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Adam went to his father-in-law. "What are you doing out of bed?" he asked Chuck. "Your mom's in Palm Springs with Mrs. Freemont. They're on vacation, remember?" Chuck had repeatedly asked the same question at dinner time, and had been unable to remember the answer for very long.

"When is she coming home?" asked Chuck, as Adam tucked him back into bed.

"Next week," Adam replied gently. "Can you go to sleep?"

"I think so."

"Good night," said Adam, quietly closing the door. More thunder rumbled through Villa Rosa, and Adam was grateful that it didn't appear to be frightening Chuck very much.

Even though the house remained pitch-black, Adam tested the light switch in the kitchen just to be sure the electricity hadn't already come back on. When nothing happened, he went to the counter and located the cupboard that held their emergency flashlights. The echo of distant thunder sounded above the house, giving Adam that same feeling of unease once more. "It's probably only because the girls are making me nervous," Adam reasoned to himself. "Charlie can't sleep and Wally's hiding in the bathroom."

Clicking on his flashlight, Adam easily found the kitchen telephone.

In the darkness of the master bedroom, Charlie squirmed in her rocking chair. "Matthew," she sighed, "I wish you'd settle down." The expectant mother slowly rocked back and forth, listening to the creak of the chair and the thunder that kept booming in the skies above their rooftop. The feeling that had been bothering her came again, and Charlie shifted in her chair to get more comfortable. Since the clock wasn't working, she didn't know how long it took before the uncomfortable sensation returned. When it did, Charlie's instincts told her that Matthew was coming!

A beam of light shone through the doorway behind Charlie, and Adam appeared with a flashlight. "The electric company says we're the only ones without power, so we're on our own until they can send out a repair truck." When Charlie didn't respond, Adam turned the flashlight on her.

"I'm having contractions," Charlie announced with as much calm as she could summon. "They're getting stronger, and I don't think Matthew is going to wait very long to be born."

Adam gulped, and suddenly that uneasy feeling he had been trying to ignore in the pit of his stomach made sense. "But, you're not due until next month," he nervously informed her, as though that bit of information would be enough to stop the entire process.

"Tell that to your son!" Charlie gasped with the next contraction.

Racing to the dresser, Adam fumbled with the flashlight to find his wristwatch. "How close are the contractions?"

"How should I know?" she cried. "You're the one with the watch!"

"Okay, okay," Adam inhaled, trying to collect his thoughts into something that made sense. There was no need to panic, for this was just the beginning of Charlie's contractions. Telling himself that they had plenty of time to reach the hospital, Adam grabbed his car keys.

"Where are you going?" panicked Charlie, as he quickly moved toward the bedroom door without her.

"I'll bring the SUV around, and then come get you," he reassured her. "Just stay in the rocking chair."

"That's what you said last time," Charlie whimpered.
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