Two months later
“Jamie. Jamie wake up. Jamie.”
For god sakes. This man could sleep through a flipping air raid.
Nothing left for it. I’ll have to pour water over his head.
I climb out of bed slowly and go to the en suite to fill one of the glasses with cold water. It’s three in the morning so the water will be extremely cold. Excellent.
I walk back through to our bedroom and I try to wake Jamie again by calling his name, but there’s no answer. I pour the water slowly over his face.
“What the hell... Sassenach? What ye playin’ at?”
“Good sleep was it? My water broke about ten minutes ago. I couldn’t wake you so I had no choice. This better not be what it’s like once your daughter arrives. I’m not being left with ALL the night feeds thank you very much!”
I turn and start to get changed in to a plain black t shirt and a pair of jogging bottoms. I don’t get these women that insist on making sure their hair and nails are all done nice and dress up for the occasion. No, my hair hasn’t been brushed in I don’t know how long. My skin is all tired and dull. I am throwing on the first piece of clothing I can grab.
“Claire, I’m sorry. I didna hear ye. What do ye want me to do? Are ye in pain? Dae ye want some tea? Water?”
“What do I want you to do? For god sakes Jamie! Do I really have to carry your child, give birth to her AND do everything else in between? Ring the clinic and tell them it’s time and we’ll be in soon and I’ll ring Joe and tell him we will drop Faith off on the way. Honestly Jamie, show some initiative!”
“Okay. Is that a no to the water or tea then?”
I reach over and grab my pillow and throw it at him as he leaves the bedroom. We have been over the plan as to what to do for at least a month now. I am the one about to give birth. It should be my brain all over the place, not his.
I pick up my hospital bag with things for myself and for our newborn daughter as well. I still have the same baby grow I brought Faith home in. It’s still in very good condition. Faith had only worn it that one day when I brought her home. I discussed it with Jamie and I asked if he would mind if that’s what we dressed the new baby in too. He loved the idea. I showed him pictures of Faith as a baby and he loves the idea of this tiny little piece of clothing being passed down from Faith to her little sister.
The baby grow is also special to me as it was Uncle Lamb who bought it for Faith. It’s just a simple little knitted cream baby grow with five little popper buttons down the front. Lamb had one of his professor friends from Oxford make it especially for Faith.
God how I wish he was here to see how happy I am with Jamie. With Faith. And soon another little baby girl. I know he will be looking down on us all, but it isn’t the same. At least I have my amazing friends and Jamie’s wonderful family. Jenny and I seem to be getting on a lot better these days. Which is good for Jamie, and also Faith. Faith loves spending time with her cousins and her aunt and uncle. I just wish we got off to a better start. I guess she was just looking out for her brother. I can’t blame her for that.
As I’m about to leave my room with the hospital bag, Faith appears at the door rubbing her little eyes. She’s obviously just woken up.
“Are you alright sweetheart?”
“Pease say the bairns coming. Da just woke me up wi his loud talkin’ on the phone.”
“Yes my darling, the bairn is coming. I was just about to phone uncle Joe and tell him we will drop you off at his and Uncle John’s on the way. Is that okay?”
“Can I no come wi you and da? I seep wi da.”
“Oh, I wish you could sweetheart, but you need a good nights sleep and I doubt daddy will be sleeping at all tonight. Uncle joe will take good care of you and hopefully we will see you tomorrow if the bairn arrives.”
“Okay. Can I seep in the car?”
“Of course you can my love. Come on, let’s go get your bag and I’ll phone uncle Joe.”
When Faith and I make it through to the kitchen with both our bags, Jamie has just hung up from Joe.
“Alright then my angels, I have phoned the clinic and I phoned uncle Joe. I told them we will be there soon. I’ll go take the bags to the car, Faith ye stay here with yer mam and I’ll be back in a flash.”
Jamie gives me a quick kiss, takes both bags and heads out the door.
I pour Faith a glass of some apple and black current juice and hand her a bag of her little apple slices she loves so much.
“When will the bairn be here?”
“Hopefully soon my darling. Although, sometimes it can take days. I was in labour with you for 36hours.”
She doesn’t have a clue what I’m talking about.
“Even though I knew you were on your way, it took another day and a half for you to arrive.” I brushed my hand over her head as Jamie came back in.
“Are ye’s all set?”
Faith and I nod and we make our way out to the car. The pains don’t get too bad until just after we drop Faith off with the lads.
When we get to the clinic, I get taken down to my own private room. The midwives keep popping in to check on me and the baby, but I can tell it’s just an excuse to come in and fawn over Jamie.
He’s a very attractive man, but how inappropriate?! I am laying here having contractions whilst they keep flirting with my fiancé. I don’t like it. I don’t like it one bit. Whenever they leave the room, I point it out to Jamie, but he doesn’t see it which only agitates me more. How can he NOT see?
Our newborn baby daughter is born the next day, 23rd November 2019 at 13.22pm. She weighs a very healthy 6lbs 11oz.
She is the most beautiful baby I have ever seen. Equal to Faith of course. She looks a lot like Faith. Same shape of the eyes, same nose. Just like me Jamie says. The baby has Jamie’s beautiful red hair and his gorgeous blue eyes.
I can’t believe she is finally here.
I can’t believe how much love I have for her.
I can’t believe I even considered for a second giving birth to her and walking away.
What the hell was I thinking?
“Sassenach, what’s wrong?”
“Nothing. Honestly. I just, can’t believe she is finally here. Our little girl.”
“I kept meaning to bring it up, but we always ended up talkin’ about somethin’ else or doin somethin’ else, but Claire, we need to come up wi a name for the lass. Canny just keep callin’ her “Baby Fraser”. Jamie chuckled to himself.
“What are you talking about? You picked a name months ago. You picked out a boys name and a girls name. You wanted to name her after you parents. Brian for a lad and Ellen for a lass.”
“Aye, but that was before ye and I got together. That was when the bairn was just goin’ to be mine. Claire, this is OUR daughter and we need to choose a name together.”
“You sure Jamie?”
“Of course I’m sure Sassenach. Why would ye think I would name our child without yer permission on the name?”
“Well, how about Brianna Ellen Fraser?”
“Brianna. Ellen. Fraser. After BOTH your parents. And, IF we decide on any more, we can name them after my parents?”
“I love that idea Sassenach. Brianna. Ellen. Fraser. It’s perfect Sassenach, thank ye.” He plants a kiss on my mouth and then leans down to kiss the top of Brianna’s head.
“Thank you for giving me Brianna Jamie.”
“No, thank ye Claire for agreeing to do this. I ken it has a been easy on ye, but we got here in the end. I love ye so much Sassenach. You and out two beautiful daughters.”
“We love you too Jamie.” He leans down and we share another kiss.
After we spend some quality time together the three of us, Jamie goes over to Joe’s to collect Faith to bring her in to meet her new little sister. Jamie and I agreed no visitors at the clinic as we wanted Faith to meet her sister first. Friends and family will be more than welcome at the house when we get home. Everyone was super understand supportive when we told them.
Jamie isn’t even gone five minutes and there’s a knock at my door. Who the hell could it be? I’m not due another check up for another while yet and Jamie and I asked all our friends and family not to come.
When the door opens, I can’t believe my eyes. Stephen. Fucking. Bonnet.
“What the HELL are you doing here? How did you get in? Jamie will be back any minute so you better leave now.”
“I just saw the man leave to go and get Faith. Is she excited about being a big sister?”
“Leave, or I will get them to escort you straight to a police cell.”
“Don’t worry Claire, I’m not here to harm you. I just needed to see you. Explain everything. I’ve been in Ireland the past few months. Keeping a low profile. Claire, I am willing to accept any punishment coming my way, but I could t let them send me down without speaking with you first.”
“Anything you have to say, I don’t want to hear it.”
“Please Claire. Five minutes is all I ask and then I will call the police myself and hand myself in.”
“Fine. But wait till I have someone take the baby. I don’t want you near her.”
I ring my buzzer and ask the nurse to take the baby to the nursery whilst Bonnet and I talk. Obviously I don’t give her his name though. Lord knows what he would do to us or the baby. I’ll give him his five minutes and then he’ll be gone. I don’t for a second think he’ll hand himself in, but as long as he leaves me and my family alone, I will be happy.
I motion my hand as an invitation for him to start explaining.
“ I was a student of Franks at the university. We became quite friendly. We would meet up for coffees and discuss texts and things from archives or history books. We both had a very keen interest in the Jacobite rebellion and the battle of Culloden. Anyway, Frank never struck me as the kinda guy that would abuse his wife the way he did. When he was sent down, I went to visit him. He kept denying it of course and I stupidly believed him. He asked me to keep an eye on you and report to him as to how you were. He said that even though you sent him away, he still loved you and hoped you could make your marriage work again. One day, I went to visit him and he slipped up. He mentioned something about how Faith came from an unnatural place and he hoped that your next child wouldn’t come the same way. He said some other things and that’s when I realised that he meant that he had raped you. It made me so angry. To trust someone, to believe in someone and then find out that they are capable of such monsterous behaviour. I felt awful for what he did to you. I stopped reporting to him about how you were. I kept volunteering at the hospital because I really enjoyed it. And I enjoyed seeing you. The more time we spent together, the more I fell in love with you. One day, I went to visit Frank and he told me he was maybe going to be getting parole. I couldn’t stand it Claire. The possibility of him getting out of prison early and trying to get you and Faith back. He didn’t deserve you. Either of you. I knew I had to stop him.”
“You didn’t have to kill him.”
“I didn’t kill him Claire.”
“You supplies the heroin. You got it into the prison and you paid someone to inject that poison in to Frank. You did kill him. Maybe not directly, but you are still responsible for his death.”
“I did it for you Claire.”
“ I thought we were friends. I trusted you. I relied on you. All the time you were... I have no words. You scared me Stephen!”
“And I am so sorry Claire. I know what I did was wrong, but I did it because I loved you so much, I couldn’t bear that man hurting you or Faith again.”
“No. But then YOU did. You hurt me when I thought I needed you more than anyone else. You weren’t a friend to me. You weren’t in love with me. If you were, you wouldn’t of done what you did. As far as I’m concerned, your just as bad as Frank.”
A silence falls between us and Stephen sits on the patients chair beside my bed. He pulls out his phone and calls 999.
I don’t believe it. He’s handing himself in. He has given them the clinic address and my room number.
“I am sorry Claire. I will never forgive myself for what I put you through. But, you have Jamie. I’m glad you were finally able to move on from Frank. You deserve to be happy. You and Faith.”
I can’t answer him. I can barely look at him. We will just sit here in silence until the police arrive. Hopefully they arrive before Jamie and Faith.
The police arrive less than ten minutes later and take Stephen away in handcuffs. As he is being dragged away, he keeps saying he’s sorry over and over again. The next thing I know Jamie and Faith are here.
“Sassenach, I just—“
“I know. He came to speak to me.”
“Jamie, it’s fine. He said what he had to say, I listened and then he rang the police himself to come and get him.”
“Yes. Now it’s over. I don’t want to talk about it. Can you please go and ask the nurse to bring us our daughter so she can meet her big sister?” I reach out my arms and lift Faith on to the bed beside me. She cuddles in to me as we wait for Jamie to come back with Brianna.
Jamie comes back with our new little bundle of joy in his arms and passes her over to me before he sits on the chair next to my bed that Stephen had previously been occupying.
“Faith sweetheart, this is your baby sister Brianna.”
“Bree Anna darling.”
“Bree.” She says with a smile to her little sister.
“Yes darling, Bree sounds good to me too.”
Jamie clears his throat. “I dinna ken Sassenach.”
“Why not? Bree IS short for Brianna.”
“Aye I ken that, it’s just...”
“A Bree means a disturbance in Gaelic is all.”
“Well, if she’s anything like her father, the name will suit her quite well.”
“Oh really? I was more thinking the opposite. I think it would be more if she takes after ye Sassenach.”
“Oh really? Well, we’ll just have to wait and see then, won’t we?” I give him a smile and he reaches over and kisses me before kissing our two girls on their foreheads.
Faith can’t take her eyes of her little sister. She is so in love. Just like Jamie and I.
“I’m sorry about everything I said when I was in labour by the way. Especially referring to Bree as YOUR daughter, I didn’t mean it.”
“I ken Sassenach. But, it’ll no be the last time the lass will just be MY daughter.”
“What’s that’s supposed to mean?”
“Ye dae it with Faith too. Every time the lass does somethin’ ye dinna agree with, she’s MY daughter. I’m sure it will be the same with this wee yin tae.”
“Sorry, I didn’t realise.”
“Dinna fash Sassenach, my mother was the same with us lot. We were always da’s weans when it suited her.” We can’t help but laugh.
We just sit in the room for a while. Just the four of us. Taking in our new family before Jamie has to take Faith back to Joe’s. Bree and I aren’t getting discharged until tomorrow. The clinic has a bed that can be pulled in to my room for Jamie to sleep on. I guess this is the perks of going private.
I can’t believe we did it. Now we just need to plan Bree’s christening in a few months and also mine and Jamie’s wedding.
It’s going to be wonderful.