The story so far:
Savannah stood on the porch of her sister's house. She sighed heavily into the air, letting her purse hang lazily off her shoulder. She glanced at her watch to see it was a few minutes after eleven. The meeting had gone over, but no one but her seemed bothered by it. Unlike most people in corporate America, she enjoyed going home at the end of the day.
Dean Mitchell had given her an amazing amount of attention at the meeting, highlighting her achievements, her vigor, her strengths. She was amused herself at some of the things he mentioned. She also noticed him smiling at her, peeking at her when he thought no one else was looking. And then it all made sense: she was next on his list.
Savannah tapped lightly on the door and when a tired Kim appeared, she fell into her sister's arms. Kim, saying nothing, helped her sister to the couch. She disappeared and then reappeared moments later with a bottle of water and two small white pills.
"Girl, you working too hard. I mean, when was the last time you went out on a date."
"I have a date in a few days. And my boss is giving me way more than the usual attention."
"You know I'll come up there and lay hands on him. I still got my switchblade from high school." Kim smiled. "You remember when I chased that boy home because he smacked your butt? Everybody was scared of us." They laughed.
Savannah closed her eyes and let her head rest on the back of the couch. "Mike wanted me to let him claim the boys or give him some of the tax money."
"Girl, if you let that man do that or give him any money, I will use the blade on you."
"I told him no. I'm just so tired and it's so much going on right now." she paused. "How did the boys do?"
"You know, boys will be boys. They got to fighting over some things that Kenneth has here for his nephews. So they had to do quiet time. But other than that, they were all right. Nicholas started asking for you around seven o clock."
Savannah's eyes misted. She relished being a mother and the more time she got to spend with her boys, the better she felt. She had promised never to neglect them like her own father did, while he pursued his wealth. Wealth that had ultimately killed him. "I know, he gets clingy at night."
"I think his asthma was trying to act up. He wasn't running around or anything, but I could hear him wheezing a little bit." She sensed the worry building inside Savannah. "Don't worry, I notified his doctor and she said that he would be just fine. Just keep an eye on him, make sure he takes his medicine and keep him rested."
Savannah grabbed her older sister's hand. Kim supplied that support for Savannah when she could get it from no where else. When their mother died, Kim decided to keep Savannah with her. Savannah glanced at her sister's naturally curly hair, braided into two french braids, and wondered about her own mane of dark, curls. When she was a teenager, she loved to wear her hair out, creating a huge mane of dark hair, that framed her face. Guys loved to lose their hands in it and she loved the attention she got from it.
The sisters were almost identical. Same dark eyes, same heavy eyebrows, same lips. There differences were in size. Kim was small, wearing only a size four. Savannah was blessed with more curves, balancing between a six and an eight. She was a little browner than her sister. Their personalities were more different. Kim was in- your- face and Savannah was more laid back. But the love between them was evident.
"I should go." Savannah finally said after a few moments of silence. She stood up and made her way up the steps to her sister's guest bedroom. Jake was tucked under the blankets. But Nicholas had managed to crawl out from underneath and was lying on top of his brother's head. Savannah gently grabbed her baby and held him to her chest. She smelled the baby oil in his skin and kissed him gently. She could hear the wheezing in his chest and motioned for Kim to wake Jake.
"Thank you Kimmy," she hugged her sister tight after they had loaded her boys in the car. "I don't know what I would have done without you."
"No problem sis. Now get home."
"It can be pretty tough when you have to do it alone," Dwight's voice filled Savannah's ear. He had called minutes after she had gotten herself settled after tucking the boys in. Despite the late hour, she was grateful for his phone call. Heaven knew she needed someone to talk to... someone to listen.
"I know. What happened to Isabella's mom?"
"Life, I guess. I never really got an answer, never really expected one, but I suppose she wanted something more out of life than to be a mother and a wife. Surprisingly, I was glad that she left. Isabella was spared the pain of seeing us fight all the time." He paused and sighed. "She still writes to Isabella and sends her gifts."
"Mike had an affair. It took me a while to leave, you know, because I had two boys and still trying to do school and a host of other things. And I guess I was just scared to do it all alone. But when I finally left, I realized that there was nothing wrong with me wanting to be happy."
"You deserve to be happy. We all do." He paused. "Savannah, can I ask you something?"
"Sure." She sat up in bed.
"Is it okay if I think about you all day?"
Savannah blushed. She'd heard men express themselves before, so it wasn't new to her, but the innocence, the uncertainty she heard in his voice made her appreciate the fact that he was willing to share that kind of emotion with her. "Yes, Dwight. It's okay."
"Ever since I crashed into you at Walmart that day, I have done nothing but think about you. And believe me, that's not something I do very often. But between you and Isabella, I hardly think of anything else. I hope I'm not being forward."
"Not at all. The truth is, I've thought about you quite a bit since then also. But I figured I was just being a woman and needed to relax."
He laughed. "But you are a woman. I can appreciate when you express yourself. Especially when it's about me."
"Mommy," Savannah turned and saw Jake standing in her doorway, Nicholas in his arms. Sudden fear came over her when she noticed that Nicholas was too still. "Something's wrong with Nicky."
"No, no, no!" Savannah screamed into the phone.
"What's wrong, Savannah? Savannah?" She could hear the panic in his voice.
"Nicky... I'm going to the hospital." She dropped the phone and grabbed her baby. "Jake, go put some clothes on, okay? And get some shoes for Nicky. And meet me downstairs."
Frantically trying to balance her baby in one arm and grab her purse with the other, she managed to knock over a few things on her night stand and the dresser. Nicky's breathing was raspy, and his wheezing became more and more pronounced. She sat on the couch and gave him the salbutamol. She tossed it back into her purse, grabbed the boys' duffle bag by the door and packed him in the car. She covered him with a blanket before closing the car door and racing back to her front door.
"Jake!" She screamed. "Jake, let's go!"
Seconds later,she had Jake fastened in and she was speeding down Martin Luther King Boulevard. "Come on Nicky. Jake, keep rubbing his chest okay, baby. It's okay... he's going to be fine." She wasn't sure if she was saying to comfort Jake or herself. Jake was crying softly, running his small hand up and down his little brother's chest. Sending up a small prayer, Savannah sped down the darkened streets towards University of Maryland's Children's ER.
It had been two hours since Savannah had arrived and Nicky had been taken back with the doctors. Since then several people had arrived. Kim and her husband were sitting in the chairs next to her. Mike was sitting on the other side of the waiting room, talking into his phone. His mother sat next to him. Jake was lying across from her chair, wrapped in Kim's husband's sweater.
Savannah was leaned over, her head resting on her knees. She had thought that she would eventually run out of tears, but as her sister rubbed her back, they rolling down her brown cheeks. She just let them fall. She thought about her baby back there with strangers and wanted to be with him. There when he woke up. What kind of a mother was she? Here she was, sitting in the waiting room while the doctors did who knows what to her baby.
She listened to the phones ringing, heard the rubber soles of the nurses shoes as they walked by. Heard Kim whispering to her husband and wanted it all to go away. Didn't they know that she was suffering? How selfish could they be?
"I'm looking for Savannah White."
She barely recognized the voice. When she looked up, she saw Dwight standing in front of the front desk. He had on a white tee shirt and gray sweat pants. One of his white tennis shoes was untied. He tucked his hands into his pockets and waited as the nurse placed a clipboard in front of him.
"It's okay. I know him." She said from behind him. When he turned to face her and she could see the look of concern in his eyes, she felt more tears well up in her own. She hide them behind the sleeves of her sweater. "What are you doing here?"
He moved closer to her. "I wanted to make sure everything was okay."
"How did you find me? Where is Isabella?" She looked over his shoulder and saw Mike lingering nearby. Not wanting create a situation, she grabbed Dwight's hand and gestured him to move farther away from the desk.
"I called my sister and asked her to watch Isabella while I came to check on you. She doesn't live that far away. Then I called some of the hospitals before I remembered that you said you brought him here." He stopped, wiping a tear from her cheek. "What happened?"
Taking a deep breath before speaking, she said softly, "Nicholas had an asthma attack."
Dwight opened his arms and pulled her closer to him. He felt her resistance initially, but held on until he felt her body ease up against him. She sighed heavily and he almost teared up himself when he felt the moistness from her tears seep through his shirt.
"Savannah, Savannah," she heard Mike calling her name. She held onto Dwight tighter.
"Savannah," Mike called her again.
Sighing, she lifted her head. "Yes Mike."
"I gotta go. Something happened at the club and I need to take care of it."
She watched as Mike slyly looked Dwight up and down. Savannah could feel the tension between the two men and hoped that nothing would spark in the hospital. All she wanted was for her son to be all right and back with her. She felt Dwight's grip on her hand tighten and she felt somewhat protected.
"Okay." She turned slightly to return to her seat.
"You mind if I speak to you for second?" Mike asked.
Releasing Dwight's hand, she followed Mike to a spot a few feet away. "Why you gotta bring him here, throwing him all up in my face? You're a little too old for games Savannah."
"This is not about you, contrary to what you may believe. And I don't believe I owe you any explanation." Savannah crossed her arms. Even though her eyes were puffy, she glared at him.
"Look, I know you're upset about what happened with Tracey and all, but you gotta get over it." He stared at her.
She stared at him, unable to find the words to express her disgust. She rolled her eyes and turned to find Dwight lingering nearby. Walking up to him, she smiled when he grabbed her hand and held her near him. It was then she noticed he was talking on the phone.
"We're not sure yet. They took him back a while ago. They aren't even letting her back there to see him so we are all just waiting." He paused and smiled softly at Savannah. "Is she still sleep?" He stopped. "Good. Thank you Janet. I owe you a bunch."
"Is Isabella okay?" She whispered.
"Yea. My sister said she was still sleep. Izzy is better equipped to handle things like this than I am. How are you?"
Savannah breathed deeply to stop the tears that were preparing to tumble down her cheeks. "I just wish everyone would leave. I know they mean well, but I need to be alone."
He searched her eyes for a few minutes and squeezed her hand. "Why don't you tell them? I'm sure they'll understand."
Savannah glanced around the waiting room. Jake was trying to be confortable between the two chairs. Kim and her husband were resting their heads against each other. Mike's mother was leaning on her arm, trying to stay awake. "Excuse me everyone," They all slowly turned to face her. "Thank you all for coming. I appreciate it. But I would like it if you all could go home. I will call you once I hear something."
Mike's mother stood and made her way to Savannah. "You sure you gonna be okay?" She rested her hand on Savannah's shoulder.
"I'll be fine." The relationship she had with Mabel was still a good one. They were still close despite what happened between her and Mike. Mabel had been rather supportive of her daughter-in-law, despite the breakdown of her and Mike's marriage. But even Mabel could not relieve her anxiety.
"Kim, can you take Jake home? I don't want him to wake up the hospital, you know. I'll call you when I get some more information." Savannah wiped the trail of tears beginning to run down her face.
"Sure kiddo. Kenneth, can you pick him?"
After a few minutes the waiting room was empty. Dwight was sitting in one of the chairs, looking at her. Mike, who suddenly reappeared, approached her slowly. Dwight stood up, but remained where he was. Savannah, not feeling up to Mike's crap, threw up her hand in front of her. "If you're coming over here to say something crazy, you mighy as well stop because right now I feel like I can rip your tongue out of your f*%^$@# throat!"
Dwight's jaw dropped and Mike stood there, his face shocked, stuttering. "I was just seeing if you needed me to stay."
"Get out. Go and do whatever it is you think is more important than your son right now. I'll text you whatever the doctor tells me."
Mike stepped closer to her and didn't notice that Dwight had stepped closer to him. "You are a real piece of work. I have business to take care of. It'll be hours before they tell you anything anyway. I'm just going to run out and I'll be right back. Damn!"
"I just feel like being alone. Just go."
Mike glared at her once more before turning away to leave. Dwight nodded at her and turned also. She took a quick step toward him. "Dwight.... could you stay with me?"
He didn't hesitate and sat back down. Mike turned, tossed his middle finger up, and burst through the exit doors. Savannah slid down into the chair next to Dwight. Sobbing, she let him rub her back and stroke her hair. "Ms. White?" She looked up and saw a pretty black woman looking back at her. She was in her late forties and wore a stylish cropped bob. Her hands were devoid of jewelry.
"You can come back now."
Savannah stood, excited to be seeing a doctor. She held tightly to Dwight's hand and he followed behind her as they passed the exam rooms. She searched frantically for Nicholas but could not find him. When they reached the doctor's office, she sat down first. Dwight followed and the doctor after him.
"I'm Dr. Park. I know you normally see Dr. Martin, but she is on vacation. I am the on call doctor for tonight." She leaned forward and rested her elbows on her desk. "I checked Nicholas and he will be fine. He jsut experienced what I like to call noctunral asthma. While sleep does not cause the attack, our airways tend to narrow and mucus tends to build up in the airways, often triggering a bout of coughing, which for an asthmatic, is not really a good thing."
"Well, if sleep didn't cause it, what did? I mean, he wasn't running before he went to sleep." Savannah leaned forward with interest. Out the corner of her eye she could see Dwight lean forward too.
"There are many causes. A drop in his body temperature causes airway cooling and narrowing. Or there couldl have been an increase of drainage from his sinuses while he was lying down. BUt you actually counteracted what could have been a very serious attack."
Dwight squeezed her hand slightly. "So, is it okay if I see him?"
"Sure. But we'd like to keeph im here overnight. Just to make sure he doesn't have another attack."
Savannah followed the doctor to Nicholas' room. Her baby looked so small and helpless. He was lying on his side, a small blanket covering his little chubby legs. She crept to the side of his bed and stroked his curly hair. He shifted slightly and she wiped another tear from he cheek. Dwight stood at the foot of the bed. "I didn't want you to mee him like this," she offered a smile.
"It's okay. I'm just glad I got to meet him. What's his name?"
"Cute." He shoved his hands in his pockets. "I cannot imagine what you are feeling right now."
"You ever feel like your body is constantly spinning yet you want to stand still and eveything you touch starts spinning out of control too. That's what it feels like. Like I want to save him from this, but I can't."
Dwight eased closer to her and held her closely. "We're only parents. Not superheroes. Good thing too because I do not think I would look good in red panty hose." She laughed softly, wanting to only cry.