Room for More(3)

By: Beth Ehemann

The baby monitor lit up on the kitchen counter, bringing my trip down memory lane to a screeching halt. I walked over and turned the volume up. The girls had woken up from their naps and were babbling and giggling to each other. The sound of their sweet voices usually made my heart swell with joy, but right now each little cackle coming from their bedroom was another blow to my already weak heart. What was I going to tell them when they were older?

Tears slid down my cheeks and the stream quickly turned into an ocean. Sinking to the floor in my kitchen as the world below me fell away, I sobbed and sobbed until I couldn’t cry anymore. I leaned against the cabinet for what felt like hours, wondering what my life was going to be like from this point on. I made a silent promise to myself and to my daughters. I would never go through this again. They deserved better; so did I.

I had my girls and they were all I needed. Failing them was not an option. Suddenly, I was on my own and had to figure out how to not only provide for, but grow and nurture two little girls. It was all up to me. So I did what any normal nineteen-year-old, suddenly single mom would do.

I swallowed my pride and called my mom.

“Zach? At the hospital? Are you serious?” Lauren shrieked so loud into the phone I had to pull it away from my ear for a second.

“Obviously.” I sighed. “I wouldn’t joke about something like that.”

“He totally fell off the grid. I haven’t heard a word about him since he left. And I certainly had no idea he was a paramedic!”

“Me either. Needless to say, I was stunned.”

“What did he say? What did you say?”

“Nothing. I ran. Shocker, huh?” I chuckled nervously. “I pretended to get sick and sprinted to the bathroom. This other nurse, Darla, had to take over the patient while I sat on the floor of the bathroom stall having a full-blown panic attack for fifteen minutes. When I came out, he was gone.”

“Did you tell Brody?”

“Not yet. This just happened yesterday. I haven’t even processed it yet. Nor do I have any idea how to tell him.”

“You told Alexa, right?”

“Nope. You’re the only one that knows so far. Lucky you, huh?” I waited for her to laugh. She didn’t, so I continued, “Anyway, I can’t tell anyone. My mom’s first instinct will be to pack us all up in the car and move across country, and I’m worried that Alexa will go to the hospital and kill him.”

“You know she’s going to lose her mind when she finds out, right?”

“Alexa? Yeah, I know.” I sighed. “Which is exactly why I can’t tell her right now.”


“I’ll tell her eventually, just not yet. You know how she gets, Lauren. She’s so protective of us and hot-headed when it comes to Zach. Promise you won’t tell her?”

Lauren sighed, “It’s not my news to tell, so of course I won’t. I just don’t like this.”

“There might not be anything to get worked up about anyway.”

“What do you mean?” she asked.

“Maybe that’ll be the only time I’ll have to see him. Who knows? With any luck, I can put my hours in and escape without ever having to see him again.”

I sat back on my bed and stared up at the ceiling, trying to force myself to believe the lie I’d just told Lauren. The odds of me not seeing him again over the next couple months were slim to none.

“Oh God, Kacie. I don’t even know what to say,” she said.

I had been friends with Lauren long enough to know exactly what she looked like at that moment, even from 4,700 miles away. Her blue eyes were as wide as saucers while her long, perfectly manicured hands were over her mouth. I could hear the wooden floors creaking beneath her feet as she paced her apartment.

“What’s going on?” Tommy called from the background.

“Zach is back!” she called to him.

“No shit!” he exclaimed. “Did Brody kick his ass?”

“He doesn’t know yet.”

“Oh shit. When he finds out, he’s going to kill him. Ask Kacie not to tell him until this season is over so he doesn’t go to jail, okay? I have a lot of money riding on him.”