This is my entry for the Love Letters contest being hosted by Angel Kitty! I hope you enjoy :)
Caroline clung to the railing on her daughter's crib. Nurses fluttered around nearby, whispering amongst themselves. They pitied the twenty two-year-old mother. The gossip was that Caroline's new husband died in Iraq a month before the birth of their baby girl. Now that baby-Melody-barely clung to life. A woman so young shouldn't have to deal with such immense heartbreak in a short span of time.
One of the nurses bravely ventured to speak to the young mother. "Ms. Baker, I know it's not much, but I apologize for all you're going through."
"Thank you," Caroline mumbled. She caressed the baby's pink cheeks. "I wish I could hold her."
"She's a little too fragile right now for that. You could come back tomorrow. It's unlikely her condition will change overnight, and if it does, we'll call you."
"I don't have any way home." Caroline admitted softly. "I can't leave."
The nurse pursed her lips. "Well, my son's an intern at the law firm next door. He should be getting off work in another ten minutes. Would you like me to ask him to drive you home?"
"I guess so." Caroline lightly kissed Melody's forehead. The baby's brilliant blue eyes searched her mother's curiously.
"I'll go ask him right now." The nurse disappeared.
Caroline put a finger on Melody's stomach. Feeling the baby's soft breathing comforted her. It was further proof that her little miracle, Melody, was still alive.
After what felt like only seconds of the precious time Caroline had with her baby, the nurse returned. At her side was a young boy with slightly shaggy jet black locks and piercing green eyes. "Ms. Baker, this is my son, Logan."
Caroline brushed her lips across Melody's cheek, then stood to greet them. "Hello-"
"I'm sorry, Ms. Baker, I forgot to mention. Logan's a bright boy, but he's deaf."
"Oh," Caroline smiled faintly. "That's alright, I don't mind."
"Good." She signed something to Logan, her fingers transitioning from word to word gracefully. Once their unspoken conversation had completed, she patted Caroline's back. "Get going now."
Logan and Caroline sat in a comfortable silence until his GPS had directed him to her townhouse. Unsure of how to thank Logan, Caroline waved. He smiled and returned the gesture before pulling away.
That night, Caroline tried to read. She'd started a new novel by her favorite author, but somehow, she couldn't seem to focus on the words. Her heart was broken. She was alone in the world, and she needed a friend. She sensed that maybe Logan did too.
As soon as humanly possible, she'd made it to the book store, where she purchased a book on sign language. Caroline carefully studied the alphabet, and once she'd mastered that, was able to memorize a few basic responses as well.
Her doorbell rung in the midst of her practicing. Caroline was shocked to see Logan, adorable as she'd recalled, standing at her door. He held up a sketch pad, with the words Would you like me to drive you to the hospital? scrawled in magic marker.
She signed yes, bringing a smile to Logan's face.
Melody's condition worsened over the month of January. Caroline struggled to deal with the reality of her sickly daughter, and when she was away from the baby, spent her time with Logan. Her sign language vocabulary increased daily, until she and Logan could communicate without her having to spell out every single word.
Caroline and Logan didn't ever officially have any dates, but every day after he completed his internship, Logan would pick up Caroline and they would drive somewhere. Anywhere, really. They'd been to the movies, the coffee shop, the zoo, the mall, the pool-anywhere Logan thought might be an escape for her.
On the morning of February 14th, Caroline's slowly recovering life fell back apart. The coldhearted woman on the phone informed her that Melody Sasha Baker had died that morning.
Her doorbell rung at promptly nine A.M.-the same time Logan always came. Unable to deal with the pain flooding through her body, Caroline ignored him.
Every day for another two weeks her doorbell rang. Logan couldn't quit on Caroline, even through her heartbreak. Finally, one morning, Caroline opened the door.
Give me one day with you. Logan signed, his emerald eyes shining pleadingly.
Caroline dredged up the courage to agree. Logan drove her to one of the many sites Caroline had planned to take her daughter when she grew older. The local amusement park was visible from the beachfront, and therefore attracted a large crowd of tourists.
Caroline rolled her eyes when Logan pointed excitedly to a strongman game. He picked up the hammer confidently, winked at Caroline, and slammed hard enough that he actually got a perfect score. His prize was a teddy bear and gift card to a fancy restaurant nearby.
The couple spent another hour at the park, Logan unable to hear Caroline's endless screams on the rollercoasters. When they finally left, Logan insisted they walk through the park to reach the restaurant instead of driving.
Each of them holding an arm of the teddy bear, Logan suggested they hand it to one of the many young children in the park. Caroline asked why, her thoughts travelling to her sweet, beautiful dead child.
Because Logan signed these children need love. I saw how much you had to give to your baby, and how much you give me.
Logan and Caroline had found their own beautiful ending, but perhaps it was the nurse who wore the biggest smile as she watched Caroline sign to her son, I do.