To people who beheld Sabelle O'Malley, she was the young lifeworker, her excalibur was a scalpel. She was a force of nature with bunny-printed scrubs.
When she collasped in her father's hospital room, people didn't make haste to get her onto a bed of her own.
Then came the usual questions
Are you in pain?
Where does it hurt?
Have you eaten much today?
She never thought she would be sitting on an exam table, a gel covered wand moved steadily across her belly. The screen only looked like static on a television. Until she saw it, a little white blob.
"You're pregnant all right." The technician confirmed, her tight red curls bounced around her with each step she took. "Congratulations, doctor."
Belle forced a smile, but her body became more and more numb each second longer she stared at the screen. This was deja-vu, it had to be, as she backtracked to that day fifteen years ago.
She had practically been a baby herself when she had her own son. She remembered sitting on an exam table, only this time it was cold and metal, covered with a thin sheet of paper.
The only warmth she felt was her father's hand as it rested on her shoulder. "Don't worry, sweetheart. I'm here."
She didn't hear him, instead as a distraction, she fingered the charms on her wristful of bracelets, watching them as they caught the light that flooded through the chicken wired window. Dust floated aimlessly through the air.
This place was old, she thought, no doubt the doctor would be old, too.
She couldn't have been more right.
He was an old man who introduced himself as Doctor Lieberstein, tall lanky guy with sagging skin, like billowing, dirty silk.
Big watery blue eyes were framed by oversized glasses.
"Folks," His voice was meek and soft as he adjusted his glasses. "How are you on this fine morning?"
"Fine," Belle fingered the frayed ends of her hair, that'd been styled into a braid by her aunt. She only gave the man a nod, her hand rested on her swollen belly.
"Good, good." Lieberstein nodded. "You have a reason to be happy, of course. You're six months along, right?"
"Yes, twenty-five weeks."
It was only supposed to be a routine checkup.
But there Belle was, laid up in bed, legs propped up and open.
"Come on, sweetie, push." A nurse, whose hair matched the color of her bright blue eyes. "Push."
"I..can't." Belle moaned, leaning up against her pillow. Sweat ran down the sides of her neck, and her curls stuck to her forehead. "It's too soon."
"Sugarbug, please." Johnny begged. "I know this hurts..I know it hurts. But you have to push."
She just stared, at that little white blob on the screen.