Next Wednesday morning, Richie woke up to the sound of his phone. He didn't remember having set an alarm for the morning, they wouldn't be travelling until late that evening.
He reached out and unplugged his phone from the charger, accepting the call.
"Honey, are you okay?" Sarah sounded worried.
"I-" The rest of the sentence went lost. He tried again but no sound came out.
Trying again, his voice was completely gone.
Sarah sounded even more worried when he didn't react.
He sighed, sat up in bed and opened the messages on his phone, hoping Sarah wouldn't disconnect the call and would read his text.
I lost my voice
He quickly sent the text, making it short to be faster.
The call got disconnected.
Did she get the text? Why didn't she say so if she did?
Before he could do anything else, an invitation for FaceTime popped up on his phone. Relieved, he clicked to accept.
"You lost your voice?" Sarah asked, still sounding just as worried.
Richie tried again to say something but it was too hoarse and too unclear to make any sense of.
"Don't talk, just nod. Is it sore?"
"Just your throat? Anything else? What about a fever?"
He frowned, not knowing which question to answer first.
"Fever?" Sarah asked, understanding she was asking too many things at once.
"You're still in bed. I just woke you up." She finally figured it out and felt sorry.
A weak smile, to say it's okay.
"You didn't phone me back last night after the concert and I was worried but then I figured you'd be sleeping and I was going to bed now too so I just had to be sure before I was going to bed. I'm sorry."
Thumbs up, it's fine.
"If you do have a fever, you should probably see a doctor, especially since your voice is completely gone."
"I'm sorry honey. I can't imagine how disappointed you'll be if you have to cancel the tour but you have to think of your health."
He nodded slowly.
"Go back to sleep for a bit, might still help a little bit but see a doctor too."
Richie nodded again, agreeing.
"Phone me back, okay? I might not be able to sleep anyway. I love you."
This time he managed a very hoarse, "I love you too."
"No talking." Sarah smiled before disconnecting the video call.
A few hours later, Richie texted Sarah again, not wanting to wake her up in case she was sleeping.
Laryngitis. Have to cancel next 3 shows. Coming home
Sarah read the text after she woke up in the morning. Reading it, she felt disappointed and sorry for her husband. She knew how much he was loving the concerts and the crowd, it was unfair he had to cancel shows now.
She also felt somewhat relieved he'd now be home for Sammy, feeling that, she felt guilty for feeling it.
A few hours later they were able to talk again.
"I'm so sorry honey. What did the doctor say?" Sarah asked when they were able to video chat again.
Richie gave her a look to ask how he was supposed to answer that without talking.
"Did your cold cause it?"
He shrugged, it could have but not necessarily.
"The doctor didn't know either? Is it contagious?"
He shook his head. He had asked about that, wondering what would happen if Sammy was early and didn't have an immune system yet.
"That's good. You should take a hot shower, the steam would help your throat and the shower would be relaxing."
Nodding, he agreed, it didn't sound like a bad idea.
Richie would stay in London for another day, not feeling up to a long flight at the moment and had been able to arrange a private jet. That way he'd be home the same day, late in the evening.
The hours before Richie left the hotel, were the hours they talked the most while he was abroad. Most of the band had already gone home too, so he was mostly on his own. Which made time for video calls with Sarah, Ava and the boys.
Not able to wait any longer, he showed Sarah all the onesies he had bought for Sammy.
Thursday evening they talked until Richie had to get on the plane. For the rest of the afternoon Sarah stayed around the house, not doing much at all.
Even though she had had a quiet and uneventful day, for what could be called uneventful, she felt tired earlier than she usually did. Her husband would be home in a few hours, getting a book to read, she got in bed, determined to wait up for him.
At least Sarah would have her husband back home, at her side where she needed him most right now.