Your things are in the back of your car. Not all of your things; just enough to last you for the few days you'll be staying in the hotel. You told Kim to take your apartment while she looked for a place in Tacoma. She needs it more than you do right now. She has the baby too look after.
They're being discharged today, Kim and the baby. You should be happy, but you can't stop thinking about how you've fucked up.
You should have known it would end up like this. You should have known that sleeping with her, no matter how much you wanted to at the time, would cause this much damage.
Normally it's just you and her that get hurt. You'll be hurt when she goes back to her boyfriend and she'll get hurt when you tell her you don't love her. But this time is different. You've both got things to lose and you've both got others to hurt.
The baby boy, your son, is named Sam, after your late father. Kim said you could name the baby anything you wanted, after what she'd done to you. That was before the shit hit the fan. You don't think you deserve such honours now. How is what she did to you any worse that what you did to her?
You wanted to sort things out with her. That night, when you went off with Kim, it wasn't because she meant less to you than Kim did. You don't know exactly why it was. Maybe it's because you were scared of what people would say if you left the mother of your child to go through labour on her own. Maybe you thought she would understand if you went with Kim. Maybe you thought you could fix things with her later. Fuck knows why you went with Kim, but you know you wanted to be with her. You wanted to be sorting things out with her.
But when you looked for her she wasn't there.
You went to her apartment and knocked on her door. But you got no answer. She's a heavy sleeper, you thought. So you knocked louder. And louder. And you said your apologies through the letterbox, just in case she was hiding somewhere, deliberately not answering the door. You thought if you apologised through the letterbox she's open the door. But she didn't. You looked through the letterbox, just for any signs of life. Her fuzzy pink slippers weren't by the door, you noticed. But her fuzzy pink slippers – ones you gave her among other things for her birthday – were always by the door.
You went to the hospital, not caring that you were already late for your shift. You just needed to speak to her. You walked through the hospital doors and Carla looked at you with an eerie mix of shock and fear. Quietly you said you needed to talk to her.
And that's when they told you she was gone.
She wrote you a note. You found it in your locker. Your locker that is right next to hers.
She said that she was sorry. She said that she was going away because she could be around to hurt you any more. She said that she hoped you would be happy with Kim and the baby. She said that you both needed to move on from each other. She said you both would in time. You don't think she was that convinced, because her handwriting changed. Her writing is always more slanted when she's unsure.
She didn't tell you where she was going.
You know she was upset when she wrote this letter. You can see the tear stains on the paper. The black of her mascara mixing with the blue of her pen. You can see your tear marks there too.
You've spent the majority of the last couple of days with your eyes closed. It's too painful to keep your eyes open, because when you do you see her. You see you and her racing up the stairs on your first day. You see you and her hiding in a closet during a code. You see you and her bungee jumping off of a bridge. You see her leaning on a post, smiling back at you.
She isn't physically there, you know that. But she's been a massive part of your life for the last six years that everywhere you look you're reminded of her. She's there, but not there.
You didn't want her to get hurt. You didn't want anybody to get hurt. You'd gladly feel the pain infinite time worse if it meant she wasn't hurting and she was here.
You're waiting for her to walk back through the doors. You need her to walk back through the doors.
Carla asked you what you felt for her, what you really felt for her. You couldn't answer. You couldn't explain it. You can't explain it.
You've tried the relationship thing before. You've tried it before and it was train wreck. But if it's that much of a disaster then why do you always seem find yourselves in bed together?
They say you're someone who wants what he can't have. But this isn't wanting what you can't have.
You need her to be here.
Maybe that's your answer. If you need her to be here then… then… hell, you don't know.
Do you feel guilty about all the hurt you've caused?
Do you wish that it had never happened?
No. Because maybe, once the chaos is settled, it will be the beginning of something you've wanted since your first year.
Is that you answer? Is that your answer to Carla's question?
You need her to be here.
You know you've fucked up. You know you'll never be able to look Kim – or Keith, for that matter – in the eye again without feeling the hatred, the blame, the guilt. You'll never be able to look your son in the eye and wonder if he resents you for not being with his mommy. You'll never be able to look at the other hospital staff without knowing that they're judging you.
But you can get through that together. You will get through that together.
She'll come back. You're just waiting for her to come back. She'll be here soon.
You need her to be here.
It's all you can do to hope that this isn't the point of no return.