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Everything Changes

Guest Red Ranger 1

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Thanks for your comments everyone.

It just feels like you're on some fastrack to resolve everything now instead of just letting it happen in way that it comes off more naturally, whether a slower pace or slight changes to the scenes could have made the difference, I'm not sure.

You could well be right but this is the length my stories tend to end up being, I'm not sure I can write any longer.Anywhere, here's another one, hope people like it.


Annie thought about asking Melody not to hold onto her hand so tightly.The only reason she didn’t was that her friend seemed to be in a lot more pain than she was.

“You’re doing great, Melody,”the midwife assured her,“You’re almost fully dilated now.”

Melody looked weakly at Annie.“Where’s Geoff?”

“Jai’s trying to get hold of him,”Annie promised.

“I don’t think I can do this alone…”

“You’re not going to be alone.I’m here.”Annie was worried that she wasn’t providing much consolation and was glad when Melody gave her a grateful smile.

Jai put his head round the door.“Oh boy,”he murmured, his eyes wandering around the room as though searching for somewhere safe to look.

“Did you want something or did you just come here to gawk?”Melody tried to make the comment sound angry but it came out as more of a gasp.

“Ah, tried Geoff’s mobile, tried Nicole’s mobile, no answer, left messages at the hotel but they won’t pass them on until they come down…”He paused before hastily adding,“I’ll try again.”And hurrying out.

“He promised he’d be here,”Melody moaned.

“He’ll be here as soon as he can,”Annie assured her,“And I’m not leaving until he is.”

Jai was on his way back to the pay phone, counting the number of fifty cent coins he still had, when Miles and Kirsty came bursting through the double doors.“How is she?”Miles asked.

“She’s fine,”Jai answered,“I think.”

“Maybe one of us should be in there with her,”Kirsty suggested.

Jai considered popping back into the delivery room to check then decided against it.Anyway, Miles and Kirsty’s arrival had solved one of his problems.“Annie’s with her.But she keeps asking about Geoff.”

“Aren’t he and Nicole still away?”Kirsty asked.

Jai nodded.“I’ve been trying to get hold of him but I don’t think the message is getting through.They seem to have shut themselves away in their room.”

“Well, I’m sure if he knew he’d want to be here,”Miles pointed out.

“Right,”Jai agreed,“So I was thinking…maybe the best thing would be if someone went round there in person to tell him what’s going on…”

Miles instantly realised where the conversation was going and sighed.“What’s the address?”

Miles strode into the hotel reception, trying to convey an air of confidence.“I’m looking for Geoff Campbell.He’s staying here.”

The officious-looking man at the reception desk pushed a few buttons on his computer keyboard and glanced at the monitor.“Campbell…Ah yes, Room 206.”

“Thank you.”Miles was just heading for the stairs when the man called him back.

“Wait a moment, sir.I’m afraid Mr.Campbell has his phone off the hook.”

“Yes.That’s why I’m going to go up there and knock on the door.”

“I’m afraid I can’t allow that, sir.”

“Then you go up there and knock on the door!”Miles could feel his frustration mounting.

“It is hotel policy never to disturb a guest who does not wish to be disturbed,”the receptionist replied with the air of someone who knows the regulations are on his side.

“Look, his girlfriend’s in labour…”

“I understood the young lady who checked in with him was his girlfriend?”

“All right, his ex-girlfriend, so if you just let me go up there and explain it to him…”

“Are you a family member, sir?”

Miles sighed.“No…”

“Then all I can suggest is that you leave a message for him.I’ll see it’s passed on as soon as he becomes available.”

“Any luck?”Kirsty asked when Miles joined her in the car.

Miles shook his head.“Couldn’t get past reception.”

“So what now?”

“Well…I think the phrase is distract the guard.”

Kirsty put on her most winning smile as she arrived at the reception desk.“Hi, I was just wondering…is this the road to Wollongong?”

The man at the desk looked at her in sympathy.“I’m afraid you’ve gone a bit wrong, madame.”

“Oh, have I?”Kirsty’s face fell in a good impression of a damsel in distress.“I’m such a fool, it’s just my sister’s fallen ill and I really need to get to see her, I’ve just come over from Queensland, I set off simply hours ago…”

“That’s quite all right, madame.”The receptionist handed her a tissue and smiled kindly.“It shouldn’t be too difficult to get back on track.You just need to go to the end of the drive, turn right…Oh wait, I’ll show you on the map.”

As Kirsty followed him over to the wall, maintaining an air of innocent helplessness the whole way, she caught a glimpse of Miles sneaking through the reception and up the stairs.

Miles hammered hastily on the door of Room 206.“Geoff, it’s me!”he called out.

At first he was worried he hadn’t been heard but then the door was flung open to reveal rather more of Geoff than he would have liked.“Miles, what are you doing here?”

“Melody’s having your baby.”

“Yeah, she said it was okay for us to go away this week…”

“No, she’s having your baby now.”

Miles could see the cogs whirring away in Geoff’s mind until finally his eyes widened.“But she isn’t due for two weeks!”

Miles patted him on the shoulder.“Geoff, you’ve learned the first lesson of parenthood.Your kids rarely do things on schedule.”

“I need to get down there!”He made to rush out into the corridor but Miles stopped him.

“Ah, Geoff?Clothes.”

“Oh, I can’t do this,”Melody groaned.

“Yes, you can,”Annie told her gently,“You’re being really brave.”



“I think you had the right idea about not having sex…”

Annie couldn’t help smiling.“Well, it’s a bit late now.”

“You’re nearly there, Melody!”the midwife interrupted,“Remember your breathing, wait until the next contraction and then push!”

Melody and Annie lapsed into silence, both of them on tenterhooks, both suddenly realising just how important the next few minutes were.Melody did as she was instructed, fighting against the pain, grateful to feel Annie’s hands clasped supportively around her own.And then, suddenly, it was over, and she could hear the tiny wailing of a newborn life.

“It’s a boy, Melody,”the midwife told her.

Melody waited for the almost unbearable moments it took for the hospital staff to wrap her baby up in cloth and pass him to her, holding him in her arms and staring in wonder at his tiny face.She looked at Annie, leaning forward for a closer look at her nephew, a similar expression of awe on her face.

“I’ve got to tell Jai,”she said at last and with a last grin at Melody she rushed out into the waiting area.

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Thank you all for your comments, hope you like this one.


Geoff came hurrying into the delivery room, Nicole, Miles and Kirsty just behind him.He stopped when he saw them, Melody sitting in bed with their child resting in her arms, Jai and Annie standing beside her.He wasn’t sure what he felt when he saw the child.He wasn’t even sure it was an emotion he’d felt before.But whatever it was, it overwhelmed him for a second.How could something that perfect have come out of something they did?Then he caught Melody’s eye and remembered what had happened.“Mel, I’m so sorry I wasn’t here.”

She smiled.“It’s okay.Your sister did a pretty good job of substituting.”

Annie was nodding.“It was amazing.”She looked at Jai.“How many do you think we should have?Seven?”

“Um…let me wait until I’ve blocked out the memory of hearing all those screams first…”

“Do you want to hold him?”Melody asked.

“Him?”Geoff repeated.He hadn’t even thought to ask.Melody nodded.He took his son from her arms and stared down at him, feeling a lump in his throat at the sight of the peacefully sleeping small face.“Um, what do I call him?”

“Actually, Annie and I have been discussing that,”Melody revealed.

“I tried to think of something you’d like,”Annie explained,“I thought of naming him after Pop or Dad but that didn’t really seem to fit.But then I thought about after Pop died and someone who helped us both through it, who was like family to us…”

Geoff looked at her worriedly.“You didn’t name him after Scruffy, did you?”

“No!”Annie rolled her eyes.“I thought we could call him Luke.”

“What do you think?”Melody asked.

Geoff grinned.“I think I could get used to that.”

“Nice and Biblical,”Nicole put in,“Very appropriate.”Geoff looked at her but she seemed to be avoiding his gaze.“Excuse me, I just need some air.”

Nicole wasn’t sure where she intended to go after she reached the car park.She didn’t really have a chance to decide either because suddenly Geoff was standing beside her.“Is there a problem?”he asked.

“No.No problem.”She sighed.“You all look so right.You and Melody and that baby.You look like you belong together.I just need a while to get used to that, all right?”

“No.”The answer stunned her.“I don’t want to have to avoid spending time with Luke because it’s going to upset you.And I don’t want to not be able to see you because I’m looking after him.We need to get this sorted now.”

She tried every sympathy-inducing face she could.None of them seemed to affect him.“Typical.You finally work out what you want just when I need you to be passive.”

He smiled slightly and put his arm round her.“Just give it a try, okay?”

She let him lead her back into the hospital towards Melody’s room.They were greeted by the sight of Miles rocking Luke gently in his arms, a soppy expression on his face.“You like your Uncle Miles then, hey?”he was asking.

“Um, technically, wouldn’t you be his grandfather?”Kirsty asked.

“Maybe but let’s never mention that again.”He glanced up at Nicole and saw her standing there uncertainly.“Your turn?”

A very big part of Nicole wanted to decline.But she remembered Geoff’s request.Give it a try.She looked at Melody.“Do you mind?”

Melody smiled.“Well, I don’t think you’ll break him.”

Nicole cautiously took the baby from Miles, feeling his tiny body resting against her.And found it very hard to be cross with anyone that adorable.She smiled at Geoff.“He looks like you.”

Annie sniffed.“Poor kid…”

Melody heard a faint burbling sound when she woke up and for a moment she wasn’t sure what it was.Then she remembered the events of the previous day and a smile spread across her face.She opened her eyes and let her gaze alight on the small hospital cot lying next to her bed.She pulled herself up slightly until she could peer down into it, catching her first morning glimpse of her son.She gently reached out and touched him, feeling a surprisingly strong little hand grip her finger, and felt happier than she’d ever been.

Significantly louder sounds of sleeping drew her attention to the two chairs in the corner.Geoff was slumped in one of them, head leaned back in sleep.Nicole was in the other chair, her head resting on Geoff’s shoulder.It wasn’t how she’d expected to have a child.But she was sure they’d make it work, somehow.

Julie knocked gently on the door before pushing it open.“How are you feeling this morning, Melody?”

She smiled.“Well, three o’clock feeds aside, I think we had a good night.”

“You feeling up to visitors?”Julie seemed to notice Melody’s confusion because she added,“I think someone jumped on the first plane after they got your call.”

She stepped out of the doorway to allow Melody’s visitor into the room.“Hello, darling.”

Melody gaped at her.“Mum!”She’d asked Miles to ring her mother the previous night but she hadn’t expected her to turn up straightaway.Then someone else followed Christine into the room and she gaped even more.“Dad!”

Melody hadn’t heard anything from her father in over a year, since she’d first gone to live with Miles and Kirsty.He stood there, smiling nervously.“Hey, love.”

“Your father called me two months ago,”Christine explained,“I told him about everything that was going on with you.”

“But why didn’t you call?”Melody asked.

“Last time we spoke you wanted to divorce us,”Edward reminded her.

“Your father and I decided we should both wait until you contacted us,”Christine added.

Melody nodded slowly in understanding.“So, what have you been doing?”

“I got a new job further up the coast,”Edward replied,“Got myself settled there.Then I called your mother to…make arrangements for ending our marriage.”

“You’re getting divorced?”Melody was surprised.She’d accepted that her parents weren’t together anymore but she hadn’t expected them to take that step.It seemed so far outside what they believed in, her mother in particular.

“We should never have got married in the first place,”Christine admitted,“I was lost when I met your father, I was just searching for security.”

“And I always found it easier to let someone else decide the important stuff,”Edward agreed,“I guess the only good thing that came out of our marriage was you.”

Christine paused by the cot.“Is…is this him?”

Melody smiled and lifted her son into her arms again.“Mum, Dad…this is Luke.”

Christine nodded.“Well…I wasn’t expecting to become a grandmother quite so soon but…I am proud of the way you’ve handled this.”

“I guess you must have taught me the survival instinct.Would you like to hold him?”She added the comment hopefully, not really expecting an answer.

As she’d expected, Christine hung back, uncertain.Edward took a step forward.“I would.”

Melody settled her son in her father’s arms, seeing the genuine smile on his face.“I’ve missed you, Dad.”

Stirred by the conversation going on around him, Geoff lifted his head uncertainly and gulped as he realised who was standing in front of him.“Mrs.Jones!”

His movement roused Nicole, who raised her head sleepily.“Hi, Mrs.Jones.”

Christine’s steely gaze had settled on Geoff.“Well.I suspect any attempt I make at giving you advice on parenthood will be dismissed given our history.But I hope that I can trust you to look after my daughter and my grandson.”

Geoff nodded nervously.“I will, Mrs.Jones.In fact…I’ve still got to talk it over with Mel and Nic but there’s something I’ve decided to do.”

Tony looked over Geoff’s application form.“Mate, are you sure you want to do this?”

“Well, I can do the job,”Geoff pointed out,“I’ve used the equipment before, you know that, and…and you’ve got my HSC results in sports…”

“Yeah, it’s not your ability to do the job I’m doubting.It’s just…you really want to get a minimum wage job in a gym?Don’t you want to go to uni?I thought you were planning on being a minister?”

“I’m hoping I can still do that some day,”Geoff replied,“But…I think at the moment God wants me to be a father.I don’t know what Melody’s planning to do, whether she’s going to go back to school or back to the Diner.But her and Luke are going to need my help.And I’ve talked it over with Nicole, she’s applying for uni but she’s going to stay in the Bay.We’re going to try and make this work.”

Tony sighed.“And I suppose naming the bub after my son is an extra bit of emotional blackmail?”

“That wasn’t why…Look, Tony, you and your family gave me and Annie a place to stay when we seemed to have lost just about everything.And now…I want to do the same for my son.”

“Then I guess the job’s yours.”

Geoff smiled but couldn’t help feeling a bit uneasy.“If you’re giving the job to me ahead of someone else…”

“Nah, you were the only applicant.”Tony shook his hand.“From one new father to another, I reckon you’re going to handle this okay.”

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Thanks for all your comments.This is the last chapter, let me know what you think of it.


“Wondering where you are yet?”Melody was fully aware that Luke couldn’t answer her back but talking to him somehow seemed like the most natural thing in the world.She’d sat down on the sofa with him in her arms as soon as they’d got back to the house and hadn’t felt like moving.“Well…this is your home.Guess that’s a new word to you.It means somewhere where you feel safe and where you’re surrounded by people that love you.And there are a lot of people here that love you.I…I love you.”It felt incredible just saying it. She’d never realised she could love someone as much as she did her son.“And I know he doesn’t live with us but Daddy loves you as well.And both of us are going to do everything we can to make sure that you’re safe and that no-one hurts you.And that you’re happy.”

“Mother/son bonding, hey?”Melody turned round at the voice.She hadn’t realised Kirsty had come into the room.“I can remember that.”

“Sorry, did we disturb you?”

“No, no.It was nice to hear.”Kirsty sat down next to her.“Have you heard from your parents since they went back home?”

“I’ve called Mum a couple of times.She…she’s doing her best to handle it, I think.Dad invited me and Luke to come and stay with him some time.I’m…thinking about it.”

“Don’t leave it too long.”For a moment, Melody saw a slight mist in Kirsty’s eyes.“The longer you leave it, the harder it gets.I heard what you said about this being home.”

“Did I say something wrong?”

“No, it’s just…I know Kane and I gave Ollie the best start we could but I do regret sometimes that he missed out on that when he was young.A home.Somewhere to feel safe.He didn’t really have one of those until we moved here.It’s a good place to call home, Melody.I’m glad you and Luke can do that.”

Before Melody could say anything, Miles came in through the side door.“Hey, guys, I picked up some stragglers loitering at the bottom of the driveway.”He gestured towards Annie and Jai as they followed him in.

“Annie was trying to work out how long she should leave you alone before bursting in,”Jai explained.

“No, I wasn’t,”Annie protested, blushing deeply,“I just wanted to come and see Luke.”She looked placatingly at Melody.“Can I just..?”

Melody smiled at her friend and passed her son into her arms.“You remember your Auntie Annie, don’t you?She’s the one that we’re going to have to stop spoiling you rotten when you get older.”

“Might as well make a start now,”Jai commented,“I had to restrain her from buying all the booties in the shop.”

“Well, you don’t want his feet getting cold,”Annie pointed out logically.

Nicole came down the stairs, a disgruntled look on her face.“Something up, Nic?”Miles asked.

“I’ve just been measuring the amount of floor space left in our room.”Nicole stared at Luke in bewilderment.“How can someone that small take up that much room?”

Jai stroked Luke’s cheek gently.“Make the most of the peace and quiet while you can, kid.You’ve got all this to come.”

Melody was surprised when Aden was the one who opened the door to her.“I thought you’d moved out.”

“I have,”Aden confirmed,“I just needed to drop by and sort some things out with Geoff.What are you doing here?”

Melody gestured to the carry cot she was holding.“Just bringing Luke round for his first sleepover with his daddy.”

“Oh, right.”Aden looked down at the tiny sleeping form.“Do you mind if I..?”

Melody nodded and allowed him to lift Luke out and cradle him gently.“Looks like you’ve got the knack.”

“Guess so.I think you were probably right to turn down my offer though.”

For a moment, Melody didn’t realise what he was talking about it, until she recalled their conversation a few months previous.“Oh, you remember that?”

“Asking you to marry me?Well, I have been wondering if it really happened…”

“Do you know…why you said it?”

He sighed.“I guess…I was all geared up to have all that with Belle:marriage, children, a future.And then suddenly it was all gone.I think I was just trying to get at least some of it back.”

“I think I’d be a pretty poor substitute for Belle.”

“Anyone would be.”He handed Luke back to her and then, to her surprise, kissed her on the cheek.“But seeing you with this one…you’ve definitely got as big a heart as she had.”

Geoff came out of his room just after Aden had left.He stopped at the sight of Melody and Luke and checked his watch.“You’re early.”

She smiled.“I’d have thought you’d have been used to that by now.”

“Yeah, good point.”He took Luke from her arms, his features softening even more than usual at the sight of his son.

Melody placed her bag on the table.“There’s some clean clothes for him in there, just in case, and some bottles of milk.You’ve got everything else you need?”

“Baby wipes, spare nappies…Actually, I did go to the shops earlier and get some milk.”

“Yeah, this didn’t come from the shop.”

Geoff seemed to take a second to work that one out.Then he looked as though he wished he hadn’t.“Okay, well, thanks for that.”

Melody hovered, uncertain about leaving, some primal instinct telling her she should be near her son. “You’re sure you’re going to be all right with him?”

“Yeah, of course, Annie and Irene are looking forward to having him over.I guess everyone at your place is okay with it?”

“I think they’re looking forward to a good night’s sleep.Except for Nicole.She was complaining that whichever one of us she shares with she’s going to have to deal with him.”

Geoff looked at her in surprise.“She didn’t tell you?Nic and I are moving in with Aden.The house is a bit big for him, we kind of need somewhere…”

The news had caught Melody unawares.She hadn’t realised Geoff and Nicole were at that stage.“I guess things must be pretty serious between you now.”

“Yeah but I’m not going to be letting you down, I mean, most of my money from the gym’s still going to be going towards Luke…”

“I know that.”

“Have you thought about going back to school?”

Melody shook her head.“I’ve told Irene I’m going to go back to the Diner once Luke’s settled into a routine.I was thinking of going to TAFE though, getting my HSC that way.It’ll be easier to work around.” She paused.“We’re going to make this work, aren’t we?”

He smiled slightly.“Well, we’re starting to sound like grown-ups.”

“We’re starting to sound like parents.”She stepped to his side, pulling Luke’s wrappings away from his face so she could catch one last glimpse of him.“I was thinking about something my dad said, about how I was the only good thing to come out of him and Mum.I don’t know if he’s the only thing but…I’m glad something good came out of us.”

He met her gaze and smiled.And she could tell that it was the one thing they would always agree on, that there was someone in the world who was unbelievably special to both of them.“Me too.”


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