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No Matter What

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"Your wife and baby will be fine," the doctor said, making Frank snap back to reality.

"What?" Frank asked disbelievingly. Surely he was imagining things?

"Yes, it looks like she's going to make a full recovery and your baby is safe, no harm done."

"Our... baby?" he asked, the words feeling foreign.

"Yes. We did an ultrasound and it appears that your wife is six weeks pregnant. You're very lucky the baby survived," the doctor said.

"Yeah, lucky," he said distantly.

"Is that all?" the doctor asked.

"Yeah, thanks," Frank muttered, his mind a thousand miles away.

Baby. Six weeks. Pregnant. Denise. His wife, six weeks pregnant.

He went into her room, where she was lying still on the bed. She seemed so tiny, so fragile, swallowed by the bed. Her skin was pale and there was a big gash on the side of her face.

He tried to remember the last time he'd been told Denise was pregnant. His mind flashed back to over 20 years previous, when he had been called to his CO's office.

The man had a smile on his face. That alone tipped him off.

"Well, Sherwood, looks like your gonna be a daddy," was all he said.

It was all it took, really, to get him to fight harder, to make sure he made it back home to his wife.

Now, here he was, not deployed, and again, he hadn't heard the news come from Denise herself.

Right there, right then, he vowed to forever take care of her and their unborn child, no matter what.

No matter what.