Chapter 76: It Wasn't Supposed to be This Way

I hear the gravel in the driveway being crunched under the tires of a car, awaking me from my uneasy nap. I unravel myself from the loose ball I had curled into under a fleece blanket, and look over to where he lay, under the sheet on the fireplace hearth. I take a deep breath, wiping away tears and getting up from the couch as I hear a knock on the thick wooden door.

I open it too come face to face with a man wearing a sympathetic look on his face as he looked into my watery eyes.

“Hey, Mike,” I greet with a weak smile.

“Hey, kid, “ he says immediately coming through the doorway and taking me into a hug, “How you holding up?”

“Well, this whole pregnancy hormonal imbalance isn’t really helping anything, but I’ll be ok… eventually,” I say, attempting a joke.

“I’m so sorry,” he says pulling away and looking at me.

“Yeah, me too,” I murmur breaking his gaze and looking at the floor.

“Alright, “ he says breaking the silence, “Your pups are in the car. I’ll let them out and then come in and…”

“He’s over there on the fireplace hearth,” I say quietly nodding over to the fireplace.

I sigh, as he looks over to the fireplace and nods his head sadly, before walking back outside to his SUV to let the dogs out. I go out on the porch, so that they don’t come inside right away. They come bounding out of the car and rush up the porch steps to see me.

“Hey, guys!” I smile weakly, letting my hands pass over furry bodies.

They all seem to slow down around the door, like they can smell the death in the house. Finn is about to go in, but I stop him before he can make it through the doorway.

“Caitlin, why don’t you take them out back while I bring Bran out,” he says walking up the steps.

I nod and whistle for the dogs to follow me. They follow me solemnly, and we all stop in the side yard as I watch Mike come back out of the house with a bundle rapped in a charcoal sheet. He gets to his car and places it in the back before closing the hatch.

It was already planned that Bran would be cremated, and then I would take his ashes to bury him in the field at my grandparents’ house. There, he would reside with other fallen furry friends of the family.

He shuts the door and I walk back over to the porch.

“It will all be done by tomorrow evening,” he sighs running a hand through his grey streaked hair.

“Thanks Mike. For everything,” I sigh back.

“Of course! If you need anything, anything at all, just ask. Oh, and Liza told me to tell you not to stress to much, it’s bad for the baby,“ he smiles at me, his hand coming to pat my slightly swollen stomach hidden under a baggy sweatshirt.

“I’ll try,” I smirk.

He looks at me with sad eyes before whispering,

“Come here kid,” holding his arms open for me.

I sigh and plunge into a hug. Without my consent, a few tears fall on his fleece covered shoulder as he rubs my back and lets me cry a little.

Suddenly, I hear the dogs barking and watch over Mike’s should as another SUV pulls into the driveway. I watch curiously as a well-built man with a Reebok baseball cap covering his dark hair, steps out of the car. He greets the dogs briefly before, shoving his hands in his jean pockets and walks toward the house. He looks up to the porch and immediately stops. I pull away from the hug as I stare at him. Even from the distance, I find my eyes stuck to his hazel orbs. My eyes widen in shock as I try to read his stare. ‘Why was he here?’

“Sid,” I say, my voice quiet in shock. Never did I think I would see him again so soon.

He shakes his head and before I can stop him, he is back in his car, peeling out of the driveway.

I stand on the edge of the porch in shock. Mike comes over to stand next to me.

“Who was that?” he asks curiously, following my eyes to wear the car had disappeared.

“The baby’s father,” I say softly.

Sid’s POV

I was here; I had flown all this way to convince her to come back. I pulled up into a gravel driveway, with the address that matched the one that Beth had scribbled on a piece of paper. As my hands pass over the dogs in greeting, I feel my nervousness build. I shove my hands in my pockets. My eyes travel up to the porch as I’m about to let a long sigh, but instead I stop dead in my tracks. There she was, with some guy’s arms wrapped around her. Those brown eyes. They found mine, and shook me to the core as I continued to stare at her. I couldn’t believe it. When I had flown out to Utah, I hadn’t thought of the possibility that she had moved on. I figured she hadn’t, I mean if she had Beth would have told me. Unless Beth didn’t know either. Either way, she had apparently moved on and she was standing on a small cabin’s porch in another man’s arms. Not mine. I felt broken. I was too late.

I watch as her lips quietly form my name and it snaps me back to reality.

I shake my head, breaking our staring match and I quickly get into the rented car, slamming the door behind me. Before anyone can stop me, I’m back on the road and retracing my steps to the airport. It wasn't suppose to be this way, I thought of it like a movie, everything working out in the end. But life isn't a movie. There were no perfect endings.

How could I be so na├»ve? I should have known she would have moved on, that someone else would have snatched her up. I had lost her once and I had gotten a second chance. But now, a third was asking too much. She had moved on, she didn’t deserve me anyway. It seemed that it was always my fault that she was running away.

I missed her. I had been in denial about this whole thing. But I always knew that I was miserable without her. I felt like a part of me was missing. I missed the way she fit into me when I held her, her soft curves pressing into me. The way her fingers laced into the ends of my hair when I kissed her. I missed how her chocolate eyes, always shining with a smile and full of laughter. How when she did laugh, she didn’t try to hide it. She threw back her head, completely surrendering to the laughter, making it come out loud and clear. Its infectiousness making everyone else at least let out a chuckle.

I missed coming home from a road trip to her. How she looked in faded blue jeans and an old t-shirt. Her hair down and falling down her back untamed. How she would slide across the wood floor in her wool socks, before crashing into my arms with a laugh. How her lips tasted and how they smiled into mine. The smell of coconut in her chestnut hair, and the softness of it as I ran my hands through its length.

I missed the feel of her head pillowed on my shoulder, her hand resting on my chest, her leg entwined with mine as she slept. The way she moaned my name when my lips found that spot on her neck. How her back arched into me when I made love to her, and how her curves felt beneath my hands.

I missed her passion for her work, her unbreakable love for her dogs. The way she was both exhausted and happier than ever when she came home from work. I even missed her dogs and how if she wasn’t there, Maggie would snuggle up next to me for a nap. How I hadn’t needed an alarm clock when I was with her because Flash would always be on time.

I even missed the little things that no one else noticed. How she got that sparkle in her eye when she lay down a winning hand of poker. How she bites her lower lip and plays with her hair when she’s nervous. The way she looks the morning after a steamy night with her hair tousled. The way she looked in my jersey, and nothing else. The taste of coffee on her lips as she quickly kissed me before heading off to work. The way she always seemed to know what to say to me, win or lose.

Now she was someone else’s Caitlin. I had let her go and she had found someone else. As much as it hurt, I could let her go, if I knew that he loved her and that she was happy. She deserved to be loved by the man I could never be, a man with a normal work schedule and a normal life. The one that wouldn’t hurt and disappoint her like I did.

Maybe someday I would find someone who would give me at least a small margin of the happiness she game me. But I would never love again like I had loved her. She was the one. And I had let her go. She was the love of my life and I had fucked up. But if she was happy then I could deal with the constant ache in my chest.

Caitlin’s POV

Why had he come? Had he known about Bran? But how did he know? Hadn’t he hurt me enough? He had already said all he could say, but it didn’t change the fact that he had slept with another woman. And why had he left so abruptly? He knew that I saw him and he had come all the way to Utah, to what I could only assume was to see me. Why else would he have flown to Utah?

I sit back in the couch, next to Hawkeye and Maggie, trying to sort out all the questions in my brain. Mike had left shortly after Sid had, offering his spare room to me. I, of course, declined the gracious offer; I had to be alone for a little bit. My best friend was gone and suddenly Sid just pops back into my life, disappearing without even uttering a word.

What would have happened if he had stayed? Would he have confessed that he was just as miserable as I was? Would he take me in his arms when I confirmed that Bran was gone? Would he mutter comforting things in my hair as I cried into his strong shoulder? He would’ve found out about the baby; would he have been trilled or horrified? I didn’t think he knew I was pregnant; my swollen abdomen was hidden under my gray XL sweatshirt. Would I have allowed him back into my life? He had left me broken hearted numerous times, could I take that chance on him again? Would he hold me and kiss me, making me give into him? Of course I still loved him, but could I let him back in again? Especially being that my heart was still in pieces not only because of him but also because of my best friend’s recent death?

On such an occasion as this, I would be crying into a strong furry shoulder, but now Bran was gone. The tears were beginning to fall again, the house feeling empty without another person there. Finn comes over, putting his head in my lap sensing my distress. I cry as my hand passes over his white head.

I reach over Maggie, picking my phone off the nearby end table. Who would I call? I needed someone. For once in my life I could admit it, I blame it on the irregular hormonal imbalance. I push send on and four rings later I hear a deep voice.

“Caitlin?” he asks in surprise.

“Kris,” my voice cracking. It was much more weak and distress sounding that I had planned for it to be. “I… “

I had no idea where to even start, all I knew was I was broken and so sorry that I had just up and left all my friends in Pittsburgh. Kris was one of my best friends, and I hadn’t even said goodbye.

As I struggle to find the words, I hear him waiting and thinking patiently. As if he knows that I don’t know what to say, he speaks for me.

“I’ll be on the next flight to Utah.”

February 14, 2010 at Sunday, February 14, 2010 , 14 Comments

 
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Discovering...Love? by AS is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.