So my internet is definitely broken. I wrote this in about twenty minutes.
This was always possible. Always in the back of his mind, always just within reach, always just within impossible.
And somehow, he never believed it could happen.
Colors don't seem as bright. Sounds are dull and obnoxiously loud. His coffee, his food, is all tasteless, blurry lumps of something he forces down his throat to stop himself from starving. He is functioning. He goes through the motions, every day. Every breath, every blink, every mundane task is done on autopilot.
He doesn't think anymore. He notices things- small, unimportant things- and tucks them away. But he doesn't think. He can't. He hasn't worked in days. This time, no one attempts to come by his house. No one tries to cheer him up, no one tries to save him, no one does anything but drop off food and leave hopeful messages that he deletes without listening.
He hasn't left the house since-
Since the damned funeral.
Jordan Sullivan doesn't cry. For that matter, neither does Perry Cox. Yet, he remembers they both shed tears at that blasted funeral. He didn't even see her cry for her brother. But this- well, this was entirely different. He remembers the day it all changed. She was sobbing, screaming in the nursery, in hysterics.
"Perry!" She had screamed. "Oh God!"
He closes his eyes. He doesn't like to think about it.
Jordan is a wreck. She isn't functioning, she can't go on autopilot. He watches with a mixture of apathy, horror, and pity as she tears herself apart in an attempt to keep life moving. But he knows. She doesn't wear makeup anymore. He has yet to see her wear anything better than one of his sports jerseys and a pair of sweat pants. She takes Jack to daycare, and spends the day locked in a lonely room, drinking herself to a stupor, and somehow manages to pull it together in time to pick him up and play mommy for a night.
But nothing's the same.
He had dreams for her.
Jennifer Dylan. As much as he pretended to hate the name, it fit her well. She was a pretty baby, the most perfect girl in the world. She was going to grow up. She would be beautiful. He would protect her from everything- boys, heartbreak, rape, pain, sadness, fear, death- and she would be her father's child. She would be happy. She would go to school for whatever she wanted (he didn't really care).
He couldn't protect her. Not from Death's cold grasp. SIDS, they call it. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. He has diagnosed this more than once, and every time believed with all his might that there was no way to save that child.
Jennifer Dylan was his child.
He should have stopped it. He's a damn doctor, and he can't save his infant daughter's life.
Jordan sobbed for hours that day. She held the baby's cold body, desperately trying to warm her. As if that would magically bring her back to life. As if clutching the child to her chest and wailing loud enough would convince that bastard in the sky to give them back their daughter's soul. The worst part of that entire day was waiting for the paramedics to arrive. He had dialed 911, explained in a numb voice what was happening, and waited.
Jordan had sung lullaby after lullaby to his dead daughter's body.
Soft verses of childhood rhymes they had sung while she was alive drifted through the house, interrupted by loud sobs. He had sent Jack's to Carla's long before, to avoid his son being scared for life.
Those haunted melodies ring in his head now, as he sits with a brandy and listens to a message left by Bob Kelso without hearing.
Life isn't as important now. Suddenly, a life that was perfectly happy before she was born is unbearable without her.
She was so pale, that day. When he walked in. Jordan's hysterics filled the room and somehow didn't matter when he saw her still form. Her lips were already blue, her skin already cold.
There was nothing you could do.
She was somewhat stiff, already feeling the effects of rigor mortis. Still, Jordan held her and sang in a broken voice and tried to wake her up.
These things just happen sometimes.
Jack asks where she is, still. They can never answer. Jordan has to leave, and he reminds him not to ask for now.
There's a reason for everything, right?
"Where's Jenny?" Jack asks again, for the thousandth time.
"Jenny." Jordan's eyes fill with tears. Jack has never actually seen her cry. "Jenny is in heaven with Jesus, Jack."
"Why did she go there?" He looked confused, upset, sad. "I miss her. Can we please ask her to come home?"
"Jen... Jenny can't come home, Jackie." He ruffles his son's hair, his own voice thick with emotion as he does so. "She didn't leave us on purpose, see? She had to go."
It was just her time to go, Dr. Cox.
"Why?" Jack looks at his mother, whose tears run openly down her face. His own tears are sliding down his small cheek, still chubby with baby fat.
"Because Jesus needed our perfect little Jenny with him, Jack." Jordan sniffs. "See, he needed someone to make him happy when he was sad."
"But..." Jack was crying now. "We need Jenny."
"Sometimes, God doesn't think like that." Jordan says softly.
If there's anything we can do, you know how to reach us.
"Maybe if we pray, God will give her back. If we pray really hard?" Jack looks sadly at his mother.
"It doesn't work like that, Jack."
"I don't know."
We're so sorry.