“Don’t what, Abby? Don’t grieve myself, so that I can bear your burden of it? Don’t tell you you’re wrong?? Don’t what??”
Abby tugged at the handle a split second after he hit the lock button, followed, in quick succession, by the power-lock. She was trapped. The tension in the car mounted and she could feel it building up, filling the small space in which she sat. Oh, god, I’m being buried alive. She clawed at the door, at the window, at anything and everything while Michael looked on, worry written in every line of his face.
“You’re right.” The defeat that laced his tone, weighed it down, was what finally cut through the fog in her brain, and she broke down sobbing. “I thought we deserved a night out. To celebrate the new baby and the new branch opening in London. I should have kept us home...”
“No,” she whispered, her voice beyond hoarse as the tears choked her. “Oh gods, no... My baby!”
“I’m so sorry Abby,” he croaked as he fought against his own tidal wave of crushing grief. “I lost us the best thing...”
She stopped him then, with a hand to his lips. “No!” She shook her head, fighting to press everything back long enough to breathe, long enough to say what she really needed to say. “You cost us nothing, Michael. I should have called someone else. Should have followed my gut. Had the dog put outside.”
“You can’t do this to yourself, honey,” he replied, reaching for her.
Abby allowed herself to be pulled into the embrace, allowed him to believe that he was comforting her. “I know that. I know, but it’s just so hard to understand!! Why him, Michael? Why us? He was just a little boy. Just a sweet little boy...” Who still needs his mommy, a little voice whispered in the back of her head. You let him be buried alone. His gone, dead, and alone, and you’re still here. How fair is that? “It’s not,” she muttered.
“It’s not what, Abby?”
Their eyes met and in a moment of clarity of what she must do, she pressed a chaste kiss to his lips. “Nothing, my love. Please, let’s just go home. I’m so very tired.”
“Yes, and you need to eat. The baby needs you to stay strong.”
“Yes,” she agreed. But only until it’s born. Then, as long as it has you, Michael, it will have all it needs. My baby needs me. Andrew needs him mommy.