Written By Special Guest Author Becca O.

Chapter 13

Four in the morning. The front door of Nick and Becca’s house creaked open, and Sarah was on her feet in an instant. Opening her mouth to tell Nick exactly what she thought of him, she stopped. He looked like he’d been to hell and back again, so maybe there was nothing more she needed to say. A glance at Howie confirmed it.

“Where’s Becca?” Nick asked quietly.

“Upstairs. I finally got her to go to bed around 2:30. Nick-”

“Not tonight, Sarah, okay? There’s nothing you can say to me that hasn’t already been said by Howie, Brian or Kevin, or what I’ve already thought. I’m a dick and I know it.” He ran his hand over his tired eyes and through his hair. “Thanks for coming over to stay with Bec tonight, I mean that.”

“You going to be okay?” Howie asked.

“I don’t know, Howie. I guess there’s only one way to go once you’ve finally hit the bottom. I’ll let you know how it goes.”

“Get some sleep, Nick. It’ll look better in the morning.”

Nick waved a tired goodbye over his shoulder as he started slowly up the stairs. “Lock the door, D.”

The house was deathly silent, and to Nick’s fuzzy brain it seemed like an omen. What if he’d really messed things up beyond repair this time? Well, he’d know soon enough. In less than six hours he’d have to talk all this out with Becca, which was what he should have done from the beginning. Stopping at the door to the nursery, he looked in on his son. A rustling of the covers told him that Garrett was awake and so he stepped quietly inside.

“Hey, bud. What’re you doing up, huh?” he whispered. As he spoke, the baby’s feet began to kick happily, anticipating being picked up. “Shh, it’s not time yet, man, it’s still dark out.” Nick picked Garrett up, hoping to forestall a crying spell that would wake Becca and bring her running. Silently he changed the baby’s diaper and settled into the rocking chair. He smiled as he remembered the day he and Becca had ordered it, from the Cracker Barrel restaurant down in Ft. Pierce. Closing his eyes, he hummed softly as he patted Garrett’s bottom and in minutes the baby was sleeping soundly.

Moonlight was shining through the sheer drapes in the master bedroom as he looked in on his wife. Just the way she was sleeping was testament to what she’d been through in the past weeks. Becca lay on top of the covers, still dressed. Her knees were drawn up in a fetal position and a handful of crumpled tissues were clutched tightly in her hand. Several more littered the nightstand by her alarm clock, and even in the dim light Nick could see that she’d been crying. Carefully, he brushed her hair away from her face, and then reached for the extra quilt that they kept on the upper shelf of their closet. Gently he covered her and then tiptoed silently away. The sofa in the living room is where Becca would find him the next morning.

Chapter 14            Index