Rick guided me out of the hospital and out to his truck and opened the door for me. We didn't speak the whole way to the truck but as soon as he was in the truck he grabbed me and kissed me deeply. I felt butterflies run through me as he tightened his hold on my back and pulled me as close to him as he could. I felt a wetness against my face and knew it was tears. I quickly pulled back and held on to his face.
"Rick, Rick are you alright?"
I heard him take in a deep breath. "Yes my love, you are coming home so I am doing just fine. I was so worried about you. All that blood and I thought you were dead. I thought I had lost the best thing that had come into my life. Please, please don't ever do that to me again. I know it wasn't your fault and I wish I would have stayed, I just had this odd feeling and-"
I put my hand over his mouth. "Breath Rick, I am alright and that is all that matters. It won't happen again, I promise I won't let it happen again. I will be ready next time and he won't get the chance to put his hands on me again."
I felt him grasp my hands tightly. "Move in with me Mara, stay with me so I know that you are safe, please."
I sighed. "Rick, right now I can't. I am used to my home and until I know what type of working shape Molly is in, I can't do anything. I don't know where my life status is right now and that scares me so much. Dan and I had a system and now that is out the window. I can't just sit around and do nothing, it isn't who I am. I want to give my kids the best and you know that I am too stubborn to take help from anyone. I need to see what the status in my life is before I start to change things. I promise I will give you a key to the place and you are always and I mean always welcome. Give us some time to see where we go and then we will see alright."
I heard him sigh. "Alright Mara. I worry about you but I can understand. It has to be hard for you right now with your world up ended, but know that I will always be there for you. No matter what and I am going to be there so often you are going to get sick of me. Those kids and I have bonded so well it's crazy. They are so much fun."
I laughed. "Yes they are. It is a shame that I can't watch them run and play, but Molly always made sure that they were alright for me. I just don't know what I am walking into right now and I am less sure of what my professional life holds for me. I don't want to have to train someone else on how to work with me, but if that is the only way to keep my job you can bet your ass I will do it. I like my independence and I won't let anyone take it from me no matter what."
He laughed. "Hey, down girl I got it. Alright I will take you back to your place and stay for tonight to make sure that you are alright, tomorrow we will talk to your boss and see what we can find out and then we will go from there. You have to rest for me today though alright?"
I growled and he started to laugh as he put the truck in gear and headed for the house. It was such a serene ride with the windows down and the wind blowing over my face. I felt so at peace in that moment and I loved it. I knew that the trauma was going to come back, but I was strong enough, I always had been. My past was riddled with pain and sorrow, I had learned to cope with it more than most would. I felt Rick grab my hand and I smiled. Not to mention that in that moment I had the most amazing person to help me through it all. As we came to a stop I heard a bunch of voices coming from a place a ways off. I stayed put as I heard Rick get out, the sound of his boots on the gravel and dirt made me smile even more. His steps were so sure and I knew that he would protect me.
"Mar, I'm gonna open the door for you alright." I nodded my head as the door opened and he took my hand to help me out.
He walked slowly as he helped me into the house. Each step was careful to make sure that I didn't trip. He helped me up the front steps and opened the door for me. All of the noise died down except for two voices that brought tears to my eyes.
I was bowled over by Tori and Teagan yelling "Momma". I hugged them tightly to me and I knew that my life was the way it should be in that moment.