Nancy Lee Grahn: Woman Extraordinaire

A Christmas Miracle
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A Christmas Miracle

It was a cold, crisp night and a heavy snow began to fall against the hard earth. Amongst the dark night stood a bright, shining star, sitting vigil high above General Hospital, twinkling as though it were talking to the night sky. That same star was in perfect view through the window just outside the NICU room.
Sonny hadn't realized where he was until he stopped in the hall, taken back by the star and its dancing brilliance. Looking around as to see where exactly he was, his head turned left and he caught sight of an angel. Alexis sat half on the rocking chair, half of the wooden roller that held her daughter's warmer, her head positioned towards the face of her baby, and a delicate hand rested along side the unit. She slept peacefully; content to be by her daughter's side. It was Christmas Eve, well into the evening and there was Alexis, protector and mother, not leaving her daughter alone. Sonny expected nothing less.  
As he watched her sleep, he was simply in awe of her. All her life, she had been through hell, living in constant fear Helena, the woman who had taken her mother away from her in cold blood. She had no father to look after her; the only love she received was from her brother, Stefan, but now too, he was gone, pursuing his life somewhere in Milan. Sonny wasn't even too sure if he knew Alexis had a little girl. He hoped so. As he thought about Stefan, his thoughts turned to Kristina, Alexis' sister, and his stomach dropped, knowing that he had played a part at the hurt that Alexis felt over losing her newly found sister. They had been so close, and it was so unfair to have that taken away from them again. Again. How many times did Alexis have to go through such pain over losing someone? He knew what it felt like to have lost so much, and it wasn't right to have Alexis, such a beautiful person, inside and out, to have to experience that. No one should have to.  
But there she was, sitting with her daughter as though none of that mattered. She still had so much love and caring, compassion, strength, and determination in her. She would offer it all to little Kristina, and Kristina would know what it was like to grow up being loved. Alexis was what every child should have for a mother, and Sonny felt proud to have once been so close to such an amazing woman, if only for a short time.
A sudden movement caught his eye, so he quietly made his way into the room, careful as to not disturb anything. Moving closer to the warmer where Kristina lay, he realized that the tiny movement had been Kristina's tiny little hand. It looked as though she were just reaching out to her mother, letting her know that she was there. Already Sonny could see these two special girls were connected, and it was something that would never be broken. He looked down at Kristina and smiled.  
"Do you know how lucky you are baby girl?" Sonny asked her in a small whisper. "You are so lucky. You are going to grow up healthy and strong, and smart and beautiful, just like your mama."  
At the mention of her mama, little Kristina's eyes opened and looked at looked straight at Sonny. The eyes were dark and large, and they took Sonny's breath away. She was beautiful.
A small sigh caught his attention and he turned his head to Alexis. Deciding she didn't look at all comfortable, he gently went to lift her up and ease her back on the rocker. When her hand fell off the warmer, she was immediately awake.
"Kristina?" She asked, slightly groggily, and worried, eyes searching for her baby girl.
"Hey, hey, it's okay. It's just me. I'm sorry. I was just trying to make you more comfortable. Kristina's fine." Sonny said, trying to reassure her.
Rising form the rocker, Alexis made her way to the warmer to be sure that she was okay. Seeing her girl sleeping again, she allowed herself to relax. She turned her attention to Sonny. "What are you doing here?"
"I was here earlier dropping some things off and came to see Benny. I decided to take a walk afterwards and I ended up here."
"Oh. How is Benny?"
"He's getting better. The doctors think he'll be home a little after New Years, if not before."
"That's good to hear." Sonny nodded his head in agreement and the both silently turned their attention to Kristina, watching the small movement of the rising and falling of her chest.
"Shouldn't you be at home Sonny, with Michael and your wife? It is Christmas Eve and all." Alexis asked, somewhat distant.
"She left."
"Excuse me?"
"She didn't want to have husband who no longer controlled everything and wasn't seen as the high lord crime boss anymore."
"You left the mob?" Alexis asked in astonishment.
"I prefer to call it the coffee import business," Sonny said, trying to joke, but his tone suggested otherwise.
"I'm sorry, I know it must be hard for you."
"No, Alexis, I'm the one that's sorry. Look at what's happened to us, all because I let you push me away, all because of Carly. Carly's return cost me a lot, but most of all it cost me you, Alexis. I saw your face the day I told you I could break you. I saw that fear in your face and it makes me sick just thinking about it now. I promised myself that I would never willingly instill fear in a woman, let alone you Alexis and for that I'm sorry. I won't ask you for forgiveness, I just want you to know I'm sorry. I'll leave now, but take care of that little miracle." Sonny gave a small smile and made his way towards the door.
Alexis stood there dumbstruck for a moment at the words that Sonny just told her. Clearing her throat of the lump that had formed, she found her voice and called out to him, "Sonny! Wait!"
He stopped on his tracks, his heart skipping a beat at hearing her voice telling him to wait. He turned back to face her and their eyes met for the first time. Soulful eyes held hopeful ones, the chocolate stare holding more feelings in that single moment than any other words could express.
"I hate this."
"Me too."
"No, I mean I really hate this. As much as I want to, and need to move on, inside it still hurts and I can't do that anymore. I need some sort of closure, or at least know where I stand with you. It can't be like the way it was. It's not fair to either of us."
"I know I know it's not, but that's okay. We can take it slow, like a dance. It's what you and I do best."
"Sonny, it's not that easy."
"It is Alexis, it is. Look we're doing it right now; we're talking - civil - to each other."
"I'm just so tired of all the hurt and pain and uncertainty between us. Can you honestly stand there and promise me it won't be like that anymore?" Alexis asked in a small voice.
"I promise. Cross my heart and hope to die." Their eyes connected once again, but were quickly drawn to the slight movement made by a tiny little hand. Alexis let out a small laugh and smiled down at her daughter.
"I think she feels left out." Sonny smiled and nodded in agreement.
"I think so too."
Alexis looked up at Sonny and watched him watching Kristina. Her heart panged with guilt at what she was denying them. Sonny was a good father to Michael, so what would be different with her baby? What was stopping her from telling him? Was it the fear of the unknown of how Sonny would react and the consequences that would come with the aftermath of the truth? Maybe he would rip Kristina away from her and never let her see her little girl. Or perhaps he would be a wonderful father and they could works thing out in a rational manner. But watching him now his eyes told the story. She had two choices and she made up her mind.
"Would you like to hold her?" Sonny's head snapped up, looking at Alexis, not quite sure he heard her right.
"Really?" Alexis nodded her head, giving him a quick smile, satisfied with her decision.
Ten Minutes Later
Sonny came back into the room and all scrubbed and ready to go. "You're sure, Alexis?"
He slowly made his way to the warmer, stopping when he reached the front of it. Briefly glancing up, his eyes caught sight of the clock and he took in the time, 12:04. Christmas. He looked to Alexis, who stood by his side; to make sure this was really was happening. She gave him a reassuring nod and he slipped his hands inside. Very carefully he laid one hand upon her tiny stomach while the other rested upon her head. Feelings Sonny had never felt before began to overwhelm him and it was the greatest thing he had ever felt. Tears slipped down his cheek and he felt Alexis' hand upon his shoulder.
"Merry Christmas, Alexis," Sonny choked, looking from Kristina then to Alexis who now too, had tears running down her face.
"Merry Christmas, Daddy."
Sonny's heart leaped at hearing those three words. At that moment, he realized had the whole world with him in that small room. He was holding his child, his daughter, for the first time and he had his best friend back. It was the best gift any man could receive. It truly was a Christmas Miracle.

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