[04.19.00] » by Kristina Delgado
"It’s a little girl," Dr. Kadowaki said as she came out of the room. Locke Cole raised his head out of hands and sighed in relief.
"Can I see them?" Locke asked, rubbing his eyes.
"Of course," said the doctor. "Come right in."
Locke entered the dimly lit room and saw his pale, beautiful wife lying in the bed, with a small pink bundle in her arms. He smiled and went over to sit down next to the bed.
"Well, what shall we call her?" Celes asked quietly, handing the baby over to Locke.
Locke looked at the tiny baby. Her bright green eyes were wide open, and a little bit of soft, brown, cow-licked hair covered her head. The baby yawned but did not cry. She was covered in a pink blanket, but was wearing a soft yellow shirt.
"She looks so happy… so content," said Locke. "But isn’t she rather small?"
"Yes, but the doctor said she’s perfectly normal," said Celes. "How about we call her Selphie?"
"What kind of name is that?" Locke demanded.
"My mother’s," Celes said, giving Locke the evil eye.
"Oh, of course!" Locke laughed. He cuddled the baby and said, "Selphie sounds like a good name for her. Selphie Cole… welcome to the world."
"The mother’s in a bit of trouble," the nurse said to Sabin Figaro as she came out of the delivery room.
"Trouble? What kind of trouble?" Sabin demanded.
"She’s lost a lot of blood… we don’t know if she’s going to make it…."
"No! That can’t be!" Sabin yelled.
"Sir, calm down!" said the nurse. "The baby’s fine. You can go in and see them, if you want."
"The baby… he or she?"
"It’s a boy."
Sabin pushed past the nurse and barged into the room. His young wife was lying in bed limply, with barely enough strength to hold their baby.
"Oh, Janna…." Sabin rushed to the bed and gathered up his wife and child in his arms. "I won’t ever let go…."
"Sabin…." Janna said weakly. "The baby’s name is Zell."
Sabin cuddled up to Janna, and together they looked at their baby. They were quiet for a few moments, and then Janna said, "Sabin… you’ll take good care of him, won’t you?"
"No, Janna… don’t leave me!"
"Sabin, it’s time for me to go." Janna slipped back into the bed, letting go of baby Zell. "I love you." Those were her last words as she closed her eyes and drew her last breath. The baby began to cry, and the tears dripped from Sabin’s eyes as the nurse came in and pulled a sheet over Janna’s lifeless body.
"Very, very unfortunate," Edgar said to the man sitting next to him in the waiting room. "This is her child by her first husband, and he died only three months ago. It’s been very hard on her."
"I can only imagine," the man replied, inhaling deeply from his cigar. "But you’re here with her?"
"Of course," said Edgar. "She’s my friend. I couldn’t just let her have a baby alone like that."
"What’d you say her husband’s name was again?"
"Ah, yes… the gambler. That unfortunate incident with the airship… I knew one day he was going to crash that thing, and it would be traumatic."
The doctor came out of an adjacent room. "Your Majesty, it’s a boy!"
"Great!" said Edgar, jumping out of his seat. He ran into the room and grinned happily when he saw Terra, pale and tired but happy, lying on the bed.
"Well, where’s the baby?" Edgar asked.
"The nurse took him to weigh him," said Terra. "She’ll be right back. I didn’t think babies could cry as much as he did!"
The nurse came back in with the baby, who was screaming angrily and waving his fists in the air, and laid him in Terra’s arms with a thankful sigh of relief.
"That kid’s a fighter, I’m telling you," the heavy-set, sour-faced nurse told Terra.
"I guess that’s good, though," said Terra. "Got no idea where he got it from, though. Setzer wasn’t as tough as this little guy."
"What’s his name?" asked Edgar.
"Oh, we decided on a name a long time ago," said Terra. "If it was a boy, we were going to call him Seifer. Setzer had a late cousin with that name…."
"Seifer. Sounds like a good name to me. Hey, at least he doesn’t have your green hair!"
"Hey, now!" Terra protested. "He’s just mad… he was in there all nice and warm, and then he had to come out into the cold."
"Yeah, but how many kids can say they were born in the Figaro Castle’s hospital, huh?" asked Edgar. "This little guy here, and the youngster being born in the next room… and not too many others!"
"Speaking of the castle…."
"Don’t say it. I know what you’re going to ask. You’re welcome to stay here as long as you need to. But in the meantime, I think there’s some kids here that want to see you."
Edgar opened the door and signaled, and five children-all from Mobliz-came in and greeted Terra happily and squealed over the new baby. Edgar watched them contentedly. Terra was happy with all of the children, but he could still sense her pain over the loss of Setzer. She needed someone in her life to help her with the other orphans as well as her new baby. A man. Edgar often wondered what sort of power was in control that took Setzer’s life, took him away from Terra when she needed him the most. He decided, then and there, that he would take Setzer’s place.
"Three of them today," the soldier said to Edea Kramer, giving her one basket. "The guys got the other two."
"Do they have names?" Edea asked.
"First ones, but we couldn’t find out last names," said the soldier. "We’re so sorry that we have to dump three of them on you all at once, but we had no place else to take them."
"Two boys and a girl," said another soldier, setting another basket on a nearby table. A third soldier came into the orphanage and did the same thing. "The little girl is Selphie; the two boys are Zell and Seifer. They’re all pretty close in age. All the information is in here." With that, the soldier handed Edea a packet of papers, and all three soldiers left quickly.
Edea sighed and unpacked the babies’ things. Seifer seemed to be the oldest; next in line was the little girl, Selphie, and finally Zell. All three began to cry, and Edea called for Cid to come in and help.
"Three babies all at once?" Cid demanded. "Wow, this is gonna be some work. Good thing we got the older kids here to help."
Edea shook her head as she went to the storage room to find bassinettes. She knew there were at least three old ones in there. She and Cid fed the babies and changed their diapers, then went about their business as usual when the babies were laid down for a nap. Edea felt there was something special about these three new children, however. Especially the tough baby, Seifer. Edea felt a strange closeness to him when she laid her eyes on him… something she couldn’t quite explain. She dismissed the thought and went to check on the other children in the Kramer orphanage.