A/N Any brands, movies, names etc that I mention and you recognise are not mine, but belong to the genius who created them!
A person must stand very tall to see their own fate
Fate. It's funny how such a simple four letter word has baffled many brilliant men for generations. Fate. A way for making pre-ordained matters possible? Or an idea created by man to explain a series of fortunate events? Personally, I don't see how the matter is terribly important. We each are put on this earth for a purpose, and whatever you do, events are going to chase you down until you achieve your purpose. By that, I don't mean inventing a drug better than penicillin or working out how to achieve world peace. I mean achieving an end, a reason for your very existence. Maybe it means giving another's life a purpose, or being there to stop a loved one from going over the edge. We all do countless things during our lifetime, impossible to trace, but each action affecting another. I was told, almost seventeen years ago, that one way or another, a certain purpose would be achieved for a certain group of people. Who are they? Three boys, three girls, each more alike than they will ever know.
You see, the world works in a mysterious way. We would be completely different people if we lived in a different location and therefore with different relationships. I like to call it the Ripple Effect. Each action of those around us begins small and then grows to affect everyone near the ripple's source.
And on one day in July, seventeen years ago, a young nervous nurse started a ripple effect which affected a large ring of people more than she could have ever imagined.
Amelia Bell-Clair felt her heart stop as one of the newborn babies in her arms ceased to move. For just two minutes now, she'd held the tiny cherubs in her arms. One gorgeous boy and one beautiful girl. Noah and Noel. She held them tightly to her small frame, feeling that the thirteen hour labour had been well worth it. Now however, as she looked at her little baby, its small red face fast turning a horrid blue color, she felt panic course through her veins. In a flash, the past nine months whirred past her eyes- being informed by Dr. Rubenstein that she was due for twins, the baby showers, the endless hours of baby shopping resulting in four maxed out credit cards, Richard's ecstatic face when he found out she was expecting… No! She wasn't going to let this baby girl go! She'd rather die before she let that happen!
"Nurse!" she shrieked shrilly, panic evident in her voice, "nurse! Nurse!"
She continued to scream repeatedly, pressing on the darned buzzer which she was sure was malfunctioning. After what seemed like an endless age, a young inexperienced nurse, in her first week of work, appeared at the door.
"What is it, Mrs. Bell-Clair?" Terry Hill asked nervously.
"Oh, where is Martha?" Amelia screamed, cursing her luck at being left with an incompetent whipper snapper.
"She's on her break, Mrs. Bell-Clair. I could go and get her for you-"
"For heaven's sake girl, what does it matter? My baby is not breathing! Do something!" she ordered, trying to push away images of herself burying her young child while clad in a mournful and unbecoming black attire.
The young nurse sped into action, taking the baby from her mother's arms and then she hurried out of the room.
"Where are you taking her?" The worried mother cried, tears flowing freely down her face. "Oh, where is my husband? Where is Richard? What is happening?"
But her endless questions fell on deaf ears and instead she was met with eerie silence. The bouquets of flowers she had received from well-wishers seemed to wave their fronds sneeringly at her as if to say 'Ironical, isn't it, your baby would rather die than have you as its mother…'
Amelia tucked her face into her baby boy, who was soundly asleep, allowing herself to sob incessantly- something she was sure she had sworn to abandon at the age of four.
Terry pressed her head against the glass pane of the infant's emergency room, hoping that the cool glass would serve the purpose of calming her down. Unfortunately, it did no such thing. Instead, a view into the room, which was in a hive of activity, reminded her of how she had failed as a nurse. Again. Dr. Rubenstein had sent her out of the room rather than deal with her nerves as well as a dying baby. She didn't blame him. That was the second time she'd fallen apart while attempting to save a child's life. Two new-born children had walked on the edge of death, simply because of her ridiculous ineptitude. She felt a wave of self-pity course through her.
Maybe I'm just not cut out for this.
"Girl, what are you standing there for?" Martha questioned sharply from behind her.
Terry turned and looked at Martha sadly, hoping her doleful brown eyes captured how sorry she was feeling. She hoped that her eyes could communicate to Martha something she could never tell her in words. The slightly plump, motherly woman before her had acted as her guide and friend over the past week and Terry couldn't bring herself to tell her what had happened. Her own mother had taught her that disappointment was a far worse feeling to have hurled at you than the most furious anger. Martha sighed, pursing her lips as she looked Terry up and down.
Maybe I should just hand in my resignation. It'd save her the bother of having to fire me.
"Those newborns are staying in observation tonight. The Bernard baby's wrist tag looks like it's about to fall off. You mustn't have attached it probably- remember to fix it, won't you?"
When I was little, I always wanted to be a pilot. I could always give that a shot-
"Terry!" Martha said, trying to capture her attention.
"What? Yeah, fix the tag," she mumbled, making her way over to the observatory room.
"And get me a coffee!" Martha ordered at the younger woman's retreating back.
Terry rolled her eyes, muttering to herself about lazy superiors as she busied herself with preparing the coffee.
Half an hour later, Martha wheeled the babies into the observatory room, saying that the Bell-Clair baby's tag had come undone too. She was disappointed, Terry could tell. After all, Terry had been the one helping to over-see the two births. Under Martha's frustrated eye, she removed the wrist-tags, trying to find the words to apologise to her superior. However, Martha left before Terry could speak. Within moments of Martha's exit, an extremely disgruntled Dr. Rubenstein entered the room, exhausted after working two back-to-back shifts. Then, in a moment of absent mindedness for which she could never forgive herself years later for, Terry, too busy trying to find the words to apologise to the doctor for her lapses of capability, slipped the wrong wrist tag onto each child. As a result of her lapse of attention, one child, born into wealth, would instead live in poverty, under the care of a terrified mother and drunken father. The other infant would grow up in the lap of luxury, forever wondering why she looked nothing like her twin and constantly puzzling over why something in her life didn't ever feel quite right. Terry, of course, never realised the far reaching effects of her actions.
Around little Kendall's wrist was a tag identifying her as Noel Bell-Clair, 4563, while Noel's label read that she was Kendall Bernard, 4568.
Perhaps the Bernard parents or the Bell-Clairs would have noticed something was amiss when their bundles of joy were returned to them. But Mrs. Bernard never got the chance to hold her newborn before it was taken into the emergency room. The doctors had whisked baby Kendall away moments after she was born when she had rather strangely, not cried after birth. Mr. Bell-Clair, called away on business during his children's birth, of course, noticed no problem. Mrs. Bell-Clair, after living in hysteria far longer than anyone should be forced to, was so relieved to have 'Noel' back, that it never even crossed her mind that the baby might not be hers. And so, it seemed that the babies' fates were sealed. On that day in January, sixteen summers ago, Lady Fate proved once again that she had a rather cruel sense of humour.