By: Tamara Black

“I meant your vagina.”

“Well, why didn’t you say vagina? What the hell is a magic starfish?”

“It’s not a medical term.”

A smile spread over her face for a moment, quickly replaced by agony.

“We need to do this now.”

“You need to help me,” she said.

I put my arm around her again. She leaned against me. Together, we wobbled toward her bathroom.

“Hold on,” I said after we’d reached it. “Let me get these off. I’m going to be a doctor, so it’s okay.”

“Just do it,” she hissed, trying to control her breathing.

After grabbing the waist band of her now soaked maternity pants, I pulled them down. She had no panties on, but I tried my best to act professional.

“Let’s get you in the water,” I said.


She doubled over, almost falling.

“Another contraction?”


“Let’s do this.”

I helped her step into the tub and helped her gradually sit down in the water.

“It hurts,” she said.

“Where?” I asked.

“All over!”

“Do you remember your breathing exercises?” I asked, hoping she’d had some preparation.

Instead of answering, she breathed in short quick bursts.

“I’m going to need you to push when the next contraction comes,” I said, wiping her forehead with a damp cloth.

She nodded, still panting.

“We got this,” I said. “What’s your name?”

“Steph,” she said between breaths.

“Okay, Steph. The paramedics should be here soon. We got this.”

“I can feel it,” she said, pushing again.

I glanced down at the water and saw the crown of the baby.

“You’re doing great, Steph,” I said. “Give me another push.”

The young, miraculous life continued to come out of her. I reached into the water to hold the baby’s head as the rest of the body came out after a few more pushes from her.

“It’s a boy,” I said, holding him up.

I didn’t tell her he looked small, which is why he came out so fast.

She stared at the brand new baby boy as I held him in the air, the umbilical cord still connecting them.

Before I could think about my next move, I heard someone yelling at the front door.

“Did someone call 911?”

“In here,” I turned and shouted.

When I looked back at her, she was staring at me.

“Thank you so much,” she said.

“Just doing my job.”

Paramedics rushed into the bathroom, taking over for me.

“Who are you?” one asked me in the living room.

“A pizza delivery guy. I just happened to be delivering one here when she started to give birth.”

“You’re kidding, right?” the short man with a moustache asked me.

“No, I’m not. I have to go. Do you guys have it from here?”

“We’ll need your information, but it looks like you did a great job.”

“I’m a med-student,” I said. “I have to get to work, but I’ll drop by and see her. Where are you guys taking her?”

“Cleveland Clinic on the East Side.”

“Take care of her,” I said, walking to the front door.

“We will,” he said.

Outside, I saw the ambulance with her in the back take off down the street with sirens blaring. I took a deep breath, still not believing what had just happened. The last thing I wanted to do was return to work at Pizza Shack, but I had to do it. My scholarship didn’t pay for all my expenses.

Robin, the manager, hated me, but I’d agreed to work for tips only if she gave me the job. Only two weeks in, and I already regretted my decision. The extra cash every night I worked helped, but on some shifts I made less money than I spent on gas.

When I got back to the shop, I went inside, trying to act like nothing had happened even though I was dying to tell someone the story. I wanted to leave early and go home to study for my summer class with Professor Johnson, but I needed the cash more. I only had a few packages of Ramen noodles left and no milk or bread.

I got out of the Jeep and headed to the back door. After knocking twice, it opened.

“About damn time you got back,” Robin said, her arms crossed over her chest. “We need to talk.”

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