Friday, December 20, 2013

Chapter 73: Safe and Sound


It has been a week since Mac's funeral and the mood at Zoey and T's is melancholy at best.

I haven't moved much this week.  Right after I talked to Michael, my body joined in the shit storm and started my period.

Even though I know there's no way I could be pregnant, I keep getting nauseous, and exhausted, and having a million other pregnancy symptoms.

This sucks...I feel like I'm going crazy and every time I feel like maybe I do have Mac's child growing inside of me, I want to jump for joy, but then I want to burst into tears because I know it's impossible.

How is it fair that the only thing that has brought me joy over these last several months had to be taken from me?


Terry and I still aren't talking.  It feels weird.  In all the time we have been together we have never fought like this.  It has been over a week and...nothing.

Every day I hear him come in from work sniffling like he has a cold, but I know he's not sick...and he sighs deeply.  I know his heart is breaking and I want more than anything to run to him and comfort him, but I know I can't help because I'm the reason for at least some of his sadness.


Every time I see Zoey it hurts all over again.  I want this pain to stop so badly and I know having a child will make me feel better...but she is adamant about that not happening any time soon.

"I don't know why you want to have a kid anyway," AJ says when I tell him that Zoey and I have been fighting.
"I want to be a father," I say, "you know it's something I have wanted my entire life."
"Yeah, but why now?" AJ scratches his head.

"Why not?" I ask.
AJ just shrugs, "Mac just died man.  Maybe give yourself a little bit of time?"
"What for?" I ask, "If anything it will ease the pain a little right?  Bring a little joy back into our lives?"
AJ raises his eyebrows, "Whew...I'd hate to be your kid."
"Why's that?" I ask, getting a little angry at this line of questioning.
"That's a whole lot riding on a kid's shoulders," AJ says, "Well, little guy, it's your job to make Daddy happy because he lost his best friend."
"It's not like that..." I raise my voice.
"You just said it yourself man."
"No..." I start, but then stop.  Wait, did I say that?

We play pool in silence for awhile longer and by the end of the game, I still have no clue what to do about me and Zoey.  I want so badly to make up with her, but her not wanting to have a child with me feels like almost an insult, if that makes any sense.

"Maybe you and Z need some time apart," AJ says.
I raise my eyebrows.  The thought of separating is almost as bad as not having a baby.
"You mean a separation?" I ask.
"No, just some time and distance," AJ says, "you can come stay with me."
I shake my head, "I don't know man."


Terry and I haven't talked in days and I can't get him off my mind.

It's starting to get cold outside and I miss cuddling up to my husband.  I am usually freezing all the time and the cold has been even worse since he and I haven't been sleeping anywhere near close to each other in bed.

As I sit and continue to feel sorry for myself, I hear the front door open and the familiar sound of his heavy shoes hit the hard floor in the entry way.

"Vi?" I swear I hear him call out, but he couldn't have.  I haven't heard that sweet nickname from him in days.

"Vi?" I hear again.

I wake up from my haze and answer, "In here."

He walks in and starts to speak, "We need to talk."

I stand up and start to ramble in fragmented sentences, "I'm sorry honey...maybe...I don't know if I'm ready...we could try..."

Terry puts his hands up and stops me, "Hold on Vi, I have to say something."

"Ok," I sigh and silently wait for him to speak.

He shuffles around for a bit but then starts, "I've been wrong baby, I'm sorry."
"What?" Even though those are the words I have been waiting for, I can't believe I am hearing them.

"I'm sorry.  I know we aren't ready for a baby...I just...have been hurting so much." he says.
"I know and I want to help you through it..." I say.
"I know and I love you for it," he says.
"I just don't know what..." I start, but am interrupted.

I am interrupted by Terry wrapping his arms around me and pulling me in for a long, deep, passionate kiss.  I am so shocked it takes my breath away.

His kisses continue and we don't speak for the rest of the night, but finally I am able to sleep comfortably, enveloped in the warmth of my husband's arms, safe from the cold.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Chapter 72: Fix You


"Wait...what?" I never have had a good poker face...and I have to make sure he said what I thought he did...I pray he didn't just say what I thought he did...

Then he has to go and repeat it.
"I think we should have a baby."

I take a deep breath in an attempt to give myself time to answer correctly.  As much as I will do anything I can to make this man happy, I am not ready to have a baby...and I don't think he is either.

"Well...uh..." I need more time but I don't have any.  My husband is looking at me excitedly and expectantly.  "Honey," I start, "I'm not so sure that's such a great idea."

He is crestfallen and I can tell.  I have never seen him like this and I don't really know what I'm doing, but I can't take the words back...even if I wanted to.

Nothing could prepare me for his reaction.

"Well why not?!" He yells.  Yells.
I have never so much as seen this man swat a fly and he's yelling at me.

His behavior is making me recoil from him and I am tempted to take it all back.  If it were anything else I probably would.

But I know I have to stand my ground on this one.

"I really don't think we're ready..." I start, but he explodes again.

"That's ridiculous!  Of course we're ready!" He continues to yell, "We both have great jobs, we have a house, we have money...what are you waiting for?!"

"First of all, I'm waiting for you to stop yelling at me," I start, "but before we make a decision to have a baby, I want to sit down with you and make out a plan...I don't want to just go for it..."
"That's usually how babies happen," he mutters and I ignore him.
"I'm just not ready to put my body through having a baby, and I'm not ready to put my writing on hold..."
"Who says you have to?" he asks.

"See, this is exactly why we're not ready.  You haven't even though about how intrusive having a baby will be." I say.

He rears back and I think he's going to yell again, but he doesn't say anything for awhile.

He sighs deeply before he speaks again, "Whatever, I'm just an insensitive bastard."
"That's not..." I start, but he is already backing up.
"No, I'm done talking about this.  I'm going to bed." he says and heads to our bedroom.

I debate yelling at him to sleep on the couch, but I don't want to waste my time.  

I just go sleep in the other extra bedroom.

The next morning Terry still isn't talking to me.  He spends the entire day in the bedroom.

I still have no idea what to do to make this better.


I wake up the day after Mac's funeral nauseous - as I have for the last couple of days.  I haven't actually taken a pregnancy test or anything, but I am certain I am pregnant.  This is exactly how I felt before.

After losing what little dinner I had last night, I decide today is the day to confirm my suspicions.

On the way to the drugstore, I see a little consignment shop geared toward babies, so I stop in and look around.

As crazy as this sounds, I am happier than I have been in days.  Even though I want Mac in my life, it makes me feel better knowing that I am always going to have a piece of him with me in the form of our child.

As I am looking, the sales clerk comes up to me, "Can I help you find anything?"
"No...I' looking..." I say.
She gives me a knowing smile, "Is this your first?"
I smile widely and nod.

I leave the shop on cloud nine, excited that something good has come out of this shitty situation and head to the drugstore.

On the way home, I stop in at the local coffee shop and run into Mac's father.
Still excited about becoming a mother, I can't contain my excitement and I want to share it.

What an amazing gift for them - having a grandchild after losing their only son.  I can't possibly keep this to myself.

"Amy," he greets me with a knowing tone that is reserved for someone that has suffered a trauma a long with you.  It's as if he knows how much my heart is hurting.

Even though it still is, I am happy and I want to share my happiness with him.

"You look like you're doing well," Michael observes.
"Yes...actually...well, I actually have some good news." I start.
"Oh?  What would that be dear?" He asks.

I smile, "Well, I don't know for 100%, but...I am pregnant."

Michael looks shocked and doesn't say anything for a minute.
"Of course I want you all to be as much a part of this child's life as you can be..." I start yammering to fill the silence.
"Amy..." he interrupts, "are you sure?  Have you been to a doctor?"
"Well, not yet...but I just know," I say.
He looks concerned and I can't understand why.
"Amy, I hate to say this, but you being pregnant with Mac's baby is impossible." he says.

"Why?" I ask, confused.
"Mac had an accident as a child that left him infertile..." Michael takes a pin and pricks my bubble.
"But surely there's a chance..." I start to try to patch it.
"No honey, we went to a lot of doctors and they all told us the same thing.  Mac would never be able to father children."

POP!  Bubble officially burst.

I leave the coffee shop quickly as my hope - literally the only thing I have left in this world - is slowly chipped away.

When I get back to Zoey's I rush to the bathroom and take the test I bought.
After three minutes it confirms what Michael said.  

I'm not pregnant after all.

I feel like my heart is breaking all over again.

I don't know if this is rock bottom, but it certainly feels that way.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Chapter 71: Probably Wouldn't Be This Way


It has been three days since I got the news.  Three days.  I have had three days of waiting at home to pack...and wait for AJ to get his shit together.  

The first time I'm going to Butterfly Acres - my fiance's hometown - and it's to bury him.

The call I received was I am sure the worst fear for spouses of cops.  Of course, I will never have that title.
Spouse...wife...of a cop...or at all.

The chief of police called me first because I was listed as Mac's "ICE" person on his phone.  From that point, I suggested that they send police officers to his parents' house.  I had never even spoke with them and I didn't want the first thing out of my mouth to be that their son was killed in some kind of undercover drug take-down.

When I told AJ this he made a joke.  A joke.  Who the hell can make a joke at a time like this?  He said, "Sounds like the only thing taken down was him."

Yeah, what a sweetheart.

I don't think I have slept or stopped crying in these three days and now AJ and I are arriving in Butterfly Acres just in time for Mac's memorial service.  It has been three hours in a car with him and I want to scream.

We fought the whole way and we're still fighting.  AJ has some crazy idea that Mac would get a big kick out of someone dressing up like the grim reaper and showing up at the funeral.

"Are you absolutely insane?!" I scream as we get out of the car.
"Hey, I was just joking," he replies, "Lighten up!"
"How can you joke right now?  Don't you care that your best friend is dead?!"  I start screaming again and he rears back, shocked.

"Hold on just a second..." he starts but I interrupt him.
"Some kind of friend you are," I continue, "he isn't even in the ground and you're making jokes."

Then the fecal matter hit the rotating wind-creating device, as they say.
Up to this point AJ had shown no emotion whatsoever about the passing of his friend, at least not to me.
"Who the hell do you think you are passing judgment on me?!" He screams just as loud.

The expression on his face with so much anger...and this is AJ, Mr. Hothead, that we're talking about.  I am used to watching him blow his gasket over this, that, or the other.
"Just because I don't spend hours on the phone with people crying and wallowing and feeling sorry for myself doesn't mean I'm not upset.  Mac, T, and I were best friends way before any of you bitches came along and if it were up to me, neither of you would be in the picture."  He rants.

I glare at him, "Well, gee thanks, so you're not happy and you don't want happiness for your friends?  Yeah, you're really proving to me what a good friend you are."

He glares right back and replies, "Look, I'm gonna cut you some slack because I know you're upset, but I don't want you taking your shit out on me, got it?"
"Whatever," I reply, which we all know is just another way of saying "F---- you".
"Yeah, whatever," he repeats what I said, "So where are you staying?"

I hadn't really thought that far ahead.  Apparently I have a lot of options.  AJ did open his home to me - or at least his parent's old home, but I don't know if I want to stay with him.  Mac's parents offered to let me stay at their house because even though Mac's older sisters are in town, there is another bed I can sleep in.
Finally, Zoey and Terry offered to let me stay in their new house or at Pops, Terry's dad's.  Of all of them, Z's sounds the best, but we don't really have time to go there before the memorial service at Mac's parents' house, so I go inside and get ready.

When we are ready, the house is literally across the street and then across another street.  When they said they grew up together, they weren't kidding.

We get there and AJ just walks in.  Even though I would have rather had some time to gain my composure, I follow him.

"Now, where is the bar?" AJ asks aloud.
"Could you try to not be you for maybe an hour today?" I ask bitingly.

I look around and see an older woman standing in front of a table crying.  She is soon joined by a blonde-haired man who looks over and nods, then begins to walk over.

The man greets me, "You must be Mac's  You must be Amy."
For some reason listening to my various titles being chosen and then disregarded as inappropriate makes me feel like they are being stripped away.  Tears begin to flow and all I can do is nod.
The man puts his arm on mine, I look into his eyes and see Mac.  This has to be his father.

"I'm sorry dear, it's a pleasure to finally meet you, even under these circumstances.  My name is Michael Cunningham.  I'm Mac's father."  Michael introduces himself and confirms my assumption.
"Oh, of course.  I'm just sorry we couldn't have met earlier," I start to make excuses, "Mac and I talked about making the trip here, but with his job and Bridgeport being so far away from Butterfly Acres, we never found the time..."
Everything I am saying just sounds like an even worse excuse and I feel like I'm just making matters worse, so I stop talking.

"Tell you what," he replies, "all is forgiven if I can get a hug."
I smile as I realize that he has the same ability to put me at ease that Mac did.
"Seems like a small price," I say.
He shrugs and opens his arms, "Looks like you might need one as much as I do."

As he hugs me, I lay my head on his shoulder and feel his small frame wrap around me and I can't help but think of Mac.  Even though Mac has many of his mother's darker features, he resembles his father so much.  His body type is exactly the same and if I close my eyes I can pretend - for just a moment - that Mac is the one holding me.

He pulls away too quickly unfortunately, "There, that's maybe a little better."
I sniffle, "You remind me a lot of Mac...I...I..."
The words aren't there.  I want to tell him just how much his son has meant to me.  How happy he made me in the short time we were together and how he brought me back to life when I didn't even think that was possible.
I look at Michael and realize his eyes are glistening as he says, "He was so excited to introduce us to you.  He loved you very much."
That does absolutely no good in my quest to gain my composure, so even though I am shaking, tears are falling, and I am sniffling in an attempt to not become a snotty mess, I nod my head and smile, managing to get something out, "Me too."

Michael goes on, "Oh, please come in and make yourself at home.  Mac's mother and sister are in the living room.  I am sure they would like to meet you."

I walk into the living room where the woman that was crying before is sitting in front of the television and another woman is sitting behind her at a computer screen.

The younger woman looks up when I walk into the room and flashes me a stunning smile, "Hi, Amy, right?  I'm Ashleigh."
From what Mac has told me, Ashleigh is his second older sister.  He also has an even older sister Rosanna and a younger sister, Libby.

The older woman looks up and speaks in a soft-spoken tone that I struggle to hear, "Hello Amy.  I'm Mac's mother, Carnie.  Please sit down."

I sit down beside Mac's mother but do nothing more.  Ashleigh has gone back to whatever has her attention on the computer and Carnie is looking at me expectantly.

Finally, because I can think of nothing else, I say, "I'm sorry."
Carnie looks contemplative before she speaks, "I'm sorry too."

We sit for another few minutes before I decide to get up and walk around.  I see Zoey and Terry and Mac's other sisters.  I have no idea where AJ is, but I didn't take him to raise, so he's not my problem. 

Suddenly I find myself alone in the front room, where Mac's ashes are on display.
"Why? Why would you come back into my life just to leave so quickly?  I hope you know leaving me here to deal with all this on my own isn't fair."

"Sometimes I talk to him too," a voice from behind me interrupts my conversation.
I turn around, shocked and embarrassed.  

I turn right into his oldest older sister, Rosanna.  
"Oh wow, that's embarrassing..." I stammer.
She gives me a gentle smile that reminds me once again of my deceased fiance and replies, "No, it's okay.  Sometimes I talk to him and I swear I can hear his voice answer me."
She goes on by mimicking Mac perfectly, "Quit bawling, Sis, it's no big deal."
We both laugh.
Tears again fill my eyes as we share our memories.  It's sad when even laughing hurts.


Well, we survived the memorial service and funeral and Amy came directly back to my house and got into her pajamas.  I don't know how long she plans on staying, but I hope I can convince her to move here.  There is really no reason for her to go back.

Either way, I put my badgering on hold to make sure she is okay.  I don't really know what to do at this point.  I wasn't as close to Mac, but my husband and my best friend are both devastated.  Terry has tried to be stoic as he always is, but I know he has to be hurting.  God, if something like this ever happened to Amy...whew, I can't even think about it.

"How is Terry holding up?" Amy takes a break from crying for a minute.
I shrug, "Time will tell I suppose.  He seems okay, but..."
My voice trails off as she nods and says, "Yeah, I get that."
She's quiet again for a few minutes, then continues, "It was nice to meet everyone today...and the service was nice, even though..."
I nod and agree, "Yes, it was."

"Well, I hope you know you can stay here as long as you want...a few days, weeks, forever...whatever you want."  I can't help myself, I really can't.
"Um...well...I don't really know what I'm going to be doing...I..." she stammers.
I look at her with concern, "What is it?"

She looks at me with tears in her eyes once more and says, "I think I might be pregnant."


After leaving Amy's room after picking my jaw up off the floor I come downstairs to my husband quickly wiping tears out of his eyes.
I briefly think about whether or not discuss it or not.

"How are you doing honey?" I ask him.

I have really never seen him so broken and I don't know what to do.  I want to fix this, but I know I can't.

"I'm ok Vi," he says, "Just...I don't know."
"Okay...I don't know what to say to make it better, so I guess that means I can't, but whenever you need me, I'll be here." I tell him.  I figure that's the best I can do.

He looks up at me with a smile I haven't seen in days, "Actually baby, there is something..."
"What is it?" I ask.
I would eat a raw robin's egg at this point to see him smile like that, so I know anything he wants from me I have to make happen.

He takes a deep breath and says, "I think we should have a baby."

For the second time tonight, my jaw hits the floor.