I haven't written on here in a really long time, but the song that inspired this and the idea behind it has been stuck in my head for days. I had to get it out. I know the beginning may seem a bit confusing, but if you listen to the song, 'Love Lives On' by Mallory Hope, you'll definitely be able to understand this better. One-shot for now. Who knows.
Disclaimer: I do not own or have any affiliation with Chicago PD, it's characters, writers, cast or crew.
Another morning awake before the alarm.
Another night of restless sleep.
Another batch of tear stains on my pillowcase.
I turn to my left. The red numbers from the clock read way too early and even though I know better my arm reaches out to the cold, undisturbed sheets next to me. I swallow the large lump in my throat, feel my chest tighten with the painful reminder that the space is empty again. Empty still. It will be that way for a while, but I can't let my mind hold onto that thought for too long. If I do, I won't leave the bed.
The sound of bare feet smacking against the hardwood of the hallway stirs me from dozing off. The bedroom door is pushed open a moment later and there she is, standing with a smirk that marvels mine and bright emerald eyes that gleam with mischief.
She's up to something. Or she has already done it.
"What did you do?"
The sing-song tone of her voice gives her away. I notice her smirk deepen in the slightest. I pull my legs out from underneath the blankets I am wrapped up in, and swing them over the side of the bed, forcing myself to stand.
"I don't believe you," I tell her.
She sticks her tongue out at me, but grabs tight to my hand as I approach her and leads me out to the too quiet kitchen.
The step stool has been pulled out and rests on the floor next to the refrigerator. Cabinet doors are left open. A small pool of spilled milk rests on top of the granite. And even though these little things would normally make my obsessive compulsive self cringe, I cannot help the smile that forms on my face when I see the large bowl of our favorite cereal with two spoons on either side.
I nod at her and then in the direction of the cabinetry.
"Couldn't reach that top shelf, huh?"
She lets out a giggle, that laugh I fell in love with the first time I heard it, and perches herself on a chair in front of the breakfast she has prepared.
"I could never reach that dang shelf! Sorry for the mess. I will clean it. And I know you pour the coffee. You always do."
I can only nod in reply. That tightness in my chest returning.
I make my way to the coffee pot that is hot and full; thank goodness for timers. I reach for the two mugs that are in their usual spot. I pour my cup quickly and start on the next.
"Black, no sugar. As usual," I whisper to myself.
She doesn't hear me through the crunching of cereal in her mouth. But when I catch her eye, I wink at her and a dimpled grin appears on her cheeks.
I place the two mugs of delight in front of the cereal bowl, then grab her some orange juice and take a seat next to her. We share the cereal until it is gone and she ignores the milk at the bottom of the bowl to finish her orange juice. She thinks I don't notice her reach for the cup of black coffee sitting next to mine.
"Not today, missy," I tell her.
She immediately looks at me with a perplexed pout on her face.
"Don't look at me like that. You know the rules."
"It's not fair!"
I raise an eyebrow at her, amused.
"Life isn't fair. Now come on, we've gotta leave soon for the district."
"No coffee for you. You can smell it. That's bad enough."
"Can I just have a little, please?"
Her pouty lips make me feel guilty for a second. She knows she's not allowed to have any, but the smell excites her and I just haven't been able to break the habit of pouring that second cup every morning. At least not yet.
I shake my head, "You know you can't."
She lets out a dramatic sigh and I shake my head again this time with a small smile. She always was a bit of a diva.
"Fine," she says with another sigh.
I put our dishes in the sink and steal a glance at her; arms crossed in front of her chest and staring at me with those emerald beauties. She looks as though she wants to say something, so I wait until she does.
"Maybe one day?"
My heart stops, I swear.
Her voice is sweet and soft and innocent, and I fall in love with her even more in that moment if it is even possible.
The only answer I can muster up is the one word I remember all too well from a long time ago, but not that long at all.