Rose McLerney was sitting in her desk in the middle of the classroom, waiting for that final bell to go off until she was finally free for the weekend. With 15 minutes to go, the 9 year old blonde girl and the rest of the third grade students didn't even bother to pretend to pay attention to what the teacher was saying. Some were even talking amongst themselves about their weekend plans. Rose was no exception, as she was conversing with her three friends, Alexia, Jessica, and Danielle, about how they were going to hang out.
Rose personally considered herself to be the leader of this group of friends, even though the rest of them didn't really think much about that. Like a lot of kids her age, she could be somewhat needy, sometimes craving positive attention, especially from her family. Her parents were both geologists, her mother, Emily, was a naturalist, and her father, Edward, was an oceanographer They worked together and, due to their line of work, they both traveled extensively, leaving Rose in the care of a babysitter. These past few months however, they have stayed at home, due to the expected arrival of a new family member. Rose's mother had been pregnant with a second child, in fact, they have been expecting her to go into labor any day now, so much that her father had been putting Rose through "drills" on what to do when the time comes. He felt they had to be sure they were ready.
What Rose felt sure of was that she loved being an only child and did not want a younger sibling. Things are just fine with the three of them, why did they need to bring another kid into this? Whatever they did to make this happen, couldn't they have just not done it (being nine years old, she didn't know where babies came from). She was very close with her family, doing homework with mom, helping her with cooking, and watching dad work on ocean charts. She liked being the focus of their world, and she did not need competition from a brand new baby, especially if it was a girl.
Finally, the clock struck 3 P.M. and the final school bell rang, releasing the kids from their school responsibilities letting them loose onto the unsuspecting world. Rose, having already put all her things into her backpack, leapt off her seat and ran out the door with all the other kids, as excited as any child could be.
"you're all gonna be showing up at my house later today right?" Rose said to her friends as they waited outside "I just got the new Mario Party game."
"You know we are," Danny said enthusiastically.
As the friends conversed, Alexia's mom drove up to the school in her minivan.
"Rose," she called out from the car, "Your parent's asked me to drive you to the hospital!"
"You're mom is having the baby! Your dad is there too. Come on! We need to hurry!"
Suddenly, a potentially perfect weekend of hanging out and forgetting her problems went straight down the toilet, and the moment she had been dreading for months had arrived. Instead of haing a fun weekend to forget about this, it was happening now. She could feel a lump swell up in her throat as the news that her days of being an only child were over.
Not having much choice, she and Alexia hopped into the car and they drove off to the hospital. Leaving Danielle and Jessica in front of the school.
"Did you see the look on her face?" Jessica said, "It looked like she was just told she was going to prison."
"Yeah," Danielle chuckled, "how do you think she's gonna handle being a sister?"
"You know Rose, it's gonna be rough for her "
The drive to the hospital took about 20 minutes, but to Rose, it felt like forever. Everytime they passed what may have looked like a hospital, the lump in her throat just increased, until they passed on. She was not ready for this sort of change.
Finally, they arrived at the hospital, and the three of them got out of the car and walked as fast as they could into the building. The feeling of the place overwhelmed Rose. She had gone to the doctors clinic before, usually just for check-ups or for when she was sick. In large-scale places like this, people were operated on, had broken bones, had x-rays taken, even died. This was not the kind of place any nine year old child would want to visit, let alone on a Friday. they approached the reception counter.
"Excuse me" Alexis's mom asked to the woman running the desk, "we are looking for Edward and Emily McLerney, I understand Emily is in labor."
The woman looked through her records to look for the name. "McLerney, party of two. Yes, they are currently in delivery room 6. She has been in Labor for about 4 hours now. If you will take a seat, we will keep you updated on her status."
"Thank you", Alexis's mom said, and she took the two girls over to the "Well Visits" waiting area.
Rose had no idea how long she had been sitting there waiting for something, anything, to happen. The room was way too agonizingly quiet, with everyone just sitting or standing around reading boring magazines, with the exception of Alexia talking to her mom and a baby crying in its moms arms. Despite her best efforts to block out the noise, the crying just wouldn't stop, making her time here much more unbearable. How much of that were we going to have in the house now that they were going to have a baby? Just nonstop crying? Was she like that when she was a baby?
Next to her, Alexia was having a conversation with her mom, "Why can't we see the baby be born?"
"Trust me, it's really not something you need to see."
"Don't they come out of the bellybutton?"
After what felt like forever, a nurse came in calling for her group.
"Alright. The delivery was a success. at 6:21 p.m. Emily McLerney gave birth to a healthy baby girl. They are waiting for you in recovery room 12."
And just like that, Rose was no longer an only child, but now an only sister. She wished just for a moment that she could have a moment by herself to take this all in, but the nurse led her group out of the waiting area and through the hospital.
After walking through the halls, taking an elevator, and walking through more halls, they arrived at a door labeled "Recovery 12". The nurse opened the door and led the group inside. There, Rose's mother, with her red hair, was in a hospital gown and laying on a bed, with her belly still swollen from her pregnancy. Sitting beside her was her blonde haired husband and Roses dad. They were very happy to see their (now eldest) daughter. Despite her anxiety about the day's events, she was pretty happy to see her mommy and daddy.
"Rose!" Emily said, in a somewhat week voice, "sweetie I am so glad you made it."
"How was school?" Edward asked her young daughter.
"Um, it was good, is mom okay?"
"Oh she's fine, she's just resting."
Rose went up to her father who lifted her up to her mom, allowing the two to embrace each other. Even in her mom's weakened state, she always felt happy and protected being hugged by her.
"Well, we better be off," Alexia's mom said.
"Thanks for bringing Rose here," Edward said.
"It's no problem at all." After Rose said goodbye to Alexia, the family was left alone in the room, along with the nurse.
After this very stressful day, Rose was happy to be back with her parents, who she considered to be her favorite people in the world. But her dad had to ruin it with one single sentence.
"Rose, are you ready to meet you sister?"
At that instant, all her happiness was gone, replaced by utter dread, "r-right now..?"
"Sure, You're mom will be okay here with the nurse. Right honey?"
"Right," Emily replied, "Go on sweetie."
Rose simply took a deep breath and followed her dad outside the room and across the halls, holding his hand. She was really REALLY not looking forward to this.
Finally, they arrived outside the maternity ward. Her dad helped lift her up so that she could see through the large window.
What she saw inside were dozens of newborn babies each in their own individual tiny bed.
The middle row, the one to the second most right, that's her.
She followed her Dad's instructions and looked over to find the one he was talking about. Her eyes found a newborn baby girl swaddled in blankets crying.
"Is that her?"
"That's her. Say hello to your baby sister, Lilly.
There she was, her new baby sister, just introduced into the world and into their family. They even named her after a flower like she was. She simply stared through the glass at the new addition to the family
"You had to be a girl..."