Lorna lay awake for a long time staring at the ceiling of her bedroom; all the tiny stars Chris had painstakingly painted there, glowing in the dark. It was still very early, the sun was barely on the horizon, a faint glow against the window. She had been awakened by a horrible nightmare; Chris had sent her a text telling her he was getting married, that he was engaged. Engaged to Rachael. She had thrown herself on the ground in the garden, where she curled into the fetal position and sobbed for hours. She awakened herself as she cried out. This nightmare had already happened. Just a few years ago. That's when she had married Jack, and a real nightmare had begun. But she was free of him now, and Rachael had gone away. So why the nightmares? Why now? She and Chris were so happy. Or at least, she thought they were.
She rolled over and stared at him; her beautiful Chris. They were finally together. It had been such a long time coming; for so many years they were just friends.... and then that fateful day, a first kiss at the mall; at Christmas. And now they had been together for almost three years.
So why should she dream about Rachael now? That had been so long ago. As had Jack. Lorna had put them both behind her. She had the man of her dreams, and the perfect daughter, Maeve.
But she had been plagued with bad dreams for weeks now. The fear of losing Chris chipping away at her psyche day after day. She remembered the times when all she had dreamt about was spending hour upon hour in Chris's arms and now it was the reality she lived every day, and yet her insecurity was eating her alive. She was going to have to get a grip, or drive herself mad. And she had far too much to lose to ever let that happen. She snuggled into Chris's chest and her fears began to fade; all it ever took was one touch from his hand and she was immediately blissfully content. In just a few moments, she drifted off to sleep again.
A young handsome man stood in front of a huge gate that opened up to a massive gravel driveway, lined with all manner of flowers and manicured hedges. He walked into the first building on the right; it had a large white sign out front, marked “Visitors”.
The girl inside, who was dressed in a red and white striped jumper, made a phone call and then gave him directions. As he walked back out into the sun and around the second brick building he kept a tight grip on the letter he was carrying. He walked casually past rows of red and yellow tulips, and saw an elderly man in a wheelchair, sitting under a patio umbrella, outside the sliding glass doors of his posh residence hall. The old man was crying. It was Chris... in a wheelchair, and he was crying for Lorna.
She awakened in a cold sweat. Chris was gone. She panicked until she remembered it was Friday. Chris always awakened early on Friday's and went for a run. Then it hit her. Waves of nausea sent her running for the bathroom. She hadn't even had breakfast yet.
Lorna had been sick for a week. She could hardly keep anything down, even ginger ale. She thought it was just nerves from the bad dreams and lack of sleep; plus she hadn't been eating right. Not to mention that Chris had been spending more and more time alone, working on his fourth novel, and things had been...well, a little stressed between them. But now it seemed more than that. She was afraid something was wrong. She got Maeve and herself dressed and called for an appointment. Yes, they could squeeze her in if she were able to come right away. She scribbled a note for Chris, and left.
Three hours later, Lorna returned from her doctor's appointment to an empty house. It was uncharacteristic of Chris to go out without letting her know. She scanned the kitchen for a note, but found none other than the one she had left for him; it was still laying on the counter just where she'd left it. She tried his mobile, but he didn't answer. She was so excited she could hardly contain herself. She couldn't wait to tell Chris why she had been so sick. She knew he would be ecstatic. Maeve was going to have a baby brother.
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