Ali goes into labor and ash is out of town for a game bit makes it in time
Orlando Pride was set to play the Red Stars this coming
weekend in Chicago. Ashlyn was still uneasy about her decision to go due to
Ali’s pregnancy, but when your team is playing against Christen Press, you need
your starting keeper.
“Babe I’m sure it will be fine. Just go. You and I both know
the team needs you,” Ali tells Ash for the millionth time.
“But what if it happens?” Ashlyn whines. “It would kill me
to miss it.”
“Ashlyn the game is Sunday morning and you fly back right
after. I’m not due until Wednesday. I’m sure this little guy will still be in
here when you get back,” Ali says while rubbing her stomach.
Ashlyn sighed. “Fine, I guess I’ll go. Just know I’m not too
happy about it.”
Friday afternoon Ali drops Ashlyn off at the airport to meet
up with the rest of the team. Ashlyn wanted to spend as much time with her girl
as she could.
“Call me when you land okay babe?” Ali breathes out, her
face tucked in Ash’s neck.
“I always do. Call me if anything happens and I’ll check my
phone at halftime during the game. Wow, I hate leaving you. It never gets
easier. I love you so much Alex,” Ash tells her and bends down to Ali’s
stomach, “and you, little dude, better stay nice and cozy in there for a few
more days.” Ashlyn stands back up and gives Ali another hug and a chaste kiss
on the lips. “Bye love.”
“Bye Ash. I love you,” Ali says with a shaky breath and a
few tears in her eyes.
Ashlyn grabs her luggage and wheels it through the doors to
find her team as Ali gets back into Ashlyn’s jeep and drives away.
To say Ali was lonely Saturday was an understatement. The
house felt too big and too quiet without Ashlyn there. All she wanted to do was
curl up and watch stupid shark shows all day with her girl. Instead, Ali
settled for laying in their bed wearing one of Ashlyn’s UNC sweatshirts and
cuddling with the stuffed shark Ashlyn got for her at the beginning of season
when they realized Ali wouldn’t be able travel with Ashlyn to away games. It
took Ali forever to fall asleep that night because she was just too excited to
watch Ashlyn play the next day.
Sunday morning, Ali got up, called Ashlyn to tell her good
luck, took a shower, and got ready to watch Ashlyn’s game. She even did her makeup
because she wanted to look good for the selfie she was going to send Ashlyn of
her in front of the tv watching the game.
Five minutes before kickoff, Ali made her way to the living
room. As she was turning on the tv, Ali felt something running down her leg.
“Oh fuck,” she breathed. “No no no no no. Not now.” She
fumbled with the remote trying to turn the tv off and frantically grabbed her
phone. She dialed Ashlyn’s number whispering “pick up, pick up” over and over
again. “Fuck!” Ali yelled as she got Ashlyn’s voicemail. She quickly typed out
a text to Kyle and her mom saying “water broke, leaving to hospital now” and
instantly got a reply from her mother saying she was on her way. Miami was
three hours away from Orlando so she would hopefully make it in time.
Ali grabbed the Jeep keys and made her way outside. Luckily
for her, Ali’s thoughtful wife had suggested keeping Ali’s bag in the back of
the Jeep. On the drive to the hospital, Ali used the car’s Bluetooth feature to
continually call Ashlyn’s phone, but got her voicemail every time.
After she arrived at the hospital and as out in a room,
Ali’s doctor came in and determined she was not yet dilated. All there was left
to do now was wait. After trying to call Ash about 10 more times she typed out
a text, “in labor, get your ass here asap. Love you.”
Meanwhile, at her game, Ashlyn was killing it! Christen
Press was taking shots left and right, but Ashlyn managed to reach the ball
just in time to prevent her from scoring. The ref blew his whistle to signal
the half and both teams made their way to the locker room.
As the team gathered around to listen to Tom’s speech, Ash
opened her locker to check her phone.
“Oh my God,’ she breathed when she saw the numerous calls
and text messages from Ali, Deb, and Kyle. “Ali’s in labor. I have to go,”
Ashlyn started to panic.
“Come on Ash I’ll help you,” one of the trainers, Sarah,
said while getting out her phone to call an Uber.
By this time, the rest of the team had their phones out
looking for a flight home for Ash.
“I got one!” exclaimed Aubrey, “It leaves in an hour. You
can make it!”
Ashlyn was quickly gathering as much of her stuff as she
could and changing out of her cleats. “Book it.”
“Uber will be here in ten minutes Ash,” Sarah informed.
Ashlyn barely made it to the airport in time to board her
flight. As she found her seat and sat down, she remembered she never text Ali
back. She quickly typed, “I’m on my way babygirl. I’ll be there soon. I love
you so much, Alexandra.”
The entire flight Ashlyn was anxiously bouncing her leg.
Thank goodness the game was only in Chicago and not Portland. And thank
goodness Alanna offered to bring all of her luggage home so she only had to
deal with a small carry-on.
After hastily collecting her carry-on and hailing a cab,
Ashlyn was running through the hospital lobby to the front desk. “My wife is in
labor! Ali Krieger-Harris! Did I miss it?! Am I too late?!”
“Calm down ma’am,” the young woman behind the desk told her
while typing on her computer. “No you haven’t missed it. Take this up to the
third floor and one of the nurses there will help you find the room,” the woman
said while handing Ashlyn a visitor’s pass.
Ashlyn quickly made her way to the elevators, but got
impatient waiting for one. She opened the door to the stairwell and began to
run up the stairs two at a time. Once on the third floor, Ashlyn found a nurse
to take her to Ali’s room.
“She’s almost ready to start pushing,” the nurse told her as
they approached the door. “She keeps talking about you,” she said with a smile
while holding the door open.
As Ashlyn entered the room she immediately locked eyes with
Ali who gave her a tired smile.
“Hi my love,” Ashlyn greeted while grabbing Ali’s hand.
“You made it.”
“Of course I did. I wouldn’t miss it,” Ashlyn smiled.
“Okay Ali push on three. One, two, three,” the doctor
Ashlyn took a peak between her wife’s legs and was able to
see the baby beginning to crown. It was terrifying and incredible all at once.
“Ashlyn Michelle Harris, I know you did not just look at my
vagina with a baby’s head coming out of it. We talked about this,” Ali said
while giving her wife the look.
“I’m sorry love, but you’re just so incredible,” Ashlyn said
with a big grin.
“Yeah yeah you’re just lucky I love you,” Ali replied
After a good hour of Ali pushing and Ashlyn whispering her
encouragements, they finally heard their baby boy cry. This caused Ashlyn to
immediately burst into tears of happiness as she gathered Ali in her arms.
Prompt... Ash gas bought the ring and is waiting for the right time but the Ali finds it and confronts Ashlyn.
Ashlyn had left early in the morning to go surfing with a couple of her friends. She invited Ali to join them, but Ali decided that this would be the perfect time to get some cleaning done around the house and finish the laundry that she said she was going to do almost two weeks ago. Ali was picking up pieces of clothing that were scattered around the house, throwing them into the basket under her arm as she went. Once she was done with the living room, she made her way into the bedroom, which was spotless and neat except for the old training shorts and tank tops that were strewn across the floor. Ali had picked everything up that was in plain sight but she decided to do one last check for any dirty laundry in the dresser. Ali, bring the princess that she is, could never wear an item of clothing more than once before she had to wash it. Ashlyn on the other hand, gave her clothes three or four wears before she finally tossed it into the laundry basket. Ali pulled tow tee shirts out of the top drawer of the dresser that she knew Ashlyn had already worn. When she pulled the second shirt out, a small, black box fell out of the crumpled up shirt.
Ali looked down at the box that had landed at her feet. Her mind was racing with every possibility. Deep down, she knew what was in the box but she was still having a hard time believing it. Of course her and Ashlyn had plans to get married but it never crossed her mind that Ashlyn already had the ring. Ali crouched down and picked the box up off of the floor and held it in her hands. She stared down at it as if staring would provide her with all of the answers she was looking for. There was something inside of her telling he to open the box. She knew that she should put the box and the shirt back where she found it and pretend like nothing had ever happened but her curiosity got the best of her. Ali gently pulled the lid of the box up, her eyes going wide and her mouth going dry when she saw what was inside. Tucked securely inside the box was a 1.72 carat round brilliant diamond eternity ring in 18 carat classic white. Against her better judgment, Ali pulled the ring out of the box and slipped it onto her finger. It fit perfectly. The light coming through the window reflected off of the rows of diamonds, leaving little rainbows all over the walls. Ali was so caught up in admiring her soon to be new accessory that she didn’t hear Ashlyn pull up and enter the house.
“Hey, Al. What are you doi-” Ashlyn stopped mid sentence when she saw what was on Ali’s hand.
Ali looked towards the door and saw Ashlyn. She was sure that she looked like a deer caught in the headlights.
“Ashlyn!” Ali immediately started to panic when she noticed that Ashlyn had already seen the ring on her finger. “Ashlyn, I am so sorry. I was doing the laundry and it feel out when I picked up your shirt. I swear I wasn’t snooping, I didn’t even know that you bought a ring. I’ll put it back and pretend like I never saw it. Please don’t be mad. I want to marry you and I love the ring. I’m sorry that I ruined it. Are you still going to propose? I know I shouldn’t have tried it on but I couldn’t help it it. Once I opened the box, I had to see what it looked like. Ashlyn please say something.”
Ashlyn walked over to Ali without saying a word and dropped to one knee. Ali’s hand flew to her mouth and tears stung her eyes. Ashlyn took Ali’s hands into her own and took a deep breath.
“Alexandra Blaire Krieger. I had a big proposal all planned out. I was going to take you for a walk on the beach, where we could watch the sunset and stargaze. I even prepared a speech so I could tell you all about how much I love you and how you’ve changed my life. When I walked in just now and saw you with the ring already on your hand, I knew. I knew that the time was now. I knew that the grand gesture and the long, drawn out speech didn’t matter. Someday when we look back on this, I’m not going to remember where we were or what I said, all I am going to remember is your answer. So, Ali, will you marry me?”
Ali had tears streaming down her cheeks as she nodded her head. “Yes.” She whispered. “Ashlyn, I will marry you.”
Ashlyn was about to stand so that she could wrap Ali in a hug, but Ali put her hand on her shoulder to stop her from rising completely. “Wait.” Ali said as she slipped the ring off of her finger. “I want you to put it on me.”
The metal of the ring was already warm from being on Ali’s hand. Ashlyn accepted the ring and slid it right back onto Ali’s finger where it had been resting previously. Once Ashlyn had put Ali’s ring on her, Ali backed away and headed to her nightstand. Ashlyn let her hands flop at her sides and scoffed. “I just proposed and you walk away to finish the laundry?” Ashlyn asked sarcastically.
Ali walked back towards Ashlyn with her hands behind her back. She looked at Ashlyn who was still on her knees and offered her a hand to pull her up, her other hand still resting behind her back. Ashlyn accepted her offer and let Ali bring her to her feet. Ashlyn was standing again when Ali returned to her previous position on her knees, one knee to be exact.
Finally, Ali revealed what she was holding behind her back. A blue velvet ring box. She popped the ring box open to show Ashlyn what was inside. Nestled safely inside the box was a black, stainless steel ring that had lines of small diamonds circling the entire band on the outer edges.
“Ashlyn Michelle Harris. You planned an elaborate proposal on the beach and I planned a fun vacation in Costa Rica. But, you were right. We don’t need some fancy location or over rehearsed speeches to prove that we love each other. You gave me your ring, so it’s only fair that I give you mine. This isn’t how either of us thought our engagement would happen, but I can’t think of anything better. I want to marry you, Ashlyn. I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Please say yes and marry me.”
“Of course I will marry you, Ali.” Ashlyn said with a choked up voice and tears in her eyes. Ali held Ashlyn’s hand as she placed the ring on her finger. This wasn’t how either of them saw themselves proposing, but they couldn’t have been happier. The proposal did not matter. It was the ‘yes’ that mattered the most.
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the league,
Not a player was stirring, no HAO was #freed.
Draft picks had been traded, with thought and with care,
Each sweetened the deal on who was going where.
The head coaches were nestled, all snug in their beds,
While visions of trophies danced in their heads.
They thought about game plans and on which players they’d bid,
Parsons dreamt of Portland and putting defenders in mid.
A new team was formed, they called it ‘The Pride’,
Harris and Kyle both signed up for the ride.
Morgan signed too, there was money to be made,
Swapped for Horan in a “Blockbuster Trade!”
The World Cup was held and by Canada was hosted,
Selections were made and rosters were posted.
From England and Sweden to Brazil and Japan,
Players left clubs with a dream and a plan.
With key players gone, the teams felt the sting,
But they shuffled their squads and each did their thing.
Betos scored a goal, knocked in with her head,
Dunn knuckled down and in scoring, she led.
ESPN and Fox showed the odd match,
Everything else, on YouTube you’d catch.
The sound it was awful and the picture much worse,
Fans begged their clubs for an end to the curse.
The Gals they came home and they basked in the glory,
With parades and parties and the odd cover story.
As they returned to the pitch, we saw on their feet,
Each sock covered perfectly with a yellow Nike cleat.
With Krieger & Co. each back in their spot,
Attendance at club games increased by a lot.
New fans watched nervously in fear of defeat,
Tuning in to watch players they’d never seen beat.
Some legends retired and some, they were born,
Mia’s goal record was matched by a Thorn.
Masar signed to Sweden, what about McLeod?
Angerer became a coach, is that even allowed?
Sunil Gulati appeared from below, with a black suit on and an ethereal glow;
“Here’s to the preseason, the sport and the shield,
And here’s to playing on a well kept grass field.”
“Here’s to a year of fair play and fierce passion,
And leggings under shorts in true goalkeeper fashion.”
“Here’s to equality! Well, within reason,
And here’s to the NWSL and another great season.”
“One little league and it’s ten little teams,
Of much better quality than their god awful streams.”
“Now, Spirit! Now, Breakers! Now, Thorns and The Flash!
On, Red Stars! On, Pride! On, Reign and The Dash!”
“Don’t worry, Kansas! I didn’t forget,
How you doing Sky Blue, got a coach yet?”
Gulati exclaimed as he flew out of sight -
“Happy Lauren Holidays to all, and to all a good night!”