Emergency – Chapter 7
Charles swiped the green button to accept the call and greeted his superior respectfully waiting for the reason for this late call.
“Charles I’ve just received some interesting news and thought you may wish to know even though its so late in the day. Ms Howlett and her team have been recalled to the US as her President has decided to call off the bid on the tech giant here for now. While I’m not supposed to be in the know it appears our UK tech people are a match for the Americans. They conducted a raid themselves on one of the key companies the Americans had a significant shareholding in to gain UK majority holding. This would affect their proposed supply chain and it was vital they had control of that company to make the UK bid work. So, they are regrouping to sort this out. Ms Howlett seems to have an interest in you and has given me her number requesting that you contact her as soon as you can. I heard they are going to establish an office here in the UK. I’m wondering if they have made any approach to you to join their team. You’d tell me if they had I presume? She’s probably out at the airport now trying to sort out flights back for her team in case you wanted to give her a call.”
Charles laughed. “Yes, Ms Howlett is a remarkably interesting person, and she has offered me a job attempting unusual means to get my interest, but I took your advice seriously two days ago and resisted. It was an attractive offer, but I feel more comfortable with the ethical climate of our Chartered Accountant firm and will not be accepting their generous offer sir.”
There was a pause at the other end of the line. “Charles you are a valuable advancing member of our team, and I’ll see you are not sorry you made a decision to stay with us. So, I suppose we can reverse the arrangements made to free you up for the rest of the week and look forward to seeing you tomorrow to determine how best to do that at my office. Now you should contact Ms Howlett as they have paid our firm a generous fee for work we’ve done for them.” He laughed.
Charles interrupted thinking the boss was going to end the call. “Sir I’d like to request the rest of the week off in that there is no pressure to continue negotiations with the Americans. There are some personal matters I need to straighten out and would appreciate it if you could make this special exception.”
“Yes, that would be OK Charles. Now phone Ms Howlett as we want to keep them as a potential client. They pay well!”
Charles punched in the number given him by his boss and heard a familiar voice on the other end. “It’s Charles Jane!”
“Good, now I have your cell phone number Charles. I was looking forward to trying to convince you to like me the next few days and certainly to coax you into receiving our offer. The President is interested in you. I’m not prepared to give up yet so watch out! I’ll let you in on a little secret. The team, and others I suppose think there is something going on between the president and me. I’m happy to leave it that way as they give me respect even though I’m relatively young to be a Vice President. They are partly right. I’m his daughter from his first love and they don’t know that as it’s a secret.
When I was born, my dad’s Jewish family refused to accept my mother. She was considered a Gentile, so I carry her name Howlett. My father is the eldest son of a German Jewish extended family who sold their financial interests to the Swedes and escaped through Switzerland with their fortune safely transferred to the US before Hitler got to them. I’m telling you that because I wanted you to know there is nothing to the rumors and because I know you well enough now to see you’d never disclose privileged information. I’ve got to go now as it looks like I’ve scored seats for my team back to New York. We are setting up an office in London so hopefully you will agree to see me again.” The line cut before Charles could respond.
Charles went gratefully to this strange bed after such an eventful and stressful evening and tossed around for much of the night until eventually falling into a deep sleep. He was awakened by an urgent voice and being shaken.
“Charles you’re late for work! I’m so sorry my problems have caused you to be late like this.”
Charles leaped out of bed looking at the clock then recalled he wasn’t adequately clothed so in his disorientation looked around for his gown in this unfamiliar environment. Then he remembered he had the rest of the week off and turned toward the voice and realized with embarrassment it was Taniyah. That’s right she had a key and probably thought he was already at work.
“I’m taking the rest of the week off with permission.” He looked sheepish and Taniyah laughed.
“I’m sorry for laughing Charles but I really needed to after such a hellish night. I thought you would be at work but am glad you’re here as I may need some help and was trying to figure out who I could call. Don’t worry about your appearance as I’ve spent four years in medical school and have seen much more than you’re embarrassed about. I just wanted to retrieve more towels as I think I may need them. The child has been restless and wouldn’t let me sleep much. Have a shower and I’ll make you some breakfast over at your apartment.” She winced and Charles woke up quickly in alarm.
“Are you having some problems?”
“Some unusual feelings and I hope its not from the fall I had yesterday when Omario pushed me over. I’m a little early to be due but it feels like an occasional contraction. I can’t see any outward evidence of damage but was going to take a taxi to the hospital for a check-up.” She winced again and then again while Charles looked on in alarm.
“Have a shower and get dressed quickly Charles I think I may need your help.”
Charles gathered his clothes and rushed to the bathroom taking a quick shower and dressing. He heard a cry of alarm from the lounge and burst through the door to see what was happening.
“My water has broken Charles. I need an ambulance. I’m not moving until they get here could you rush into your apartment and see the small red suitcase by the door I kept in advance for this kind of emergency and hurry back while I phone for an ambulance.”
Special Delivery – Chapter 8
Taniyah was lying on the bed and in obvious distress when Charles burst through the living room area to the bedroom.
“An ambulance is on the way, but I think they’ll be too late.” She spoke into the phone again after informing Charles. “Yes, there is someone in the room with me and I’m afraid the baby is already in the process of arrival.”
She handed the phone to Charles, and he listened in shock as the operator instructed him to follow orders as she guided him in the delivery. Taniyah placed her legs in position and pulled her gown back and a wave of awe fell over him as he saw the miracle of birth begin and he concentrated to follow instructions. There were no complications and the baby slid out easily into his shaking hands just as the paramedics burst into the apartment and found the bedroom. They expertly extracted the baby from Charles hands and gently brushed him aside. He stood there with blood on his hands and gaped as he watched the rest of the miracle unfold. The baby’s first cry was followed by a quick wipe down to be wrapped and located in Taniyah’s arms. Taniyah shed tears of joy as she received the child checking there were no defects.’
“The baby is fine Maam!” said a young woman paramedic who turned to Charles. “Are you the lucky father?”
“No, I’m filling in for the father who is out of town. I’m responsible for her well being so what do I do now?”
“We’re taking her to hospital so you can inform the father who would naturally want to know and be with her on this happy occasion. We will take care of her now and thank you for the admirable job you did with the delivery. Do you work in the medical profession?”
“I’m a Chartered Accountant!”
“Well perhaps you may consider a change of careers.” Both paramedics laughed and turned to wheel Taniyah and the baby out for checking and admission.
“Mr Nelson will be accompanying me as there are a lot of people to be contacted and I need to give him the details once I’ve been processed and admitted.”
“Maam in that he’s not your relative that may not be possible.”
“Mr Nelson will come with me.”
The paramedics looked at each other and hesitated then shrugged. They looked to see if he was in agreement with her request then motioned for Charles to follow them as they negotiated the stairs and he fell in behind after locking apartments. He was uncomfortable he’d not finished sprucing up after the delivery though he had washed himself but didn’t have time to shave.
In the ambulance he was placed near Taniyah’s head and one of the paramedics sat facing her and checking on her vital signs as they travelled. Taniyah clutched her baby tight with one arm as she was strapped in. She turned her head to face Charles and smiled.
“You did a fine job delivering my baby Mr Accountant, how much do you charge for that service?” The paramedics trained to tune in to any sound coming from a patient both laughed one of them listening from the driver’s seat. Soon they were at the hospital and Taniyah was rushed through processing. She spoke with the nurse accompanying her and the nurse paused to look at Charles and beckoned for him to come quickly.
“The patient would like you to wait for her to be examined and suggests you eat breakfast at the cafeteria, and she will phone you as soon as she and the baby have been examined and admitted. She will give you the room number and ward then and perhaps you’d be kind enough to help her contact relatives and inform them of the birth of a baby girl.” The nurse pointed in the direction of the cafeteria and sped back to accompany the gurney already disappearing down the corridor.
Charles headed for the cafeteria and realized as he went, he was quite hungry. The food was surprisingly good for a hospital he thought as he finished his meal and sat back to rest. He caught sight of a gift shop down the corridor and decided to spend time there looking for an appropriate gift for the baby. This should be a proud day for Omario and he shook his head in disappointment at his former friends betrayal.
He was looking at items in the gift shop when his cell phone chimed. He hadn’t expected Taniyah would be processed so soon and couldn’t think who else would be calling unless it was his family, but they never called during his normal work hours. Perhaps his boss?
“Where is Taniyah? She’s not at home and I can’t get in. I want the keys to the apartment so I can hand them in to the agent and collect my deposit back. I’m not going to pay her rent. I believe you have a set so I will need that set too so I can see the agent today and collect my money. I’m at your office but the receptionist says you are on holidays.”
Charles thought quickly. Omario was not the nice person he’d thought him to be and possibly a violent person along with his dysfunctional character, so he needed to be careful. His first thoughts were either to remonstrate with him or tell him of his daughter’s arrival but that might not be the safe thing to do. Perhaps lying in this case would be the safest for Taniyah or even himself.
“I’m not sure where Taniyah would be. She told me you two had a fight so perhaps she is staying with relatives? Does she have relatives here in the UK?”
“Charles you’re not talking with one of your hair brained clients, this is Omario and I happen to know Taniyah was in your apartment last evening because Amoy told me. She came crawling back to me and begged me to forgive her and when I saw the amount of cash you gave her to leave the both of you in peace, I thought having her around might be a good idea after all. So where is she? I really don’t care if she moved in with you, but I want my deposit back and then we can all move on. You get Taniyah and that cursed baby. Both of us get a good deal out of our friendship.” His laugh was evil.
“Omario let me set the record straight. I counted the both of you as friends and to me Taniyah is still a friend who needs help right now. I’m really disappointed in you and cannot understand why you are treating mother and child this way. Now when I heard who was on the line, I took the precaution of recording this call and will forward it to my secretary as soon as this call is over. I can understand you are angry because I’ve learned your parents have disowned you. You’ve discussed your immigration situation with me when you were a friend and if you create any trouble in this country you know your visa status could be compromised. Last week they shipped out a planeload of people who have similar visa status as you. Think very carefully about your future moves. I will also phone my secretary immediately and tell her to store this conversation and if anything happens to me, she should share it with the police. If or when I see Taniyah next, I will tell her you won’t be paying her rent any more and help her find a solution to her accommodation. She will not be moving in with me unless it is a very temporary accommodation. You can leave your forwarding address with the agent and when the apartment has been cleared, he will send you what is coming to you.”
There was a long pause on the line and Charles waited for the response. Omario eventually responded in a much less aggressive way. “OK you’ll not have any further trouble from me as I fully understand what you are saying and don’t want to sacrifice my visa status until I decide to leave this country. Just see I get my deposit back please.” The line disconnected.
Charles forwarded the voicemail conversation to his secretary after calling her to ask she keep the tape on file and explaining the history of his relationship with the Gordons and how he was attempting to see Taniyah reconnected with her family along with the complication of the child’s birth and his part in that child’s delivery. The secretary laughed when she heard the story of his delivery of a baby and asked if he was going to change his profession now. He assured her that was not his plan and asked that the matter be kept in confidence. He smiled as he anticipated the teasing his secretary would give him over this but knew she would keep it in confidence.
He happened to glance at his messages. Taniyah had been trying to contact him while he was on the phone and had messaged him instead. He noticed a flower shop at the other end of the corridor as he exited the gift shop and headed there picking up a beautiful arrangement of artificial lilies Taniyah could take home with her from the hospital. Then headed for Ward D, room 31 asking for directions as he went in the huge hospital complex.
To be continued.
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