‹ Prequel: So Close Yet So Far

Meant to be

Moment of Truth

Ramona pulls her car into the Dirnt driveway and makes her way to the front door.
"Mona." Mike says cheerily answering the door. Ramona steps inside just as Stella makes her way carefully down the stairs.
"Hey, I just have to umm, put on my shoes." She sighs as she sits on the bench in the entrance, eight months pregnant she was having trouble with shoes. She reduced herself to slip-on running shoes. "Bye Dad."
"Bye." He says closing the door behind them.

"So where's Jakob?" Ramona asks as they get into the car.
"Oh Billie Joe called him earlier today."
"Ahh okay, he called Joey too." She states, "Didn't say why, he just said he wanted to meet up with him for lunch I think."
"Yeah." Stella says rubbing her stomach, "So where are we headed?"
"Oh there's store I wanted to go to, its near your mom's house."
"Do you think we can stop by?" this was the million dollar question Ramona wanted to hear.
"Yeah of course." She pauses, "Why don't you call her up and tell her we're stopping by."

Stella pulls out her cell phone and skims down the list of numbers before selecting the right one.
"Hey Mom..... Ramona and I are going to be in the area and...... About ten minutes... Okay see you in a bit." She turns off her phone and slips it in her purse.

They arrive at the house and Stella peers out the window.
"Hey isn't that Adie's car?"
"No hers has a spoiler." Ramona says quickly, "But yeah it's the same make."
"I must be going senile, I don't remember it having a spoiler." The two woman laugh half-heartedly as they get out of the car.

They go up the walkway to the door and ring the bell. Anastasia is quick to answer and usher them inside.
"Come I have coffee ready in the dining room." She says leading them down the hall.
"Surprise!" Stella's female friends and family yell.

Stella smiles widely at the sight of the pastel coloured balloons, pyramid of presents in the corner and a banner that read Stella's Baby Shower.
"Oh wow." She laughs. "All this for me."

An afternoon of sparkling orange juice, finger foods and adorable baby clothes people start to leave and Adie, Anastasia and Ramona start cleaning up.
"Let me help." Stella insists as she picks up a couple of plates.
"Not on your life." Ramona says snatching away the plates, "This was your party and you're eight months along for Audrey's sake!"

Stella goes and sits on the lazy boy chair in the corner.
"You're pregnant too!"
"Only four months, that's half of what you got." Anastasia adds in, "But Ramona if you wanna sit for a while feel free." The four women laugh.
"Nah, just need to take off my shoes and I'll be fine." Ramona says as she kicks her shoes aside.

"The fire alarm!" Adie exclaims. Stella hustles out of her chair hurriedly and she, Ramona and Adie head for the door.
"No, no." Anastasia says hitting a dish towel against the circular piece of plastic on the ceiling, "It's been beeping for no reason every now and again."
"That scared the crap out of me." Stella sighs as she rubs her stomach, "OHHH!"
"What?" the three other women gasp at the same time.
"Just got a sharp pain-ahhh!"

"We should get you to the hospital." Adie insists.
"No, I'll be fine."
"Just in case." Anastasia adds in as she goes to get the coats.
"Ma! I'll be fine-ahhh." Ramona shakes her head as she helps her friend along to the door.

They make their way to Anastasia's car and pile in.
"I'll call Jakob." Ramona says as they start along.
"I'll call Mike." Adie states.
"Don't worry them, all be fine." Stella mutters. Ramona pulls out her cell phone and skims down the list of contacts but can't seem to find Jakob's cell number so she calls Joey's.

"Joey!" she exclaims.
"How's the party?"
"Joe! Is Jake with you?"
"Stella started getting sharp pains so we're going to the hospital."
"Which hospital?"
"St. Augustine's."
"Okay, we'll meet you there."

"What's going on?" Billie Joe asks his son.
"Stella is getting sharp pains so they're going to the hospital." he says urgently.
"What? Stella!" Jakob exclaims, they were having a guys' day at the indoor golf range.
"Let's go!" Billie says as they leave their clubs on the bench and hurry out of the building.

The three Armstrongs burst into the hospital and Jakob runs for the desk but stops when he sees Mike walking briskly down the hall.
"Mike!" he calls. Mike spins around as the Armstrongs run over to him.
"C'mon Stella is on the third floor." Mike says pressing the button for the elevator.

They get to the third floor and practically charge like a herd of buffalo down the hall to Stella's assigned room where a doctor is performing an ultrasound.
"Is everything okay?" Jakob grasps as he goes over to his girlfriend's side.
"I'm fine, I'll be fine." Stella insists. The doctor turns off the machine and looks at them.

"Good news is you're not going into labor." The doctor says clearly, "But I'm keeping you bed written until you do give birth." Everyone silently exchanges silent glances. "Now, there are too many people in here, immediate family only."

Ramona, Joey, Billie, and Adie file out of the room and into the waiting room.

Jakob kisses Stella's forehead softly. Everyone in the room was still scared out of their wits.