Present Day – December 2010
The precariously balanced aluminum casserole dishes made me wary. I just knew I was going to trip and they’d all go tumbling. I picked my way carefully to the car and waited for Dad to open the trunk for me. He took a few from the top of the stack and set them inside.
“So,” I said as I set the rest down, “Does mom think I don’t make enough to feed us or something?”
“Oh son, you know she just wants to make sure y’all are taken care of. This is her way of trying not to be too pushy,” his raised eyebrow made me smile.
I raised mine in return. “THIS-” I motioned to the 15 casserole dishes in my trunk “isn’t pushy?”
He guffawed loudly and I joined him, closing the trunk on our months worth of meals.
“Are you stopping by to hang with mom later? You know Pam would love to see you,” I plucked my keys from my pocket as I walked to the driver’s side door.
“Yeah, I’m just finishing something up in the studio. Then I’ll be over and I’m staying all night,” his eyes turned shifty and I knew something was up.
Oh well. I guess we all had our secrets sometimes.
“Alrighty then. We’ll see you when we get back,” I gave him a wave as he turned to walk back in the house. Then I started the car, anxious to get home to Sookie.
“She didn’t say what it was? Just that I should be there?”
I glanced over at Sookie. Once again her lip was pulled between her teeth and her eyes cut up to meet mine.
“Yeah. You don’t think it’s something serious, do you?” Her brow knitted together and I knew she was holding back tears.
I took her hand gently and pulled it up to place a kiss on it.
“No love. You said she sounded happy. Well-as happy as Ludwig can sound anyways,” she chuckled at my feeble attempt at humor.
Oh well, at least she thinks I’m funny.
“Okay, here we are,” she sucked in a shaky breath. “Let’s go.”
She pushed the door open and approached the receptionist as I took a seat. Why didn’t Ludwig campaign to have these kinds of chairs in the hospital? I think my backs still fucked up from staying the hospital with Sookie for so long.
“Babe. Yo, Eric!” I snapped out of my musings to see her, wide eyed and holding her hand out to me. “They said we can go back.”
I stood and clasped her hand in mine as we followed the nurse. She showed us not into an exam room, but into a plush office. Now my nerves spiked a bit.
Dr. Ludwig sat behind her desk and beamed at us. She motioned for Sookie and me to sit in the chairs in front of the desk and then nodded to the nurse, who shut the door as she left.
“So, I’ve asked you both to come in today because I have the results from all of Sookie’s tests. I’ve also asked Dr. Kaplan to be here as well-” Sookie’s sharp intake of breath as her head whipped around to stare behind us cut her off.
“Why?! Why would Doc need to be here? What’s wrong with me?” Her lip quivered as she fought to catch her breath. Dr. Kaplan darted forward but I waved him off.
“Sookie, love-” I pulled her into my lap and turned her head to mine, forcing her to look in my eyes. “Breathe. In. Out. In. Out. “
I breathed deeply with her, watching the tension leave her. Now if only I could make my own heart stop racing at the possibility that something could be wrong with her.
“Oh dear. This isn’t what I wanted. There’s nothing wrong with you!”
Our heads whipped up to stare at Dr. Ludwig as she rolled her eyes. “Has she been overreacting like this to things lately?”
I could have smacked that tiny little doctor as she chuckled.
Sookie huffed on my lap. “I’ve had a hard year. Sorry.”
I tried to stifle a grin as she turned her head into my shoulder and pouted. I kissed her hair and continued to rub circles on her back.
Dr. Kaplan didn’t quite succeed in stifling his laugh and I felt Sookie glaring at him over my shoulder.
“Oh for fucks sake!” Dr, Ludwig barked. “She’s overreacting because she’s hormonal. Congratulation you two, she’s pregnant!”
I froze. Sookie froze. The doctors beamed at us.
I was still stuck on the word pregnant.
Sookie thawed before me and she turned slowly to stare at the tiny doctor.
“Pregnant. With child. Knocked up. In the family way. Bun in the oven. Prego. Preggers. How many ways do I have to spell it out?” The smile she was shooting our way was in stark contrast to her tone.
My brilliant mouth had decided to open and Dr. Kaplan scoffed at my attempt to say something intelligent. I couldn’t find the words to match the array of feelings shooting through me. Sookie and I created a life…I was still stuck on how amazing that fact was.
“I don’t know how-well I know HOW…but her hormones levels are apparently fine now. Last time we checked they weren’t. That’s when her endocrinologist called. But…something must have changed. Because, hey! You’re pregnant!” Dr. Ludwig explains like we hadn’t been told that this was a near impossibility.
We sat there in shock for a few minutes. Dr. Ludwig and Dr. Kaplan just muttered quietly amongst themselves while we thought this through. The hope and excitement began building as I held my whole life in my arms.
Both doctors turned to look at us. I looked up to Sookie in confusion. Unknowingly I held my breath.
“What?” It sounded like we’d planned to say it simultaneously.
Sookie glared at Dr. Ludwig. “This isn’t funny. There is absolutely no way that I’m pregnant. That’s what Dr. Reyes said. He said ‘no way’. No fucking way for me to be pregnant. Why the fuck would you be this cruel?” Her eyes glassed over with unshed tears and her cheeks were tinged red with anger.
My eyes widened at the venom in her voice. Both doctors stared at us with identical wide eyes.
“Sookie, we’re not joking around. We’re not teasing. You ARE pregnant,” Dr. Kaplan looked nervous.
“Judging by the hormone levels I’d say about…6 weeks or so,” Dr. Ludwig consulted the folder in front of her, nodding.
I took her face in my hands and turned her to face me. Her eyes looked so wide and frightened and my heart broke for her.
“Love. Why would they joke like this? They were there the whole time…through everything. Think about it, lover. A baby. We’re going to have a baby,” I felt the tears sparkling in my eyes.
She blinked. “Really?”
She looked at the doctors once again. They nodded back to her, beaming. She whipped around to face me, the ends of her hair stinging my cheek.
“We’re gonna have a baby.”
Her eyes widened even more, though I have no idea how that was possible.
“Oh FUCK! We’re gonna have a BABY!”
I squeezed her to me and crashed my lips onto hers.
I vaguely heard the doctors mutter about leaving us alone. I also caught a strict order from Ludwig not to defile any of her furniture, but I paid her no mind. I wove my hands through Sookie’s hair and cradled her head gently.
Our tongues dueled for dominance until finally we had to break apart, gasping for breath.
“A baby…” She rested her forehead against mine. “I can’t believe it.”
“Are you happy, love?” I was barely managing to contain my own joy trying to talk rationally with my girl. I felt like jumping up and down and shouting from the rooftops!
“Yes. I think I’m still in shock, but I know that I’m happy. Are you? We never really talked about it after…December. Ya know besides after Reyes’ call,” she nibbled on her lip and my cock twitched. God was she fucking beautiful.
“I’m more than happy Sookie. I never thought my life would be as good as it is. And it’s all because of you,” I stroked a finger down her cheek and saw the tears glimmering in her eyes. Happy? God I was ecstatic! My girl was giving me a baby!
What else in life could possibly be so…perfect?
“I love you. So fucking much!” The tears finally spilled over and flowed down her cheeks. A few of my own made their way out and down my cheeks, but I didn’t fucking care.
“And I love you,” I placed my hand on her taut stomach. “Both of you.”
Early August 2007
My cell phone rang with an annoyingly peppy pop song dedicated to my Sookie.
“Hey love. I’m almost done and I’ll be heading home in a few hours. Just need to-“
My heart dropped. Something was wrong. Sookie’s voice sounded all kinds of fucked up. I heard a sniffle and I jumped out of my chair, grabbing my keys.
“Sookie, what? What’s wrong?”
My heart beat wildly in my chest, trying to break free and fly to her on its own. I darted out the back door of the club, ignoring the yelp one of the waitresses let out as I flew past her.
My heart stopped momentarily as I flashed back to her admission in the hospital. How much of a high it’d been to cut. I’d officially passed worried and was working on a panic level.
“From where Sookie? Did you cut yourself?!”
I felt the panic bubbling up and I jammed the key into the ignition, mashing my foot on the gas pedal a little too hard. The car jumped forward violently before it evened out and I was able to veer out of the nearly empty parking lot. My mind was racing with possibilities as I waited for her answer.
“No. Just-get home.” She choked out a sob.
The click sounded deafening in my ear as she hung up the phone. My heart leapt into my throat as a million different scenarios ran through my mind-her voice sounded so dead. It brought me back all too quickly to the hospital last December and I shuddered. No, this was not happening, not now!
I slipped on the porch steps as I raced inside, flinging the door open and frantically searching for my girl.
“Sookie? Sookie!” I searched every room, my panic growing more and more profound when I didn’t find her. I ran into our bedroom and skidded to a stop as I saw her in the adjoining bathroom, sitting on the floor with her back to the tub and her knees curled into her chest.
Without thought, I rushed to her side dropping to my knees in front of her. Cradling her face in my hands I brought her eyes up to mine, searching for any hint of what was wrong.
“Sookie, why didn’t you answer me?! What happened?” I began stroking her cheeks with my thumbs.
Slowly-so slowly that I felt every second tick past like it’d taken an hour-she brought her eyes up to mine.
“It’s my fault.”
I stared into her eyes, at a complete loss.
Huh? I was going over every memory I had, frantic to understand what she was saying.
“It’s my fucking fault. Everything about this is my fucking fault. I-I fucked up too bad. I’m just not supposed to…it’s all my fucking fault.” I could hear the defeat in her voice and my chest clenched in fear.
She trembled as her head dropped again.
“What?! What’s your fault love? You’re not making sense, baby. Please, please talk to me!” The hysteria I was feeling was an unwelcome sensation, one I hadn’t felt since I’d walked in and found her unconscious all those months ago.
“I lost it.”
My brow furrowed in confusion. “Lost what? Sookie, what are you talking about?”
Her eyes found mine a moment later and the pain that shone out nearly had me doubling over. As gently as I could, I lifted her and carried her into the bedroom. I sat on the bed, pulling her into my chest as we reclined against the headboard. Still, she reminded silent and passive in my arms.
“Sookie, love-you’re scaring me. What did you lose? What is your fault?”
“I lost the baby.”
My heart stopped. I felt my grip slacken for a moment as I stared dumbly at her. Her eyes watered and she began pulling away from me. I shook myself as I grabbed her to me and buried my head in her shoulder.
“I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m so so sorry,” she repeated her apology over and over as she cried into my chest.
Tears leaked from my eyes as I inhaled her unique Sookie scent.
“There’s nothing to be sorry for, lover. This is NOT your fault.” I said the words and I truly believed them, but it didn’t hurt any less. Not knowing how to support her in this moment and not knowing how I needed to be supported either, I hugged her tight.
My heart broke as she began sobbing into my chest. And I began sobbing right along with her.