CHAPTER FOURTEEN: twice as hard

Alex stood in the airport, watching the board change. Her cell phone buzzed and she pulled it out. Rachel.

"Hey honey." Alex answered. She could almost see the other girl's smile.

"Alex! How was your trip?" Rachel asked. Alex headed toward her gate.

"It was okay. . . stressful." Alex admitted, taking a seat in one of the waiting chairs.

"Aw, honey I'm sorry. I missed you so much." Rachel said and Alex smiled a little.

"Me too." She lied blatantly. "What are you doing?" Alex took the subject off of her.

"I'm driving to work. Want me to pick you up at the airport?" Rachel asked sweetly.

"Yeah, that'd be great." Alex said. "I have to go. See you later?" Alex asked.

"Yeah. I love you." Rachel said.

"I love you too", Alex returned and hung up. She slipped the phone back in her pocket. Her thoughts drifted. She had found since her fight with Marissa that she didn't think of the brunette all the time. No, she thought of her feelings, her emotions, but refused to actually think of Marissa. Wouldn't even think of her name. She had blocked the other girl out, like you block a bad memory.

She didn't try to remember Marissa and, for once in what felt like her entire life, she wasn't sure if she could remember Marissa. It had killed her at first, in the dark of early morning. She had laid there, wanting so badly to call Marissa, hear her voice, becuase she couldn't remember her voice. Couldn't remember her eyes, the way her hair felt, how she tasted. But Marissa didn't want her, didn't want to hear Alex's voice, so Alex hadn't called. She had driven herself crazy, remembering Marissa's touch and the fire behind it.

She could feel her life slipping out from under her, so she cut herself off from it. Stopped trying to connect and snapped the wire tying her to Marissa and all that love. All that pain. It was easier to let go than to hold on sometimes. Those are probably the times you should hold on, but Alex didn't want to. Wouldn't do it. The stewardress called her group and Alex stood up, grabbing her carry on.

Marissa sat in the doctor's office, gripping Ryan's hands. The fight with Alex had ripped her apart and now this... she was barely dealing with what she was doing right now. No, she wasn't dealing at all. It was just there, hanging before her. They were both quiet, fraught with nervousness. Ryan flashed Marissa a reassuring, but terrified smile.

"Either way." He whispered to her. "We're going to be okay." Marissa wasn't sure that he was right. This was going to completley change their lives, whether the tests came back positive or not. For once in her life Alex wasn't her main concern. The door opened. The doctor came back in and they both looked at him expectantly.

"Congratulations." The doctor smiled at Marissa. "You're pregnant."