Meshari: As usual, thanks for your comment!
CTMandR: Thanks for your comment, too! If it wasn't for the stories, this CJ wouldn't exist...
Plaça de McCormick (McCormick Square), 10:41 a.m.
As every Monday and Tuesday morning, I was reading my newspaper in McCormick square, with a cup of mocca in my hand. It was a nice cloudy morning, not too warm, not too cool; perfect for driving. When I was taking a look to the sports section, I recieved a call from the Central. Destination, Alarconia World Financial Center.
Somebody knocked at the window and I let him/her get in. She was a woman and she was clearly pregnant. She had brown hair and wore glasses. Her clothes were wide but smart at the same time.
"Good morning, where do we go?"
"Obstetrics department, City of Health." she replied, a little nervous; while taking some snacks from her bag.
"Here we go... and congratulations for your pregnacy..."
I turned left and then right to Carrer de la Pesca (Fishing Street), heading to the Autopista (The Motorway). We were far away from City of Health.
"Are you going to City of Health to have a check, don't you?" I asked.
"Well, I've been having contractions all morning long, but I don't want to get risky."
"How many months?"
"Eight and a half."
"So it's inminent..."
"Yeah... I'm pretty nervous but I don't want it to affect my job, so I'll be working until I see I can't do it anymore..."
"Boy or girl?"
"Doctors say it's a girl."
Traffic was light today, I was having a pleasant driving while my customer kept eating some bread sticks.
"Too bad you have to go to City of Health, you have a hospital right here..."
"Politicians say that we are a so tiny country that having another neonatology unit would be a waste of money in Illa de Nova Catalunya (New Catalonia Island)and space..." she said, and was followed by a contraction.
We turned right and drove along Carrer del Trencat Sud (South Broken Street) in Barri del Trencat (Broken District) and crossed with the UrbanRail elevated tracks, while a train was running over us.
"Do you have kids?" she asked.
"No, I don't. I'm single..."
"Oh... I was hoping you gave me some advise." another contraction, this one seemed stronger than the previous.
"I guess every kid is different, there's no possible advice." I said.
"That's what some moms had told me this days..." she paused "Where can I throw away this bag?" she meant the bag that contained the bread sticks."
"You've got an ashtray near the door's handle."
We took the Autopista in Broken District and headed westbounds, passing besides Tokyo Building. We crossed again the UrbanRail tracks.
"What do you do in the AWFC?"
"I work as a financial consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers."
"I guess that if you want to work for that company you have to learn to say its name on one stroke..." I joked and she laughed.
"You should leave this issue to the human resources department..."
"I guess you're going to take the goverment's maternity leave..."
"Yes, I want to stay with my baby all the time I can."
And the fun began here.
"Oh, my God...!" the woman said.
"I think I've broken waters!" she shouted.
I know I shouldn't have done it, but I turned to her, watching how the upholstery was really wet.
"Stop, stop the car!"
"I can't, we're going to a tunnel!" I shouted, automatically more nervous than her. It was the first time I went over the speed limit and I reached the 160 km/h. "We'll arrive to City of Health!"
"No, we haven't got time! Stop where you can because it's coming!"
We went through the Tunnel and I exited the Autopista on the first off-ramp, while searching for a safe place to stop the taxi.
I stopped the taxi and the taximeter faded away. Then, it was when I decided I had to show my guts; so I helped her to take off her pants and underpants and went to the trunk, looking for a flassade, which I put under her to make her position more confortable.
"Push! Push!" I only said.
"That's what I'm doing, &%$#@!"
"I'll call for an ambulance."
I took the intercom that linked me with the Taxi Central.
"Is anybody here? I need an ambulance!" I held the woman's hand, who pressed mine as if it was trying to broke it.
"Roger, you say an ambulance?"
"Yes, I've got a woman giving childbirth! We're in..." I watched at the GPS device "Carrer Blanc (White Street)! Quickly!"
"OK, I'll call 112."
She was pushing, sweating and swearing in a way I had never seen before.
"Come on, push more, it's right here!"
"@#$%&!!" she was doing a terrible effort, while the head was beginning to show.
A couple minutes later, I saw how the baby's head was off and I held it with my fingers. It was really tiny and had several blood stains. I could hear how the baby was crying; it is a good sign.
"The head is off, keep pushing, you're doing great!" I encouraged her.
"Ohhh! For God's sake!!!" she shouted.
The rest of the body went off in some minutes because the previous dilatation and, for a moment, I thought I would have to change all the upholstery. Right, it is a girl. Then, I heard sirens sound, they were kinda late. In a moment, before I was able to realize, the paramedics took the woman and placed her in a stretcher while one more paramedic took the baby; still attached to her mother. Before she entered in the ambulance, she asked:
"What's your name?"
"My name? Daniel. What's yours?" I thought, wanting to go to see her to the hospital.
"Alícia Borrell..." she was extremely tired, and she didn't say anything more.
I saw how the ambulance turned the sirens on and took the highway going to City of Health and I stood in that empty lot with my taxi full of blood. Obviously, I couldn't keep working with the upholstery in that state, so I headed to my auto repair while I was trying to assimilate what I had seen some minutes ago.
The day after, I made City of Health my waiting point (with a borrowed taxicab) for this day and at 11:00 in the morning I looked for the neonatology unit. The recepcionist told me Alícia was in 407 room and I stopped at the flowers shop to buy a nice bunch of flowers.
"Good morning..." I entered. Alícia sat well in her bed. I saw the baby sleeping in a cradle besides her.
"Hello, Daniel..." she replied, she seemed very tired.
"They're for you." I said, and put the flowers over a table. "How are you? How's the baby?"
"I've never been so tired and the baby is healthy. We've called her Daniela, after you." I was absolutely surprised.
"Where's her dad?"
"Unfortunately, working. He still can't take the paternity leave until he has done all the paperwork."
"I don't know what to do to say thank you for what you did yesterday..."
"Well, I guess everybody would have done; I couldn't leave you there giving birth without doing anything..."
We chatted a few minutes more and I went off the hospital, hopping on my borrowed taxi; and I opened the newspaper looking for the sports section.