Travis Priest prided himself on being the most intimidating motherfucker around and was used to being the largest man in any room. Now, sitting in the waiting room on the fifth floor of the Richardson Children’s Hospital, the 270lbs. monster of a man never felt so small.
“Did you hear what I said, Travis?” a voice asked.
Travis looked up from the black scuff mark he had been staring at on the white tiled floor and met his father in law’s eyes. “What?”
“I said not to worry about Keri not wanting you in the delivery room with her,” his father in law said. “Her mother was the same way. She wouldn’t let me in when she was in labor either.”
Travis smiled weakly at him and nodded.
When the nurse walked into the waiting room smiling, he knew that the moment he’d been dreading arrived.
“Your wife gave birth to a perfectly healthy baby boy,” she said. Each word she spoke stabbed him coldly as he listened. “The doctor has finished stitching her up and you may go in to see them now.”
His father in law slapped him on the shoulder and shook his hand.
“Congratulations,” he said, smiling. “Now let’s go take a look at my grandson.”
He stood up, watching his father in law disappear down the corridor and then sat back down again as his knees threatened to give out at any moment.
Travis had strived to be a tough guy; a man’s man. Despite his size and not fearing any man, what frightened Travis the most was now being cradled in his wife’s arms.
He lowered his head into his hands and wept.
When it came down to it, he was just an impotent wreck.
Somewhere down the hall from the delivery room, he could hear a baby boy crying.
A baby boy that wasn’t his.