Saturday, May 26, 2018

Hope

 Wherein Jack is a day late.

 I was very sick last night and went to bed early to try and sleep it off. So therefore, I didn't post. But here I am today, trying to finish my Ren Faire dress and post at the same time.

 And now I am even later because I fell asleep. So I will keep this short and sweet.

 Skye won the ecopy!

 And now here is a little something for all of you. Thank you for all who have read my book!

 (This is a short afterward story for Brothers-in-Arms and is therefore full of spoilers. You've been warned.)

 
Japhet's legs were shaking and he had to keep one hand on the wall. Franz stood beside him, watching him like a hawk but Japhet didn't feel any better. His knees felt like jelly and he had to remind himself to take a breath of air in and then let it out.
Women have been doing this for generations,” Franz finally told him, “Susan is going to be fine.”
Of course she is,” Japhet said, his voice cracking as it had a habit of doing even though he was now twenty-five. “She is great at everything she does.” None of that reassurance made his legs solidify any.
Just breathe or you're going to kill over,” Franz ordered.
Japhet filled his lungs with air, then coughed, bending over to catch his breath. He lost his hold on the wall and almost crashed to the floor but Franz caught him and held him up.
Japhet!” he snapped, steering him over and shoving him down into a chair. “Come on! After everything we've been through you're not going to die on me here, now, before you see your first kid!”
Mention of his first kid didn't help any with his breathing and Japhet coughed again. Franz slapped him on the back so hard his lungs stung and he tried to shove his friend back just as a nurse entered. She raised her eyebrows at them as Japhet leaped to his feet and stood ready.
Mr. Buchanan?” she asked, looking from one to the other of them.
I'm-” Japhet not only forgot if he was Mr. Buchanan he also forgot how to speak once that one word was out.
Franz rolled his eyes.
He's Mr. Buchanan,” he said, shoving him.
The nurse nodded. “You can see your wife now,” she said.
Stumbling and staggering, Japhet hurried after her, down white washed halls. For one brief moment he was back in the basement restaurant, hanging between two Nazi soldiers, his body so weak and beaten he could not stand on his own.
Shaking his head, he killed the memory. None of that mattered anymore. He was safe now. A Christian Jew living in America with his family and his wife and new child.
Child. He was a dad. His legs sagged and he placed a hand back on the wall to keep from falling over. He half wished Franz had come with him to hold him up.
In there.” The nurse pointed to an open door and Japhet slowly crept toward it.
Inside, the lights were dim and Susan was laying on a hospital bed. Her curly hair was rumpled and falling over her shoulders. Her face was red and her eyes shinning like they had the first time he'd kissed her. Judith stood beside her, her grin as wide as it had been when she had held her first baby in her arms.
Well?” Judith asked when Japhet had stood, leaning in the doorway for a full minute, unable to take his eyes off Susan and the small bundle she was holding. “Aren't you going to come and see?”
Some outer force propelled his feet forward and he stumbled over to the bed and kissed Susan's upturned face.
You look beautiful,” he whispered.
So do you,” she replied, her awkwardness coming back with her over abundance of joy. “Do you want to hold your daughter?”
Daughter?” Japhet slowly took his eyes off Susan's blushing face and looked down at the sleeping bundle wrapped in a soft white blanket. A light whiff of black hair covered the baby's head and her long eyelashes touched the tops of her cheeks as she slept contentedly in her mother's arms.
She has your hair,” Susan whispered.
Japhet had never seen a more beautiful sight in all his life and broke. Both hands flew to his mouth in an attempt to cover his sobs so they would not wake his new baby girl. Tears spilled down his cheeks as he was unable to take his eyes off the round face in front of him.
Our daughter,” he finally managed to whisper as Judith rubbed his back in that big sisterly way she had.
Our daughter,” Susan said, her voice squeaking. She held her up, stretching her arms.
For a moment Japhet didn't trust himself to hold the little treasure his wife was so willing to place in his arm. His hands were shaking and he feared he would break her, but when the little bundle was nestled in his arms it was the most natural thing in the world. The soft body cradled against his chest, the baby snores escaping her small mouth, everything that had ever happened to him faded and for the first time in years he felt a surge of unimaginable joy.
What will we name her?” he asked, his voice cracking again. He knew they had decided on names already, but all he could think about was the little body he was holding in his arms. The little life that was now his to protect and love as only a father could. His baby.
Hope,” Susan reminded him. “Hope Sarah Buchanan.”
Lifting his head, feeling eyes on him, Japhet looked toward the door to see Franz was standing there. His brother was holding to the frame the same way he had been and Japhet smiled weakly at him.
Franz, come see,” he whispered.
Inching forward, Franz moved in front of him and looked down at the bundle. Tears filled his eyes and all Japhet could do was to continue smiling.
Meet my daughter,” he said, “Hope.”
Franz said nothing, just gently hugged both him and the baby.

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4 comments :

  1. Good luck with your dress! Can't wait to read it, love that they named her Hope.

    ReplyDelete
  2. *SQUEALS* IT'S MAH BOYS!!!! It's been too, too long since I've visited those precious bros. And and and AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! THIS WAS THE SWEETEST, BESTEST SURPRISE EVER. I LOVED IT SO MUCH! <3333

    ReplyDelete

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