Chapter Twenty- Two
I couldn't move. I felt like the stiffness from my starch gown had mended to my body. Here I lay in this bed, a motionless, lifeless body. I couldn't move. I wasn't scared, I didn't want to. The past day had brought nothing but pain and agony. I could never wish this on my worst enemy. To have to deliver my baby as if she was still live with haunt me. It killed. Not the pain of labor that felt like nothing compared to this pain. I'm heartbroken. I felt like I just wanted to close my eyes and let the darkness consume me. "Carson?" I didn't look up. I was watching the rain drops roll down the windows in my hospital room. "I think she's asleep." The voice dropped to a whisper. My back was facing them. I didn't want to see anyone right now. I wanted to be alone in my pain. Mourn my daughter.
"I would hope so. I can't imagine having to do that. Poor child. So young." I felt like the raindrops fell onto my face as the tear fell. I couldn't feel them fall, just the ones that rolled down my skin.
"I can't imagine not having my children. Not seeing them grown up." I felt like someone was pour lava over my chest. I just wanted them to shut up.
"Can you please leave?" Tucker snapped from the corner of the room. I almost forgot he was there.
"What? Oh-" They must have just realized he was there.
"Just get out." I turned my head to look at him. He looked like hell. His eyes were bloodshot- from lack of sleep or crying- I'm not sure which. His hair was wet from a shower. His face was unshaven leaving the stubble long. He stared at me. He is in as much pain as I am.
"Sir…" She said trailed off as she looked between the two of us.
"Just get out." He whispered standing up from where he was a cross the room. The nurses nodded before scurrying out. He sat down on the bed looking down rubbing my back. "Hi." He whispered. I blinked at him. "Can I lay with you?" I nodded. He helped me move over on the bed before curling up on my back. He laid his head on my shoulder holding me close to him. We didn't need words. Neither of us. We just needed each other. I felt his hand down my arm till his hand was on top of mine as his fingers took hold of my engagement ring and spun it gently on my finger. The gently motion put me right to sleep….
"Tucker?" My father's voice came into room making me open my tired eyes.
"Yeah?" He said clearing his throat rubbing his eye with his free hand.
"You guys ready to go?" He walked into the room with Sarah behind him. I squinted at him my eyes throbbing at the pain of the motion.
"Yeah, I'm thinking she just wants to go home now." Sarah put my bag on my bed as Dad and Tucker went out to sign me out. Sarah helped me change into a pair of sweats and an old t-shirt.
"Mama." I whispered whimpering as I fell back asleep.
"I know bab-sweetheart." She said catching herself. She kissed my head helping me sit up handing me a water bottle to sip at. We left soon after but I don't remember it. I just remember falling asleep in the car. My dreams were full of her birth. My little baby's birth. They made me hold her. They had me star at her. I had to stroke her tuff of hair. It was if she was only sleeping. As if I was to wake her up. She was perfect. Even at 6 months early, she looked like her father. I lost my baby. I already loved her and now I loved her that much more. But she was gone. They took her away from me after I broke down crying. I woke up wiping my cheeks as we had got to the house. The memory hurts just as much as living in the moment. I just want to go back to the summer. Back when everything was normal. I walked into the house slowly. I shook my head at Saint who whimpered at me wagging his tail. He crouched down following me as I walked into my room falling onto my bed. He jumped up crawling onto my lap as I dropped my head to his and cried for my loss….
"Car, Sweetheart, it's time to wake up." I felt the movement under my head making me open my eyes. "Come on Sweets," I buried my head in my new furry pillow. Saint barely left my side ever since I came home from the hospital. He left to do his business and eat. I haven't left the bed. I just slept and stared at the wall. It's been a week since that day. I clutched onto Saint closing my eyes again. "Normally I'd let you sleep Car, but you have to get up. We have to go to the Funeral." I opened my eyes to look at her. "I know. Come on. Let's get you showered and ready." I sat up looking at her. "I have everything picked out. I just need you to shower for me." She said gently. I took the quickest shower I've taken in a while and dried my hair as Sarah rushed around my room getting everything read before getting me dressed.
"You two ready?" Dad asked standing in the doorway in his Dress Uniform. I didn't want to be up. I wanted back into my bed, back under the covers. Back to my comfort zone. I was in a lite black dress in some black shoes. I didn't know what my hair looked like and I don't care. "Come on." Dad smiled weakly as I picked up the monkey off my bed. The monkey. I had bought it the day after I fought out I was pregnant. It was going to be their first stuffed toy. She'll never get to see it. For some reason though, I kept it close to my heart. I clutched the monkey close, tightly in my hand. It was the only thing left I had of her.
"We should really get going." Sarah said as we walked out of the house. I couldn't find my voice. I had nothing to say. I couldn't call for a thing. I didn't want to talk. I didn't want to hear my voice. I didn't want to see myself. I can't stand myself. I just wish it was different. Saint whimpered from my bed as I padded his head before Sarah ushered us out. I couldn't voice my opinion. I felt like I couldn't even breathe. I watched in horror as everything unfolded. I watched as we all sat in church with that little casket sat up on the alter. I couldn't help it. I cried. Daddy held me tightly to his chest as halfway through I couldn't. I cried silently. I clutched her monkey and cried. Tucker held my shoulders as the preacher went on.
I couldn't stop crying. I just couldn't. It hurt my chest beyond belief. Tucker held me as we were driven off to the cemetery. I clutched him so tight my knuckles went white. He deserved better. I didn't speak to him; I didn't help him get through this. He was just helping me. I'm an extremely selfish person. We stood at the foot of the little grave. The dirt was there, just open to the world. I watched painfully as my little baby was lowered into the ground before all the dirt came crashing down on her. As the dirt fell so did my knees. They couldn't hold me up anymore. If Tucker didn't have his hands on me holding me up, I'd be on the ground. I stood there was what seemed like hours. I stared at the ground. The funeral was over. Sarah and Dad left after Tucker said he'd stay with me. They hadn't seen JJ. He'd been staying with Grandma and Grandpa since we found out about what happened. I felt terrible for keeping them from their son. But I know I couldn't look at JJ. Not after I just lost my baby. I lost a part of me, and they still had theirs. It hurt even know I know it shouldn't.
Tucker had his head on my shoulder as I watched a man put the gravestone on the new grave. I read it and re-read it over and over again. From the letters of her name to the single date on the stone. The little ribbon on the bottom etched into the stone with the little footprints.
In Memory of Chloe Sarah Brown
Lost Before Her Time
I could never thank Sarah enough for everything she has done. She's my Mama now. She's proved it. I could never wish for a better Mama. I can't believe she's gone. I wish this was just a terrible, terrible nightmare. I shade of light blue caught my eye. On the headstone was a simple butterfly, more beautiful than I've ever seen. It fluttered its wings landing on Chloe's name. "Tucker look." I whispered making his head instantly look. We watched as the butterfly flew up so it was flying around us. He took my hand holding the two of our hands out flat together. The butterfly fluttered into my palm - as mine was on top- and laid its wings down.
"It's like a sign." He said watching at the wings went up and down like a baby clapping its hands.
"Mam-maw used to tell me a butterfly meant new life." Tucker looked at me as the butterfly flew back onto the grave marker. "She also said that every time you saw one, it was a dead relative coming to check on you." I watched the butterfly as it moved swiftly off the stone and into the air again. "Do you believe her?" I asked quietly as my voice was weak.
"Do you?" He asked going back to his position with his head on my shoulder.
"Yeah. I do." I watched as the beautiful butterfly flew away from us. I really do.