Low Blood Pressure
The warm June sun began to rise, it’s beacons of light piercing through the high rise buildings. Bella rolled over and grumbled at the time. Damn, all she wanted to do was sleep a little longer, however she needed to get up. Sitting up and sliding her legs over the edge of the mattress, her head began to spin. Damn, why was this happening and why was she always so tired? Sighing deeply, it was because she had been going non-stop for the last six weeks.
It all began when she awoke in Tony’s bed after they had made love. Well, maybe in his mind, it was only sex, but in her heart, it was so much more. Never had she imagined that her first time would be so wonderful, but it was and more. When she was awakened by the bright sun flooding through the windows, she was at first confused where she was. Then the memories of the previous night’s activities replayed in her mind.
She looked to the other side of the bed and found that Tony was not there. Wondering where he might be, she rolled over and saw the note. He had an emergency and had left her to sleep. She wouldn’t have cared if he had awoken her. Then she read that he would call her. How? They had not exchanged numbers, so how was he going to call her? Had he only wrote that to pacify her or had the emergency been so unnerving that he didn’t remember? Not coming up with any answers to the questions, she got up dressed, put the note in her purse and left. When she pulled out her phone, she noticed that she had multiple texts from Rose and Alice. She needed a cup of coffee before answering their texts.
Stepping outside the apartment building, she looked around to figure out where she was and once she had, began walking. A few blocks down, she found a Starbucks and got a large coffee and a muffin. As she sat at one of the small tables, her mind raced over last night’s events. She was no longer a virgin and she didn’t feel dirty or damned like her father had browbeaten into her all her life.
Charlie Swan was a religious zealot that had started his church with a mere twenty parishioners and now he had a following of over two thousand. He preached two services on Sunday and held small group meetings four days of the week. Fire and brimstone was his modus operandi, sins and dangers of women as the downfall of man. If they had not picked the apple from the forbidden tree and coerced man to eat it, life on earth would be without sin. He wouldn’t speak it out loud, however, in his mind, he knew his wife had committed a horrible transgression for her to give him a daughter instead of a son. He had been strict and unbending when it came to her. She had not been allowed to socialize with any boys and he had sent her to a Christian school for her education. He was going to make sure that she was as pure as snow when she wed and even then, he would choose the man she would marry. Bella wasn’t going to shame him by marrying someone who didn’t have the same values as he did.
Everything was going to plan until she applied to college. Girls didn’t need college, which was a cesspool of deviant morality. He had put his foot down, informing her that she was not going to Boston to study history of all things. If she wanted to study history she should study the Bible. He thought she had agreed with him, till that day, in late August when he arrived home to find her missing. A note was left informing him that she was going to college and since she was eighteen, there was nothing he could do about it. That was the day that she became dead to him and no longer welcomed back into his home.
Her phone chiming of an incoming text message brought her out of thoughts.
Where are you? – RH
Deciding she couldn’t avoid her friends forever, she sent Rose a reply.
Stopped for coffee. On my way home now – BS
Bella went back to the apartment that she shared with Rose and Alice. As soon as she walked in the door, she was bombarded with questions. Her roommates were tenacious, so she told them everything that had happened. They threw question after question at her and she answered everyone, even the ones that made her blush a deep shade of red. Rose wanted to track him down and find out what was so damn important to leave her asleep in his bed. Bella pleaded for her not to do that and finally she convinced her to let him be.
Two weeks later, they were all walking across the stage, receiving their degrees. Bella was the only one who didn’t have a job waiting on her. Rose was going to work for her father and Alice’s mother had set her up with her own design studio. Before leaving Boston to go to New York, they went out once again to the club where Bella had met Tony. Bella couldn’t help but continually look around the room for him, though he wasn’t there. Sad over fact, she decided to file that night away in memories and to go on with her life.
Rose’s father had spared no expense on the apartment that he purchased for the girls. It was in one of the newest buildings in downtown Manhattan on the forty-fifth floor. He had wanted the penthouse, but it was already taken by the owner himself. The selling point of the apartment was the security of the building. It was a state of art electronic security and a massive contingent of guards, all highly trained and formidable.
Mr. Hale had a special graduation gift for Bella. Over the years, he had come to love her just as much as his own daughter. When he had heard what her father had done to her, he wanted to fly to Washington state and beat the holy shit out of him. Instead, he showered her with love and the sense that she was part of his family. He was on the board for several charities and arts programs in the city. With his leverage and position, he managed to secure Bella a job as a museum archivist for NYC Natural History Museum. Of course, she put up a fight about not getting the job on her own merit, however, in the end, she agreed.
Bella wasn’t used to being given such lavish gifts and was frightened that she would embarrass Mr. Hale, or Robbie as he insisted on being called. She had been a nervous wreck the first day, waiting for everyone to know that she had only gotten the job because of Mr. Hale’s influence. Despite her fears, she found that she was actually very good at it and loved what she did. The weeks that followed only boosted her confidence more.
She was excited every morning to get up to go to work, that was until last week, when she began to become exhausted and wanted nothing more than to sleep. Feeling it was because of all the changes that happened, she didn’t believe there wasn’t anything really wrong with her that would warrant a trip to the doctors.
Getting up, she took a hot shower and dressed for the day. Coming out of the room, she found both Rose and Alice sitting at their dining room table eating breakfast.
“Good morning, sunshine,” Alice chirped.
“Morning,” Bella murmured, needing her coffee.
“Still not feeling well?” Rose asked, worried about her friend.
“It is not that I feel unwell, I am just tired,” Bella explained, pouring a large steaming cup of coffee in her favorite mug.
“Well, if you don’t start getting your energy back in a few weeks I am personally taking you to the doctor. Get it?” Rose stated in her no argument tone.
“Yes, mother,” Bella sassed, as she bit her lower lip trying not to laugh.
“Ass,” Rose growled with a twinkle in her bright crystal blue eyes.
“Bitch,” Bella responded this time with a giggle.
How much she had changed since leaving her father’s dominance and coming to Boston. She was no longer a quiet church mouse, she was a confident young woman who didn’t let people push her around. Rose and Alice were the reason behind her change.
“Damn, it. I’ve got to get to the office. That pencil dick Mike thinks he can take over my clients,” Rose growled, looking at her watch.
“Pencil dick?” Alice questioned one of her brow raised.
Throwing her long hair over her shoulder, she laughed. “Well, I might have walked in on him while he was taking a piss.”
“You might have or you did?” Bella questioned.
“Alright, bitch, I did. I was wrapped up reading a report and walked in the wrong bathroom. The asshole was at the urinal and when I looked up, I saw it. Fuck, it was the smallest dick I have ever seen on a man,” Rose explained.
Bella shook her head. Both Rose and Alice had had multiple sexual partners, while she only had Tony, so the only dick she had truly been up close with had been his. Oh God, it was the perfect specimen in her book, long and thick.
“She is thinking of him again,” Alice said, snapping her fingers in Bella’s face.
“What?” Bella asked, coming out of her trance of the memories of Tony.
“You were thinking of him again,” Alice giggled.
“Was not!” Bella snapped.
“Yeah, yeah. Get your bag, it is time to go,” Rose called out, collecting her computer bag and purse. She had a driver that drove her to work each day and since Bella’s work was on the way she rode in with her. Alice’s studio was only two blocks down.
Grabbing her jacket and bag, she headed out the door with Rose and Alice. Bella took three steps in the hall when suddenly her world began to spin out of control, and then everything went black.
Rose was talking to Alice and when they turned to ask Bella a question, they found her unconscious on the floor.
“BELLA!” Alice screamed, falling to her knees beside her.
Rose had her phone out calling 911. They sat beside Bella making sure she was still breathing and waiting for help to arrive, when the door to their neighbor’s apartment opened up.
The gentlemen looked out and saw two women sitting beside a young woman lying on the floor. “What happened here?”
“We don’t know,” Alice cried, tears running down her face.
“I am Dr. Garrett Martin. Let me take a look at her,” he explained. Rushing back in the apartment, he collected his physicians’ bag and returned back to the woman. Bending down he took her pulse and listened to her heart. Both were strong, though she was extremely pale. “Has she been sick?”
“She has been complaining of being tired,” Rose replied. “Do you know what is wrong with her?”
“No. You did say that you called for an ambulance?” Garrett asked. He was a doctor, a surgeon in fact and more than that he was the general physician for the Cullen family. Whenever one of the members was injured and couldn’t go to a hospital, he was the one to fix them up. There were times he did need the physicalities of a hospital and being a surgeon in good standing made that possible. “I can’t see anything major wrong, however I think it is best to take her to the hospital and get her checked out. I would be more than happy to assist if you would like, seeing that we are neighbors.”
“Thank you, Dr. Martin,” Alice sniffled, wiping away her tears.
Rose called her father explaining what had happened, then called Bella’s work doing the same. When she finished her phone calls, the elevator was opening with the ambulance crew coming off with a stretcher. Garrett explained the situation and informed them that he was her physician. Bella was carefully placed on the gurney and wheeled out to the ambulance.
“They are taking her to New York-Presbyterian Hospital. I need her full name and if she has any allergies,” Garrett said, pulling out his phone to place the information in his notepad.
“Isabella Marie Swan, twenty-two and she is allergic to eggs,” Rose instructed. “Please help her.”
Garrett patted her on the arm. “I will.”
Thirty minutes later, Bella was in the ER, hooked up to the monitors. Garrett ordered a round of blood work. Other than her blood pressure being slightly low, nothing seemed to be out of the ordinary.
Bella began to open her eyes, but just as quickly closed them, the bright lights causing her to moan out in pain.
“Miss Swan?” Garrett called out when he heard her moan.
“Where am I?” She asked, bringing her arm up to shield her eyes.
“You are in the emergency room. I am Dr. Martin.”
“What am I doing here and how did I get here?” She groaned.
Garrett switched off the large overhead light, leaving the one soft light over the bed on. “Is that better?”
Bella moved her arm and opened her eyes. “Much, thank you.”
“To answer your questions. You passed out in the hall outside your apartment and an ambulance brought you.”
Bella looked around the room. “Where are Rose and Alice?”
“They are waiting very impatiently in the waiting room. Ms. Hale is definitely headstrong, much like her father,” Garrett chuckled.
“You know Robbie, I mean Mr. Hale?”
“Ah, I see he has brought you into the family. Only those who are close to him can get by calling him, Robbie. We are old friends.”
At that point, a nurse came in carrying a chart and handed it to Garrett. He looked over the results of the blood test and everything looked normal except for the results of one particular test.
“Dr. Martin, have you found something that has caused me to pass out?” Bella asked.
“I have found a little something,” Garrett began.
Bella began to breathe quickly as her heart began to race. The monitors detected the increase in her pulse and heart rate, causing the alarm to sound. “What is it?”
Garrett came over to the bed and placed his hand on her arm. “Calm down, Miss Swan. You are going to be fine in about seven and a half months, give or take a week.”
“Seven and a half months?”
“You’re pregnant,” Garrett declared and soon as the words came out of his mouth, she fainted once again.