Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Short Story - Boy Meets Girl

Daniel paced up and down the long corridor, his hands tucked deep into his pockets. His face was lined with worry and he had a dishevelled air about him as if he had dressed up in a hurry, which he had. His mobile phone had gone off around midnight, waking him up and confirming the moment he had been dreading. Frantic, he had grabbed the keys to his flatmates car and rushed out, hoping he wouldn’t run into trouble with the law on his way.

He had arrived at the hospital quickly and shown to the East Wing. He had now been standing outside the ward for more than forty-five minutes. The medical staff occasionally shot him a sympathetic look without breaking their stride as they walked in and out of the rooms. The corridor smelt faintly of disinfectant and medicines. He shivered with a mixture of fear and anticipation. He hated waiting, and he hated hospitals.

While he waited, he read the health information posters on the walls again. One of them was about maintaining a healthy Body Mass Index. He considered his own tall, lanky frame and decided he was in the healthy range. There were other posters about smoking, heart disease and others but he soon lost interest. He looked at his watch again. It was just past one in the morning.

A few months ago, when Sarah had first told him she was pregnant, he had been completely taken aback. He was absolutely sure that he was not ready to face this responsibility. He remembered that she called him early one evening as he was leaving the campus.

“I need to talk to you Dan” she had said. “It’s very important”
“I’ve just finished my afternoon lecture and I have football in about half an hour” he replied. “I’ll call you when I’m done”
“No, this can’t wait” She insisted. “I need you to come over to my place now”.

Something in her tone made him change his mind. When he heard the news, he had slumped onto her bed, his face ashen.

“How come this happened?” was all he could utter.
Sarah stared at him incredulously. “What do you mean ‘how come this happened?’ when we have been back together for six months?”
Daniel sighed and put his head in his hands. He didn’t need this right now. How could he be having a baby with his on-and-off girlfriend? They were not even sure of themselves yet, so how could they raise a child?
“It’s just…” he paused nervously. “It’s completely wrong timing”
“Well I’m not exactly thrilled about it either!” Sarah said, raising her voice. “Do you think I planned this to happen?”
She paused and added: Just last week, my mum said she was glad I got through high school without getting pregnant! And now this.”
“Are you sure?” he asked again.
“Yes I’m sure, I took the test three times” Sarah replied.
He looked up and asked her: “Are we going to do this?”
She nodded. “I’m not going to get an abortion”. And that was it.

Slowly the realisation had set in. After four months, Sarah put her studies on hold, left the university campus and went back home to live with her mother. His routine on campus had carried on undisturbed except for the telephone calls and occasional visit to see Sarah. They had talked and argued a lot over the past few months. She was sure they could raise a baby with the help of their parents while they continued studying. He could foresee a lot of problems, but Sarah would not have it any other way. During one of his visits, their argument had become so heated that Sarah’s mum stepped in and sent him away, asking him not to come back until the baby was born. She was the one that had rung him tonight to say Sarah was now in the hospital.
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, the door to Ward 256 opened, and a midwife poked her head out.
“Daniel Cooper? They are ready for you now, come in.”
He held his breath as he stepped in. The room was bright and modern, and he felt a little intimidated by the two other women there. Then his eyes took in the sight of Sarah, his girlfriend, sitting up in one of the beds, with a tiny baby wrapped in a white blanket in her arms.
“Go on” the midwife urged. “I’ll be back in a few minutes”. She stepped out of the room and shut the door.
Sarah turned her head towards him and smiled weakly. Her hair was messy, and her face was devoid of make up, making her look much younger and rather vulnerable. She looked tired and overwhelmed by the experience she had just been through. He smiled back at her as he approached the bed.
“Are you alright?” he whispered.
“Yeah, I guess” she said slowly.
Daniel shifted from one foot to the other, unsure of himself.
“How about the baby?” he asked nodding towards the bundle in her arms.
“It’s a girl” Sarah said, looking down at the little face.
Daniel moved nearer to take a closer look.
“She’s beautiful” he breathed.
“Yes she is” Sarah smiled. “Here, do you want to hold her?”
Daniel nodded and held out his arms. He felt his throat tighten as Sarah placed the warm little body in his arms.
His baby daughter looked at him with curious blue eyes and made little baby sounds.
“She looks just like you”, Daniel said, holding the baby close to himself. “She’s got your eyes”
“Hmmm” Sarah said and winced.
Daniel stared at the little girl again, and stroked her hair. He held out his little finger and the baby grabbed it and held on to it tightly. He felt his heart melt and he knew that, no matter what happened, this little person now meant the world to him.


  1. I liked:

    1. The way you showed the various strands of the story. How Daniel ended up on the hospital corridor.

    2. Towards the end, you built up the tension quite well. Readers want to know what's going to happen; is she going to lose the baby? Is she going to decide she doesn't want it...

    I felt:

    1.Towards the end, you could've built on a bit more on his transformation journey from seeing the baby and holding her. The ending was too easy and in danger of being cliched. 'He knew that, no matter what happened, this little person now meant the world to him.'

    I know that you can do better. Come on!

    2. Perhaps you could've shown the background to the reason why he's standing in the hospital corridor another way, instead of using flashbacks. Maybe in his thinking. Show some conflict. He wants to go into the labour room but not sure how he'll be received by Sarah perhaps?

    3. You've tried with the God view. Not always an easy transition to make if you're used to writing in the first person. So well done.

    4. I enjoyed reading it. Keep up with the good work.

  2. Anonymous7:17 pm

    i'm not a pro but u definitely had me looking for more, i wanted to know what next.......
    keep it up!!!

  3. i liked this, even though I had to breeze through it. Very nice!

  4. I liked this! I'd like to see a continuation of some sorts, I know it's a short story and all but I'm curious to know more. :-)

  5. You write good. I have a feeling I'll be back.

  6. i think it could have had a bit more flesh, u know more than just tellin the story, showin us, lettin it tell itself. i dont know if it makes sense to u but u coulda been more descriptive, more in depth, lyk cw said, the end was too easy...

  7. Nice story keep it up and think about what christian said.
    I'm not that good but I believe in what she said...
    I can't wait to read more!

  8. i am inspired. really good stuff. but, i think u'd rather critic than excessive praise, so...
    1. yeah, i agree, the ending was a bit cliche. you might want to put a bit of harsh reality, like conflicting thots, to follow the train of the off and on girlfriend thing. i mean d guy was bounced till labour time. he appears to hav walked in on the experience too easy. for a mother who was aprehensive of teenage pregnancy, sarah's mom was kinda too easy, calling him to witness the first few secs of her grnababy... get my drift. even if it ends well in that scene, u hav to tie up the humanities more neatly togther. kinda lik match the crazy tension u built sso flawlessly.

  9. this is nice, the more i read ur stories, the more i fall in love wit ur style of writing. nothing wrong with happy endings, lol ! so, wat happens now ? do they get married or are they going to have problems because they r not from the same tribes, lol, just thinking out loud... but i guess u decide what happens, init ?
    we'll be waiting 4 d continuation,lol...

  10. Interesting story, though I can't help feeling it was rushed. I think what you are trying to achieve would work better if the story was fleshed out some more.

    Take the beginning for example: for some reason I found his agitation (from when he rushed out of the house to his walking back and forth at the hospital waiting room) quite incongruous with a man worried about a woman in labour. It felt more like he was expecting news from some other kind of medical emergency. Agreed that men are agitated when their wives are in labour but his emotional response in your story suggested that something much more foreboding was afoot.

    People are generally agitated when they are in hospital and I have seen in my clinical practice quite a number of would-be fathers waiting for their wives in labour and the emotions he displayed does not quite capture that EXCEPT of course there were other complications associated with the birth process in this case (which the story does not mention anywhere). I think you should flesh it out some more.

    But, that said, it was a lovely story. I have only just stumbled on your blog and I think I am going to be reading through it for a long time.Great work.

  11. hmm I am a new writer so first of all I will say I love the story and the way you added the hospital description with all the no smoking sign.
    Then maybe you should have talked about him being anxious to go into the delivery room, but also unsure.
    Lovely story and very nice. inspiring. I need to go and redo my writing, especially when it comes to description. Cos I am so lazy in that area. I love the story will continue reading.

    Quick advice: I want to start a blog for my short stories, how do you suggest I do that and how do you get people to read and drop comments?

  12. Anonymous4:00 pm

    Almost breezed though it because i wanted to see the end. Good suspense and heartwarming baby story. i like it


I welcome your comments! Thank you.