“Did I wake you? Aw, I’m sorry honey,” Nick says as he rushes around the room getting dressed. “We got a radio gig this morning and I’m late already.”
“Figures,” I say lightly and he sticks his tongue out at me.
“Yeah, yeah. I’m gone. Have a good day,” he runs over and kisses me before leaving the room.
“Bye,” I say and sit up slowly.
He didn’t wake me. I have barely slept all night. I pull the sheets back and stare at the bed. There’s a big red spot slowly forming between my legs. I touch it and then myself – my hand completely stained with blood. A sharp pain cuts me in half and I bite my lip to stop from screaming. I stumble out of bed and double over as the pain keeps on coming. I don’t know what to do. It hurts so much. I’m losing my baby, I just know I am. I drop slowly to the floor and rock myself to try and soothe the pain away.
I knock on Ali’s door on my way down to breakfast. I figure she might want to join me, take her mind off things. The Boys aren’t due back until after lunch. There’s no reply to my knock and I’m about to walk away when I hear a soft whimpering noise.
“Ali?” I call through the door but there’s no reply. I try the door and it opens. “Hey Ali, you left the door open,” I say as I walk into the room. I stop when I see Ali huddled up on the floor rocking herself. She is really pale and crying. “Oh honey,” I run over to sit by her and wrap my arms around her. “What happened?” She looks at me and shows me her hands. They’re stained with blood. I look over at the bed and realise there is a stain there too. I suddenly understand what’s going on. “Oh Ali, it’s gonna be ok,” I tell her and stand up to call an ambulance. I give them the hotel name and the room number before going back to hug Ali. “Somebody will be here real soon baby,” I tell her as she carries on rocking herself.
“I’ve lost my baby,” she whispers.
“Want me to call Nick?”
“No, he doesn’t know,” she looks at me with wide eyes. “He CAN’T know now Jade!”
“It’s ok Ali,” I tell her.
“I’ve lost my baby haven’t I?”
“I don’t know,” I tell her and sit holding her until the ambulance arrives.
I’ve lost our baby. And I feel so guilty. It must’ve been something I did. Or maybe I’m just being punished for the things I did in the past. The doctor said it wasn’t anything to do with me. Just one of those things. He said most pregnancies are terminated naturally before women even know they’re pregnant. Like that’s supposed to make me feel better? I knew I had a baby inside me. I may not have known long but I still knew. I really thought that maybe this was it – my chance to be happy. I’m just thankful that Nick doesn’t know. He can’t find out – it would hurt him too much. It’s bad enough that I’m hurting, I don’t want to do this to Nick too. I’m just going to go stay with my parents for a week or so, just until I feel stronger again. Then I can come back to Nick and try to pick things up again.
“Ali, I really wish you would tell him,” I say down the phone. She has just woken me up by calling. She’s still saying Nick doesn’t need to know about her miscarriage. “Yeah, it will upset him but you need his support to help get you through this!”
“I’m gonna be ok Jade,” she murmurs.
“But he’ll notice that you’re not yourself,” I reason.
“I know. That’s why I’ve left.”
“The tour. I’m at the airport right now. I got a flight back to Brooklyn in an hour and then I’m gonna think about things a while. It’ll be good to be with my parents for a week or so.”
“Does Nick know?”
“ALI!” I exclaim.
“I didn’t know what to tell him!”
“So you just packed and left? No note?!”
“Yeah, I told him my mom got ill.”
“Yeah. I don’t wanna hurt him Jade!”
“Then come back here Ali,” I tell her.
“I’ll be back in a week.”
“You have to tell him Ali.”
My only answer is a click as she hangs up.
“Ugh,” I grunt frustratedly and put the phone down.
“C’mon Alicia!” my mom calls from the kitchen. “Breakfast is getting cold!”
“Not hungry!” I yell back and pull the sheets up higher over my body. I got home to Brooklyn last night. My parents had been surprised to see me but made me real welcome.
“Alicia, you gotta eat!” mom yells, walking into my room.
“Sheesh, knock why dontcha?” I grump as she sits by me.
“I’ve seen it all before,” she smiles. “I used to change your dirty nappies remember?”
“Actually I don’t remember,” I tell her. “I guess I musta blocked it out.”
“Yeah,” she laughs. “I just wish I could.”
“I bet,” I grin at her and she starts to stroke my hair gently. I close my eyes and just give into the feeling of being a little girl again. I wish my mom could soothe away THIS problem like she did all those times I suffered unrequited love, and that one time I crushed on a New Kid On The Block and found out he had a serious girlfriend.
“Alicia, are you ok?” she suddenly asks softly and I open my eyes.
“You never just come and see us,” she says. “We really love you and we love seeing you but it worries us a little that you’re here.”
“I’m fine,” I close my eyes again so that she can’t see the tears threatening to fall. “I just wanted to see you guys.”
“And Nick is ok?”
“Nick is just great.”
“And you’d tell me if there was…”
“Mom, I would tell you.”
“I promise,” I whisper.
I’m eating a late breakfast in the hotel restaurant when Brian, Nick and AJ join me. They’ve all been recording a segment for Good Morning America – their third early start in a row. They all have plates full of food.
“Damn I’m hungry,” AJ complains. “That TV station had NOTHIN’ edible at all.”
“Aw, that’s bad,” I tease him. “What happened to the rider?”
“They totally ignored it,” AJ plays along. “No candy, no chips, no Pepsi, no sandwiches, no caviar or champagne… It was a FARCE I tell ya.”
I smile at him as the other two chuckle at AJ’s impression of a spoilt rich kid. I’m grateful that he’s joined the table even though I’m here. Maybe this is the start?
“Sleep well baby?” Brian asks me and reaches out to stroke my back gently.
“Yeah, I did. Ali woke me up,” I say glancing at Nick. I wonder if he’s read her note yet.
“Ali did?” he looks up. “How is she? Did she mention her mom?”
“She was still waiting for her flight,” I tell him.
“Oh right. You know what time it gets in New York?”
“Nuh,” I shrug and avoid his gaze. I hate lying to him.
“I really hope her mom is ok,” Nick says.
“Ali’s mom is ill?” asks AJ. “Cathy?”
“Yeah,” Nick nods. “It sounds pretty serious.”
“Really?” AJ stands up. “I better go call my mom. She’ll want to know.” He disappears before I can think up a way to stop him.
“I’m gonna go back to my room for a shower,” Nick stands up as he finishes his food. “Catch you guys later.” He heads off and I groan, laying my head on my arms.
“Honey?” Brian rubs my back.
“Oh God,” I mutter and look up at him.
“What’s wrong baby?” Brian looks concerned and I touch his hand.
“It’s Ali,” I tell him and he leans back in his chair with a sigh.
“Her mom’s not ill right?”
“Right,” I nod. “She’s gone back for a week.”
“She couldn’t tell him about the baby?”
“Uh, there is no baby,” I tell him quietly. “Not anymore. She had a miscarriage yesterday.”
“A miscarriage?!” his eyes widen. “Why didn’t you tell me?!”
“I didn’t see you at all yesterday,” I defend. “You were out at 5am and then I spent the entire day with Ali and when I got back you were asleep.”
“Ok, ok,” he sighs. “Sorry. God. How’s Ali?”
“Not good at all. She blames herself.”
“God,” he sighs and rubs his eyes. “I wish there was something we could do.”
“I know. It was awful seeing her like that yesterday. Y’know how she’s usually all strong and stuff,” I say and he nods slowly.
“She really needs to tell Nick.”
“I know. She just doesn’t want him to hurt.”
“But she needs him.”
“I told her that. Plus he’s gonna notice she’s different when she gets back. I mean, this stuff changes you.”
“Uh huh,” Brian nods. “God. I wish she was here so that I could go hug her.”