ALBANYVILLE GENERAL HOSPITAL -
Douglas gasped incredulously as he tried to comprehend what
Talbot was telling
him. "Of course, you can't be saying that you're not going to let Dr.
Jackson in with my wife?"
"Mr. Davis, I'm afraid that's
exactly what I'm saying." Talbot glanced for a moment in Calvin's
direction. "Certainly, you can understand the position that I'm
"All I understand is that
you're refusing to let this doctor into the room with my wife who, incidentally,
is about to give birth to my child!" Douglas' face began to burn with
anger. "Well, I've got news for you, Dr. Campbell, I don't give a
damn about your staff or any of your other patients!"
Davis, please lower your voice. This is a hospital." Talbot
carefully took Douglas by the arm and slowly led him down the hallway and away
from the others. Once they were a safe distance away, he spoke again but
in a softer, more understanding tone. "Mr. Davis, I mean absolutely
no disrespect to either you or your wife, but...well...this is a little
irregular. I'm sure that Dr. Jackson is a fine doctor, but...well..."
"He's a Negro," Talbot
tried to explain carefully. "Now, there's nothing wrong with that,
but..." He paused and took a deep breath. "What I'm trying
to say is that, unfortunately, my allowing him to practice any kind of
medicine in this hospital would almost certainly not be looked upon
favorably. As Chief of Staff, I have this hospital's image to uphold
and...well...this could result in my losing patients as well as members of my
"I already told you that I
"I know. I
know." Talbot held up his hands to calm Douglas down. "But
they do care. I have to think about the total picture. Mr. Davis,
we've got plenty of fine doctors here on staff and I'm positive that any one of
them would do an exceptional job. They will provide your wife with the
best care possible."
Campbell, are you familiar with the specifics of my wife's medical
history?" Douglas questioned pointedly. "Did you know that she's
had quite a bit of trouble with this baby?"
"In fact, she nearly lost this
baby at one point." Douglas took a deep breath as he fought back his
emotions. "I nearly lost both her and the baby. Dr. Jackson is
the only reason that either one of them is still alive. He knows all of
the details of my wife's condition. After that incident, we both decided
to make him her primary physician. He will be the attending doctor in this
"But, Mr. Davis, I....
No, Mr. Davis. He won't be. I'm sorry, but there's nothing that I
"You listen to me,"
Douglas barked as he grabbed Talbot by the collar of his jack and pushed him
against the wall. "In case you didn't know, I'm a lawyer. If
anything happens to my wife or our baby, I'll sue you so fast it will make your
head spin! What do you think that will do to your precious staff and your
"Now, Mr. Davis, there's no
"There's every reason to,"
Reginald spoke up as he quickly walked towards them. "And I'll make
sure that every detail is spread across the front page of The Post with your
name in the headline!"
"Mr. Callison, I really don't
think that's necessary..."
I've always admired and respected you and what wonderful things you've done with
this hospital," Reginald continued calmly. "I understand your
concerns, but this is a special case. God forbid, if something were to
happen, do you honestly think that this hospital will be able to take it?
Talbot awkwardly looked away, unable
to meet their eyes and let out a weary sigh of defeat as he weighed his
options. "I...I.... Okay. I'll allow Dr. Jackson to attend to Mrs.
"I thought that you'd see
things our way," Reginald nodded with a broad smile and then shook Talbot's
hand vigorously before turning to address Douglas. "Now, let's get
Calvin in to see Lorraine."
As Reginald and Douglas hurried back
up the hallway, Talbot slowly followed along behind and silently prayed that
he'd made the right decision.
"Thank you, Dr. Campbell,"
Jillian smiled warmly as he walked up to her. "You truly did the
"I hope so," he sighed as
he watched Calvin walk through the swinging doors to where Lorraine was.
"I hope so."
"Well, Douglas, the only thing
left to do, now, is wait." Reginald smiled as he patted Douglas on the
back. "It won't be long before your officially a father."
"A father," Douglas
muttered to himself as the full impact of that realization finally began to hit
him. "Oh, I think I need to sit down."
"What I think you need is a
strong cup of coffee," Reginald laughed. "Why don't we go down
to the cafeteria and grab a cup. All we can do, now, is wait, after all."
"I...guess you're right,"
Douglas sighed and then raked his fingers through his hair before following
Reginald down the hallway and towards the cafeteria. "This waiting
has got to be the most difficult thing that I've ever gone through."
After they'd turned the corner and
disappeared out of sight, Grace Davis burst through the doors of the emergency
room, frantic and slightly disheveled.
"Jillian!" she called out
as she raced to her side. "I...I just heard that Lorraine is having
the baby. Is she...all right?"
"She's fine," Jillian
smiled as she reached out to take Grace's hand. "Well, as fine as any woman can be in her situation."
I hope that everything goes okay," Grace sighed and then bit her lip in
nervousness. "Oh, my. This is...going to make me an aunt, isn't
it? I've...never been an aunt before."
"I'm sure that you'll be the
best aunt in the world," Jillian laughed. "I swear, I think you
and Douglas are more nervous about all of this than Lorraine is."
"Well, it's just that...just
that..." Grace closed her eyes tightly and reached out for the wall
as she suddenly began to feel her head spin.
"Grace, are you all
right?" Jillian asked as she watched all of the color drain from Grace's
face. "You don't...look well."
muttered weakly and then made a few short gasps for air. "I...haven't
had...anything to eat today and..." Feeling her knees beginning to
buckle underneath her, she slowly began to sink to the floor.
"Grace!" Jillian called
out and instinctively grabbed her arm to steady her. "Dr.
"I've got her," Talbot
replied as he grabbed Grace's other arm and helped Jillian lead her to a
chair. "Miss Davis? Miss Davis, are you all right?"
insisted again. "I just...went straight to the bookstore
from...school and I...didn't get anything to...eat."
are you sure that that's all it is?" Jillian asked with concern.
"You look like you're going to be sick."
"Miss Davis, if you'd like, I
could take you down to one of the examining rooms and give you a quick check
Grace shook her head slightly, more in an attempt to fight her dizziness than in
response to the doctor's suggestion.
"I think that you should listen
to Dr. Campbell," Jillian advised. "Certainly, this could all be
because you haven't eaten, but it wouldn't be a bad idea to have him check you
out just to be sure."
inhaled deeply and swallowed. "I guess...so."
"Just come with me,"
Talbot said in a gentle and reassuring tone. "I'm sure that
everything is fine and we're probably over reacting, but in my line of work,
it's always better to be safe than sorry."
"O-okay," Grace nodded and
then shakily rose to her feet before allowing him to lead her down the hallway
and into an examining room.
As Jillian watched them disappear
out of sight, she shook her head and laughed to herself. It seemed like
Lorraine was handling all of this better than either Douglas or Grace and
Lorraine was the one having the baby.