|The Waiting Time
Author: Helena Mira PM
The time is getting closer for Phoebe's baby to be born. But surprises await all of the Everetts as they get closer to the date. A prediction by Aunt Henrietta sets the town talking as friends and family close ranks to protect Phoebe and the baby. What else could happen?Rated: Fiction T - English - Family/Supernatural - Chapters: 5 - Words: 38,313 - Reviews: 2 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 07-24-12 - Published: 07-18-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8333220
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The Waiting Time 5
At the House
Hal was relieved when Trelawney was finally at the house after her theatre program. He could hear the usual chattering that usually accompanied her entrances anywhere that she went from the bedroom. He knew that Phoebe wanted everyone to be there. As he predicted, as soon as she woke up and saw the time, she wanted to see her. Mother went down to get her and in a minute or two she came bouncing into the bedroom.
"Oh, Phoebe, this is so terribly exciting!" she cried.
Phoebe looked at her as if she didn't really agree, but smiled and patted the bed beside her. She made a valiant effort to pretend that everything was normal.
"Did you have a good day at your theatre class?" she asked.
"Oh, it was splendid!" she said, sitting down. "We were reading parts from "Much Ado About Nothing," and I got to be Hero! Fancy that!"
"Yes, fancy that," replied Phoebe, clearly attempting to be enthusiastic. "And of course Francine was Beatrice."
"Of course!" she replied. "How did you guess?"
"Knowing Francine, it is just the sort of part that she would get," she said. "Could you see where Emmeline is?"
"Oh, she's downstairs talking to Mr. Williams," she said. "Shall I get her?"
Trelawney then bounced out into the hall and called out to Emmeline that Phoebe wanted to see her. An act that earned her a stern rebuke from Mrs. Clancy about hollering near the "delivery room." But the girl just laughed and came running back in to sit beside her sister. Hal was sitting in his own place, on a chair on the other side of the bed. Phoebe was looking somewhat less miserable than before her nap, but not by much. Mrs. Clancy checked her again and shook her head.
"Still closed up tight!" she said. "I'm afraid that we may not see this child until tomorrow."
Phoebe closed her eyes in resignation, but Trelawney clapped her hands and said, "Oh how lovely!"
Everyone else in the room looked at her in amazement, even Phoebe. Trelawney looked around with her own astonished glance.
"Because then she'll be Sunday's child!" she exclaimed.
"Sunday's child?" asked Hal slowly.
"'For the child that's born on the Sabbath Day is blithe and bonny and good and gay.'" she quoted. "If she were born today then she would be Saturday's child and 'Saturday's child must work for a living.' It is so much lovelier to be Sunday's child than Saturday's. I am Sunday's child!"
"Oh, yes," said Hal. "That's just lovely."
"You don't want the baby to be like her Auntie Trelawney?" she asked mischievously.
"Well," he hedged. "I was kind of hoping that she would be more like Phoebe."
"What day was Phoebe born on?" asked Tom who had come in with Emmeline.
"Tuesday," she said immediately. "'Tuesday's child is full of grace.'"
"Well, that's appropriate," said Tom, with a bit of mischief in his own voice. "Only I don't think that she's feeling too graceful right now."
Phoebe looked at him reproachfully.
"Okay," he said. "First Emmeline and now you. It seems you Figalillys don't have a very good sense of humor today."
"What put Emmeline out of sorts?" Hal asked curiously. As a general rule, Emmeline was very sanguine about things.
"I told the good king that she was the warrior maiden," replied Trelawney. "And he made the mistake of asking her how she liked her name."
"Oh," said Hal. "I always wondered what your name was for her. Very appropriate, I must say."
With a "humph," Emmeline left the room.
"I hope you haven't hurt her feelings, dear," said Mother.
"Only her pride," replied Trelawney with a giggle. "Em takes herself most seriously."
"And of course that leaves her open to this kind of, what shall we say, insult," added Tom.
"Don't worry, Mama Kate," said Trelawney confidently. "She'll be back when she cools off. You know how she can't help but stick her nose into everyone's business."
"I heard that!" called Emmeline from outside the room.
Everyone laughed, including Phoebe. Hal was pleased. Perhaps her mood was turning around a little.
"Do you see why you all need me here?" asked the girl. "I am able to make my Phoebe laugh, even if she is feeling miserable. But just think, the little babe is almost here!"
"Well, I think that depends on your definition of 'almost,'" said Mother. "But now that you're all here, I think that it's time that we thought about some dinner."
"I really don't feel like eating anything," said Phoebe.
"Well you better think again," said Mrs. Clancy sternly. "I'll not have a mother weak from hunger trying to push that little one out tomorrow. You have to keep your strength up, dearie."
"Okay, Mrs. Clancy," she said with a sigh. "What do you recommend?"
"Some broth and toast and a little tea," she said. "It will make you feel better, I promise."
"I'll go down and take care of it," said Mother efficiently. "And I'll whip up something more substantial for the rest of us."
"May I help you?" asked Mrs. Morgan. "There's nothing for me to do right now and I am feeling a bit restless."
"And after you eat, Mrs. Morgan," said Mrs. Clancy, taking control again. "You'll be off to bed. We don't need both of us up all night, so we'll sleep in shifts. That way we'll both be fresh tomorrow."
"Yes, ma'am," answered Mrs. Morgan obediently. But before she left the room, when the older woman wasn't looking, she gave them all a wink.
Hal was rather pleased with all of the light-hearted teasing and laughter in the room. He could see that it was calming and somewhat distracting for Phoebe. It would also make the waiting time less stressful for all of them. Unfortunately, Trelawney was getting so wound up that she had started to bounce up and down on the bed.
"Trelawney, darling," said Phoebe. "Please settle down, you're making me seasick."
"I'm sorry, Phoebe," she said. "I didn't mean to make you stomach sick again. I mean we all know that you had enough of that a few months ago."
Phoebe grimaced at her, but when she had settled down, she gestured for her to come closer. She began to stroke her long blond curls.
"You should really let us get you a haircut soon, sweetheart," she said. "I believe that your hair is becoming most unmanageable."
"That's what Mama Kate says every morning when she has to comb it out and braid it," replied the girl cheerfully. "But Mum always liked it long."
Phoebe stared off into space.
"I remember the night you were born," she said quietly.
Trelawney's smile faded and she curled up next to her sister. Hal knew that although Trelawney herself did not obviously remember it, she had been told the story many times. He had no doubt that this was a bittersweet moment for them both. If their parents were alive and they were in the village then he knew that they would both be present. It occurred to him that that this could be why Trelawney and Phoebe both wanted the good king and the good queen present. They were the surrogates for their own parents.
He picked up Phoebe's other hand and kissed it. She smiled softly back at him. She knew that he wanted her to remember that he was there for her. She wanted him to know that she loved him for it. It was a warm feeling to know that they had reached a point in their relationship where they could communicate without words.
But he looked beyond Phoebe and noticed that Trelawney had curled into her little "sad ball," as Prudence called it, tears were slipping down her cheeks. Phoebe followed his glance and saw the same thing. She let go of his hand and reached over to hold the little girl in her arms. There was really nothing to say or do for it.
Tom looked at Trelawney with a very bewildered look on his face. Barely two minutes ago the child was laughing and teasing. Now she was weeping. Hal knew that he would have to explain to him later about Trelawney's rapid mood shifts. She was very sensitive to the feelings around her, which was one of the reasons that she sometimes had trouble with self-control. Her own emotions could be very erratic as well. But right now all they could do was let her cry it out.
After a time, she settled down and just lay quietly beside her sister. Hal suspected that for the time being she would be docile, a point proven out when Mother called them downstairs for dinner. She got up and obediently prepared to go downstairs. But before she left the room, she turned to Mrs. Clancy.
"Please, Mrs. Clancy," she asked politely. "May Phoebe come downstairs with us to eat?"
"Why that's a fine suggestion," the midwife replied.
After Hal helped Phoebe get out of bed and Tom and Trelawney helped her go downstairs, Mrs. Clancy indicated that she wanted him to stay back for a second.
"That is a most peculiar child," she said.
"That's one way of looking at it," said Hal. "As her relatives all say, she is a little fey. But she is also very kind and sweet. She adores her sister."
"That is very obvious," replied Mrs. Clancy. "I'm curious however, why isn't she living here with you?"
"It's a long story," said Hal. "It's mostly because Phoebe couldn't give her the kind of attention she needed while she was pregnant. My mother takes very good care of her and for the moment my parents are her legal guardians. She is only living up the street. We have made sure that she and Phoebe see each other every day and have their own time together."
"I could see how much she loves your mother," she replied. "What did she call her? Mama Kate?"
"Yes, that's what she calls her," he said. "She's had some difficulties adjusting to life in America. Fortunately, Mother understands her very well. She has been teaching her at home since February. Public school was a big problem. In September she will be starting in a private school."
"She really is a little love," said Mrs. Clancy thoughtfully. "But I guess that that quality wasn't really appreciated there."
"No," said Hal slowly. "But the biggest problem was that one of her teachers was extremely insensitive to the fact that she had barely lost her parents seven months ago and it made it difficult to read some of the books. She has two friends who were very loyal and stood by her. They will also be going to the same school with her."
"She is very excited about this baby," she commented.
"Well, both she and my wife are hoping for a girl," he explained. "If it's a girl then she will be named Margaret after their mother."
"Well, I can tell you right now that it's going to be a girl," she replied. "And I'm never wrong!"
Hal smiled at her.
"Thank you, Mrs. Clancy," he said. "I wasn't really sure about how I felt about this idea of home birth. But you have made me feel a lot better about it."
"I'm glad," she said returning his smile. "Now if we don't go downstairs to eat, I am pretty sure that Miss Trelawney will be hollering up the stairs for us to come down."
"I'm sure that she will," he agreed. As he followed the older woman down the stairs he realized that many of the good points that Phoebe had explained to them about a home birth were very true. However, he was still feeling nervous about what would happen when the active labor kicked in. At least he had complete faith in Mrs. Clancy to make sure that things turned out well.
After dinner, they returned to bedroom, but now all of them were getting restless. Trelawney offered to play the piano for them if they went downstairs. Hal sat on the couch with Phoebe curled up beside him. The music was light and calming. Not surprisingly, she fell asleep.
Mrs. Clancy didn't want to wake her, so he carried her up and tucked her into bed. Then the sleeping arrangements were discussed. Mrs. Morgan and Mrs. Clancy were to be in the boys' room directly across the hall. Mother and Emmeline would sleep in the two beds in Prudence's room, but there was no longer a bed in Phoebe's old room because it had been transformed into the nursery.
He wasn't exactly sure of how it was decided, but he and Tom would gallantly bunk downstairs in the living room. Trelawney would be permitted to sleep with Phoebe, if she promised to be quiet. But the girl was already half-asleep after a long and exciting day.
"Don't worry," she said. "At home Phoebe and I always slept in the same bed. I was afraid of the dark and she couldn't sleep with the light on, so she always held my hand. Then I wasn't afraid."
Hal knew this but a few of the others didn't. However, Mrs. Clancy assured her that the light would stay on. She curled up on the other side of the bed and conked out almost immediately.
"She's so small and light that Phoebe will hardly know that she's there," commented Mrs. Clancy.
"Phoebe will know that she's there," responded Emmeline. "They are very close. Auntie Meg brought them up that way."
Mrs. Clancy nodded.
After he and Tom settled in, Tom said, "You know, at times this feels a little surreal to me. Here I am in my daughter's house, about to attend the birth of the half-sibling to her children. And Bernice is up the street helping to mind Butch and Prudence."
"I can see how you would feel that way," admitted Hal. "There are times when I see Bernice and Phoebe together and I still can't quite believe it myself."
"Bernice hasn't been this content since Stephen passed away," he replied. "That was almost sixteen years ago. It's little Trelawney. Do you know that Bernice calls her 'her little angel'?"
"No, I didn't," said Hal. "But there are many times now when I think of her as a little angel myself. She may be mischievous, but there isn't a mean bone in her body. She is nothing but gentle, kind, and loving, when she's not being exuberant. But her self-control is improving, as she gets older. Well, somewhat."
"Yes, she is," said Tom. He was then silent.
"Goodnight, Tom," said Hal. "We'll both need our sleep. I suspect that tomorrow is going to be a very long day."
"Goodnight, Hal," replied Tom absentmindedly. Hal suspected that he was still contemplating Trelawney.
"Is this seat taken?"
With a note of amusement that she couldn't keep out of her voice, Sylvia looked down at her brother Liam as his eyes popped open.
"Oh, bloody hell, Sylvia!" he exclaimed. "What are you doing here?"
"It's nice to see you too, Liam," she replied cheerfully. "Myself? Yes, I'm doing very well thank you, and you?"
"Should of known that I'd run into the likes of you up here," he complained. "And I suppose that you are here to save me from myself."
"Not entirely," she replied pleasantly. "Now shove over and allow your little sister to sit down."
"If you insist."
"I do insist," she said, now feeling annoyed. "In fact, I can produce the ticket that assigns me to this seat if you like."
"Of course you can," he grumbled as he moved over a seat. "How did you get on this flight anyway?"
"The usual way," she said, with a bit of mischief in her eyes. "But we don't have time for small talk. Em's put out the alert. We need to get to Phoebe and Trelawney as soon as we can before things start happening. Auntie just can't leave things alone. More premonitions designed to cause trouble. Now they're all holed up at the Professor's house, trying to keep everyone safe."
"Who's holed up?"
"Well, Phoebe and the Professor of course, and Emmeline and Trelawney," she replied. "The good king and the good queen are there, as well as the midwife and the nurse."
"Well, that's good," he said. "The midwife an old dragon, is she?"
"Only the best for our Phoebe!" she answered. "She picked her out herself. Oh, yes, and Elspeth is there."
"Well, that's no surprise," he replied. "Elspeth's a good egg. She'll take care of everything until I get there."
"I knew there was a reason why I didn't want to see you," she said. "You're not allowed to be at the house. We will be staying up the street at the grandparents' house until the baby is born. If you show up, then you'll scare the living daylights out of Phoebe and young Trelawney. As far as they know, you're still guarding Cholmondeley and keeping him away. The little one would be hysterical if she thought that he was out here unattended, so to speak."
"But she'll know that I'll be there to protect her," he said. "One way or the other, the bastard will go nowhere near that child."
"You know that's not the answer," she said, beginning to worry.
"Yes, it is," he answered defiantly. "And if I had followed my own good instincts a year ago then we wouldn't be in this pickle right now."
"William Figalilly, this is no way for a future paterfamilias to behave," she scolded. "You've got to have good judgment and not go off doing things without properly thinking them through. Now you've done the best you can to keep your eye on him. You have absolutely no idea of where he might be now, do you?"
"No," he admitted. "But California is the most logical place."
"By whose logic?" she asked sensibly.
"Mine!" he replied defensively.
"Okay, love," she said patiently. "Now don't get all mad at me, but how do you come to that conclusion?"
"Well, this is the way I figure it," he explained. "Now when Johnny meets up with us, it's all fun and games the first day. Then the next morning I wake up and they've both given me the slip. They even left me stuck with the hotel bill. Cholmondeley and I have been best pals for over a year. Now we all know what Johnny's about, and that's redeeming himself in the eyes of Grandfather. To do that he needs Trelawney."
"So far, Liam," said Sylvia. "None of this explains why Johnny and Cholmondeley are to show up in California."
"Now, be patient, love," he said getting annoyed. "I'm getting to that part. Johnny's Mum has also told him to go find Cholmondeley and tell him what's up. Now when he finds out that the little one has told on him, he wants to get his hands on Trelawney too. But he's too smart for our Johnny. Johnny thinks that all that they have to do is get the little one back to the village and then Cholmondeley's off the hook and Grandfather is happy. Then Johnny saves the day."
"You may not be far off," admitted Sylvia. "But surely they know that our family is going to make sure the child stays safe. In fact, as Emmeline has told me, she's as secure as can be at Phoebe's house waiting for the baby with the rest of them."
"Yes, well, you know that as soon as that baby shows up, Trelawney will be the last one on anyone's mind," he said. "That's when they'll make their move. Now if I'm there, the rest of the family can do all the fussing that they want over the baby and I'll keep the little one safe."
"I don't know, Liam," she said doubtfully. "Things could go wrong very quickly if you're not careful. They're not going to let you near Trelawney and Phoebe until after the baby's safely born, and even then maybe not. We don't want any nightmares for them again if they find out that Cholmondeley's gotten away."
"Don't you see, Syl?" he said. "They'll never rest easy until he's gone once and for all. As long as everyone believes our Trelawney about the damage he's done to her, he's a marked man. He can't go back to the village or nothing. It's him or her, there's no two ways about it."
"That is a bit drastic, brother," she replied. "Isn't it?"
"I'll go through it again," he said. "She'll have no peace while he's out there, because nobody can stick to him for the rest of his life. And his life is a misery unless he can prove her wrong, which he can't while she's alive. Once she's gone it's his word against Auntie Agatha. And she's not exactly the most competent witness if you catch my drift. Especially since she only discerned the matter from another little girl's mind. Can I make it any plainer than that?"
Sylvia was silent. She knew that he was right. There would be no peace for either one of them until the other was gone. Liam couldn't follow him around forever. Who knew when he would have to return to the village and marry? Dad was already making noises about him coming home and doing his duty by the family. He had even found him a couple of the pretty Chenowith girls for him to choose from. Pretty girls they were and quite homely. Either one of them would make a worthy Figalilly wife. And with a cousin already married to Christabel, they could be counted on as a good, solid family.
"You realize, Liam," she said slowly. "That if you take your plan to its logical conclusion, you won't be fit to follow Dad as paterfamilias. You also know that such an action would damn your soul for many lifetimes. The little one would never forgive herself if you took such action on her account."
"I'd make her understand that it was my only choice," he said. "She'd be able to understand simple logic."
"Liam, please listen!" she begged. "The child is a little fey. She can't understand that kind of reasoning. She'd harm herself before she'd let you damn your own soul. And if you do, I can guarantee it will break her heart. She's a fragile little thing. Those such as her never live long lives. And think about Phoebe. After all these months of grieving and sadness, she's as happy as can be about to give birth to this baby. She's sworn to keep Trelawney safe. If anything happens to the little one it will break her heart as well."
"I am keeping Trelawney safe," he replied. "It's the only way I know how. Should she spend the whole of her life looking over her shoulder for that bastard? No, Syl, this is the only way."
Sylvia shook her head. He just couldn't see it. He had his points, but in the end, there would be no way to hide such an action from the child. And she did love him. She loved all in the family, but Liam had always charmed her. It was no wonder that he felt so strongly about her. They all did. But his moral compass was way off on this one.
Trelawney was pure light and goodness. Those such as she were always a threat to the forces of the dark. And in this present situation, it would appear that the poor child was caught in a conundrum. It seemed that one way or another, the forces of the dark would win. It would either be Cholmondeley trying to protect himself by hurting her or Liam trying to protect her by hurting him. You cannot beat the darkness with itself. You can only strengthen it. Strengthen the darkness and it could do away with Trelawney. And without Trelawney, what would happen to Maisie?
As Sylvia watched her brother brood in silence, she made her own silent plea to the angel. He must know what was happening. He must know the complexity of the situation that now faced them. He must know, so that he could guard the young girl who had been placed under his protection.
She remembered her own sight of the little girl and her peaceful blue aura and the twinkling of white lights that had so briefly appeared. There was so much more to this child than any of them knew, or perhaps could know. Like many of her kind, she was an ethereal being who existed somewhere between heaven and earth. How often had Auntie Meg had to tell people that God never makes mistakes? Just as any of them, Trelawney had been put on this earth for a purpose. But it was not for anyone but God to say what that purpose was.
Liam had now shifted himself so that his back was to her. She knew that he was furious that she was there to spoil his plans, whatever they were. She was hoping against hope that he was wrong, and that Johnny and Cholmondeley were off somewhere else. It was one of the few times that she regretted that they were able to move between places with such ease. No doubt they would get where they were going by alternative means, so to speak. It would make them impossible to track.
She was lucky that Liam had chosen a more traditional means of transportation, but then he didn't really know where to go in California once he got there. Hopefully it would be Rob Everett who would be there to meet them at the airport. He might be able to talk some sense into her brother. Despite the disruption to her own life she was secretly pleased that she would be in town for Phoebe's baby. They all knew that she was fated to be a most blessed child of light. Her destiny was a special one. And they would all be there to make sure that she would live to fulfill it.
By early evening, Phoebe was ready to go out of her mind. The pains, which were not that bad, were coming at irregular intervals. The last time that Mrs. Clancy had checked she was still not dilated even one centimeter. Everyone else was hanging around the bedroom trying to make conversation. Finally, Trelawney, who was getting very restless, had an idea.
"All of this sitting and waiting is getting us nowhere," she declared. "Why don't we all go downstairs and I'll play some Mozart for you all. There's no reason why Phoebe has to be in bed, Mrs. Clancy, is there?"
"None that I can think of," she replied. "When she needs to be in bed, she'll know it before the rest of us."
"Jolly good!" she said cheerfully. "So let's go downstairs!"
Everyone followed her downstairs except Mrs. Morgan, who was sleeping. Mrs. Clancy had decided that one of them should sit awake with Phoebe for the night. Mrs. Morgan would be getting up at 2 am, so she had gone to bed early. Fortunately, she was used to working irregular shifts at the hospital, so falling asleep was not a problem.
Elspeth met them at the bottom of the stairs, clearly grateful for the company. Phoebe noticed that she was on her best behavior, no doubt warned by both Trelawney and Emmeline that it wouldn't take much for her to be banished up the street with Waldo. What could not be explained to Mrs. Clancy was that Elspeth's primary responsibility was to watch over Trelawney. As Rob had earlier noted, it was lucky that she wasn't an enormous hairy breed like Waldo.
Trelawney seated herself at the piano and Elspeth parked herself next to the piano bench. She warmed up with a few scales.
"Professor," she said sternly. "How many times have I told you that you must keep this piano in tune?"
Hal rolled his eyes. He hated it when she scolded him. But that was Trelawney. Before he could answer she began to play their mother's favorite piece. She and Hal were seated together on the couch, so she snuggled up against him. Forgetting the girl's teasing, he drew her closer and began to stroke her hair as she rested her head on his shoulder. It was a gesture that never failed to sooth her.
Catherine and Emmeline sat in the chairs opposite them and Mrs. Clancy sat on the love seat with her knitting. Only Tom seemed restless. Trelawney took note even though her back was turned to them.
"The good king must relax himself," she said as her fingers danced over the keys. "There is nothing more that can be done tonight."
He looked over at her and then seated himself in another one of the chairs. Now that everyone was settled, Phoebe felt that she could relax. Her sister's music was always soothing, especially when she played Mozart. Sitting so close to Hal made her feel safe. Now that she was accustomed to the occasional twinges of pain, she knew that nothing was likely to happen soon.
She could feel Maisie stirring a little. No doubt she was letting her know that it wouldn't be long before they would finally meet face to face. She looked over at her sister happily playing the piano, having now switched from Mozart to Chopin. She remembered when she was finally born after hours of pushing, Mum had told old Mrs. Pengally to give the baby to her. She recalled the feeling of holding the tiny little one in her arms.
The babe had been crying until she held her and she looked up at her with her trusting sky blue eyes. It was at that moment that she knew that Mum had wanted them to always be close. In fact when she started rooting, she had only reluctantly handed her over to her Mum. Now, she would hold her own baby first. And when the child starting rooting, she would be the one to nurse her.
She found herself drifting off to the peaceful sound of the music. Resting as she was on Hal's shoulder, she could feel his heart beat. After a moment, she was lulled into a most delightful and restful sleep.
When she woke up, she was in bed and it was still dark out. She lifted herself up.
"Hal?" she asked.
"Do you want me to wake him?" It was Mrs. Morgan's voice. That meant that it was after two.
"What happened?" she asked, feeling a bit confused.
Mrs. Morgan moved over to the chair where Hal had been sitting beside the bed.
"Mrs. Clancy told me that you were all listening to your little sister playing piano downstairs and you fell asleep," she said quietly. "Your husband carried you up to bed. He's sleeping downstairs in the living room with Tom. Your sister is right here beside you."
Phoebe looked over and saw the little figure curled up in a ball. She was so small and light that she hadn't even noticed her.
"Catherine and Emmeline are down the hall in the one bedroom," she said. "Mrs. Clancy is in the one across the hall."
"Don't wake up Hal," she replied. "I have a feeling that tomorrow going to be a very long day."
"So do I," smiled the nurse. "You're very close to active labor. Both Mrs. Clancy and I can feel it. You're lucky that you're not in a hospital or they might have started a Pitocin IV drip by now."
Phoebe was confused.
"To induce labor," she explained. "The doctors can get impatient. I think that it's better this way. Things will start in their own time and everything will be okay. You'll see."
Phoebe looked up into the kindly woman's face. She knew from their interview that she had assisted in many births. Despite her own desire to get things moving, she was still afraid. Mrs. Morgan must have sensed her fear.
"Every mother is frightened the first time she gives birth," she said gently. "It is an awesome and life changing experience. We know that your child is strong and healthy and you are also a strong and healthy young woman. If the prospect of the pain is really too frightening, there is still enough time to get you to the hospital where you can get some kind of anesthesia."
"I know," she said. "But this is the way that I want to do it. I am more afraid to go to hospital than I am to have the baby here."
"I'm not sure that I understand," said Mrs. Morgan.
"Neither do I," she said. "But I am afraid that if I go to the hospital something could go wrong. I feel safer here. I don't know why, I just do."
"Then we'll go with your instincts," said Mrs. Morgan. "You know what is best for you and your baby. Why don't you try to go back to sleep now?"
Phoebe nodded and looked at Trelawney lying beside her as she had often done before. Out of habit, she picked up the little girl's hand and held it. She could feel the energy of the girl's aura strengthening her heart. Even though the child was sleeping, there was a connection between them that could never be broken. She closed her eyes and allowed herself to drift off to sleep again. She was safe, and so was Maisie. And tomorrow, they would finally meet.