I was grateful to the hospital. Here I was just another man who sat and worried. No one bothered me for an autograph or a picture. Still, it was in the middle of the night, who knew what tomorrow would bring.
I couldn’t leave her. She was in so much pain earlier. I will admit, I was frightened. I didn’t think it would be that painful, but honestly I just never asked. Now, as she lay back in the hospital bed, she looked serene. Even so, I could see the dark circles under her eyes and the way the fatigue had etched around her lips.
“Mr. Armitage? Is there anything you need?” One of the nurses asked.
“No, thank you.” I tried to smile.
I was holding her hand. If she was awake she probably would have laughed. Even I had to smile about that. Bringing her hand up, I pressed my lips to the back of it and then pressed it to my forehead. I was supposed to have left, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t leave her laying here like this.
The lights from the hallway cast a grey pallor over her skin. She looked so sickly. I had never seen her sick before. How could she go from laughing one minute to crying out in the worst pain that I could image?
I wept. I felt that it was my fault. In a way, I suppose it was. I was part of the reason for this pain. I couldn’t wake her. No, I wouldn’t wake her. She needed to sleep. I needed to be reassured that she was going to be alright. No doctor or nurse could do that for me, only her.
She was actually Kyra Ramsay. We had met through mutual friends about two years ago. Dragging my thumb right below my lower lip, I remembered how we met. Kyra had nothing to do with the film industry. Her schedule was as vigorous as my own, but we made it work.
Kyra. MY Kyra had been invited to the party but she had already had plans. So, she stopped by for dessert as promised. White t-shirt. Black leather jacket. Black leather pants. Heels. Even now, I can remember how I desperately wanted to touch the leather.
“Bloody hell K, what have you been doing that requires that much leather?” Xavier, our host, asked.
She laughed. The sound was so warm and rich that it made me look away from the conversation I was having.
“Would you believe a book signing?”
“No.” Xavier shook his head. “Let me introduce you to those that you don’t know.”
There had only been three people she didn’t know.
“Rich. Kyra. Kyra. Rich.”
“A pleasure to meet you Rich.” She offered a hand.
I couldn’t help but smile when there was no recognition in her eyes and took the proffered hand. “It’s a pleasure to meet you as well.” Cue inward cringe. Had I sounded as bland to her as I did to myself? “Are you from here?”
“No, alas I am not. I’m a lifelong Londoner. My mum was born and raised here in Leicester and my grandparents live here. So maybe by proxy? What about yourself?” She smiled.
God! That smile. She was radiant. “I’m from here but live in London, usually.”
Xavier came by to shove a glass of red wine in both of our hands but didn’t stop.
“Thank you X.” She called after his retreating back.
I liked her immediately. She was witty, intelligent and breathtaking. Her smile was easy and infectious. She only stayed about an hour before taking her leave to drive back to London. I cornered our mutual friend immediately after she left.
“Who is she Xavier?”
“Who is who?”
“Trying to tell me you grew fond of her that fast?”
I remember staring at Xavier.
“Look, K is amazing, but she is a workaholic that never dates. She even takes a month long vacation to go skiing, alone, in mid January.”
“How do you know her?”
“She is the CEO of Chemiluminescence.”
“Seriously? So she is your boss?”
“Yes. But Nate knew her from university.” Nate was Xavier’s partner.
Nate set us up and it worked out perfectly.
I remember when she came over to tell me. It was such a surprise.
There had been a knock on my door. I was pissed that I had been disturbed while trying to learn lines. I threw the door open without thinking.
“What?” I am pretty sure I growled the word.
Kyra was trying not to laugh at the look on my face. “I come bearing gifts, if that helps.” She held up a bottle of wine.
My frown immediately turned into a smile. “You’re early.”
“Mmhm. When you are the boss, sometimes you can sneak out.”
I grabbed the bottle and her. Pulling her inside the door, I remember that I kicked it shut with a bare foot. I proceeded to pin her into a corner and kissed her smile.
“This is a lovely surprise.”
“Glad you aren’t disappointed then. Can we sit? I have some news….”
The nurse came in again, this time it was for vitals. My beautiful Kyra woke up. She stayed silent until the nurse left.
“Hey. What are you doing here?” She sounded groggy.
“I couldn’t leave.”
“Couldn’t or wouldn’t?” She looked mischievous even laying in that hospital bed.
She tried to sit up but I had to help her. She grabbed the collar of my shirt and pulled me down for a kiss. There was no way I was going to resist.
“How are you feeling?” I was still worried.
“You worry too much.” She scooted over on the bed. “Sit.”
“I don’t want to hurt you sweetheart.”
“Richard Crispin Armitage, I’m fine. Just tired and sore. We will be going home later.”
“You are just waking up and you are worried about me? I’m not the one –“
“Lay down with me please?”
She actually batted her eyelashes. I can’t believe she just batted her eyelashes, but I did as asked. We were silent for a while. I thought she had gone back to sleep when the nurse came back in.
The nurse placed a small bundle in my wife’s arms. Now I couldn’t move. I couldn’t turn away from the sleepy little face all bundled up. My son. Our son. I had always wanted a family of my own, but work came first I thought. It wasn’t until I met my Kyra did I understand that it wasn’t work that came first it was waiting on the one person that I could share everything with.
“Alexander James John Crispin Armitage.” I whispered as she placed him in my arms. He was named for both of our fathers, myself, and something to call his own.