I sincerely apologize for my lack of updating.
By the way- I've never witnessed or experienced childbirth (thank God) so, this is just how I imagine it.
"There's water in your eyes and I know I'm the reason that it's there,
But still I don't feel bad because I know it's you are more a spare.
And just behind your eyes are switches that can turn back on,
To clear away today 'til all your memories are gone."
Chapter Four: Carried Away
She belted out another cry for help, a piercing scream that curdled the blood of the fiercest warrior. Nobody came. They pretended it wasn't there. Her cried rang out through the dark apartment building, now begging for help. Essie dug her fingers into the mattress, making her knuckles sink white. The pain was worse than the sharp points of flying shrapnel, stronger than the sting of a hot bullet.
Nixon wrapped his shaking hands around the cold steel bedpost, his bloodshot eyes bolting open with her screams. His mind was still blank, uncertain why there was a screaming woman in his bed and why she was bleeding profusely. When he looked up, he saw her square dark eyebrows furrowed and sweat sprinting down her cheeks. With her eyes pinched shut and head arched back; Esther didn't even notice the tall man observing this labor of love.
"Y-your hand…" she released her hold on the dusty blanket. "Give m-me your hand, Lew."
Slowly he neared her side, hesitantly grasping her sweaty palm. He still was convinced this was just another one of 'those' dreams. Nixon felt fire burning around his concerned eyes, watching this strong woman wallowing in pain.
"How can I help?" he bent down closer to her ear. "What do I do?"
Before she could respond, a fierce wave of exhaustion flooded her and her bright eyes began fluttering shut. He squeezed her hand tighter, running his thumb across the smooth surface of her hand.
"Essie, Essie you need to push. I don't know shit about childbirth, but I've seen those movies and the doctor always tells the girl to 'push'…"
A faint smile flickered on her lips, amused by the innocence riddling his words. The constant pain rippled through, and Essie clenched his large hand tighter. Biting her lip, she urged herself to 'push'. With each attempt she would constrict Lew's hand harder, and the tips eventually grew purple.
"LEW!" Esther shrieked as hot tears rolled from her eyes.
His sweet breath collided with her flushed skin, "Shh, you're alright… push, Es." Nixon wasn't concerned whether or not she loved him now, but only the rhythm of her breath. Grimacing, he yanked a checkered handkerchief from his back pocket. Delicately and lovingly, Lew ran the cloth across her hot forehead. She let out a heavy sigh, her body slipping into shock.
Bang, bang, BANG!
"Lewis, you in there!? Open up!" A redheaded Eskimo from Reading, Pennsylvania called through the heavy oak door.
Nix stood to leave her side, but she pulled him back down, "Don't let go of me…" She quietly begged.
Worriedly, his dark eyes dashed from her face to the door. "Dick! Get in here!"
The door flew open, the golden doorknob crashing against the neighboring wall. "Who is screaming!?" Winters' blue eyes dashed around the rancid smelling room, searching for his dear friend.
"It's Essie… she's uh…" Lewis couldn't quite comprehend the dire situation. "She's having a baby, Dick."
Richard dashed to the other side of the bed; grasping Essie's other twitching hand. At first he looked her up and down, his usually strong stomach churning with the sight of her blood drenching the bedspread. Pulling his icy eyes away, he found Esther staring at him blankly.
"H-hi, Major Winters…" she gasped as Lewis continued to dab her forehead and neck.
Dick leaned in closer to her, seeing the light flickering away from her eyes, "Hang tough, trooper…" He reassuringly gave her small hand two gentle squeezes.
Esther let out a heavy and relaxed sigh, the calming sound a horse makes when one slides off their saddle. A small and timid cry squeaked through the stale air. Winters and Nixon looked over at her, bewilderment lining their faces. Little did they know, the pain was over and the celebrating could begin.
With a proud smile bright in contrast to their confused faces, Essie sat up and pulled something into her arms. "Get me a blanket." She ordered calmly, smiling down to the bare and damp body pressed against her chest. It whimpered and whined, its small cherry lips snapping as it tasted the first gulp of air.
"I-is that the… the baby?" Winters' surprised voice questioned, shifting on his kneeling knees as Nixon scurried off to his linen closet.
"Yes," she practically giggled with the blooming maternal love flooding her emotions. Nixon then came trotting to the bed once again, with a ragged tan towel in hand. Not taking her eyes from her child with a beating heart, Essie lovingly swaddled the infant in the cloth.
Looking up at her once comrades through her eyelashes, she broke the heavy silence, "It's a girl… Dixie."
Yanking their own eyes from the curious object, they raised their eyebrows in perfect unison. She smirked, "After my little sister… she got me through the war. This little bundle put me through some trouble… its only appropriate."
"Hey," Winters barely elbowed her. "I thought I got you through the war!"
She beamed, breathing softly with the silent angel, "You all did."
Essie felt Nixon shifting uncomfortably on his feet; she knew he yearned to be the father of the beautiful babe. "Lew," she held the warm newborn up to his face. "It's a wonderful life; you don't need me to know that."
His eyes grew wide, slowly cupping his calloused hand under Dixie's damp head. She had black curls, clearly inheriting the trait from her father. He gently tucked her body near his chest, the smell of whiskey entering her tiny button nose. She wrinkled the pale delicate skin, waving her fisted hand across her nose. They all chuckled to themselves- including Lewis.
"Aw, I don't like the stench either, baby girl…" It was in that peaceful moment shared with the people he cared for most, that Lewis Nixon knew he would stop drinking. There was no longer a reason to. All it took was the silent plea from a newborn…
Happy endings are great! Amiright? :)
One more chap, my lovelies!