the girls room and the minute I walked in Millie was in my arms sobbing. I couldn’t make out much of what she was saying but I heard “don’t want to leave” and “he hates me”.
“Oh honey, your dad doesn’t hate you. He is just so happy to have found you and he can’t wait to get you home so you can see your dog and meet your step-mom and your little brother. But I told him you can’t leave until after the babies are born. He understands. He is going to get a hotel and make arrangements for your step-mom and little brother to join him here. Now I invited him to stay for dinner so how about you come downstairs.”
“Ok,” she said. “Just let me get freshened up first.”
Alana and I ate in the kitchen so Millie and her dad could have some privacy. The two talked some more.
Before he left for the night she hugged him goodbye and told him glad she was that he was here. She also told him that she loved him and couldn’t wait to go home. He told her loved her too and would see her soon.
After that David left to go check into the hotel in town. He called his wife to arrange to have her join him but found out his son had come down with chicken pox. Not knowing if Millie had ever had them it was decided it was best if they remained there. Sophia said she would make sure Millie’s room was already for her return home.
In mid may Lily came home from school. I was so happy to see her.
“I wasn’t expecting you home for another week,” I said.
“I finished my finals early,” she said. “I wanted to be sure to be home when Alana has the baby.”
“Wow look at you,” Lily said. “I am so glad I made it home before you had the baby.”
“Me too,” Alana said.
The girls hugged and then headed up to the bedroom so that Lily could unpack and rest from her trip.
A few days later it was time for Amanda Dowd to arrive. Alana was so nervous. I think she changed clothes ten times.
But she had no reason to be nervous for as soon as Amanda walked in the door she gave Alana a huge hug.
Baby Miranda was being very active so of course Mrs. Dowd had to feel the baby.
She also talked to the baby. “I’m your grandma,” she cooed.
With the Lily home and the girls both having family here I decided to have a small get together at my house. I invited Kristen and her husband, Millie’s dad, and a few other family and friends. Mrs. Dowd was staying with us so she was of course there too.
Everyone seemed to have a great time.
Millie was thrilled that Kristen could be there as she wanted to introduce him to her father.
She also played for everyone.
I could tell hearing his daughter play and sing for the first time was very emotional for David.
She had the whole party mesmerized with her playing. She is very talented.
The party also served as a birthday party for my niece Lynn. I can’t believe she is 18 already. She sure is a beautiful young lady.
Alana and Millie don’t know Lynn very well but they were thrilled with the cake.
The party was going along great and everyone was having a great time until . . .
Millie started having contractions.
Kristen freaked out.
And so did Millie’s father David.
I took Millie out to the barn and an exam. “It is just Braxton Hicks,” I said.
“What are those?” Millie asked.
“False labor. It can be caused by a variety of things. I had them too when I was pregnant.”
I decided I didn’t want Millie doing the stairs anymore so I put her on couch rest.
Alana and Lily decided to join her. The three would have big slumber parties every night.
Alana was due on May 27 and I figured Mille would go into labor around May 31 at 37 weeks. I knew they would have their babies close together but I never expected it to be the same day.
May 27 and May 31 both came and went. On June 2nd we had just finished breakfast when Alana’s water broke.
“Looks like it is time,” I said.
I got her out to the barn to the delivery room I had set up.
Lily and Mrs. Dowd went and sat with her while I checked her progress.”
“Looks like you are 5 cm so you probably have a few hours to go,” I said.
“No worries,” Lily said. “We will keep her company.”
I had gone back to the house to get something and saw Millie in the kitchen standing in a puddle. “Kaitlyn, is it the Braxton-Hicks again? It hurts worse this time and I think I just peed my pants,” she cried.
“You didn’t have an accident. Your water just broke,” I said. “It isn’t Braxton Hicks this time. The babies are coming.”
“OH! Kaitlyn, I am so scared.”
“I know honey but everything will be ok.”
“AAAAAHHHHHH,” Millie cried as she had another contraction.
I was surprised as her last contraction had only been a few minutes before.
I quickly sent Kristen a text to let her know it was time.
When I checked Millie I was shocked to see that she was already at 9 cm.
Kristen came running in a few minutes later and took a seat besides Millie’s bed.
“I let her dad know. He wanted to come but I convinced him to wait,” Kristen said.
Millie had another contraction while Kristen rubbed her back and helped her breath.
“They are getting closer and closer together,” I said. “I am going to go check on Alana and then I will be back.”
I went to check on Alana and found her in the midst of a contraction. Lily was rubbing her back while Amanda was going through her breathing with her.
“You are at 7cm so you are making progress but looks like it will be a little while longer. If you feel up to it try walking around the room that may help.”
“Ok, I’ll give it a try.”
I checked her IV bag to make sure she had enough fluids. Than said, “I’ll be back. I have to go and check on Millie.”
“Millie? What’s wrong with Millie?”
“She went into labor too.”
“Really? Wow. Is she doing ok?”
“She is progressing very quickly. I am going to go check on her. If you need me send Lily or Amanda next door.”
Millie was having another contraction when I came in. “Can I push?” she managed to get out between breaths. “I really feel like I need to push.”
“You are fully dilated and I can see the first baby’s head. So yes it is time to push.”
“I need you to slide down in the bed, lean forward and grab your knees. Then you are going to push.”
Millie did as I asked and started pushing. “You are doing great I said. The head and shoulders are out. So just one more big push.”
Crying filled the air. “It’s a girl,” I said.
Millie laid back in the bed exhausted. She turned to Kristen, “Will you name her Molly? Molly was my only friend at the camp. She taught me to play the guitar, she protected me and helped me escape.”
“Molly sounds like a perfect name,” Kristen said.
“The other baby is crowning so I am going to need you to do exactly what you did last time.”
“I can’t,” she cried. “I am too tired.”
“I know you can do it. Just give me a couple more big pushes and then you can rest.”
Millie gave a couple more big pushes and the second baby was out. “Another girl,” I said.
“Would you like to name her too?” Kristen asked.
“Can her name be Kaitlyn?”
“You want to name her after me?” I asked surprised.
“Molly saved my life at that camp but you have been saving it ever since,” she said.
I couldn’t even respond I was so chocked up.
“I think those names sounds perfect,” Kristen said with tears in her eyes as she looked over to her girls.
I was just leaving Millie’s room when I saw Lily come running towards me.
“Mom, I think Alana needs you. Her contractions have gotten really close together.”
“She tried walking around the room like you said but her contractions were so painful she was gripping the bed.”
“Mrs. Dowd is helping her back into bed and I came to get you.”
“I will be right in,” I said. “I just want to run up to the bathroom and wash up. I just delivered Millie’s twins.”
“Oh ok,” Lily said and raced back to Alana’s room.
I ran upstairs and splashed some water on my face and washed my hands.
When I got back to Alana’s room she was in the midst of a contraction. After it past she asked, “How’s Millie?”
“She is doing well. She is resting now. The twins were both girls.”
“That’s great, I am glad she is doing ok.”
“Now I hear your contractions are really close together so let me check you out.”
“Well it looks like you are at 10 cm so it is just a matter of time. I am going to run to the house and grab some water and then I will be right back. If you feel the need to push before I get back wait and tell Lily to come get me.”
All the running back and forth between rooms had me thirsty. So I chugged a big class of water and then raced back to the barn.
“Oh good mom you are here. I was just going to come get you. Alana said she feels like she has to push.”
“I see the baby’s head. I need you to slide down in the bed, lean forward and grab your knees. Then you are going to push.”
“You are doing great, Alana. The head and shoulders are out. So just one more big push.”
Baby crying filling the room.
“How does she look?” Alana asked.
“She is perfect,” I said. “Ten fingers and ten toes.”
“Can I see her?”
“I am just going to get her cleaned up and then I will bring her to you.”
After I got the baby cleaned up I wrapped her in a pink blanket and brought her to Alana.
“She is beautiful,” Alana said.
“Yeah she is,” Shawn’s mother said. “Hey baby, girl I am your grandma.”
A week later we said goodbye to Alana, Mrs. Dowd, and baby Miranda.
“Thanks for bringing me to your mom,” Alana said. “I am looking forward to being your roommate again in the fall.”
“Me too,” Lily said. “The last few months haven’t been the same without you.”
“And I can’t wait to come over to the house and play with this little angel.”
“I can’t thank you enough,” she said. “I don’t know what I would have done if you hadn’t been here to help me.”
“It was my pleasure. Now you better send me loads of baby pictures,” I said.
“I promise,” she replied. “You will have to get a bigger phone so you have enough memory for all of them.”
“I am going to miss you,” Millie said as she hugged Alana. “You and Lucy were the best big sisters I could have ever asked for.”
“And you were the best little sister we could have asked for,” Alana said. “Now you better write me loads of letters or emails. I can’t wait to hear how school goes for you next year and all the friends I am sure you will make.”
Since Lucky Palms required either a 23 hour drive or a 3 hour flight I had Millie stay longer to recover from having twins.
The twins had gone home with Kristen shortly after their birth but she came over to say goodbye to Millie. While Millie had held the twins after they were born she had asked that Kristen not bring them over. I think Millie was worried that if she saw them again she wouldn’t want to let them go. Or they were too painful a reminder of what she had gone through.
“What’s wrong?” I asked and she fell into my arms sobbing.
“I am so scared,” she said. “What if the kids at school hate me, what if my step-mom doesn’t want me around, what if my new little brother hates me, what if . . .”
“Oh Millie everyone gets scared of the unknown. But I do know this. Your step-mom wants you around. I have talked to Sophia on the phone and she is so excited about having a daughter. She has been home making sure your new room is ready for you. I also know you will be a great big sister and your little brother will love you. As for the kids at school I am going to be honest and say that not everyone there will like you. When I was in school there were ‘mean girls’ who enjoyed making fun of others. But I also had amazing friends like Sarah and Gwen who I knew I always had my back. So don’t try to make friends with everyone. After everything you went through I think you will know who your real friends are.”
Once everyone left it was just Lily and I in the house. We both collapsed on the couch exhausted.
“It is so quiet,” Lily said.
“Yeah, it is,” I said. “So what should we do this summer?”
“Are you going to take in anymore girls?”
“I was thinking of taking a break. I wanted to be able to spend the summer with you. Thought maybe we could take a vacation or something.”
“Actually, there was something I wanted to talk to you about. After being there and seeing Miranda born and seeing how you helped those girls, I have decided I want to be a doctor too.”
“That’s great,” I said feeling a little chocked up.
“So I was wondering if perhaps you could get me a job or internship at the hospital over the summer. I could be a candy striper or something. I think it would look great on my applications for medical school.”
“I could do that or I might have something that would be even better.”
“Professor Roberts, this is Kaitlyn Equidae. I am not sure if you remember me.”
“Kaitlyn of course I remember you. You were one of my brightest students. I have followed your career and I must say it has been most impressive.”
“Thank you sir. The reason I am calling is because I remembered when I first graduated you had talked about an opportunity to spend the summer helping out with Dr. Without Borders. I was wondering if you had any need at this time?”
“Actually, that you called is perfect. We had a doctor drop out at the last minute and I need someone in Egypt. Currently I have only one doctor there, Dr. Coon. He is great but I know he could really use the help.”
“Could my daughter come along? She is 16 and wants to be a doctor someday. I know she can’t treat patients but she could help with bandaging injuries or something. I would of course take full responsibility for her while we are there.”
“I don’t see why not. Like I said, Dr. Coon could really use the help.”
“When would we need to be there?”
“How soon can you be on a plane?”
A week later we arrived in Egypt and were taken to the camp on the outskirts of town. In the camp there was a small building surrounded by some tents.
I assumed the building must be the clinic so we went inside.
“I will be right with you,” someone called from across the room.
One side of room had several exam stations that were divided by a partial walls.
The other side of the room had a set of double doors and a sign marked surgery.
The front area near the door had rows of chairs and was a waiting area for patients.
“How come there are no patients waiting?” Lily asked.
“Our driver said there was the possibility for a large sandstorm tonight. I suppose everyone decided it was better to stay home.”
“My name is Dr. Coon and you must be the volunteers Dr. Roberts said were coming.” He looked down at a note in his hand. A Dr. Equidae and . . .” he trailed off looking at me as if I had suddenly grown two heads or something. I was just about to ask what was wrong when he said, “Kaitlyn, is your name Kaitlyn?”
As I looked at him more closely I realized that he had sparkling blue eyes. Eyes I could never forget. The same eyes I see every time I look at my daughter. “Jonathan,” I whispered.