“D-d-d-d-dead?” I whimpered at Dad. He nodded his head sadly at me. I couldn’t breathe. My heart couldn’t pump. It was broken. It wasn’t whole anymore. Tanner was gone. He couldn’t come back. He couldn’t come home, back to the apartment. He couldn’t kiss me again. I could never sleep next to him, or have him wrap his arms around me tightly were he would rub my little bump any more. He was gone. My heart felt hollow like one flinch would shatter it into millions of pieces, to dust. Nothing matter. He was gone. He wouldn’t ever get to meet his beautiful baby girl. He wouldn’t be able to watch her take her first steps, or hear her first words. He wouldn’t be there for her first hair cut or when she loses her first tooth. He would be there to help her ride her bike or her first day of school. He would miss her first boyfriend, her first crush. He would miss her first break up, or her first date. Her wedding when she marries her prince charming, or her father daughter dance. He would ever be Grandpa or he there for her first baby. He wasn’t going to be here for anything. I felt someone shaking me making me look at Dad.
“Baby breath. Come on breath. Think of the baby.” I could barely see through the tears that were rolling harshly down my cheeks. I couldn’t breathe. My lungs didn’t want to work. They didn’t want air, if it wasn’t Tanner’s scent. “Think about your baby! Tanner’s other half. The only thing you have left of him. Think of that. Think of the little girl!” Dad yelled putting his hand on my face. My baby, my baby, my little girl. My little Tanner. My lungs took a sharp breath making them want more and more. My breathing started to slow down till it was normal again. I put my hands on my belly and rubbed it gently watching as she kicked my hand. I rubbed it gently letting my mind so blank. I looked at the bump that was invading my body. My little Tanner. Dad put his hands on top of my hand stopping it from rubbing it. I looked up at him. “I’m sorry baby.” I looked down at my belly and started to rub it again.
“I know Daddy.” I whispered. Dad sighed getting up. He kissed my forehead.
“I’ll be right back okay?” I nodded slowly. I looked down at my belly again watching as she kicked again letting me see her whole foot. I sighed rubbing the ache away as Dad came back in. “Baby can you look at me?” I looked up at Dad who stood next to the doctor holding some papers. “Do you want out of here?” I nodded my head sitting up. Dad looked at the doctor.
“I don’t know if we should let her out of here yet. She was in a 4 month coma. Letting her just go run away isn’t really the smartest idea.” The doctor said folding his arms. I looked up at him from under my lashes.
“Then put her on bed rest I know my daughter and I know she wants out of here.” The doctor looked at me before putting his head down and sighing.
“Bed rest, no nothing. Anything hurts, come back. If she passes out bring her back. Anything out of the ordinary bring her back.” He sighed looking at me. “Nothing I mean it. Only to go to the bathroom. I want you sitting. Do I make myself clear?” I nodded.
“Yes Sir.” I nodded. Dad handed me a bag as I signed the papers and the doctor left. Dad helped me up on wobbly legs and sadly helped me get dressed into some of TJ’s sweat pants and an old t-shirt I loved to wear. I slipped on some sneakers as the nurse brought over a wheel chair. I took a deep breath sitting in it as Dad wheels me over to Mom’s car, which is right in front of the hospital. She got out of it and hugged me tightly.
“You have be so scared Baby.” She whispered kissing me all over my face. “Come on.” I took a deep breath getting out of the wheel chair and into the front seat. We drove home silently; well I was silent as Mom babbled about what I missed when I was sleeping. I looked out the window as everything pasted silently. I watched as we pulled outside the house and walked inside. I walked to my room and just laid down. I closed my eyes rubbing my big belly as it lay on a pillow. TJ knocked on my door gently looking at.
“Hey Sis.” I smiled gently remembering I missed everything for him. He was now sporting his marine hair cut and a pair of dog tags.
“I’m sorry.” I whispered running my fingers over them.
“Don’t be. I wanted to tell you about the funeral is, its tomorrow. We are leaving at 10 okay.” I nodded my head gently as a tear rolled down my cheek. “I love you.” He whispered kissing my forehead.
“I love you too.” I closed my eyes falling to sleep with dreams and memories of Tanner……….
I sat at the funeral silently as I stared at the flag covered coffin as the tears rolled down my face. I had to sit in this wheel chair and watch as they carried the love of my life down into a hole so he was 6 feet under. My heart felt like it was in my throat, clawing its way to the coffin, wanting to be with him forever. I sat with my hands on my belly, holding it tightly. I watched as the Marines in full dress blues saluted him, before they lowered him into the ground, flag and all. I closed my eyes, causing the tears to over flow violently. My head was pounding hard as I cried silently to myself wishing this was all a dream, a very bad dream. I opened my eyes as a marine came over with the folded in his hands. He handed it to me looking down at me as the cold fabric of the flag slid into my fingers. I looked up at the marine to see no other than Hunter, standing there handing me the last thing of the love of my life……………