Hail Mary (The Mavericks Series)By: Julianna Marley
For the best thing that has ever been mine.
For my own baby girl.
“There is bravery in being soft.”
“Where the heck am I?”
Whitney Scott looked down the long empty corridor adorned with jumbo action shots of various Carolina Mavericks players plastered all over the walls. She had somehow managed to not only get completely lost landing her in which she only assumed was the basement of the building, but she wasn’t even entirely certain she was in the right building at all. As much as she hated to admit it, she shouldn’t have pressed her boss to let her do this errand. Not today. But she also couldn’t just sit home and do nothing. The quietness and waiting around was only leading to more thinking and right now, having too much time to think was bad. Very, very bad. All she needed to do was to find the General Manager’s office and drop off this invoice from the draft party that her wonderful bosses had thrown for the football organization a few weeks ago. It made sense that nobody was in the basement of the Mavericks stadium. She knew enough about the team from planning their events to know that the season wasn’t due to begin for another few weeks or so. She had promised her boss, Ross, that she was well enough to deliver this invoice, but at eight days past her due date the waves of contractions growing stronger with each passing hour, nearly taking her breath away, she wasn’t so sure anymore that it had been her wisest decision. Despite having contractions for the past day and a half, she had an innate feeling she was going to be in labor and delivery sooner rather than later. Leaning against the picture covered walls, she braced herself for another round of pain. Yes, this definitely had not been her best idea, but as her mama always enjoyed reminding her, she was impulsive and once she got an idea in her head, there was no stopping her. Her bosses, of course, knew nothing of this and so when she had begged them to let her do this one errand, they caved in like she knew they would. Now all she had to do was find this gosh darn office, deliver the invoice and somehow drive herself to the hospital because she was almost positive that she was going into active labor.
“Hello?” she called out again, catching a small breath. It was pointless, really. The place was as dead as an ice cream shop in the middle of a snowstorm. Although they didn’t get snow. Not in South Carolina. Snow would be nice, though. Born and raised in Louisiana before moving to Charleston, she couldn’t remember the last time she had seen actual snow, the pressure of another contraction reminding her that it wasn’t the time to be concerned with weather-related fantasies. Maybe if she could just get to the end of the hall there would be a janitor or a security guard, or just someone who could lead her to where she needed to go.
“Somebody?” she yelled again grabbing her stomach, trying to keep track how far apart the contractions were coming. Pulling out her cell phone she pressed the call button for her obstetrician, as the no service icon flashed up in the corner of the screen. That’s right, she wouldn’t have reception because she was lost in a basement somewhere with not a single soul in sight. Sliding down to the floor taking the pressure off her legs, she leaned her head back against the wall, the height of the pain taking her breath away. This wasn’t how it was supposed to be. She was supposed to be at home cozy on the couch or watching Bravo before her water broke, giving her a warning sign that the baby was coming. Then she would drive herself to the hospital, check herself in and get a nice dose of pain medication before she had a chance to feel any of the agony that was now rippling through her body. No. This was definitely not how it was supposed to be. Bracing herself again for another surge, she breathed hard. Gosh, she should have taken those lamaze classes that her other boss, Liv, had recommended. But she just hadn’t understood how strategic breathing would help with pain in the middle of pushing a human out of your body. She understood it now though. The contractions had started days ago and when she had called her doctor’s office they told her not to come to the hospital until they were five minutes apart. Or was it three minutes? So she had muddled through the pangs of pain, even managing to get a pedicure. Although her mama would had frowned upon her having contractions in a pedicure chair, she was bored and it felt as if this baby was never going to come.