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Unexpected Love Story (Love 2) Natasha Madison 2022/8/3 13:50:42

“Listen, Hailey. I know you want to see him, I do. I know. But I’m going to be very honest with you. You won’t recognize him.” I stop talking to take a deep breath and push down my sorrow and sadness. “I promise you that if I thought seeing him would help you, I would bring you to him right now, but it’s not Eric. It’s not your husband.” I can’t stop the tears that slip out. I can’t stop the look of pain she gives me, either. Tortured. Broken. Empty.

“This is a dream, right?” Tears fall down her face again, making new tracks. “This isn’t happening to me. It’s not him, right? It’s just a terrible misunderstanding. That’s the only way any of this would make any sense.” She almost begs me to tell her it isn’t him. And at that moment, I want to. I want to go back there and pound on his chest until his heart starts beating again. At that moment, I know miracles don’t fucking happen.

“I’m so sorry, honey. It’s him. I wish I could take your pain away. I would do anything to take it away.” I walk to her and wrap my arms around her. My hand meets her cold body; it’s almost as if she is standing in the middle of a snowstorm without a jacket. Her sobs start quietly, but before long, the wails fill the room. And as she slowly goes limp in my arms, I hold her body as much as I can till we are both on the floor, her body lying in my lap, as I take in her closed eyes.

“Blake!” I scream. The door is opened, and he rushes in. “Get Dawn.” He turns to run away as I lift her arm, taking her pulse. It’s elevated, but I wouldn’t expect anything less.

Dawn rushes in the room with Dr. Arnold right behind her. “I think she fainted, I caught her before she hit her head,”

I tell them as Dr. Arnold takes her vitals and checks her.

“She’s in shock. What do you want to do?” He looks at me. “We can keep her here, or you can take her home.”

“Home,” Blake and I both say. “The last thing she needs is to be in a room two feet away from her dead husband,” I whisper to him, and he nods his head.

Blake walks over and picks her up in his arms for the second time today. “Help me put her in my truck,” he tells me as my uncle holds up my aunt, who is quietly sobbing in his arms. I follow Blake out to his truck, opening the door so he can place Hailey in the seat. The brown fucking bag clutched in her hands so tightly, her fingertips are white. Nothing will take that bag away from her. Nothing will let her drop it.

The sun heats my face as I stand here watching him buckle her in. After closing the door, he says, “Get in.” I just nod at him, open the back door, climb in, and fasten my seat belt. As I look out the window, I grab my phone that I had in the back of my scrub pants and text Dawn. It’s the only thing I took when I walked out with Hailey.

I’m on my way to Hailey’s.

She texts me back right away.

We got you covered. Don’t worry about us. Let me know if you need anything.

I smile and put my phone away. I need fucking tequila or whiskey. We pull up to Hailey’s house before I even have a chance to decide. I jump out of the truck, opening the passenger door to unbuckle her, and help her get out.

I follow Blake and Hailey as they walk up the step to her house, their house. The house where Eric and Hailey lived.

I walk in and take in the house. You know right away Eric is home. As an aircraft engineer, he was always on the road, but when he was home, his things were all over the house. A tossed sweater here; an empty mug by the couch. And now is no different. His sweater is tossed over the couch. Hailey walks over to the mug left beside the couch and picks it up.

“He just got home last night,” she whispers at us, looking up. “Maybe if he didn’t come back, he would still be here. Maybe,” she trails off in a whisper. I look at Blake, telling him silently to get rid of anything that shouldn’t be out of place. He knows what I mean by just a look, walking to the kitchen, and I turn to walk toward Hailey.

“Why don’t I take you upstairs and you can lie down for a bit?” l ask. She sets the mug and brown paper bag down, walking toward the stairs.