Artwork: ghost

My First Kid

Author: NGH '23
As seen in: Upside Up #

Opening scene: my wife’s going into labor. I watch a lot of TV, so I know what to do. “Honey, keep your hands off your belly. It’s probably just a bomb.” Time to make things interesting. I put on my sunglasses, grab my motorcycle keys, my fake badge, and my real gun. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from NCIS, it’s how to drive my screaming wife to the emergency room at eighty miles an hour.

We’re in the car and things are feeling too intense, so I shift gears and provide some intellectual relief with game-show trivia. “Before he was a man of the cloth, Pope Francis worked as a bouncer in which South American country?” I yell, going 95 in a donut. She groans something at me, so I deduct six points and build scene tension by citing her for public indecency.

She then says she has a headache, so I caress her head, prescribe her 40 CCs of Lexapro, and lay on my siren in a much-needed moment of tenderness. I turn for a cutaway. “That girl over there... my wife, Pam... she’s something special,” I say to the window. I muster up the courage to exit the roundabout and pull into the hospital next door-- a moment of triumph.

Doctors rush the car-- the baby is about to pop-- so I’m quick to take charge. “Female, age 31, experiencing moderate abdominal pain… miss, please stop screaming... yes, I’m a real doctor… has what appears to be a complete set of skin--” the other doctors cut me off mid-monologue because I’m making too many incisions and am getting game show confetti in the openings. 

The finale calls for a revelation. I realize the most painful thing about giving birth is hearing your wife listen to another doctor’s advice. The lights dim because I turn most of them off, and I prepare my final rose as I head into the delivery room. Doctors are scrambling, my baby’s crowning, the wife’s yelling for her real husband, and I have to make the biggest decision of my life.

To create suspense, I drop my rose in the middle of the floor and leave and never come back.

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