COLLIDE

Chapter Nine

Jack walked briskly towards the café, whistling happily. He looked down at the roses in his hand and hoped that Rose would like them. How could she not? She was their name sake after all. He shook his head, hardly able to believe the events of the last few days. He had found her, lost her, then he found her again, and by some struck of luck on his own part, she had agreed to marry him. He didn't think his life could get any better…then his thoughts drifted to the baby she was carrying. Honestly, he didn't care that the baby's father was her former fiancé. Jack loved the mother, so he loved the baby. That's all there was to it.

His heart beat quickened as he took the steps two by two and opened the door to the café, trying to look somewhat casual. He immediately scanned the café for Rose and frowned when his eyes were unable to find her. He walked over to the counter and motioned for one of the waitresses to come over.

"What can I do for you?"

"Have you seen Rose? She works here and she said she was done at four, but I don't see her."

The waitress bit her lip nervously and met Jack's intensely blue eyes that had now begun to cloud with worry and concern.

"She passed out a few hours ago. Someone took her up to her room, she lives right up stairs if you didn't know…" She looked at Jack expectantly to see if he did.

Jack nodded impatiently, not caring for the detail that she was giving him. What happened?

"There's a doctor with her now…"

Jack didn't even let her finish. As soon as he heard the word doctor, he turned and ran out the door. He immediately jumped up the stairs and knocked quickly on the door.

A man opened the door and Jack immediately tried to push past him.

"Sir, you can't come in here!"

"Yes, I can. I need to see her. Please, just let me in!"

"She shouldn't see anyone now…"

"Who the hell are you anyways? If you're not the doctor, you'd better leave now."

"Relax, son. I'm Dr. Milbert, Rose's physician. I've been treating Rose for the past few months now."

Jack nodded, feeling a bit more relieved at the doctor's words.

"So let me in."

"She shouldn't see anyone right now…"

"I'm the baby's father, damn it. Let me in!"

At that, Dr. Milbert froze, then nodded quickly, allowing Jack to rush past him.

Jack was immediately at Rose's side. His eyes searched her face for some sign of life and he sighed with relief when he saw her lips move. Her eyes where closed, but she was alive, she was breathing. He put a comforting hand on her forehead and moved it to her cheek.

"Sir?"

Jack looked up at the doctor with an annoyed expression on his face, then it turned into a concerned one when he saw Dr. Milbert's somber expression.

"We need to talk."

Jack nodded and stood up to walk to where Dr. Milbert stood.

"Sir…"

"Jack."

"Jack, I don't really know how to tell you this. But…she miscarried. It was a high-risk pregnancy and she has been under serious stress the last few months." He put a comforting hand on Jack's shoulder and tried not to grimace as he watched the young man's reaction.

Jack felt like he had just been punched in the stomach. Suddenly, everything around him was spinning and he shut his eyes tightly to keep himself from going over the edge. He rocked back and forth, trying to make some sense of everything that had just happened. With sad, worried eyes, he looked at Rose and exhaled loudly. He wondered if she even knew yet. He winced and put a hand to his now aching head, realizing that the pain in his head almost matched the pain he felt in his heart.

His heart broke even more as his eyes settled on Rose again. What were they going to do now? Just hours before they had both been so happy, so in love, with so much hope for the future they were going to have. Now the future that he had been planning for the past few hours seemed none existent because the baby had been in all of his plans.

Rose had already been through so much, he didn't think she would be able to handle anymore pain. He looked at her worriedly as she began to stir and slowly walked over to her bed. He surveyed his surroundings for the first time since he had arrived at Rose's apartment and bit his lip nervously. Rose lived here? It was a dump and he grimaced as he noticed that Rose had obviously tried to make something out of it through some meager decorations. He vowed to himself right there that Rose wouldn't ever live like that again. He was thrown from his thoughts when he heard her whispering softly.

"Jack?"

He immediately sat next to her on the bed and gently took her hand. "I'm here, Rose. I'm not going to leave you."

She smiled weakly and he leaned down to place a tender kiss on her forehead. She felt tears begin to form when she realized what she would have to reveal to him. He would be so devastated by her grim news. Would he leave her now? Now that there was no baby, there really was no longer a reason for him to stay with her. Despite the thoughts that circled around in her mind, she took a deep breath.

"Jack, there's something I have to tell you…the baby…it didn't…" She couldn't finish and let out a loud sob.

"It's alright, Rose. The doctor told me already. I'm so sorry. I should have been there for you. I should have been there for everything. This is all my fault, Rose. I'm so sorry."

Rose shook her head furiously at his words and let go of his hand. "No Jack. If it's anyone's fault, it's mine. Dr. Milbert told me right from the start that I had to be careful, that I had to get a lot of rest, and eat well…and…I didn't listen. I work so much and barely have the time or money to have a decent meal. This is my fault. I should've taken better care of myself and listened to my doctor's advice. He even told me I had to get a job that wouldn't keep me on my feet all day. I looked for about a day, then just gave up. I didn't try hard enough…I didn't try hard enough…"

She broke into sobs, covering her face with her hands as he gently took her in his arms. He rubbed her back soothingly then took her face in his hands.

"Rose, look at me. This is not your fault. It just…wasn't meant to be. Maybe…everything will work out in the end. Maybe this baby, this time in our lives…wasn't meant to be. There will be other babies, Rose, I promise. We're still going to have the life that we planned, Rose…" He trailed off and watched for some reaction from her.

She simply nodded, being far too tired to argue with him or to even really deal with the pain she was experiencing in her heart.

"Rose, you should rest."

She nodded again and motioned for him to lie down next to her. He leaned his head on his propped elbow and stroked her hair lovingly.

"Talk to me, Jack. I want to hear your voice."

He nodded to her and placed a soft kiss on her lips.

"I used to have dreams about you, you know. I shouldn't say used to because I still do. But you were so beautiful, your hair flowing around you, your lips were moving but I couldn't hear the words. All I knew was that you were someone important, someone special, someone worth living for. I hoped and prayed that somewhere, you were alive and felt the same way about me."

She smiled softly and yawned tiredly. "Keep talking, Jack."

"Well…uh…you want to know how I knew you were a big, fat liar?"

She smiled and nodded quickly.

"You caught me off guard with that but after the shock wore off, the only thing that kept running through my mind was your face when we first saw each other in the park. You looked like your heart had been ripped out when I told you I didn't remember you. You just looked like you were being tortured, like your entire world had just faded in a split second. I realized that someone who would try to trick me wouldn't have been so upset by my memory loss. You gave yourself away long before you ever thought of the lie…but then, you were just trying to do what you thought was best…"

He looked down and smiled at her sleeping face. She was the most beautiful creature he had ever seen. He knew he would never see anything so beautiful for the rest of his life. And hopefully, if she would still have him, he would get to see her everyday, for the rest of their lives.