A/N: I felt oddly inspired by last night's episode. One-shot only. Takes place after Kathleen gets home and received the news about Marshall's death. Just her thoughts on love, life, and everything in between. Reviews, please?
I wasn't sure what I felt. At first I couldn't believe it, I didn't believe it. I think I almost refused too. I looked over at Tom who sat in the passengers seat, confused and worried. I couldn't break his heart, I couldn't break Grace's heart. They were much too fragile. I knew It was going to happen though, one way or another. That I'd break their hearts. I was practically prone to it.
I looked at Tom and I broke down. I couldn't help it, I don't know what clicked or when, but I burst into sobs and I was shaking so bad I thought I'd drop the phone. He leaned over, taking it from my hand and closing it. I swallowed hard as he pulled me into a hug.
"Don't cry mom, it'll be okay. Dad will be home soon." I bit down hard on my lip as I held onto him, clutching him with everything I had. If only that were true. I pulled away a few moments later, after I'd gathered myself. I sniffled and started the car. I wanted to leave, but I couldn't bring myself to do so. I had to tell him now.
"Y-Your father's dead."
The words seemed foreign as they slipped past my tongue and tumbled out of my mouth. He looked at me in shock, and then shook his head, mouth the word 'no' over and over again. It was as if he couldn't say it aloud. He hit the dashboard hard, with his fist and I jumped back in surprise. I listened, watching carefully as he cried, yelling angrily at the sky, at God.
I sucked in a breath and pulled out of the parking lot.
Don't worry Tom, you're not the only one angry with God.
I pulled into the driveway reluctant and fearful. Tom, who had now calmed down immensely, got silently out of the car. I studied his movement as he came over and opened my door, holding out a hand like a true gentlemen. I don't know when, but I had started crying again. I held onto him as I pulled myself to my feet. My body shook again, so violently I was sure I'd collapse any moment, but he held onto me. With an arm wrapped around my shoulder, he propped me up as I slowly moved my messy self into the house. Jack came downstairs the moment the door opened and he looked at me, tilting his head to the side in confusion.
"H-He's dead." I whispered.
"No-No one's dead. We just had sex." I cried harder, shaking my head in frustration. He walked over to me as I removed my son's arm from my shoulders and dropped my body against Jack's, holding onto him like I had done with Tom. I knew if I had let go I'd fall. There was no 'if's about it anymore. It was inevitable.
"Jack." I choked out. "Marshall's dead."
His face went as pale as I'd ever seen someone and I thought he might throw up, but instead he said nothing, wrapping his arms protectively around me as he tried to offer some sort of comfort. I heard the footsteps and I buried my face in his shoulder, knowing how bad this was going to get.
When she stepped off the last step, she rushed over to me, her blond hair swaying every way possible. I whimpered lightly as she asked me what was wrong. Tom blurted it out before I could even blink. I wasn't going to lie, I was thankful he had, because that meant I didn't have too. Her face scrunched up as hot tears poured from her eyes and she backed up slowly until she fell against the stairs. I watched as she let out a strangled cry before disappearing back upstairs. I swallowed hard again, this time, pushing back bile.
Jack turned to leave slowly, but I stopped him, asking if he'd stay with her for awhile and make sure she doesn't do something drastic. He nods slowly as he heads back to her room. When he's gone, I turn to Tom, telling him I'm going to bed. He smiles weakly, and wraps his arm around my shoulder again. I never doubted Tom was dumb. Ever. He's incredibly smart, especially for someone with down syndrome. I knew when we adopted him it'd be a challenge, but he's a lovely kid, and always has been. He's never let me down once, neither has Grace.
I just wish I could've done the same for them.
It was one of the roughest nights sleep I'd ever had and I guess in my case, didn't have. I felt robotic as I changed and got ready to lay down. I couldn't help the terrorizing thoughts that plagued me. As I shut my light off to close my eyes, his face flashed in my mind and I sat up in a cold sweat. I leaned over the bed, grabbing the trash can and vomitting into it until there wasn't anything left in my stomach. Wiping my mouth off with a tissue, I lay back against the pillow and stared up at the dark ceiling, pleading with God to bring him back to me.
I could hear Grace sobbing from the room beside mine and as much as I wanted too, I made no effort to comfort her. Why comfort someone else when you can't do the same for yourself?
The next morning was just as bad as the night before. I was showered, dressed and downstairs in minutes, but I was still as much of a wreck then as I was the night before. I sat at the table as Tom brought me food, begging me to eat and doing his best to comfort me. I couldn't help but chuckle lightly when he said 'daddy's playing golf with Jesus.'
It was silly, but in a way, helped. I thanked him softly as I watched the clock. I listened to it tick by slowly as I waited for Grace to emerge from her room. I knew she wouldn't, I wasn't going to make her, but I hoped she would. i waited until the clock said 8, 8:15, by 8:30 I gave up completely. She wasn't coming. I managed to tear my eyes away from the clock as I now sat alone in the kitchen. Tom had left for his room around 8. I sat at the kitchen table, sobbing as the news flashed about his death and showed the horrific plane crash that haunted me every moment.
I felt my stomach turn as I pushed the plate of food away and clicked the 'off' button on the remote. Throwing it angrily across the room I beat my knees with my fists, yelling, screaming for God to bring him back to me. There was no more pleading. I was pissed.
I didn't understand it. When I finally got the one man I wanted, he's taken away from me. I didn't know if this was a punishment from cheating on George before, but it sure as hell felt like one. I didn't want to be angry with God, but I couldn't help it. I guess when it all came down, I wasn't though. I guess I was more angry with myself and with Marshall for up and leaving. It's almost as if he'd abandoned us or something.
I just couldn't wrap my head around this. I head my phone ring but I ignored it, knowing it was probably Reverend Stone, giving his condolences. I felt my blood boil though as the doorbell rang next. I couldn't ignore that. I stood up and trudged miserably to answer it, finding the last person I'd expect.
George's wife. Anne.
We locked eyes before I mumbled a small 'come in.' She did, closing the door behind her as she did so. She didn't say anything, she didn't need too. She knew, in a way, what it felt like to loose a husband. I mean she lost hers, metaphorically speaking. Not that I'd blame her, she was too good for George.
We sat on the couch as she told me she informed a few people. I shrugged, not really caring. I thought she was done speaking, done everything until she leaned in close to me and pulled me into an odd, but comfortable hug. It was warm, and even though she didn't say anything, the hug said it all. It whispered the words 'I'm sorry and I'm here for you,' in my ear.
When we pulled away, she smiled at me lightly. I nod in recognition and stand up, wiping sweaty palms on my jeans. She walks out the door as I collapse against it. It was then that the realization sunk in. There was no more pleading, screaming, begging for him to come back. There was no point, because he wouldn't.
And why try and fight a battle that you'll just keep loosing? This, unfortunately, was one of those battles.