Bob and Kara's last night before he leaves and Liv and Elle
“Isn’t this beautiful?” Kara asked. Bob didn’t answer but Kara could feel him nodding against her head. They were both enjoying the view from the 102nd floor of the Empire State Building. Bob had surprised Kara after dinner with a limo ride to the tourist attraction. It has taken awhile to find an empty spot at the glass, but it had been worth the wait.
“Are you sorry that we didn’t have a real honeymoon?” Bob whispered in Kara’s ear.
She thought for a while. “I thought we did have a real honeymoon. It was great. Just think, every time I go to the top of a tall building, I will get to relive it. And every time I go shopping and eat at a really nice restaurant. Who can say that? Everyday is a honeymoon with you.” She laughed but then frowned. “Are you sorry? I guess we really didn’t go anything you wanted to do, did we?”
“Sure we did.” Bob nibbled on her ear. “Making you happy, made me happy.”
“Well, lets go on a long trip after this whole tour’s over. Wherever you want. Where do you want to go?”
Before he could answer Bob was tapped on the shoulder by a tourist who asked if he could please take a picture of him and his wife. After a minimum of instructions, Bob obliged. He took a photo of the couple with the city as a backdrop, another by the ‘City Map of Manhattan.’
He handed the camera back and resumed his position behind Kara.
“I’m gonna miss you.” Kara said quietly.
Bob kissed the side of her neck. “You’ll be busy. You won’t have time to miss me. How many papers do you have due in the next couple of weeks? And you and Mom have to coordinate the kitchen remodeling.”
Kara gave a deep sigh, ‘I guess.”
“Besides, I’ll call you everyday and e-mail. I’ll even send you postcards if you want.”
“I have a feeling I’ll have my hands full with Mom anyway.”
“Well, I have one other thing I want you to do for me.”
Bob surprised her by dropping to one knee. “Marry me again. A big wedding this time. I want you to plan it all out. The wedding you should have had.”
Kara stared at him stunned.
“Whatta ya say?” Bob gave her puppy dog eyes.
Kara dropped to his level “What the hell was wrong with our first wedding? It was prefect. I hate to disappoint you but I never wanted a big frilly wedding. I never wanted any wedding until I met you. No, no big wedding. I just want the little one we had.”
Bob rose to his feet pulling Kara up with him.
“What’d she say?” A disembodied voice asked.
Bob laughed, “She said ‘no’. He then smothered Kara in a kiss. A few people broke into applause while most just looked confused. Why did he look so happy when she said ‘no’?
The couple broke apart, resting their foreheads together. They stayed like that, just reveling in each other’s company when Bob became aware of being stared at. He looked down to find a small boy staring at them intently.
“Hi” Bob said.
“Are you going to kiss again? That’s gross. Do you like girls? They’re stupid. Wanna see my rock?” He pulled a piece of gravel out of his pocket and proudly held it up. “I found it outside. Does that hurt?” He pointed up to Bob’s lip ring. Before Bob could do much more than shake his head the boy scampered off, intent on pestering someone else.
“This is so not like the movies. In the movies the hero and heroine always have the observatory to themselves. They don’t have to share special moments with 100 of their closest friends and one goofy kid. Bob, clear the deck for me.”
Bob ignored the last request, pulling her back into his arms and turning them back around towards the view. He hummed softly in her ear.
“Bob, look” Kara pointed into the sky, “A shooting star.”
“Make a wish.”
Kara turned her face towards his, “I don’t need to. My wish already came true.”
“Hush little baby don’t say a word” Liv’s soft voice trailed off as she looked down at Elle now sleeping in her arms. She smiled; it had only taken singing the song three times for her to fall asleep. Sometimes to took more. Elle always seemed to have trouble sleeping especially when they were in a new place.
Liv looked around and sighed. The dismal surroundings fit her mood. She closed her eyes and tried to picture a place were Elle would be happy. A place where she could sing in the sunlight. A place where she could dance in the moonbeams. This is what she wanted for her daughter. This is what she had to make happen.
Carefully she moved Elle off her lap and onto her pillow. Pulling her favorite “blankie” up to her chin. She couldn’t resist brushing the stray dark hair from her face. Elle stirred, “Mommy” she said in her sleep.
“Mommy’s here” Liv whispered to her. “Sleep baby.”
She watched as sleep once more completely claimed her baby. Her baby, the love of her life, the only reason she had for living. She snuggled down next to Elle inhaling her baby scent. She smelled like wildflowers. She always smelled like wildflowers to Liv.
Outside sirens blared and cars roared past. Liv tried to block out the sounds. This was the time each night she prayed. Liv was not religious, she never had been but still she believed in a higher being. Believing gave her hope and strength. Two things she very much needed. The words she uttered in her mind were never requests for her they were always for Elle. She prayed her little girl would find the things in life she never had found, peace of mind and love. A frown suddenly marred Liv’s face. That really wasn’t the truth. She had found love once but it had been far too late. Her life had already become ugly and tainted. Her soul had rotted. If Elle hadn’t been born she knew in her heart she would have been dead by now. Wasn’t life funny? Life and death, the beginning and the end; so opposite yet neither could survive without the other. She had believed she was one of the dead yet giving life to Elle had also given her life. But the life they were leading wasn't really a life at all. They had nothing, no place to call their own. Their world was dismal full of shadows and pain. Tears rolled down Liv’s face. “I love you baby.” She whispered. “I love you.”
She glanced over at the bottle of pills. Closing her eyes she whispered, "Mommy's gonna make it all better, baby."