A/N: Hi Guys, it's been a long time! This is just a fluffy oneshot I made to celebrate National Teacher's Day here in Australia. It came to me suddenly and I didn't stop till I finished. I apologise for any mistakes I may have missed. As usual, I only own my imagination, Stephenie owns Twilight and pwns us all with her genius.
Gentle Words, Familiar Hope
Several furious knocks rang at the door of Carlisle's office, thus effectively interrupting Carlisle's lunch break. The nurse popped her head through the door after a quick 'come in' and preceded to apologise for interrupting, and that a woman had just come in; going in to labor and Carlisle was needed to deliver the baby. She continued to look apologetic to the both of us, sincerity in her eyes and rushed down the hospital hallways, Carlisle and I following hot on her heels. I wasn't sure why I was following, or even if I was allowed, but I think it was the fact that the word 'baby' made my non-beating heart swell. I was glad to know that someone was going to be a mother, even though I could never experience that again myself. From what vague memory I had, I savored each memory because even under the circumstances, it was one of the best experiences I had ever had. I could hear the woman panting and groaning on the bed inside the delivery room, while her husband stood outside pacing the floor. He had his hand through his hair and his eyes trained on the ground, muttering under his breath.
I approached him slowly so not to scare him and placed a hand lightly on his shoulder. He jumped slightly at the contact with my chilly hand and looked up at me. There was a flicker of recognition when I saw his face, it was difficult to place, as I knew it was from my human memory, but I pushed it aside and queried as to how he was doing.
He was a bit stunned, but answered regardless, "My wife's just gone into labor and I'm terribly frightened." He smiled weakly and laughed nervously. I led him to a seat to try and get him to maybe calm slightly. As soon as we sat down his eyebrows furrowed slightly "Have we met before? You remind me of someone," his question took me off guard, knowing I wasn't the only one, but if he knew who I was, it could be dangerous.
"I'm sorry, I don't believe so," the man couldn't have been more than twenty-two.
"It was a long time ago, I'm probably mistaken. I'm Matthew. Matthew Carr, it's a pleasure," he offered his hand out to shake and I took it gingerly and hazy memories passed through my mind. Images from when I was in Ashland. A little boy, five or six, playing under a tree, chasing another small girl, the name rang a bell, but the only person I thought of was one of my kindergarten students. It's been long enough.
"And you, my name is Esme Cullen; the Doctors Wife," he still kept his hand grasped with mine as he stared intently at me; I grew uncomfortable under his gaze and fidgeted out of habit. He let go and looked down, scratching the back of his head. "I'm sorry. You just remind me so much of my Kindergarten teacher, the similarities are frightening, but it can't be. She disappeared years ago," It is him. Why is he here in West Virginia? I tried to change the subject so he wouldn't get any more suspicious.
"What brings you to Elkins?" I asked, praying it would work. Matthew's eyebrows furrowed again at my attempt to change the subject, but replied anyway.
"It's a long story," he looked up at me, and I nodded for him to continue, he looked toward the delivery room and turned back to me, "I suppose we have a bit of time, it's all so surreal. Now that I think about it, it was Miss. Platt who got me here. What a coincidence," he chuckled and I joined in nervously, a coincidence indeed.
"I remember, I was in kindergarten, in Ashland – where I grew up – and I was at school one day and she had been teaching us English I think. She was heavily pregnant and still on her feet with swollen ankles, teaching us our ABC's – her dedication was astounding – her baby would kick and each time she would look down at her stomach and rub it gently. She would always cradle it and Annie, my best friend, leaned over and whispered to me 'come talk to Miss Platt with me at recess,' she had this big smile plastered on her face and she bounced in her seat, waiting for Miss Platt to call for lunchtime and when she did, she rocketed out of her seat and straight to her before she could sit down," each word he spoke made the image clearer and I could remember it all now.
"Hi Miss Platt!"
"Hello Annabelle, Matthew, what seems to be the problem?" I looked at the two five year olds curiously, Annabelle was smiling, with her front teeth missing, her braids slightly falling out of place, while Matthew just looked at her wondering what she was doing.
"I just wanted to know how the baby was and how long it was going to be before it's born. I really like babies, they're really cute and I watched my mummy have my little brother and I've always liked babies from then on!" Matthew was smiling now too at his best friend and looked up at me with his bright blue eyes.
"Well children, the baby should be here in about a week, if I'm right. He's doing wonderfully, he's very strong –oh there he goes again!" The baby kicked suddenly and I saw their eyes widen and I cradled my massive stomach.
"What did it just do Miss Platt?" Matthew asked. I winced slightly as the baby kicked again and their eyes filled with concern.
"He's just stretching. He kicked," Annabelle's mouth created an 'o' shape and asked right away "Can I feel it?"
I couldn't see the harm in it I suppose. I nodded at the children and they put their tiny hands lightly on my stomach, as if it were a fragile piece of glass and waited for the baby to kick again. Once it did, they jerked their hands back, eyes bulging saucers with a 'whoa!' and 'that's so neat!'
Annabelle sighed, "I can't wait to have a baby, I'll take real good care of it and everything. I wanna be the best mom in the world!" She smiled and I smiled at the wonder in her eyes, while Matthew timidly looked at her and grabbed her hand.
"One day, we'll have our own baby and we can be as happy as Miss Platt, we can name it after her and everything we will!. We'll have a baby girl and I will buy her pretty dresses like your daddy buys yours and we'll play with her everyday. Okay?" He said. He loved his best friend, at five years old.
She looked him straight in the eye, hers full of hope "Really?"
"Really," he nodded furiously, promising her. She flung her arms around his neck and he stumbled back before holding her gently.
"Kids," I started and they came out from their embrace and looked at me "You may have to wait a few years, till you're old like me."
"But you aren't old!" Matthew exclaimed.
"Thankyou, but as I was saying, If you decide to have a child," I looked pointedly at Matthew, "You have to promise me that you will always love her and be there for whomever you marry. You have to promise me you will treat her like a princess and let her boss you around, and whatever you do, don't hurt her or leave her. Ever." I tried to keep myself in control of my emotions, as I tried to tell him to be everything Charles wasn't. His name still brought up the tingling burning of the bruises that used to cover my skin. I tried to block out all those thoughts with the touch of the gentle hands of the doctor that helped me all those years ago.
"Sure thing Miss. Platt! I'll do anything for Annie, I may play fight with her sometimes, but I would never really hurt her and she's already a princess that bosses me around, so it shouldn't be too hard,"
"I am not bossy!" Annabelle pouted her lips and crossed her arms over her chest with a 'humph'. "Anyways, Thankyou Miss. Platt. Come on Matty, I want to go tell Elizabeth about the baby kicking!" She turned and started to run outside, but when she got to the doorway she called to him "Hurry up slow poke!"
He turned to her and started walking to her as if he couldn't be away from her, but before he left, he stopped and looked up at me.
"Thanks Miss Platt. Really, and I love Annie so much and I would never hurt her. I'm just saying. Whoever would hurt girls is silly. You're really the best teacher ever. I wish all teachers were like you, really smart and pretty. Bye!" Just like that, he ran out the door. His words were so simple and yet they touched my heart. Let's just say, they all got an extra long recess.
We were both disrupted from the story with the muffled screams from the girl inside. I hoped for her it would be over soon. Matthew looked as though he wanted to go to her, do something for her, but stayed.
"She's strong," I tried to reassure him. I gave him a small smile that he returned and sat down again. "It should be over soon."
"She is isn't she? Anyway, as I was saying, two days later she - Miss Platt - didn't come and we all thought it was because she had the baby. I asked my mother if Annie and I could go and see her, but she refused. I waited and waited for her to come back to school and show us the baby. I bet it was a pretty baby; she was a beautiful woman, but she never showed.
By the end of the school year, she still didn't come and I tried not to worry, but I couldn't help it. She was the best teacher I ever had and I still stand by that statement. The others were good, but no one could compare to her and still I think she was under appreciated. Her and all the teachers like her.
The years went passed and I found just as I had since I was five, I loved Annie. But then I found out she was moving here. I was half crazed, I couldn't stand to see her leave and I still hadn't told her what I felt. By the time she left, I was absolutely heart broken; I couldn't stand to not be around her. Then I remembered Miss Platt's words 'whatever you do, don't hurt her or leave her. Ever' I was surprised that I remembered that speech, but it was so true, her words stunned me. So I followed her, I got up one morning and I caught the next train over here. Two years later, here we are," he smiled at his own words and so did I. It was such an adorable story of love and I was glad that he had found his love. Although admittedly, I was glad that even though I didn't know it, I helped him find that.
"So that's Annie in there about to have that baby you promised her?" I queried.
"Sure is. It was just a couple of days ago I was talking to her about Miss Platt - I still don't know her first name. For hours Annie would say 'I have no clue how she did it,' or 'she must be a superhero to stand on her feet all day,' and my favourite 'I wonder if she kept a jar of pickles in her drawer?' and she would boss me around worse than I had ever thought possible. But now I'm afraid. I'm so happy that I'm about to be a father, it's going to be the best time of my life, but it's all that talk on the radio of the unrest with the Nazi's. They think that there's going to be another war with Hitler on the rise and I don't want to leave her. I don't want to be away from her. I'd worry too much. And the baby! I don't want to have Uncle Sam call me up for Service, only to die and have the baby grow without it's daddy. I couldn't stand for that to happen," the worry lines on his face looked as though they were permanently etched on his forehead as he pondered the possibilities of the war. It was obvious that he had thought long and hard about the topic and he was stressing himself out. His heartbeat began to rise and he started to panic. I put my hand on his knee and asked him to look at me.
"Matthew Carr, I know it's hard and yes it is scary, but you have to be strong for Annie and the baby. It's not going to do anyone any good if you keep worrying like this. Everyone is frightened, but if the inevitable happens and war is declared and you are called up, all you can do is think about them everyday, write them letters and do your darn hardest to get back home.
Then just think, each day you get closer and closer to getting back home and then maybe it won't seem so bad. I know you'll miss them like nothing else, but that should never let that hinder you. Of course, that is if it were to happen.
You never know what is going happen and you can't dwell on those possibilities, you have to live in the present and be thankful for each day that goes by. Watch your family grow and smile! It will all turn out in the end, no matter how bad the day may seem."
The words just spilled out of my mouth, and I hoped that they all made sense.
His eyes had glassed over, those bright blue eyes now crystal clear. I made out the whisper of a 'thank you,' when the door to the delivery room opened and Carlisle walked out with a warm smile on his face, he grasped Matthew's hand with his own and shook it firmly.
"Congratulations son, you're now the father of a healthy baby girl," Matthew returned Carlisle's words with a thousand watt smile and a stray tear of happiness spilled from his eye.
"And Annie? Can I see her?" he asked.
"Perfectly well. You can see both of them," Matthew looked over his shoulder at me.
"Thankyou. For everything, it really means a lot to me," I nodded to him in return and he had that smile on his face as he took long strides in to the room and over to the bed where his wife and daughter lay. He kissed the foreheads of both females and whispered "I told you it was going to be a girl."
"What will we name her?" I heard Annie ask, just as Carlisle put his arm around my shoulders and kiss my temple.
"I'm thinking Esme. It just feels right."
"Esme it is then," for the second time today, my heart swelled at the hands of old friends. I couldn't help but wish it would all work out for them, just like it had worked out for me. I looked up toward my husband lovingly and reached up to kiss him lightly.
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