This is an old story that is still available to read on FanFiction but I have tried to edit and correct mistakes in this version. Some parts will be altered slightly and other parts deleted but the story will remain the same. I hope you enjoy this new addition but if you have read the story before I understand that you might not be interested in reading any further.
Missed - Chapter 1
I write in the hope that someday you will read these words and know that you are deeply loved. From the second you were revealed to me I was instantly and completely devoted to you. When I heard your heartbeat for the first time I cried and when I felt my hand flutter over your mothers stomach, I just couldn't wait to meet you. But I missed meeting you, I wasn't there for you when I should have been and I'm so sorry. I missed your firsts and I missed your seconds and I'll always regret that. I can only hope for you now and I do, often. I hope that you are here in the world and are happy in it. I hope you are well and so much of my time I just hope that you know of me and know how much you are loved. Your mother told me once how grateful she was for you and your brother Teddy and how honoured she felt to be your mother and I need you to know that I feel the same way. I love you sweetheart always and maybe one day I can tell you how proud I am to be your Daddy.
"Daddy," Teddy screeches as I finish my letter and add it to the many others I have written over the years. "I'm in the study," I shout back, locking the drawer that holds my precious correspondence.
Within seconds he bounds into the room with rosy cheeks and sparkling eyes, Ana's eyes. "Daddy, I've been calling all over the house, Gail's had dinner ready for ages and I'm starving," he explains dramatically. "Okay buddy lets go, I can't have my boy wasting away." Ted grabs my hand and marches us off towards the kitchen chatting all the way.
"There you are and I see you've found the boss," says Gail with a smile as she dishes up dinner. We all eat together in companionable silence, enjoying our meal and watching over Teddy fondly. I can't believe he's going to be five next week, I still think of him as my baby boy. Five years old and three years without his mother, three years lost to her, gone forever.
My mind drifts back to that moment I think about so frequently, I wake with that day imprinted forever in my mind. A beautiful morning in early spring. I kissed her lips so softly as she wished me a pleasant day. Teddy was happily bouncing in her arms and his laughter was so contagious we couldn't help but join in.
I kissed Teddy goodbye and then stooped down to kiss Ana's belly, I told them to be good for Mommy. Then I kissed Ana once more and told her that I loved her, she said she loved me too and then I left for work.
When I returned home later that day she was gone and I haven't seen her since. Teddy cried for her for over a week and grew hoarse calling out for her. Now he doesn't even remember her, it's gone but I can't ever forget.
Once I had read the three stories he picked out, Teddy falls asleep and I wander back to my bedroom, our bedroom. I glance at the pictures that are scattered throughout and smile to myself as my baby boy smiles back. My favourite photos are the ones where we are all together as a family should be. Me, Ana and Teddy with happy smiling faces, beautiful and haunting at the same time.
She was only going to be gone for ten minutes, fifteen at the most but she never returned. Gail told me she popped out for a quick errand when I returned that night, we thought she had just been delayed so I called her cell. It rang and rang but she didn't pick up and then I started to get an uneasy feeling. I called Taylor and asked who had left with Ana. He told me the new guy Garrett had accompanied her and I tried to contact him too.
When he didn't answer I cursed at Taylor and asked why Sawyer hadn't gone too, then remembered his father was sick and he was on leave. I cursed a lot more as the night progressed and Ana failed to make an appearance. I panicked and called the police and eventually they discovered her car abandoned in the centre of Seattle.
For months we searched for her and Garrett, I travelled to the far corners of the globe to find her but somehow I failed every time. I'd follow a lead like a man possessed, I hired private detectives and even involved the FBI. For weeks at a time I would go without sleep and very little food trying to find out something, anything. I was so lost without her that even simple things became almost impossible tasks.
Finally my mother helped me to re-enter the world and over time I was able to be a father again to my son. I'm not the man I was with Ana and I know I'll never be that man again. He died the instant the police found her car in that alleyway, so far from our home. He vanished before my eyes and I have a lot of regret that Teddy will never know the man I was with his mother. I still have bad days, especially when I see Teddy achieve something and know that Ana has missed it. She's missed so much, we all have, I've missed my wife and baby daughter and Teddy's missed that which it most precious, a mothers love.
I often find myself staring at the last photo that was taken of my family, just weeks before Ana vanished. I'm holding Teddy in my arms and he's reaching down to Ana, she's smiling and holding tight to his tiny hand. Just barely you can make out the tiny bulge of my baby girl as Ana reaches up for Teddy. Ana was four months pregnant and had only recently starting to show, I was so excited I could hardly wait when we found out we were having a baby girl. I think a lot about our baby, I imagine an angelic face and the perfect features of her mother. I can sometimes see the dark brown curls and sparkling blue eyes, I picture holding her and bouncing her on my knee. But mostly I find myself just hoping she is here in the world and happy and safe with my Ana.
My dearest little girl, your brother celebrated his birthday today. I still can't believe how old he is getting and you too. When I imagine you I always think of a baby in a soft pink baby grow and holding the teddy bear Ana made for you. But you are two and a half years old and that teddy bear still sits in your nursery where Ana lovingly placed it in your cot, all those years ago.
Teddy really enjoyed his special day and entertained us all with his exuberant mood. Your Uncle Elliot and Auntie Kate came along to help Teddy celebrate and your cousin Ava made us all laugh when she reluctantly gave Teddy her gift. Your cousin has just recently had her own birthday, she was three years old and I know you both would have been the best of friends.
Your Auntie Kate is going to have another baby soon and I know the whole family can't wait for her arrival. Yes it's another girl and I'm happy for my brother and Kate but I can't help but be a little jealous. Jealous because of all the things they will get to experience with their little girl that I may never experience with you. I'm sorry you missed your big brothers birthday but we took a lot of photographs and Uncle Elliot made a movie of the day that one day I hope to watch with you.
Auntie Mia and Uncle Ethan sadly missed Teddy's birthday party, they just couldn't get back in time for the big day. They have been travelling for almost a year now and are really enjoying themselves. We talk over the phone and Teddy and me Skype with them once a month if they are able. When they return Teddy is going to be spoilt rotten by all the things they have bought for him.
Grandma and Grandpa send their love, they were at Teddy's party and or course your Grandpa Ray told me to tell you he loves you very much. I hope you are just as happy as your big brother and I know he would love to know you and love you just as he loves his little cousin Ava. I love you sweetheart and I always will, all my love from Daddy.
I carefully fold the letter and seal it in an envelope then add it to the vast collection that I keep in my desk drawer. There must be hundreds by now, all hand written and tied together with the pink ribbons I bought for my daughter when we found out we were having a little girl.
Teddy is fast asleep in his bedroom exhausted by his busy day where he was lavished with everyone's undivided attention. I only wish Ana could have been present and cheered along as we sung happy birthday to him. Ray is sleeping across the hall equally exhausted in the bedroom Teddy dubs Poppy's room as it kind of is.
After Ana's disappearance Ray's health really deteriorated, he stopped eating and fell into the same downward spiral as me. When I finally came to my senses for the sake of Teddy I realised Ray was in a really bad way so I moved him into our house.
He protested at first but eventually consented and now with Teddy's help he has really improved. He has his bad days just like me but together we have helped each other to get though each and every day.
Carla though has practically disappeared almost as completely as Ana. She occasionally writes to Teddy but never remembers to call him on the telephone and this year she's even forgotten his Birthday. At least I can rely on my own parents and I do often, I couldn't have made it thorough these last three years without them.
They are very special people and mean the world to me. My Mom moved in during the early days of Ana's disappearance, but eventually stepped back when I started to take a more active role in Teddy's life.
I regret those months in the beginning, when I could barley make it out of bed, but I did the best I could. I've think I've made it up to him since and I know he forgives me because he loves me so much. I love him so much it almost hurts, he is my whole world and I'm so glad I was able to come back to him.
I'm so sorry sweetheart that I missed your Birthday today, I hope you had a wonderful time. I bet your Daddy threw you a big party with all your friends and I wish I could have been there to see your smiling face. I still can't believe you are five years old, you are getting to be such a big boy. I hope you are enjoying school and making lots of new friends. I wanted to be with you so much Teddy and I don't blame you one bit if you are mad at me for not being there. I love you so much Teddy and I hope to see you soon. All my love Grandma Carla. xxx
I scowl as I read the short note folded inside the belated 5th Birthday card that was just delivered. I have a good mind to call Carla and tell her to leave Teddy alone if she can't be bothered to turn up for his birthday celebration. I can't of course because her phone line has been down for almost three years now. I was visited by Bob a few months after Ana's disappearance and he told me that Carla had left him. Apparently the loss of Ana was too much for her and she fled, Bob moved out of the home they shared later that year and I haven't seen either of them since.
I get some correspondence from Carla now and then and a Christmas card from Bob once a year but they never call. I slip the letter inside my shirt pocket and stand the card amongst the others on the mantelpiece. I won't read it to Teddy it will only confuse him, he doesn't even remember his Grandma Carla.
Strangely though I can't seem to throw it away so I take it to my study and store it with the others she has written over the years. Maybe when he's older he will want to read them but not now, not yet. I pause to briefly study the letters and marvel for a moment at the likeness they share with Ana's own handwriting, but I guess mothers and daughters share a lot of similarities with one another.
I hear footfall out in the hall and look up from my desk to see Gail pausing at the threshold. "Mr Grey a women is at the gate asking to see you," she explains. "Who, I don't have any appointments today."
"She wouldn't give a name apparently, Ryan's at the gate and when he tried to send her away she became quite belligerent."
"Thank you Mrs Taylor, I'll call Ryan and see what's going on." I'm through with Ryan straight away and ask him what's happening. I can see the woman's face on one of the security feeds via my laptop and freeze suddenly as she looks towards the camera. For a split second I think I'm looking at Ana but reality sets in and I realise it's just a women with dark brown hair and blues eyes but nothing else.
She looks almost wild as she shouts at Ryan over the phone and pleads to talk to me. Finally I allow Ryan to pass her the phone and we begin to converse with one another.
"Mr Grey, I need to talk to you," she stutters.
"Then talk and talk quickly before I have my staff escort you from my property."
"In person, we need to talk in person please," she demands.
I sigh my patience running thin as I drag my fingers through my hair. "I don't see people without an appointment and I never see anyone at my home," I reply coolly.
"It's about Ana, please I know about your wife," she shouts and I freeze for a second time. "You don't know anything about my wife," I snap back. "Stop wasting my time and leave this area before I call the police."
I can't believe someone has the audacity to bring up my wife and lay claim to her whereabouts. People have been looking for Ana for years and suddenly this women with no obvious merit dares to tell me she knows about my wife.
I stare at her seething as I watch her pull something from her pocket, It's hard to make out on the monitor but it looks like a ring. I watch Ryan take it from her and position it closer to the camera. I stare transfixed at the small silver ring, it's her ring, our ring together, it's Ana's wedding band.