Turning, he looked at Eve, who was still in a coma next to him. He had insisted on being hospitalized in the same room as Eve, so he could be close to her. The nurses obliged when he asked them to roll his bed right up next to hers and put the guardrails down between them, making the beds look like a double bed.
Julian leaned over slightly and ran a finger down her cheek. “My love,” he whispered as he tried to maneuver closer to her. After a bit of painful struggling, he managed to shift himself right up next to her. He placed his head against hers, enjoying being close to her again. He could hardly wait for her to wake up.
Julian smiled as he remembered his talk with Jesus. Despite the bleak picture the doctors painted him concerning her, he knew that she was going to be all right. He kissed her cheek and spoke softly to her.
“I love you, Eve, more than I ever thought possible.” He rested his arm across her chest, hugging her gently to him. “I need you to wake up, my love. I need you, our baby needs you.” A tear ran down his cheek as he thought of their son. “He is such a beautiful boy. He looks like you. He has your mouth, your hair, you deep chocolate eyes….”
“Someone is hungry.” A nurse smiled at Julian as she entered the room with the baby. She carried a bottle of formula and approached Julian’s bed.
Julian grinned happily as the nurse placed the infant in his arms and handed him the bottle. Pride swelled in his heart as he looked down at the hungry infant.
It was the second day now that the nurses had given him the duties of feeding the baby. At first he was very reluctant, afraid more than anything. A nurse showed him how it was done and supervised the first few times just to make sure he didn’t have any problems. Once Julian got the hang of it, he could barely wait for the next feeding. He had no idea that it could be such a delightful experience. Tears welled in his eyes; he was grateful to have been given a second chance at being a father.
The nurse checked Eve’s vitals. “Mr. Crane, I don’t know if you have given this much thought, but you need to name your son. The registration papers are on your table there.”
Julian looked up at her. “But, I don’t want to do this without Eve,” he protested.
The nurse sighed. “Mr. Crane, Eve may not wake up for a long time. You keep putting this off. I am sure you and your wife discussed baby names at some point,” she pointed out.
“Yes, but…” Julian started.
“He has to be registered. I will be back later to pick up the forms.” With a final look at the baby, she smiled gently at him. “When you are ready to put him back in the nursery, ring the buzzer.”
Julian nodded as he watched her leave. He looked down at the infant and sighed. “What am I to do, son? This is something that I wanted to share with your mother.” He looked at Eve with longing, almost willing her to wake up. “I guess it’s up to you and me.” He returned his attention to his son.
The last of the formula drained from the bottle as the baby finished suckling. Julian put it aside and then held the baby upright. On a cloth that the nurse had provided him, he placed the baby’s head against his shoulder just like they had taught him and patted him lightly on the back, encouraging him to burp.
No sooner had he done that, the baby burped loudly and then threw up slightly. Carefully, Julian placed the infant onto a large pillow and wiped the formula from his mouth. Grinning happily, he watched as the baby placed his tiny fist against his mouth and continued to suckle on it. “Still hungry?” Julian asked.
“I think he wants a pacifier,” Whitney said as she entered the room.
“Hi!” Julian’s face lit up at the sight of her.
Whitney walked around to his side of the bed and kissed his cheek. “How are you feeling?”
“Much better today, thank God. My ribs were killing me yesterday.”
“I’m glad you are feeling better.” She kissed his cheek. “May I?” Whitney motioned to the baby.
“Of course!” Julian smiled proudly as he watched his daughter pick up her baby brother.
Whitney cooed with the baby as she walked over to Eve’s side of the bed. “Hi, Mom,” she said as she sat on the stool next to Eve. “I wish you would wake up.” A tear escaped her eye as she studied Eve’s still face.
“Did Fox and Chad fly back to Harmony?” Julian asked after giving Whitney a moment with Eve.
“Fox did. Chad decided to stay with me. He is at the hotel.” Whitney smiled.
“Good, I am glad that you have someone to stay with you. I wouldn’t want you to be alone.”
Whitney smiled at the baby. “I hope that Mom wakes up soon.”
“She will; I am confident that she will,” Julian said.
Whitney looked at him curiously. She couldn’t place what was different about him; he seemed….happier. She almost laughed at the thought. How could he after he had almost lost his wife and child and was now hospitalized? Life was just so unfair, she thought.
Half an hour later, Whitney placed the sleeping baby back into Julian’s arms. “Chad and I will be back later tonight,” she promised.
“Good!” He smiled happily as he took the baby in his arms.
Whitney walked back to her mother’s side and kissed her cheek. She said goodbye, and then turned to Julian and waved. “Bye.”
Julian waved back, watching her leave.
He sighed and leaned back against his pillow. The baby was sleeping soundly now. He gently caressed his cheek as he tried to think of what to name him.
Turning slightly, he looked at Eve, her chest rising and falling as she breathed. No matter what she wore, or how ragged she appeared, she was so beautiful to him. He gently held the baby against his chest, not wanting to wake him as he shifted to move closer to Eve.
Sitting up, he leaned over and placed the baby on Eve’s chest. He laid him on his tummy, his face turned toward him so that he could watch him sleep. Taking Eve’s left hand, he placed it on the baby’s back. He held it there for a moment to make sure it didn’t slip off.
Satisfied that her hand would stay put, he once again rested his head next to hers. “Oh, Eve, if only you could see this now. You and our son…” He kissed her temple as he softly spoke to her.
“The doctors want me to name the baby. I didn’t want to do this without you, but I don’t think I can put it off any longer,” he said as he placed his hand over hers, which was resting gently on the baby’s back.
“I have thought of a name. I know we discussed this briefly, so I am going with it. His name will be Evan Johnson Crane,” he said, and then repeated it. “Evan Johnson Crane, partly your name, partly mine and both our last names,” he explained to a comatose Eve. “I hope you like it,” he added.
“I think it’s beautiful,” Eve whispered weakly.