After a minute or so, which seemed like an eternity, a male doctor-looking guy rushed to the crowd and took over from the receptionist. He kept instructing Laura for a few minutes, mostly urging her to push harder and harder while breathing normally. After a piecing shriek from Laura, a baby’s cry became the dominant sound in the clinic.
“It’s a boy!” The male doctor held the baby in his hands, looking excited, and asked “who is the father?”
“Praise the Lord!” Jack took the baby over and held in his rough, big hands with great caution, as if he were handling a delicate piece of china. Laura, still panting, used all her strength to raise a hand to caress the baby. Then Jack turned his head and spoke to Kellan: “You want to hold him? You saved him. He is indebted to you forever.”
Kellan had wanted to pass the offer – for one thing, the baby looked slimy and he might drop him, and for another, he was really concerned about the time. And yet his action betrayed his mind again. “Why not?” Kellan grinned and gingerly took over the infant. Still crying, he was so tiny, so fragile and yet so full of life, warm and slippery, Kellan felt.
As he was observing the new born scrupulously, something caught Kellan’s attention. In fact, it was so eerily shocking that Kellan felt that he could lose grip of the baby at any moment. He discovered a half-mooned birth mark on the left hip of the boy, a mark that was identical to what Kellan had and on the same, exact spot in Kellan’s own body. Time seemed to have frozen while Kellan’s brain was scrambling to find a possible explanation. He thought about the karma thing the girl talked about the night before, but Kellan had never believed in anything supernatural in his whole life, nor had he seen anything remotely being that way. “What the heck?! This is fucking weird. What’s the odd? Could it be…?”
As a million ideas rushed to Kellan’s mind, Jack gently patted dazed Kellan on the back and asked “are you okay, man?” Kellan temporarily lifted his attention from the birthmark and handed the precious little life back to his father. “Yeah, I am fine. I guess I am just tired.” Muttered Kellan.
“I can’t thank you enough for what you did today. How could I not have asked your name yet?” Said Jack apologetically, taking the baby back to his hands.
“Kellan”. Kellan answered blankly, still in shock.
“Hooray, sir, you just named our baby boy, Kellan. What do you say, Laura?” Jack gave the baby a gentle kiss on the forehead. Laura nodded and smiled, like an angel. Kellan took a good look at the woman, now bracing herself on her elbows. She had such beautiful hazel eyes, just like those of Kellan’s. While Laura was struggling to sit up to get a better look at the baby Kellan, the adult Kellan could almost swear that he smelled something that was familiar in his dreams. The smell of his mother, when she was holding him. And then Kellan moved his eyes onto the father, his face so handsome and his auburn hair so vivid. Regardless of all the weirdness and confusion, Kellan’s heart was filled with joy. This was an amazing ending, against all odds.
As everyone was enjoying the little unusual floor party, the grandfather clock struck and broke the silence. “Oh shoot, I almost forgot about my job!” Exclaimed Kellan. He subconsciously reached for his smart phone in the pocket of his jeans, only to realize that he had left it in the rental car charging. “I really have to go. Um, I have a question. Do you guys know whether this road leads to Denver if I just keep driving north?”
“Sure, take a left turn at the first intersection and follow the sign to the interstate or you can make a right turn to get on to the state highway. Choice’s yours. You won’t miss it.” Said the doctor amicably. The couple thanked Kellan for the last time before he got up and left.
It was 10:47 AM when Kellan was back in his car – the grandfather clock must have acted out, Kellan thought. He checked the phone again, the time right, but the signal bar was still missing. He drove on north. Despite the fact that he just saved a life, possibly two, Kellan’s stomach sank and felt nauseous. The clear blue sky was gone and turned grimly overcast. While Kellan was wondering how fast the weather could turn nasty, he experienced the rocking motions again and another mysterious low-pitched “boom” sound. The car was doing fine, so he ignored it. What was really strange was that the sky all of a sudden turned clear again, bright sunlight shining on the passenger seat from the backside.
Kellan soon reached the cross road the doctor was telling him about. He saw some traffic there, mostly coming from the west. As a result, he still did not trust the interstate. So Kellan joined other cars to go east and soon got onto State Highway 83. The traffic was indeed much heavier on 83 but at least the cars were still moving. He had no choice but inched steadily along. Frustrated, he bit his lips so hard and they began to bleed.
他的电话发出了一阵嗡嗡声。凯兰看到几条短信 – 令他高兴的是，手机信号又有了。他想要打电话给秘书解释发生的事情。但是，经过一番思考，这可能不是最好的主意。无论他说什么都听起来像借口，这可能会让事情变得更糟。而且，他已经放弃了希望。所以，随便吧，他想。
His phone gave off a burst of buzzes. Kellan saw a few text messages – the cell signal was back on, to his delight. He had thought about calling the secretary to explain what happened immediately. However, after a second thought, it probably wasn’t the best idea. Whatever he said would sound like excuses, which might make things worse. Besides, he’d already given up hope. So, whatever, he thought.
When he arrived at the company parking lot in the Tech Center area, it was already past noon. He saw a few of his colleagues were out to grab lunch. With the business contract folder in his hand, Kellan dragged his legs and took his time to slowly make it to the office building. He took a deep breath when he got off the elevator and nervously walked to the secretary’s desk.
Before he could speak to her, Kellan’s boss Matt Goldberg, a fat middle-aged man with receding hairline, walked out of the conference room and signaled Kellan to come over to him. The secretary lady made a funny face at Kellan and shrugged.
“I am so sorry sir, if I could just tell you what happened first.” Kellan handed the folder over to Goldberg and awaited his punishment, getting fired almost certainly.
“Well, things happen. C'est la vie. No sweat. Take the rest of the day off and I will take you to dinner at 6. We can talk about it then. You pick a place you like, how about?” Kellan could not believe, beyond his wildest dreams that Goldberg appeared to be quite happy with him being so late and possibly screwing the company over. Having worked for the man for almost three years, Kellan knew his boss was pleased when he put the “how about” at the end of a sentence.
“Is it the last supper? Are you going to fire me?” Kellan had to find out.
“Last supper? No, I expect you to take my place in a few years.” Goldberg chuckled. “You see, your inexcusable late arrival and being out of commission for so long had saved us from a major loss. The contract was fishy and we were only informed by the HQ a few moments ago to avoid the deal at all cost. You have no idea how costly it is just to pay the legal fees. They can bankrupt you. And yes, there will be a few fires, but it won’t be you.” He beamed at Kellan.
“And by the way, never say last supper to a Jew. It’s just rude. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some big fish to please, off you go.” Goldberg said, leaning against the door frame.
“But sir, I don’t…” Kellan pressed.
“Oh, O’Connor. Laisse tomber! I’ll see you around six.” Goldberg went back to the conference room, leaving Kellan utterly stunned at the door. “Karma! This has to be karma!” That was the only explanation Kellan could conjure in his head, although he was not entirely clear what his boss was just saying.
Two weeks later, Kellan got a pay raise. It was not a big one but he was happy enough to share the news with Kate, whom he visited twice already. They had dinner together and he kissed her goodbye. That night, he dreamed about his parents again. It was still in the mall and he was very small. Kellan walked in the middle, both of his hands being tightly held by his parents. He looked up and saw their faces, only this time the faces so clear and so real. The man was so handsome with flaming auburn hair and the woman so beautiful with hazel eyes, and her pleasant smell. Kellan laughed so hard and he woke, reminiscing the lingering dream.
“Roland’s Family Birth Clinic, how can I help you?” A sweet female voice answered the phone.
Kellan: “Hi, can I speak to Patrick please?”
Female: “Who is this speaking? Do you have an appointment?”
Kellan: “No, but it’s urgent.”
Female: “Stay on the line sir.”
Click. A few moments later.
Roland: “Patrick Roland. How may I help you?” His voice sounded slow and ancient.
Kellan: “Dr. Roland. Do you remember a woman giving birth on the floor in your clinic a while back?”
Roland: “How could I forget that? And who is this?”
Kellan: “I am the guy who helped to bring the woman in, Kellan. You remember me? I have a question.”
Roland: “Ah, yes, you are the kind guy after whom the baby was named. I remember you. What do you possibly want to know?”
Kellan: “Can you tell me the last name of the couple?” He took a deep breath.
Roland: “Hmm, let me think. It’s been so long. Gosh. But I remember. O’Connor, definitely, since I misspelled it Connor on the ledger.”
Kellan: “And when was that?”
Roland: “Hmm, let’s see.” A long moment passed. “Twenty-seven or twenty-eight years ago? Something like that.”
A month later, Kate was sitting in the passenger seat and she opened the glove box. “Hey, you never put the decal up!”
“Sorry, I kinda just left it there. I didn’t mean to.” Kellan winked. “What does it say though?”
“You listen careful, O’Connor. ‘Your wishes are His top priority’.” Kate read in the most sweet voice in the world.