"...I'm sorry, Mrs. Larrabee. There's a slight possibility, but the chances are slim."
The words floated through Lili's mind as though they were simply air. No, no. I couldn't be true. It just couldn't. She was young, healthy. Why not? Why her?
She was silent the entire way home, driving as if she were on autopilot. The doctor's words left her stunned, shocked. Confused. She was ready to settle down. Her work as a singer had lessened in significance ever since she'd married Major Bill Larrabee, though hadn't ended in any way. Now, three years later, she was no longer in a constant, stressful demand, and Bill was home for good.
Bill. What would he say? What would he think of her now? She, of all people, was for once, deathly afraid. She loved this man with all of her heart. She couldn't stand, fathom the thought of having to handle rejection. There was only one instance in which she'd felt equally as frightened, hurt, and confused before now.
At the war's end, Lili returned to England. She'd given up all hope of having Bill's love for her rekindled. She had betrayed him, and he knew it. She herself knew that she in no way deserved his love, but Lili couldn't help herself. She was hopelessly and madly in love with this man; it was Bill who occupied her heart. And so being, in attempt to help herself come to terms with the crushing fact that she was truly doing a service by staying away from him, and to mask her broken heart and spirit, as well as the frustration at not knowing his whereabouts and stance on her betrayal, she threw herself into her work.
It was at the last concert of Lili's six month tour that the Eagle squadron joined her act in the backdrops of the stage. She remembered being torn between immense relief and indescribable disappointment that none of the soldiers in a certain Major Larrabee's squadron knew of his doings or location. Having heard that, Lili determined that this closing night on the glorious London stage would be the closing of her heart to Bill Larrabee; she promised herself she'd let him go- her final song spoke true. She felt as though her heart had given up on love. She wasn't sure if she could bear to sing it once more. But then, singing this song just once more, she realized, would mean to her the complete closing of a chapter in her life that had caused her so much pain and worry, on to the start of a new one, where she'd brave it's looming darkness with song- the one thing that seemed to be completely hers to love. Yes, it fit.
The lights were just dimming over her, thrusting her into complete darkness, she recalled, when she heard someone step next to her. She was shocked and stiffened up when she felt hands quickly encircle her waist. But the kiss that met her lips in that instant, would forever be burned in her memory. She knew who it was, and all previously decided resolutions flew out of her mind quicker than lightening as she responded, holding her love close. It felt as if her heart had burst to overflowing with love so strong, intense, and deep in that fleeting moment that she held on to Bill, never wanting to let go.
And now, here she was. Lili glanced around, wondering where "here" was. She saw that she'd subconciously driven herself right into their driveway. She was dreading going into that house. She thought she'd never wanted to be separated from her love ever, ever again, but now she wished to be as far away from him as possible. She didn't want to do this. To him or herself. Then I just won't. Lili decided her mind was made up. It all had to be a lie, so there was no reason for Bill to know, was there? Lies do a person no good after all.
Lili turned the car off, slipped quickly out of it, slammed the door moodily shut, and marched herself into the house. The aroma wafting from the kitchen told her Emma was preparing supper, and handing her coat to Bedford, she asked where her husband was. He motioned towards the sun room. Lili nodded, stemming any questions, and headed towards the sun room.
Upon her entrance, Bill stood up from the chair in which he was reading, smiling warmly at his goregeous red-head wife. "I made us tea, darling."
"Well, I don't want it." Lili turned away, feeling ever so wretched and lost.
Lili knew that going through Bill's mind was utter confusion, which explained plainly why his brows furrowed together, and why he looked hard at her. She only kept her back to him, hugging her shoulders. Quite suddenly, she felt his strong, muscular arms encase her, drawing her into his warm embrace. He took her shoulders and turned her around, holding her chin up. He was forcing her to look into his eyes, and in doing so, Lili finally broke down in his arms, sobbing. She knew she must accept this unexpected turn in her life, no matter how much she disliked, despised, hated it. But would Bill?
Her husband led her to a chair, then sat down in it himself, putting her on his lap. He held her close, and Lili, despite her tears, savored his touch as he rocked her slowly.
"Lili, what is it?" The fact that he was now a retired, married major in no way whatsoever took away from his commanding presence. His voice demanded an answer- and not only that, but the truth.
She gulped, then managed to stutter between deep breaths, "Bill...I-I'm not...not able to have children." The force of hearing those words all over again, especially out of her own mouth, caused the tears to flow forcefully, and she buried her head in his chest. Her voice muffled, she sobbed, "I'm of no use. No use."
Bill, though shocked at what Lili had just told him, was even more shocked at her second statement. He took her shoulders again and shook her, looking her right in the eyes. "Don't you ever say that, do you hear me?" He clutched her close to him again. "I love you, Lili. I love you. Nothing can change that." The two sat there together for a long time, in each other's arms. "Lili?"
Lili sat up a bit, wiping her eyes with the back of her hand. "Yes?" Her voice was quiet.
"I married you for who you are, not for what the rest of the world says you should be." He took her chin, and gave her the warmest, most passionate kiss she could ever remember. When he pulled away, he asked quietly, "Is it a definite statement?"
Lili gazed at her husband, then shook her head slowly. Threading her fingers through his hair, she whispered, "Carry me."