|This Woman's Work
||[Nov. 16th, 2006|10:52 pm]
This Woman’s Work
“God…are you listening? I know that I was the one that stopped talking to you…and I know that my prayers don’t deserved to be heard, but if this is punishment for all the things I’ve done wrong. If this is my fate. Don’t let it be hers too. She doesn’t deserve this…any of this. I’ll GLADLY take her place. You must have made a mistake. I must be the one you wanted. The has-been-bloody-rock-god-turned-junkie. I mean why would you put an angel on earth…my angel on earth. Just to take her away. So, if you’re ever going to answer a prayer…answer this one. Take me instead. She can live without me…I can’t live without her. God…I love her”
Charlie was knocked out of his tear-filled prayer with the touch of someone’s hand on his shoulder.
He wiped away a few tears before turning to Kate. He could tell she had been crying as well by the tear stains on her cheeks. Although they didn’t compare to his own red face and swollen eyes. As reality returned so did her pained screams that had been blocked out by his own sobbing prayer.
“Jack said the baby’s almost here. She needs you with her Charlie”
Charlie only nodded as Kate gave him a sincere look and reentered the tent she had come from. He stood up slowly and walked toward the tent. He dried his cheeks, although it didn’t hide his pain, and let out a heavy sigh before he entered it. Claire managed a small smile as Charlie entered the tent, and he smiled back softly. He couldn’t understand how she could be in labor for HOURS and still look beautiful. He sat down slowly by the makeshift bed Jack had placed her on.
“Hey love…How you holding up?”
He asked with a small smile.
“I would be a lot better if there’d been a hand to hold the last half an hour”
Charlie didn’t get how she could still be in a good mood under such circumstances, but she was.
“Sorry about that love” He said gently taking her hand. “I had to talk to an old friend”
He yelped in pain as she clinched her nails into his hand so tight he knew it had to be bleeding.
“Okay Claire, one more push”
Jack said suddenly, and with one last scream of pain…it was through. Jack let out a happy laugh as he cleared the baby’s nose and mouth quickly.
“You have a girl!”
Charlie repeated Jack’s words excitedly.
“A girl! Claire, you have a girl!”
Claire let out a happy sigh as she reached for the baby. As Jack placed the newborn in her arms, Claire looked at Charlie.
“WE have a girl”
Her smile then softened a bit.
“I know you’ll take good care of her Charlie”
Charlie now remembered why he had spent the last 3 hours crying. He turned to Jack suddenly.
“Do something…there has to be something you can do”
Jack started before the conversation was interrupted as Claire suddenly broke in.
“Jack…can I see Charlie alone for a few minutes”
He nodded softly as he and Kate left the tent. Charlie watched as the two walked out and then turned back to Claire.
“You’re giving up? Why would you send them out? Jack could…”
Claire quickly cut him off before he could start.
“Jack could what? Charlie…I’m dying”
“But he could try!”
Claire didn’t know what to say. She knew his heart was breaking, and she was to blame. She didn’t want there last words to be of anger, but of love. This time Charlie cut her off.
“I love you, Claire. I’ve loved you since the first time I saw you”
Charlie said finally breaking down in sobs. Even though Claire was dying she was still stronger than he would ever be, and he knew that. He suddenly felt a cool hand graze his cheek.
“You want to know a secret…Me too”
Charlie laughed through his sobs. They had been through so much together. He touched her hand softly and they both laughed for a moment.
“Here…she wants to see her daddy”
Charlie smiled brightly as he picked up the tiny infant.
“Claire, she’s beautiful. Looks like an angel…just like you”
He said turning to look at Claire…But she wasn’t there. She had drifted into a peaceful sleep…beautiful as ever. He gently leaned down and kissed her cheek, before standing up with his gift from an angel. Charlie had never been a believer in miracles, but he knew in that moment that an argument with his brother, so long ago now, had been the biggest blessing of his life.
“Sweet dreams, love”
He said with a small smile as he took his last glance at Claire. He walked out of the tent, giving Jack and Kate a small nod, which they understood immediately and continued down the beach toward his and Claire’s tent.
“Come on angel…let’s go meet you brother, Aaron.”