Hearts of the Past and Present
Bella was panting heavily, she was absolutely exhausted but the desire to know her children's health was strong. "Are they okay? Are they alright?!"
I grabbed a wipe and quickly cleaned the second child from the blood while Hershel cut the umbilical cord.
"They're fine, fit and healthy Bella. Well done." He said as he snipped the scissors.
"Oh thank god," she exclaimed, still out of breath.
"Beth, who have you got?" Bella asked.
"He was the first born, this is Leo."
Beth turned around from the desk with the baby in her arms, previously he had been crying loudly, not that I don't blame him but with Beth's young motherly charm, she rocked him to silence the screams.
As Beth stepped closer to the bed, I could see a tiny pink face with thick black hair amongst the white sheet.
"Leo Clifford," Beth announced as she handed him into Bella's eager arms.
In the meantime, I grabbed another white cloth and helped Hershel wrap the second baby up. He handed the baby to me, this one also had a pink face and black hair.
I knew the sex of the baby when I cleaned it up, Bella had one of each. I gently and delicately stroked the soft tuffs of the baby's hair as I walked closer to Bella.
"Room for one more?" I asked.
Beth helped Bella to move Leo over slightly, I slowly laid the other twin down into Bella's free arm.
"Say hi to Avril." I smiled.
Bella began to cry. Quiet, weak cries slipped out of her mouth.
"They're so beautiful." She whispered.
I heard the sniff of a runny nose, I turned around to investigate and to my surprise it was Hershel. He wiped a tear from the corner of his eye.
"Are you crying daddy?" Beth asked.
"Of course I am, I never thought I'd see another child after Judith. It's moments like this." He replied.
Beth rested her hand on Bella's shoulder, "Now Judith will have someone to play with."
Bella rolled her eyes and scoffed, "Oh yeah, like officer Rick is going to allow his daughter to play with The Governor's kids."
Cries of happiness turned into cries out of sadness.
Hershel and I overlapped.
"Hey," Hershel exclaimed.
"Woah!" I gasped.
I looked to Hershel and he nodded for me to continue, "Don't be so stupid. Of course Rick will let Judith play with them, it doesn't matter who their father is. These children have been brought into a horrible world and they still deserves the best. All that is in the past now, it doesn't matter, they are one of us, you are one of us. None of that matters now, it's over."
Beth smiled to herself, Hershel wisely closed his eyes and nodded once towards me. Bella was silently happy crying again.
"It's over," I smiled, and brushed the cheek of each baby with my pinky finger.
I had been perched on a broken desk chair for what felt like days. The others on the search for the intruder had been gone, in a more realistic time frame of, hours.
I was getting fidgety out of my nerves. I was swinging and spinning on the chair, cracking my knuckles, chewing my nails and drumming my fingers on a nearby surface.
Shouldn’t they be back by now? Has something happened to them?
They might have come face to face with the intruder, and things didn’t go down too well. They might have run into walkers in parts of the prison we haven’t ventured into yet.
With my thoughts and imagination running wild, I bit my nails down to the cuticles. Hershel was pretty nervous too, although he was hiding it well.
Apart from the obvious tension that you could cut with a knife, this old office turned into a maternity ward was a happy place, completely different to the one in the hospital. This place contained innocence, happiness, and purity because of the two new comers who were cooing rather cheerfully into their mother’s chest.
I closed my eyes for a moment or so and breathe deeply to numb the anxiety, when I opened them again; they were on the babies and Bella. Her face, which was once twisted in excruciating pain, was calm and had some sort of glow.
It was happiness; I had never seen Bella so happy. She had always had this sullen moody expression upon her face, sometimes even the look of evil, but there was no way evil could arise in a mother. The way she looked and spoke to the twins confirmed to me that the darkness that once had her would never return.
It was officially over.
The sound of a key in a lock woke up the room. I spun on the chair to face the door, Beth’s head snapped up, Bella glanced up from her new babies and Hershel, hesitantly, turned around.
The door creaked open only enough so a head could fit through, and Rick’s head appeared.
“Can I come in?” His voice was thick with concern and worry.
“Yes,” Hershel granted his entry, “Is everything okay out there?”
“Where is everyone?” Beth asked, panic was visible on her face for her sister.
“Out on the green,” Rick replied, “Double checking the perimeter, looking in the barn and rewiring the fence.”
I rose to my feet, “Did you find anything?” Addressing another important matter.
“Nothing, no one.” Rick replied, his body was now fully in the old office. “But someone was here.”
“Do you think they’re a threat?” Hershel asked.
“For someone to break in, with cars visible on the front, they know they aren’t welcome with good reason. We’re going to have to have look outs again, people on watch. As a precaution.” He explained.
“Good idea. We can’t risk what we have here.”
As if planned, one of the twins called out. Crying. It was Leo on the right. Of course Leo’s screams set off Avril’s and the high pitched cries echoed around the office.
Rick’s expression of seriousness and worry was replaced with confusion, “T-two?” he managed.
“It’s twins.” Beth smiled.
Rick slowly walked further into the room, closer to the bed, closer to Bella who was rocking the babies in her arms. He was stood right beside her now, this was the closest I had ever seen Rick and Bella, they never interacted with one another. I had exchanged more words with her than Rick!
“May I?” Rick asked with his arm extended.
“Uh-huh.” Bella replied.
As gently as the lick of a kitten, Rick stroked the cheek of Avril who was closest to his side. He then leaned over slightly to stroke the dark hair of Leo.
“They’re beautiful.” He said and smiled. “Judith’ll have two new playmates.” He laughed slightly awkwardly.
Bella looked up to me with smile which said, ‘you were right.’
“Have you unlocked the bed cell yet Rick with Daryl, Carl and Judith in?” I asked.
Rick was still mesmerised by the twins, he didn’t even look at me when he spoke, “No, I was on my way.”
Still not looking my way, he reached into his pocket and held out the keys in my direction.
I took them and quickly ran to the living cell. I unlocked the door, the sound of the keys stopped a badly played guitar.
“Daryl, Carl?” I called out.
“Lily!” Daryl exclaimed.
I came to the large gate which separated the living cell and bed cell. Carl was stood by the gate, a guitar was hung loosely around his torso. Beside him was Daryl with Judith sat on his hip, her eyes were red and sore, she had been crying. Daryl was out of bed, up on his feet and carrying extra weight, when not long ago he was on the brink of death.
“Are ya hurt?!” He asked. “I didn’t want ya going on the search with Rick and the rest of ‘em. It’s too dangerous. I’m not there, I can’t look out for ya, I can’t keep an eye on ya.”
“What, no.” I said confused as I fiddled with the keys. “Daryl please-“
"Are you hurt?" He asked more sternly.
He reached through the bars and pulled at my shirt which was stained with blood, he didn’t believe that I was uninjured.
“It’s not mine, it’s-“
“Is someone else hurt?” He interrupted.
“No, Daryl, listen please.” I paused and Daryl stayed silent, waiting for an explanation. “I didn't go with Rick and them, I've been with Beth and Hershel helping with Bella. This is Bella's blood. She's given birth."
"Oh," Daryl was a lot calmer now. "She okay?" He asked shyly.
"She's fine." I smiled.
I wanted to surprise him with the twins. Plus I'd rather have him back in bed, like he should be.
"Anyway, did they find anyone?" Daryl asked.
I shook my head, "No, they're outside now doing a search. We're going to have to do night shifts and stuff again."
"Damn," Carl complained under his breath, I wasn't sure if he was expressing his feelings towards the night shifts or the fact that we hadn't caught anyone.
I opened the gate and pushed it back, I stepped into the bed cell and into Daryl's single open arm.
"I was going insane in here with these two," he said as I rested my head on his chest.
"Hey." Carl moaned.
"Sorry kid, but I don't think I coulda took anymore of that damn guitar."
Judith began to squirm and cry.
"Oh baby, come here." I said and took her from Daryl.
I began rocking her back and forth, it worked and prevented her from going into a major hissy fit.
"She hasn't stopped crying, since Dad left," Carl explained.
"You ain't a good baby sitter," Daryl said to him jokingly. "She was givin' me a killer headache, eventually I had to get up and try to quieten her down but it wasn't working. But Carl's bad guitar playing somehow did."
"I'm getting good, I'm good aren't I Lily?" Carl asked.
"You still need some practise." I laughed.
Daryl was trying to not obviously rub his head. I shifted Judith onto my hip and took Daryl's hand with my free arm.
"You've got to lay back down," I said as I brought him back into the first aid cell.
The sound of strummed chords rang in the metal room.
"No more Carl," I said as I hooked Daryl up to some anaesthetics, after watching Hershel for so long I knew how to work the majority of the equipment we have.
Judith began to stir again, "Shhh."
I rocked her as Daryl climbed back into bed, I was surprised how he want reluctant to my orders. He must have needed some sleep.
"Maybe later when things have calmed down and everyone is back and organised, I'll take you to see Bella."
"I don't know Lil," he moaned, not seeing what good my suggestion would do.
"I know. It'll be nice." I smiled. "I'm going to feed Judith then put her down for a nap, then I'll be right back in here okay?"
"Okay." I leaned in and gave him a kiss, my lips were eager surprising both Daryl and myself. He was the first to break the kiss, but after he pressed his forehead to mine for just a moment before we heard notable footsteps.
No intruder is found yet but they're going back to their old ways of look outs at the tower. Hope you liked this x