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Noah [Drabble]

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What an evening it has been. Flashing cameras, screaming fans, the cold and excitement. I had told her beforehand not to come along but, despite what happened tonight, I am glad she didn’t listen to me, stubborn as she is.

Saying goodbye to my dad on the phone, I walk back inside with the others, my eyes flitting over the crowd of people, my fellow cast mates all laughing and drinking and just generally excited about being here in Berlin for the European Premiere of this epic film we’ve been allowed to work on. When I can’t find her in the crowd, I look for George instead. George is her companion, her bodyguard, for tonight as with her being 9 months pregnant and with me being in constant demand, I had not been always able to look after her as much as I liked to.

"I think George is looking for you," I can hear Richard mumble into my ear. He must have seen my worried face, knowing that it could only be related to my pregnant wife. "Do you know where he is?" I turn towards him and, pointing towards the far side of the reception area, Richard gently shoves me away from the crowd and towards the tall man whose hurried steps bring him closer and closer to me with every passing second.

"Benedict, it’s Charlene. Her contractions have started. The ambulance is on its way." Not thinking twice, I run, George following close behind, neither of us listening to the shouts from Martin and Luke. "Honey,…darling, I’m here. Don’t worry, I’m here, it’ll be fine," I breathe as I reach her, lying on a makeshift stretcher. Gently, I press a kiss onto her forehead, her hand squeezing mine as another wave of contractions surges through her. "I’m so sorry," she whispers, only audible for me, but I shake my head as I can hear some of the others approach behind us, worried about us both. "There’s nothing to be sorry for, my love. Nothing at all."

With a huge smile, I stand by the window, watching the rain pour from the grey, cloudy sky as I hold my newborn son, fast asleep in my arms. A quiet knock on the door makes me turn around and it’s Martin’s face peeping through the crack of the door first. Motioning to him that I’ll come out, I walk over to Charlene and kiss her softly ere I leave the room to step into the private reception area we had been given. I can feel tears well up in my eyes when I see that everybody has come. Martin and Richard, Luke and Orlando, Evangeline and Adam and Graham, even Andy and Peter and James.

Proud as a peacock, I show off my son, accompanied by lots of ‘aww’s and ‘oh he’s beautiful’s and ‘congratulation’s, unaware of my wife’s anguish as she lies awake in the room next door, listening to it all, feeling empty and guilty and sad. I was oblivious to her pain, was too much enraptured by my son, by finally being a father, to realise at first that something was terribly wrong…