Toni spent most of her days fixing up caravans, painting cabins and cutting the lawns. Dot called her over for lunch. Toni grabbed a beer when George came in and took it from her.
"Hey, that's mine" whines Toni
"No alcohol on property, unless your 21."
"I'm 18 and its legal."
"This is my property" argues George
"Yeh, well I've worked hard for it" banters back Toni
"Hard..." scoffs George "you mowed some lawns, painted some walls. Wait till yer knee deep in sewage then complain to me girlie"
Toni curls her nose to the thought of wading in sewage
"ohhhh you two, stop arguing." Berates Dot
Lauren smiled "yeh, or else you'll have him kicking up again."
4 weeks on Toni was maintaining most of the park. George would check on her, but pretty much left her to it.
One night Lauren was sitting in bed, resting her head against the backboard while waiting for Toni.
Toni came in drying her hair "hey I was thinking... what if you're wrong, what if it is a girl."
Lauren looked at her "no its not, it can't be"
"Because... I don't want it to be."
Toni sat on the bed next to Lauren. "Why don't you want it to be a girl?...:"
"Because we are not qualified to raise a girl. With a boy, they raise themselves, they know how to be a boy. But a girl, who's gonna teach her to put makeup on, dress like a girl. How can we teach a girl to be feminine, if we're not.......No it's going to be a boy."
Toni lays awake that night thinking for a solution
Next morning Toni went into reception to see Lauren. "Hey, how you feeling"
Lauren took the booking and hung up the phone "Yeh... ok..hey, nice top" points to her shirt
"yeh Dot thinks I should wear a uniform" she leans in and Lauren obliged in a quick kiss
"I have to go to town, you want anything" asks Toni
Toni goes into a hairdressing salon. She explained what she wanted and they went to work. After a few hours, Toni moved across to the beauty salon and had her nail's manicured and eyebrows waxed.
She stopped off at one final store before heading back to the park. She pulls up by their cabin and races inside quickly to the bathroom and locked the door.
Lauren saw Toni had returned so she went for her for ice-cream
Toni looked at herself in the mirror. She had not seen this face in years. She emptied out the items of makeup. She started painting her face when she heard the door slam.
"Toni" yelled Lauren
"ummm, in the bathroom, ice-cream is in freezer."
"Are you coming out?"
"yeh in a minute, just eat your ice-cream"
Toni finished and stepped back to take a look.
Her hair had been cut and styled neatly, dyed back to honey blonde, and now wearing a slight amount of makeup "less is more" she whispers to herself.
She took a breath, now was Lauren going to accept her. She walked into the kitchen when Lauren turned around with her bowl of ice-cream, her spoon in her mouth. She clumsily put down the bowl and spoon, her hands covering her mouth
"Oh my god"
Toni opens her arms displaying herself. "This is how I used to look, this is Antonia... how Hailey would groom me. I did this to show you that if we have a girl, I'm more than qualified to teach her how to be feminine."
Lauren moved closer and touched her blonde hair "you've got make up on"
"yeh... so you don't have to worry, I've got this one covered."
"You're gorgeous, you are absolutely beautiful and I wish Hailey was here to see this." Lauren cries "she would be so proud of you"
Toni hugs Lauren "me too"
It was late that afternoon, Toni had changed back into her old clothes and was to help George fix up the sign at the main entrance.
George waited when he saw a blonde woman walking towards him. He nodded thinking it was a patron.
George stepped back "jiminy crickets, what've you done to yerself?"
"Just changed colour of my hair"
"yeh but you're all pretty like, you'll get dirty"
"Shut up George, old git" she opens the ladder
George holds the rickety old ladder while Toni climbs up.
"The sign is heavy, so don't drop it, and don't fall off the ladder either. Dot and Lauren will kill me." He grumbles
Lauren was in the reception with Dot chatting. "bout time fixed that sign" growled Dot
Toni went up high on the ladder and pushed against the huge plastic vacancy sign. It was old and brittle from years in the sun. All she had to do was tighten the screws, but it all went wrong.
Lauren looked up as things went wrong
The ladder shook suddenly, the sign got caught in the wind and broke free knocking Toni from the ladder.
Lauren screamed dropping her cup when she saw Toni fall and raced outside
George growled and leapt away from the falling sign, it smashes to the ground
Dot ran out with Lauren who was still screaming
George held Toni as she laid on the ground. Toni didn't move, then slowly opened her eyes and took a breath.
George was pushed aside by Lauren "Antonia, oh my god are you alright, baby tell me you're all right please " holds her, crying
"I'm fine, George caught me.."
Dot went after George "I've told you a hundred times to get rid of that old ladder, now will you listen to me you silly old fool." She screamed
"ok ok ok, I will"
George looks at Toni "I'm alright George, I just wanted to scare you" she laughs at his expression. Toni got to her feet brushing herself off.
"Friggin clumsy girlie." He mumbled under his breath, but relieved she wasn't hurt
All stopped when Lauren cried out, then doubled over. They look at her, and then at the water beneath her feet.
"oh shit" gasps Toni "oh shit she's in labour, come on lets get you to the hospital."
Toni was pacing the floor outside the birthing room. The doctor wanted to examine Lauren before Toni and Dot were allowed in. The doctor confirmed she was in labour, but it was only the beginning. Dot went in but Toni didn't, she stopped outside the door unable to move.
"I can't do this." Stutters Toni
George put hand on her shoulder "yeh girlie , you just open the door and walk in"
She faces George "no... I mean....I can not do this...." she starts to shake, "I'm not ready"
George opens the door and puts his hand against Toni chest and shoves her inside "too bad, yer doing it."
The door closes behind her. She sees Lauren hunched over and Dot rubbing her back. Lauren cries out again "Toni.... I can't do this"
Dot was about to say something "I've got this Dorothy, thanks"
Dot knew that was her cue to leave and kissed Lauren. "You let us know"
Toni sat next to Lauren and held her. "We are going to do this together baby, because nothing beats us when we're together."
Lauren leans in whimpering in pain and fear "I love you, please don't leave me..."
Toni kisses side of her head "I'm not going anywhere and I love you too."
After few hours Lauren sat in the stirrups screaming. The midwife came in to check
"A few hours longer"
"What" screamed Lauren "I want him out now, oh god get it out."
Toni washed her face "shhhhh, won't be long"
"You fucking give birth to a bowling ball throw your vagina and see how it feels."
Toni looked at the midwife apologising. The mid wife smiled
"I'll give you some pain relief."
"Good, give it to me... I can't believe I let you do this to me" she hisses at Toni
"shhhh" kisses her hand "remember calm thoughts"
"Oh once I've given birth I'm going to smash you" Lauren screams again
Toni now worried for Lauren. She knew Lauren was strong, but wasn't sure if she was going to cope. Toni wasn't sure if she was going to be able to see it through.
She looked at the door, Lauren caught that look
"You dare fucking walk out that door and no matter where you go I will hunt you down Antonia" she screams, then cries between panting
Toni looked back at Lauren, touches her face and kisses her softly on the lips "shhhhh I'm not going anywhere."
After 7 hours the baby was born. Toni got to cut the cord, she wipes her tears as the nurse shows the baby to her. Then wrapped it up and took it to Lauren
"Lauren, say hello to your daughter"
Lauren cries and kisses her "oh my god, she's beautiful, she's so beautiful. She was doing all that kicking.... she definitely belongs to you." Lauren nods to Toni
Lauren exhausted was moved to her private room to rest. Toni went to the phone to let Dot and George know about the new bundle of joy in their lives.
Toni sat on the bed stroking Lauren's face "I'm so proud of you honey, you and her are so beautiful, so amazing and I am the luckiest person alive"
The next morning Lauren had just finished feeding their baby as Dot and George came in
"Oh lets have a look at her, oh she's beautiful, isn't she George?" Dot all excited held the baby for a moment
"It's a baby Dot"
Toni steps in "I have to take her back to the nursery, I'll be back in a moment"
Toni stands outside the nursery and looks at her daughter though the window, the name tag reading Hailey.
George stood next to her, also looking at Hailey
"I don't think I can do this. I can't give her what she needs. I can't be that person George. She deserves better" points to Hailey, her voice quivers "I think I've made a mistake."
George sniffed then turned Toni around to face him "It too late, you no longer get that luxury girlie. It is no longer about you anymore Antonia, it about that little angel in there."
Taps on the glass with his finger "You look at her and tell her that. Then you go and tell Lauren she did all that for nothing."
"George, I'm going to fail, I don't want Hailey to end up like me or Lauren."
"Why not, you kids worked out fine. What ever happened in your lives before, you got through it. You just need to remember you are not alone."
Toni wipes her eyes
George let out a rare smile "Everyone fails girlie, it's how you learn. All that little angel in there needs is your love, and to know you are going to be there for her.
"uh huh, yeh" shakes her head, taking deep breaths
"So are you"
"Yes George I'll be there, I'm just a little overwhelmed ok. I have a daughter, oh my god I have a friggin daughter" she says louder
George chuckles and hugs Toni "yeh the girlie's got a little girlie. Congratulations."