A married woman comes to her neighbor's rescue and helps her home-deliver her baby, only to discover that the father of the child is her own husband.
Sarah Harper had known Erica Vernon for over six years. The Vernons had moved in next door the same week as Sarah and her husband Kieran -- both couples were newlyweds and they'd fallen into an easy friendship.
But within a year or two, Sarah realized the Vernons were in trouble. Lester Vernon seemed to be jealous and suspicious and made his poor wife's life a living hell. Sarah pitied Erica, who was as faithful to her husband as she was to Kieran -- or so Sarah thought.
Sarah couldn't believe her eyes as she looked down at the baby in her arms | Source: Shutterstock.com
Things became more and more unpleasant as time went on. The screaming fights from next door became more and more raucous, and the two couples stopped going out together.
Sarah would often see Erica looking weepy and unhappy, and even though Lester was always pleasant and polite to Sarah, he never gave her a chance to speak up for her friend.
One day Sarah ran into Lester at the supermarket and decided to take the bull by the horns. "Lester," she said carefully, "I know it's none of my business but I hate to see you two so unhappy. Have you thought about couple's counseling? Erica loves you so much..."
Lester looked at her for a long moment, then he said, "Listen, Sarah, if I were you I wouldn't defend Erica. You think she's your friend, but she isn't." And with that, Lester turned his back and walked away.
Sarah thought she and Kieran had the perfect marriage | Source: Unsplash
Just three weeks later, Lester walked out on Erica, and Sarah was horrified to discover that her friend was three months pregnant. "But Erica, did you tell him?" Sarah asked.
The truth always comes out in the most unexpected ways.
Erica couldn't stop crying. "I did, Sarah, but he said it wasn't his, that I'd been cheating! I can't have this baby on my own, I can't!"
Sarah raised her chin resolutely. "You won't be! I promise you, Kieran, and I will be with you every step of the way!" Erica threw her arms around Sarah, sobbing with gratitude.
That evening, Sarah told Kieran what was happening next door. "I told poor Erica that we'd be with her, help her through her pregnancy."
Her best friend Erica was always fighting with her husband | Source: Pexels
Kieran didn't look the least bit thrilled. "Honestly Sarah, I wish you wouldn't be so impulsive! It's a huge responsibility, and I don't even know that woman that well!"
"We've been living next door to her for six years, Kieran!" Sarah exclaimed. "She's my best friend and I thought you liked her!"
"Not really," Kieran said. "She's OK, I guess, but she's always been more your friend than mine."
"Oh honey," Sarah said tenderly, wrapping her arms around her husband's neck and kissing him. "Please be nice to the poor girl, she has no one!" Cunningly, Sarah nibbled at the side of her husband's neck, at a sensitive area he called his 'lucky bump.'
Lester walked out when Erica was three months pregnant | Source: Unsplash
"You minx," Kieran growled. "You always know how to convince me!"
Sarah giggled and gave the 'lucky bump' a lick. "Your mom told me it's the Harper men's only weakness and I'd better take full advantage!" The rest of the evening ended in love-making, and Kieran agreed to help Erica as much as they could.
So it was Sarah who accompanied Erica to all her doctor's appointments and her scans, to the nutritionist and to the Lamaze classes, and even to the natural childbirth course that promised to have mom and helpers ready to usher the baby into the world without medical help.
"Not that I intend to have this baby anywhere but a hospital with lots of painkillers!" Erica said. "But it's good to be prepared!"
Sarah went with Erica to all the scans | Source: Unsplash
And it was a good thing too because one afternoon Erica phoned Sarah gasping. "Sarah, I think it's time!" she cried. Sarah rushed over immediately and was shocked to find her friend in a pool of liquid.
"Your water has broken!" Sarah cried. "I'm calling the hospital."
The hospital advised her that it would be at least half an hour if not more before the ambulance could be with them, so Sarah made Erica as comfortable as possible.
She noticed that Erica's contractions were closer and closer together... She peeked and saw to her horror that the baby's head was crowning! "Erica," she cried, "the baby's coming!"
"He can't!" Erica screamed, clutching at her belly. "It's supposed to take hours!"
Sarah was there for all the doctor's appointments | Source: Pexels
"Well," Sarah said. "Ready or not, he's on his way!" And she ran to get hot water, a warm blanket, scissors, and some cord. Kneeling by Erica's spread knees, Sarah encouraged her to push.
Sarah watched breathlessly as the baby emerged from Erica's straining body. She tenderly caught it and laid it on the soft blanket while she tied off and cut the umbilical cord -- just like they had taught her at the natural childbirth class.
Then Sarah picked up the baby. "It's a boy!" she cried to the exhausted Erica. "A beautiful, perfect baby boy!" Sarah started wiping the baby down gently, and she discovered that the baby wasn't quite perfect.
On the side of his neck was a small hard bump, a familiar bump. A 'lucky bump.' Looking down at the tiny innocent creature in her hands Sarah suddenly understood it all.
It was when Sarah was cleaning the baby that she saw his neck | Source: Unsplash
"Lester..." she whispered. "Lester was right, wasn't he, Erica? You were having an affair and it was with my husband."
Erica gasped and tried to sit up. "Oh no, Sarah, never..."
"Don't lie to me, I have the proof right here!" Sarah said raising the baby in her hands.
"Don't hurt him!" screamed Erica. "Yes, he's Kieran's. We've been lovers for six years, I'll tell you anything you want, but don't hurt my baby!"
"You were having an affair and it was with my husband." | Source: Pexels
"I would never hurt your baby, Erica," Sarah said scornfully. "I'm not like you. I don't destroy other people's happiness." Sarah put the baby in Erica's arms and left her to wait for the ambulance on her own.
That night, when Kieran arrived home, he found the house empty and silent. Sarah left him without a word and filed for divorce. It took her a long time to learn to trust again, but a few years later Sarah met a wonderful man and remarried.
She is a happy woman, and she and her husband are now expecting their second baby.
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