Stop all the clocks
I've always been a simple man. The simple pleasures in life excite me. The crossword I finish every Sunday as we're having breakfast, the way you stack the books in our library because a rough landscape looks better on the eye. The way you fall asleep in my arms after insisting you're not tired, the way you kiss my neck when I'm shaving in the mirror, the way you pair my socks and boxers because I might get lucky. And as I sit here now watching you lay forehead to forehead with our son I'm sure that my simple life is complete.
You smile, a soft intriguing smile, and I silently wish I was sharing your dream with you before filing away this memory as mine and mine alone. Jacob stirs and I gently gather him in my arms before resting him on my chest, our heartbeats beating as one. I softly whisper to him that we shouldn't wake you and he gurgles contently. We have reached an understanding.
When we return from the shower your side of the bed is empty. I can smell fresh coffee brewing. You always make the coffee as you do it best. You are right. I dress Jacob in your favourite outfit of his, its perfect. From his gurgle of delight I'd say he agrees. I will change later and pull on pair of shorts and T-shirt for now as the smell of coffee is enticing me towards the kitchen and you.
As we enter the kitchen there you are, reading the morning paper, beautiful long legs peeking out from your nightshirt. I'm tempted to devour you there and then and the smile on your face lets me know you can read my thoughts. A soft cry from Jacob reminds me that we're not as young as we used to be. I retrieve his bottle and place him in his chair. He is happy now; he has a happy disposition, although we both can't agree where he gets it from. I often joke that it was probably due to too much exposure to Greg while he was in the womb, you tell me to be thankful it wasn't Ecklie. I pour myself a coffee and sip it slowly. The coffee is normally great but today it doesn't taste so good, however, the kiss you blow me on the way to your shower more than makes up for it. I'm sure the smile that has formed on my face is a brilliant one and even if I were in the lab I wouldn't have tried to hide it. I'm the luckiest man alive.
Twenty minutes later you return to the kitchen and you look beautiful. You have your cream pant suit on, it's my favourite as it reminds me our first date, you know this. You have swept your hair up, exposing your beautiful neck, which is highlighted by several unruly curls. When I remind you what happened the first time I saw you in that suit I am rewarded with a soft chuckle. Encouraged, I walk towards you, a grin on my face. You remind me that we will be late and tell me to behave, and I will….for now.
I gesture to your breakfast on the table and you tell me that I shouldn't have gone to all that effort, you always say that. I'll tell you that it was not an effort but a delight and you'll smile and tell me how lucky you are to have me. I'll insist it's the other way round. This is our routine, something that I love. A private play and only you and I have the scripts.
The phone rings while I'm in our bedroom getting changed. I shout that I will get it and immediately regret this decision. It is Catherine and her barrage of questions quickly irritates me and sours my mood. When she finally leaves me be I am running late. I quickly pull on my suit. Today Johnny Cash would have been proud. You love me in black so I love it too. When I return to the kitchen you are talking to our son. He is laughing as you gently blow on his face, ruffling his hair. A solitary curl of your hair has fallen across your face. You are beautiful. And as you lean across and softly kiss his forehead I fall in love with you all over again.
The church is crowded when we get there and an uncomfortable feeling is rising in the pit of my stomach. I've never liked crowds and today is no exception. As if sensing my discomfort you take my hand and squeeze it gently. I'll be ok. As the gazes fall upon us I wish we were back at home in our own little world. Just the three of us. I know what they are all thinking, I'm one lucky guy, and they are all right. Nick comes to greet us and you smile brightly as he takes Jacob in his arms and comments on how beautiful he is. I can't help but smile to and for a moment the butterflies forming in my stomach disappear.
Twenty minutes later everybody is seated in the church and the service is well under way. My part is up soon and the butterflies in my stomach have returned with such a vengeance that not even your soft words of encouragement can calm them. When I hear my name I know the time has come. I turn to you, my beautiful perfect wife, and the smile you give me melts my heart. I suddenly wish I could tell you I love you a thousand times but I'll have to settle for one. I know everyone is watching us but I say it anyway because if you can say it and mean it then you should. I know I should take my place now but I'm routed to the spot. I hold your gaze once more and you promise me that we will be ok. As I feel the warmth of your hand leave mine I know the time has come.
I've never liked attention and being the centre of it now is my idea of a really bad dream, come true. All eyes are focused on me like I'm going to announce the discovery of a new human race. I'm not though. The sun that spills through the giant stained glass windows gives everyone an ethereal glow and I feel like I am in the company of angels. The silence is broken by a soft cry from Jacob who is resting in Catherine's arms, she adjusts him slightly and he falls silent once more. I smile deeply; he looks so much like you when he sleeps, and as I turn to you to share this smile I realize that you're crying. Everyone is and as my eyes begin to cloud I realize that I am to. I can feel the butterflies in my stomach gathering around my heart, squeezing it tighter and I close my eyes fiercely. Eternity seems to pass before I begin to speak.
"Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.
Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message She Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.
She was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.
The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good."
When I finish I can hear louder sobs ringing through the church. I'm sure that I will die of a broken heart. I'm sure my soul has left my body. I'm sure that my life is over. But then our son cries and I have to face the truth. Opening my eyes and drawing my gaze to the place where you sit is the hardest thing I've ever had to do. You're gone. I knew you would be. The tears fall harder now. I'll cry a river for you.
Our son cries once more and I go to him, taking him into my arms as if he might disappear. His cries subside and as I head down the aisle towards the beautiful sunlight I can hear Catherine calling my name in vain. But I will not stop, and as I feel Jacob's heartbeat softly beating against me I know we will be ok….because you promised we would be.
X The End X
A/N Hope I didn't ruin anyone's day. It was an idea that wouldn't go away until I got it down on paper. I could just imagine Grissom's denial being this great if anything happened to Sara, In fact I could probably imagine my denial being this great if I lost someone I loved so much. Big big thanks to the super cool Cybrokat, for Beta and suggestions when it came to Sara and to W.H. Auden for his beautiful poem.
PS Disclaimer: Not mine