4

Life and Death- Baby 50

Strong language used in this post. Nothing really serious though. 13 and up.

“Aren’t you looking beautiful today!” Alex wolf-whisted. I did a little twirl for him and he grinned at me. His hands lightly touched my back and I pulled him in for a kiss. His lips were dry and the kiss was unpleasant though I wrapped my arms tighter around his muscular waist. Closing my eyes, I began to sway. I began to re-create the moment when Jones and I danced under the moonlight.

“Enjoying the dance?” Alex asked me as he nuzzled my ear.

“Funny, we hardly dance anymore.”

“I know,” I muttered, letting my head rest on his chest.

“You don’t seem to want to anymore.”

I pulled away from him disgustedly and stormed off, across our bedroom, back in Appaloosa Plains.

“Natalie, stop it!”

“Stop what?” I turned my head around and glared at him.

“Stop storming off and leaving me standing here and letting me know fuck-all what I did wrong!”

“You know what you did wrong!” I cried, sitting on the bed and turning away from him. Tears began to stream down my face. “Y-You bloody well know what you did wrong,” I mumbled to myself, my speech jerky with tears.

“Natalie, face me, dammit!” Alex roared and I whipped my head around to see his face was purple. I stared at him, tying to be calm, but I couldn’t be calm, I won’t. “I’m sick of you blaming me for something I don’t even know I did! You don’t love me,” His voice lowered. “You know who you love.”

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“I do love you!” I cried in desperation.

“Oh Natalie,” Alex laughed humorlessly. “No you don’t. You’re in love with Jones.”

“Oh Alex that’s completely wrong!” I cried and jumped into his arms. “I love you, Alex, I love you.”

“Oh all right,” Alex laughed. I knew he didn’t believe me. We shared another kiss and he placed me down on the bed. He began to unbutton his shirt and I looked away. If I closed my eyes I’d imagine  the night of my wedding again.

“Erm, mom, dad?” I turned around to see Callie in the doorway with an apron on. “We’re having a formal dinner-a dinner that we made- in the dining room so if you’d get dressed and ready we’d begin as soon as you come down.”

“Thanks Callie,” I grinned warmly and stood up and winked at Alex.  “We’ll be down soon.”

“I have a letter, I see,” Alex flipped through the mail that the domestic worker had put next to our bed. “From the army.”

“Oh?” I queried, hopping into some clean underwear.

“I’ll read it out to you.

“Sargent Alexander Anders,

Your trial in Afghanistan is approaching shortly. If you haven’t received my previous letter, my deepest apologies. As a reminder, your trial will begin on the 15th of  January 2013. If all goes well, you should be back on the 17th of March. There will be a time when you come home, from the 13th to the 15th of February. These two days are our thanks to you for serving our country for the past 10 years.

Details will arrive shortly.”

“A-Alex?”

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“Finally, those bastards have given me what I had always wanted.” He laughed shortly. “Not the best timing, with my pregnant wife and my oldest son getting married. My oldest child, Britney, pregnant. My other 3 kids all heading to college. I’m a fucking grandpa. I have 6 grandkids! And now they decided to call me.”

“You’re thirty and thriving, honey!” I smiled and kissed him on the cheek.

“And you’re 21 and pregnant.” He smiled weakly and kissed me lightly back.

Not with your child.

“Barely pregnant. You can hardly see it. By the way, did Robin get one too?”

“Nope, he’s already served his time.”

I was getting into my dress when suddenly Clayden screamed. “Mom! Dad! There’s a fire! CARL!”

“Carl!” I ran down the stairs with Alex on my heels. “CARL!”

I was suddenly blinded by extreme heat and I immediately protected my face. Only for a moment. A mother’s love is not stopped by heat. Nothing can stop it, to be honest.

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“Clayden, Callie, get the hell out of there!” Alex yelled. Callie fell out the furnace of a kitchen and choked for a moment. I rushed to her and gave her a kiss before I rushed off to tend to the boys and she went to call the Fire Brigade.

“Carl!” I screamed as I saw his body briefly through the flames. I watched the flames lick all across his small 10 year old body. I reached  in for him and I screamed with agony as the fire devoured my arm, leaving angry red marks as I pulled my arm away.

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“Mommy, don’t worry about me,” Carl’s voice said softly to me. “I love you, mommy. I don’t want you to die because of me.”

“No, Carl! No Carl, don’t think that way!” I sobbed as I attempted to battle through the flames again.

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“Carl I love you so much! I-I-I love you!” Suddenly I was pushed aside by a firefighter who attempted to put out the fire. Once the fire was out I searched for my boy. But all I saw was a charred body. My son.

I let out an agonizing yell, a yell brought on by not the agony of the pain, but the grief of loosing a child.

“Clayden!” Alex sobbed. “Clayden!”

I looked and saw Clayden’s body, limp and lifeless, in Alex’s arms. he only had light burns on his legs.

“Asthma attack.” The words hit me like a ton of bricks. I let out a strangled sob.

“He’s in a better place.” The firefighter patted me reassuringly on my shoulder and I stiffened. I suddenly embraced Alex, and we cried together and comforted each other.

I think that’s the moment when I knew I loved him.

~*<3*~

“I’m so sorry, Natalie…” Ashby said sympathetically. I stared at my cellphone with tears lining the lids of my eyes.

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“I-I know you are.” I choked out. “And I thank you, so much ,though I’d rather like it if we didn’t talk about that.”

“Of course! Let’s talk about Jones then. Well, I met his new girlfriend. Latrica Richter. Beautiful girl.”

“Oh.” I sat down on the bed and tears streamed down my face.

“Yeah, she’s really beautiful, they are so in-”

“Ash, I-I need to go.”

“Ok, bye Nata-”

I switched off my phone and chucked it across the room and began to sob.

*Jones’s POV*

“Latricia.” I opened my door to see her half dressed at 9 pm at night.

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“Jones.”

She suddenly kissed me, lifting her legs so I was forced to carry her. She began to kiss me so passionately that I couldn’t help but think of her lips as Natalie’s on mine that night. I closed my eyes, forcing out the memories of my married best friend.

The radio was blasting in the kitchen and the song that was playing suddenly made me think how true it was for Latricia.

You’re perfect on the outside, but nothing at the core
It’s easy to forget when you show up at my door
Stop messing with my mind, cause you’ll never have my heart
But your perfect little body makes me fall apart,
Your perfect little body makes me fall apart

I closed my eyes and let her kiss me. What the hell, having her kiss me allowed me to finally imagine Natalie was there. That Natalie was mine.

But she wouldn’t ever be.

~*<3*~

I packed the final shirt in my suitcase. That was all my stuff. I was ready for my trip to Riverview.

As I closed the door of my house I felt a rear trickle down my cheek. It was final, I was leaving. I wasn’t leaving him, though I was leaving this stage in my life. It was hard for me, albeit best for me.

By the time I was in Riverview with a pregnant belly so huge guilt had overridden me. But contractions had the upperhand.

“Ok, calm down ma’am, your baby will be coming soon.” The midwife tried to comfort me, though I couldn’t be calm, I won’t be calm. Alex always stayed with me through the births.  This is the first time since we were going out that I was all alone.

As the final contraction arrived I put my hand out urgently, searching for the usual reassuring squeeze of warmth from Alex. Nothing.

I let out another strangled plea. The midwife took this as a cry of pain. “It’s going to be over soon Honey,” She grinned at me.  “A couple more pushes and this baby’s here!”

Ok. I can do this.

Baby 50. I can’t wait to meet you.

Ok, one more push Natalie!”

Baby 50. Let’s do this.

~*<3*~

Dear Alex,

I know you check your email every day so I’m emailing this to you. I know you are wondering where I am, and to be honest with you, I’m with your son Damon in Riverview. He’s beautiful. I’ve never came across such a stunning child. He looks mostly like me though.

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I love you Alex. But I have to battle these demons of my past. This is a past you’ll never understand. Hell, I’ll never understand half of what happened to me. Though as Jones, Cassy and Electra said, I’m sinking into depression. And if I don’t sort this out on my own, you’ll never get me back. I’m on the edge of a black hole and I’m trying desperately not to be sucked in. 

I know you feel that I’m in love with Jones and don’t know it. You’re wrong. I don’t love him, though I do love him as my best friend. I love him , but not in the way I love you.

I know you want to come and get me, and I know I am missing the funerals, and I bloody well DO know I’m missing saying goodbye to you as you serve your time in the military. I never could say goodbye. Whether it’s goodbye to you for a short time or goodbye to Clayden and Carl forever.

I’m sure you want me to come back, but I can’t. I can’t yet.

Because to solve the problems of the present, I need to first solve the problems of the past.

x Natalie

7

Lost in the midst of so many I-love-you’s

The end is gonna pull on your feels so much like it did with me I’ll give a quick thanks etc now.

Thanks  A BILLION to Ebony Malone, aka Electra Danton, for writing the sexual content of this post I never would’ve been able to. On another note, this post is rated 13. Parent’s permission if you’re younger than that to read this, please.  Oh, and thanks to Becks Best for letting me use some of her pics. :3

Anyway, enjoy.

(Sorry for the lack of pictures.)

~*<3*~

“Ready to go?”

No, Alex, I’m not ready. I’m not even sure how I dragged myself out of bed this morning. I don’t know how I kissed you this morning, how I pressed my body against yours, without vomiting in revolt.  I love you, I’m sure I do, but you know nothing  about me. I couldn’t even tell you about what happened with Adrian. That would lead to a lengthy discussion about my past and why I even began the challenge. But as far as you know, you know the smart, athletic , well organized, sane side of me.

But Jones doesn’t.

Jones knows the crazy, eccentric, somewhat Luna Lovegood side of me. He knows the dreamy, carefree, hopeless romantic…He knows the girl who couldn’t help but get her heart broken. The girl I was in college. The girl I truly am today.

Then there was the awkward, too-big- for- your- tall- legs stage. I was probably the ugliest teenager you could imagine. Though Jones still loved me for it.

I found myself doing this, this whole thinking of Jones 24/7. I had my chance. Now I’m married. It’s not really good for me to think about him. Especially not think about that night. 

“Erm…yeah. Just let me finish my make-up and I’ll be ready to go soon.”

Alex walked up to me and began to dab at my cheeks with his fingers.

“Bloody hell, what in God’s name are you doing to my face?” I fought with his fumbling fingers.

“I’m toning down the blusher, it’s not a flattering shade on you.” He removed his fingers from my face and began to pick up my luggage.

I frowned and sighed in annoyance. I wasn’t wearing blusher. I looked in the mirror and saw my face looking like a swollen beetroot with eyes and a nose.  If this is what I look like, just imagining the night we spent together…Imagine how I looked on the actual night!

Why am I thinking of this of my best friend? Not my amazingly sexy husband?

If it wasn’t for Adrian, I wouldn’t be feeling this way towards my husband. I would be falling into his arms all the time, always accepting his kisses, always being the perfect wife. Then again, I can’t really blame Adrian for everything. I can’t blame his for my attraction for Jones- albeit I can blame him for many terrible things that have happened to me.

I pulled my jacket up higher on my small frame. I had been gaining weight back and I’d dyed my hair the flattering shade of brown. I looked sexy. I looked…like me. I look like there was no cancer that had bruised my life.

I walked out the door of our motel, smiling in the sunshine of the halfway point, Florida. Alex touched me lightly on the but. I stiffened.

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“Come on, honey.” Alex put his arm around me. I was stiff in his embrace. I stayed stiff, in my emotions, from the motel to the airport. Dragging my luggage along, at roughly 6 pm, I was already knackered.

“Go to sleep, love,” Alex said. “I love you.”

I turned my back on him and sighed deeply, closing my eyes and looking out the window to the waters far far below me.

“Smile Natalie! Come on you’re married! Give him a kiss!” The photographer yelled. I looked up at Jones and stared in his eyes, not noticing the snap of the camera. Then I lifted my lips to his and kissed his for a third time as man and wife. I turned away from him for a moment and we both grinned in the camera. Our bridal party rushed into their places and we took a picture. I glanced around my surroundings. 

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This is the ugliest place possible to take a picture guys,” I giggled. “Aren’t we supposed to be taking pictures later?”

“We were trying to get some alone time,” Jones smiled back and ran a finger down my neck.

“And we thought it was picture time, so we all followed you guys in,” Electra explained.  “Sorry, I know better than that! What’s the saying? Leave newly-weds to run into backrooms or you’ll be scarred for life?”

“Pretty much,” Jones laughed. “You know Natalie and I pretty well already Electra.” I began to laugh. I began to cry with laughter, cry with this elation I felt because I’m near him. I couldn’t describe it any other way. I laughed more and more until suddenly, the laughter stopped.

“Natalie! Natalie, wake up. We’re in Italy!” Alex shook  me violently. “Natalie! Nat-a-leeeeeee.”

“Jones?” I asked groggily.

“Alex,  sweetheart. You must’ve been dreaming about your childhood. You and Jones are such close friends.”

“We are,” I said over-brightly. “Best of friends!” I sat up suddenly and I hit my head on the overhead container. I yelped in pain and sat down , and I stayed quiet for the rest of the drive out of the international airport.

“We’re nearly in Florence,” Alex informed me several hours later. “Natalie, you look pretty ill. Are you ok?”

“Fine,” I grunted. I looked at my watch. 9 am.

“Car sickness?” Alex asked with a look of concern on his face. “These roads are so damn thin and winding.”

I nodded meekly. I switched on the radio suddenly, trying to conceal the awkward silence in the car.

The song- I knew it instantly.

It was Daylight by Maroon 5.

Here I am waiting, I’ll have to leave soon, why am I holdin’ on
We knew this day would come, we knew it all along
How did it come so fast

This is our last night, but it’s late and I’m tryin’ not to sleep
‘Cuz I know, when I wake I will have to slip away

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And when the daylight comes I’ll have to go
But, tonight I’m ‘gonna hold you so close
‘Cuz in the daylight, we’ll be on our own

But, tonight I need to hold you so close

It was too much for me- hearing Jones and my song so blatantly out in the open turned my illness into a bubbling coldroun of emotions.

That’s when I burst into tears.

“Natalie, are you ok?” Alex swerved off the highway , in the midst of a small rainstorm, to comfort me.

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“No!” I cried. “I’m not ok!”

He put his arms around me to comfort me and for once I melted in his embrace. His hands circled my back and I just sobbed, breaking out meaningless sentences. Alex nodded in the right moments, hugged me closer to him and comforted me. He then got back on the road, and I felt much better about this honeymoon.

Even the rain cleared up.

We arrived at our apartment and  he lifted me onto his shoulders. “I love you, do you know that?”

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“Of course I do,” I said, kissing him. He put me down and we slowly walked up our stairs to our little flat. Suddenly nausea overwhelmed me and I ran into the flat’s bathroom and threw up repeatedly. I knew why I was throwing up, though I shoved it to the back of my mind.

I rinsed my mouth with tap water and tried to look like I didn’t just throw up by pretending to be inspecting the cutlery and crockery in the kitchen, as I always do at the start of every trip. Alex made it up the flights of stairs and walked in with a grin on his face.

“Natalie Anders as usual, checking everything and every detail in the kitchen,” Alex teased.

“That’s me!” I smiled over-brightly. “Hey, why don’t you unpack while I get some groceries?” I asked. “I was asleep on the plane so I didn’t eat anything. Funny, my dream seemed so short for  a 10 hour flight.”

“Oh, we all have a million dreams per sleep,” Alex smiled, going into nerd mode. “You only remember the most important one…”

As he trailed off I let myself out of the apartment and started to walk down to the local supermarket, which was a couple of minutes away. I smiled brightly at the beautiful Italians, greeting them with “Ciao!” By the time I was at the supermarket I had a bright smile on my face, a real smile for once.

Eggs. Milk. Beer. Cereal. Tomatoes. Olive oil. Bread. Pasta. Cheese. Pregnancy test.

I scanned the list I had in hand and waltzed around the shop, chucking the items into the trolley. I chucked in a couple more pastries, like a Twinkie sorta thing with loud Italian writing displayed on the packages. I payed for my stuff and walked out the Co-op feeling really, really, good.

I let myself in the apartment silently and dumped the groceries on the kitchen counter. I scavenged between the items to find the pregnancy test. The baby motif on the box did not make me feel any better about this.

After the proposed 7 minutes to wait for the response I stared at the pregnancy test on the counter. I slowly opened it up.

Positive.

I stood there for several moments. I didn’t want to do this- but I knew what I had to do.

Alex needs to think that this is his. I dispose of the test and walk into the kitchen, unpacking the objects.

“Do you want to go out for lunch?” Alex asked me as he appeared in the doorway.

‘Why don’t we have dessert before lunch?” I asked him seductively.

“Alright then,” He winked, and walked into the bedroom.

I stripped of my clothes, down to my underwear. I slowly approached the mirror on wobbling feet, staring at my sorry reflection in the mirror. I still had my jewelry on. I raised my hands to my neck and attempted to fight my shaking hands to take it off. I became frustrated, my hands shaking but more.

“Let me help you” Alex gave me a smile through the mirror, I could feel his soft fingers on my neck “There.” He placed the necklace onto the table. He began to kiss my neck lightly.
I pulled away “I-I’m still not ready” I tried to find something else to do. I decided to buy time by using the bathroom. I locked the door, sliding down it slowly, when my body hit the ground I wept.
Knock knock knock.
“Natalie? Are you okay” Came Alex’s worried voice
I wiped the tears from my face “Yes!” I tried to restore normality in my voice “Just- Give me a minute!” I unlocked the door and sheepishly made my way to the bed. I fell clumsily onto it. That’s when I decided, if I had to do this; I should at least try and enjoy it. But how could I? After that night. The night that ruined my marriage, and stopped me from loving my husband.
Alex climbed on top of me. Grinning mischievously. I smiled back weakly, and then he began kissing my chest. His lips were soft and warm; it was easy to believe that if it wasn’t for Adrian this moment would have been one of the best. Alex’s fumbling hand was on my waist; he bent down to kiss me on the face. His lips caressed mine; I felt a spark of love arise within me as our bodies touched. I kissed him back hard and ferociously, pushing my body into his. I shared his warmth for a moment. He giggled flirtatiously then flipped me over. Our positions now changed, it was my turn to take the lead. Lust bubbled within me, adrenalin radiating in my mind. My hands grabbed his face as I stuck my tongue down his throat. Everything was moving so fast. The room spun as my hand trailed down his body. I tore off his underwear and pushed my sticky body into his chest. His calm hand unlatched my bra; all manner of feelings drifted inside of me.

forediting
He and I were finally one. “I love you Natalie” He groaned.
“Shut up” I said as my hands explored every unknown nook of my husband. His hands also moved around me, taking pleasure in what we now shared.
Adrian.
No, not now. Not here.
Adrian.
I pulled away from Alex. It was dark, nothing made sense. The room spun and colours blended into one mass of chaos.
Alex was undeterred by my lack of movement. He proceeded to kiss me, proceeded to do everything that he wanted to do. I didn’t fight it, how could I do that to him? No, I will just do this. For him. I stared off into the distance, tears merging with beads of sweat on my face. My life is one lie after another.

I lay there, naked, moments afterwards, my hand on his stomach. I felt like death had decided to visit me early.

anotheredited

I felt worthless.

I felt alone.

I untangled my body from his although he stayed sleeping. I wrapped a robe around my body and wandered into the living room with tears streaming down my face.

Please God, I prayed. I don’t want to live anymore. I don’t want to live at all. Please, just kill me now.I know you’re supposed to have a plan for me, like Sunday School used to say, though I don’t care about that plan. I can never do anything right. I’ll never fulfill anything. Please, kill me now.

After nothing happening, I began to sob once again.

I’m still alive but I’m barely breathing.

~*<3*~