"Hello, Mike?" Monica greeted as she heard the young man's voice pick up on the other end of the phone. "It's Monica." She told him quickly in an excitable voice, though she really didn't have to, as her distinct, Irish accent gave her away immediately. Mike and Abby had known that Monica would be taking a pregnancy test soon and had been waiting for a call for two days now. Monica promised to let them know as soon as she did.
"And?" He pressed after a lengthy, expectant silence. Monica took a deep breath and prepared herself to tell him. But after taking a brief pause, she realized she was probably frightening Mike with her hesitance. So eventually, she decided she'd better just say it. "We're having a baby!" She announced proudly as her free hand strayed almost automatically to her belly. She could hear Mike draw in a sharp breath and shout for Abby to tell her the good news. When he did, Monica could hear excited screaming from Abby on the other end of the phone before Mike came back on and told Monica that she just had to come over as soon as she could. She laughed out loud and promised to go over right now.
Hanging up the receiver, Monica turned back to Andrew and Gloria, who were still wearing big smiles of excitement. It was just too hard to believe. Andrew stepped forward yet again and placed a gentle hand on Monica's stomach again. He knew that the baby was still too small to really feel, but it still felt amazing just to do it.
"They want me to go over and see them right away." Monica informed her friends, still beaming broadly. Andrew chuckled and sighed contentedly as he removed his hand from her belly and kissed the top of her head lovingly. Monica smiled thanks and squeezed her friend's hand in return. "I'll be back later." She finished before giving both Gloria and Andrew one more hug and racing for the door of their apartment. She waved one last goodbye and disappeared out into the hallway. Andrew and Gloria watched her go and exchanged amazed glances when she was gone.
Monica hurried downstairs and out onto the street, whispering thanks up to the heavens the entire way. She could easily walk to the Tuckers' and she decided she was in the mood to do so as she reached the road and turned left in the direction of the Tuckers'. But when she reached about the halfway point, she noted a woman striding in a fast, important-seeming gate approaching her. She looked familiar. Was that who she thought it was? It was! Unmistakable. The salt-and-pepper curls, broad frame and dark skin gave her away immediately.
Monica stopped dead in her tracks, suddenly realizing what she had to do as Tess waved a hello from where she was on the sidewalk and began to walk faster when she saw her old pupil. Monica desperately tried to conjure up some starting note as to how to tell her supervisor what had happened. All excitement suddenly drained from her as Tess finally reached her and gave her a quick hug hello. "Hey, baby." She greeted with a wide smile. It was clear enough that she knew absolutely nothing about what had been going on. Monica returned the smile briefly and awaited an explanation as to why Tess was here before she said anything about her own business.
"Well, I was told to come here and see you. What do you need?" Tess released the exact words that Monica dreaded hearing, but now that she had heard them, there was only one way to tell her. "Well…Tess…actually…there's something I need to speak with you about." Monica stammered to begin, although it wasn't as difficult as she had expected. Perhaps because she was so numbed with happiness and excitement to actually realize that she was practically on a suicidal mission.
Tess nodded with an expectant expression and waited for her charge to explain. Monica took a deep breath to compose her thoughts and then began. "Well, Tess, the assignment called for a surrogate mother." She told her old friend quickly, seriously hoping that she would figure out the rest herself. Unfortunately for Monica, she didn't. "Yeah." She nodded in semi-understanding. "What's the matter, didn't you get one?" She pried, clearly not catching Monica's meaning. So Monica forced herself to continue. "Oh, I got one." Now she was just digging around in her mind, desperately trying to come up with an explanation. "But…Tess…" She was beginning to stutter again and Tess raised her eyebrows in anticipation. "What is it Miss Wings? Spit it out!" She snapped impatiently as she watched her trainee struggle with words.
Monica then took a deep breath one more time before emphasizing her point. She then reached out and took Tess' hand, which she then placed softly over her stomach. She knew there was nothing really there yet to feel, but she hoped her supervisor would at least get the point, which she did. She definitely did. "You've got a lot of explaining to do Angel Girl."
To be continued…
Coming soon: Surrogate Angel - Part 2: The sequel