It was two in the morning. The loud ringing of the phone on my nightstand amplified the pounding throb of my hangover. I felt like shit. I yawned, stretched, and knocked the phone off the receiver. I fumbled with it in the dark before I groggily answered, “Hello?”
“Nick? Nick!” Vickie yelled.
“Wake up and get to Central General…now! I’m about to have this baby!” she wailed.
That woke me up.
I stuttered, “Wh-What? It’s a month early.”
“I’m aware of that, Nick. I need you to get your ass here now.”
“I’m on my way.”
“Did you hear me? You need to get here right fucking now.” I rubbed my hand over my face.
“Calm down. I said I’m coming.”
“I’m not kidding, Nick. Uniondale is twenty minutes away. If you’re not here within the hour, as soon as I have this baby, I’m signing it over to the state.”
“Don’t do that. I’ll be there. I already told you I’ll take care of us—all of us. I’m leaving now.”
She hung up.





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