19 November 2008

Pieces ['03 blackout]

*based on true events*

The afternoon of August 14th, 2003

The phone at my desk rings. "Good Afternoon, Claims Department, Peggy speaking!" I said, trying to sound like I actually liked my job. The voice on the other end happened to be my mother. "Oh, hey Mommy... what's up?"

"Peg cherie, you have to leave work now ... the lights just went off at my job, please leave work now." My mother says in a barely audible voice. She worked down the block from me, so typically when something happened near her job, it happened near mine as well.

"What!? Lights out?? Mom, relax please. You're always exaggerating!" While talking to my mom, I was cleaning up my desk, preparing for my last day at work before maternity leave. The minute our conversation concluded, the lights went out on my floor.

"What the hell is going on?!" I shouted. Just great. Here I am, 19 years old, 8 months pregnant, and excited as hell that as of August 15th, 2003 I'd be on maternity leave and wouldn't have to deal with Insurance for a few months. Then this bullshit happens. There's always some problems working downtown Manhattan. First 9/11, now this, whatever it is.

My supervisor runs to my desk and tells me we need to hurry and leave, there's been a Blackout. "There's been a what?!? Ok, Grover, I need to use the bathroom...now." My nervousness sent a quick signal to my bladder, indicating that it needed to be emptied [couldn't hold my urine for shit, I'm sure other pregos and mothers can relate]. "Well, hurry up. Have someone hold the door open for you, but hurry," he said. So that's what I did. My co-worker, Beatrice, held the door for me while I used the bathroom in complete darkness.

As I began wobbling towards the elevator, another co-worker stops me. "Pegs, where you going? The elevators aren't working, duh! We gotta take the stairs, girl, come on!" I look at her and say, "I'm sorry, what? I soooo can't do that, do you not see this belly??? Do you not know what floor we're on???" All of a sudden, they started coming down, slowly. Tears. A mixture of fear, uncertainty and pain, amongst other things. Yes, pain, I started cramping badly.

I headed to the staircase and proceeded to go down the stairs. Taking it step by step, slowly, I wondered if I would make it down. By the time I reached the 21st floor, the pain in my lower abdomen was beyond excruciating, but I sucked it up and continued. By the 13th floor, I was being carried down by two male co-workers. "Ya'll better not drop me", I said to them in a nasty tone. By this point, I was beyond pissed.

I made it downstairs in one piece and as I'm exiting the building, my co-workers and I see my Mother running towards me [she's very dramatic] with tons of Century 21 shopping bags [those who know Sandra, knows she lives there, lol] screaming [as usual]. She says, "Peg, I'm gonna walk the Brooklyn Bridge but you gotta go to the hospital, NOW!".

"For what? I'm good, Ma, I'll walk the Bridge with you, trust me I'm fiiiine." I said [yeah right, lol].

"Are you crazy! You're gonna have the baby!" [How she knew, I don't know, but they say Mothers always know, right?]. Amidst police cars flying down Water Street, not caring about a girl in labor denial, my mother was able to flag down a guy in a Benz. "Take my daughter to Brooklyn, please, help her, she's gonna have this baby!" she says.

He hesitated, then said to my mother, "Where in Brooklyn? Forget it, just hop in, I'll make sure she's okay." He turned to me and introduced himself as Andre. As the car pulled off, I looked back at my Mom sadly waving goodbye to me. That's when the tears really came down.

To Be Continued.

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