Ten months had now past, and still Reba was in the same place as she had been that day. Her family seemed so far ahead of her in moving on. They were enjoying life just a little more, but she still couldn't find any joy. Her children had all tried to cheer her up, even asked her to go to counseling with them, but she had declined. There was no point in spending that much money on hearing something she already knew. She watched the streets go by as she sat in the back seat of Cheyenne's car. They were on their way to visit Brock's gravesite, and she knew, just like all the other times, it would break her. Maybe she should quit going. It did her no good, but at the same time she wouldn't give it up for anything. Cheyenne watched her mother through the the rearview mirror. She hated being the one to take her mother, but with Kyra on tour and Jake taking care of his son, she was the only one left. Barbra Jean refused to come back.
"Mom, you sure you feel up to this today?" Cheyenne hoped she'd get a voiced response, but doubt she would. Reba didn't talk much anymore, and when she did it wasn't a lot. She had been so unlike herself lately. It left them all worried about her. They always made sure someone was checking in on her, and she wasn't left alone for too long of a time. Reba never seemed to notice how much time they spent with her. She was still lost. Reba nodded her head, her eyes never leaving the buildings flying past her. Cheyenne glanced at Van, asking him to try again. Van sighed, taking a moment to think.
"Uh, Laura made the cut for her school's first musical. She wanted to tell you herself so I didn't say anything to you when she calls, ok?" Reba gave him a silent ok without much feeling behind it. She turned her head to face him. Van turned around to stare at her, hoping he could find something to cheer her up. "Ryan made the football team again this year. He has a game this Friday if you want to come. He'd really love to see you there." Reba gave him a weak smile, and Van almost thought she would give him something to work with. She nodded her head, and promised to be there. Still, she didn't sound convincing. Van turned back around just in time to read the name of the cemetery. He sighed again, begging his brain to think of something.
"Have y'all talked to Kyra lately? Do you know how the tour's goin'?" Reba's voice was dry and low, but at least she was attempting a conversation. Cheyenne took a deep breath, holding back the small smile. She sent a quick prayer for her mother as Van told her about Kyra. Cheyenne stopped the car as she watched Reba intently. Her mother kept her eyes on the back of Van's head, her bottom lip already trembling from the pain. Cheyenne opened her door, always being the first one to leave the car. Reba waited in her spot for Cheyenne and Van to pay their respects before slowly and numbly walking over to the cold, grey stone. She sat down with her legs folded underneath her, and set the photo album she had brought with her to the side. She let her eyes cloud over with tears as she read his headstone.
Brock Enroll Hart
Jan. 20, 1958 - Nov. 29, 2021
She leaned over, kissed his name, then slowly sat back up. She took a deep breath, feeling the tears and her lashes battling against each other. She licked her lips as she reached for the photo album. Flipping through the pages, she ignored the stab each picture brought with it. All they did was bring back the memories she wouldn't dare to remember at this moment. She needed her strength today. Stopping on the page with the three pictures she'd need, she reached into her jacket pocket for three white stones engraved with small black words. Reba took another breath as she looked over her wedding picture. They were both so different then. She had big curly hair, and he had a mustache. She smiled sweetly at the picture, letting the day play itself through her mind. This picture was the first big symbol of their love for each other. It was the best day of her life, and she wished she could relive it. Knowing it could never happen, she would settle with praying to never forget it. She set the picture down on the lower left corner of his headstone, searched quickly through the stones for the one she wanted, and placed it on top of the picture. Love had never been written so pretty before, and she had to run her fingers over the letters just one more time. Taking a deep breath, she placed her hand flat against the grass, whispering her deepest secret to the ground. She loved him. What else was there left for her to say? Going back to the album, she fished out the second picture. One of many she and Brock had taken during their trip to Italy. He had finally surprised her with it on her fifty birthday. She closed her eyes, waiting for the tears to calm down before opening them again. She picked up the rock marked with the word cherish and the picture. Before placing them in their rightful spot next to the first picture, she ran her eyes over every detail. Brock was leaning against a building with his arms wrapped around her in a playful manner, and she had rested her head on his shoulder with her own arms crossed over his. They had been laughing over the joke he had whispered in her ear about the man taking their picture. She had been smiling that whole trip, making Brock chuckle every time he looked at her. Reba sighed away the memory as she set the picture down. It was his favorite, and she wouldn't keep it to herself any longer. Making sure the stone would hold the picture, she thanked him once again for such a beauiful gift. The last picture, equally as important as the other two, was taken five years ago during Christmas. Barbra Jean had misletoed the house to death, and for some odd reason Brock and Reba were the only ones to accidentally stand underneath one. Van had snapped the picture after the third time, and for the next few months he was deteremined to make fun of them. He constantly said they would end up back together before the next Christmas. It hadn't happened, and she remembered feeling just a little bit disappointed that year. Reba sighed again, wishing for that Christmas back. She would gladly go through the embarassment of her family watching just to hold him and kiss him again. She would do it just to have him back. She took a deep breath, holding it as she read over the last stone. Hope was written across it. She had found it perfect for this picture. Everything she had and would hope for was frozen in the last picture. She hoped they would be together again soon. Setting the objects where they belonged and tossing the photo album to the side, Reba let out the breath she was holding. Nothing seemed to help with the pulling in her chest and closing of her throat. Deep breaths and sighs were a waist of her time and energy, but what else could she do? She wouldn't cry in front of Van and Cheyenne. Not again. She lowered her eyes to the ground, collecting what she could of her thoughts.
"Oh, Brock...how much longer? I don't know how much more I can take of this...a life without you..I could never imagine that, not even when we got divorced. The kids don't need me...They're all grown up, remember? Barbra Jean's got Henry...and several friends from the weather station...See? They all have someone to be their best friend...but, Brock, you were mine, and I just don't know how many more times I can keep wishing you were here with me. I just...I...oh, Brock, I need you. Don't you see that? Can you even hear me? I love you so much, and going on without you...just seems so impossible." She kept her eyes on the ground as she spoke, not wanting to see the pictures before her. They were for him now, and she knew if she looked at them again all her control would be lost. Closing her eyes, she lifted her head to the sky. Slowly opening them, she smiled sadly and prayed he was able to see and hear her. She wanted to be with him again, no matter which way it had to be. "Please, Brock, come back for me...I need you...I love y-you." Her throat closed shut and her chest pulled tighter than before. She knew what was coming next. Months and months of constant crying prepared her for this. Along with the pouring rain, her tears soaked her cheeks, and being drowned out by the thunder, her sobs sent her body to the ground. Her head now rested where his chest would be, and she laid curled up in a little ball. She closed her eyes, the tears still pouring out of her, as she prayed to feel his arms wrap around her again.
Cheyenne pushed herself away from the hood of the car, starting to walk towards her mother, but Van stopped her. He pulled her to his body instead, knowing this would help his mother-in-law much more than it would hurt her. At least, it's what he hoped would happen. Cheyenne wrapped her arms around Van, watching her mother cry into the muddy grass. She had done this every time, but it still tugged at her heart. How much longer did her mother have to go through with this? Why couldn't the woman be happy again? Van and Cheyenne quickly climbed into their car, waiting on Reba to join them. When hours had past and darkness had fallen, Van ventured towards his mother-in-law. He hadn't expected her to stay on the ground all day. Both he and Cheyenne had wanted to comfort her, but they knew she wouldn't want them right now. She needed something much more than either of them could give her. Noticing that she was asleep, Van gently picked her up and carried her to the car. She was completely soaked and muddy. They needed to get her home, changed in dry warm clothes, and tucked securely into bed. Cheyenne started the car, turned the heat all the way up, and left the cemetery once again, already dreading their next visit.
Eleven months after that terrible day, Reba found herself feeling worse than ever before. Nothing could keep her attention for longer than two minutes, and she had stopped caring who saw her cry. She just walked around her house, letting the tears come and go as they pleased. The only times she tried to control herself were when her grandchildren were over, but even then it was hard not to break down. She couldn't do anything without thinking of him, and it left her with an ache in her chest so powerful that she had to keep moving in order to ignore it. Reba sighed as she laid down on the couch, too tired to keep moving. She needed a little nap at the least. The tears had stopped a few minutes ago, leaving her eyes to hurt and swell. She took a deep breath as she closed her eyes, and tried to think of happy things. Something Barbra Jean had suggested she do to keep the bad thoughts away. She was home alone for the time being, and the house had an awful silence to it. Reba let her mind wonder to where ever it wanted to go, and drifted to sleep with a smile on her face as she remembered her Italy vacation again.
An hour later, there was a knock on the front door. Reba sat up, wondering when she had changed clothes. She quickly glanced over the shiny white dress and light blue see through robe. She had to admit it was beautiful. Remembering someone was at her door, she quickly walked to it and opened it slowly. Her eyes traveled from the man's toes to his eyes, and her heart skipped several beats. Standing there in front of her was the man she had been dying to see for the past eleven months. Reba smiled from ear to ear when he gave her his cocky grin. He quickly put on a serious face and finally finished his sentence.
"You left." Reba closed her eyes, holding back her tears once again. She took a deep breath, tossing herself at him. Wrapping her arms around his neck, she laughed shortly. Brock breathed in her scent, so happy he could be with her again.
"I knew you would, Brock. I always knew you would get me home safe and sound just like I was when I left." She sighed, but this time it was because she was happy. She couldn't feel the pain in her chest anymore, her thoughts were finally flowing at a normal pace, and she could see clearly again. "But why? How?" She pulled away from Brock, but still stood close enough to him for his arms to remain around her waist.
"Well, you just couldn't take anymore. You gave up." Brock paused when he noticed the puzzled look on her face as she ran her eyes over his white suit and took in his words. "Honey, you died of a broken heart." He paused again, waiting on her response. Reba lifted her eyes to his before glancing over her shoulder into her house. She took in a deep shocked breath at her body still lying on the couch. When she turned back around, she was confused. "I guess all those years of you telling me I was gonna be the death of you...you weren't joking, huh?" Brock smiled at her when she rolled her eyes at him. He had her back, and he couldn't help but be happy. He just wished it hadn't happened like it had.
"I still don't understand, Brock. You can't die of a broken heart, can you?" He nodded his head, waiting for it to sink in. Reba thought about it for a little longer, finally accepting the fact she wouldn't have been happy anyways. At least now, she could be with her best friend again. They could talk, laugh, play, fight, anything they wanted to do. She smiled at that thought, knowing her family would be ok without her. She didn't need to know anything else. She was finally happy again, and if she had to die for that to happen then she could accept that. Reba looked back up to Brock, placing her hands on his cheeks. "I missed you so much." Brock smiled just a bit bigger.
"I know. I heard you. I missed you more though." Reba shook her head, stepping closer to him. "What? You don't think I did? Honey, I missed you more than a year's worth of free golf." Reba chuckled, as she let her arms wrap around his neck again. Brock suddenly turned serious. "I'm so sorry I put you through that, Reba. I didn't want to, but you are one stubborn woman." Reba smiled at him, quickly reassuring him she didn't care about that anymore. She was just happy to be back with him. They stood, forehead to forehead, for a few minutes in silence. They just wanted to soak up the way the other one smelled and felt. Reba was the first one to break the silence. She had something very important to tell Brock.
"I've always loved you." Reba pulled her forehead away to look into his eyes, wanting to see how he felt about her confession. He stared deep into her eyes, the corners of his lips pointing slightly upwards. Reba swallowed the lump in her throat, completely nervous of what he would say.
"It took dying to get you to admit that. I should have known." Brock smile her favorite grin, and kissed her forehead. Reba took a deep breath, almost ready to smack the back of his head from having to wait. Brock chuckled to himself, noticing the small flame in her eyes. "I love you way more though." Reba let out the breath she was holding as she smiled and shook her head. She leaned closer to him, their lips inches apart.
"Honey, that's impossible." Brock smiled at her words before her lips met his in a passionate kiss. They were together after years of playing games and dodging their fears of rejection. Now, in death, they had all the time in the world to be in love and to be best friends. Nothing could come between them again.