Disclaimer: I do not own the HSM characters!
How Am I Supposed To Live Without You"Call me when you can ok?" Gabriella Bolton/Montez nodded at her husband of a few weeks.
The pair were only 17 but decided to marry as neither could see a future without the other. Another big thing, they had a baby girl who was a few weeks old. She was born a little early about a week after the wedding. The wedding was the most spontaneous ever. They were going for a drive and the car broke down in the middle of nowhere. It started to rain and Troy, Gabriella's boyfriend at the time, didn't want her or the baby to get sick so they quickly walked, as fast as they could with her huge bump, into the nearest building. A church. They sat down in one of the pews and Gabriella rested her head on Troy's shoulder.
The organ player walked in and smiled at the pair. She explained she needed to rehearse and they said it was fine as long as she didn't mind them sitting there. The organ player then started and both smiled at each other. The music was soft, romantic, personal in a way. Troy took Gabriella's hand and kissed the back of it. Gabriella smiled as their baby kicked and Troy covered her bump with his other hand.
Troy had actually proposed to Gabriella a few months back and she accepted but then said she didn't actually want to get married yet, they were both so young. After a fight that lasted the whole of a day they made up and Troy agreed to wait for her. Gabriella smiled thinking back and then, in an unofficial way asked him to marry her. Troy had smiled and said when, she had smiled back and said right now.
So, a few hours later, they had the priest, the organ player and a few witnesses watch the in love teens wed. It was the happiest day of their lives, of course only until their baby girl, Eloise May Bolton, was born. That was a day that changed their life forever.
Now, Gabriella was about to leave their hometown of Alberqerque for a week to visit relatives a few towns away, which was about a to six hour drive away depending on traffic and stuff. She was going with her parents and Eloise. Troy was staying at home as he had school and work to go to, Gabriella managed to go back part time until she felt ready to leave Eloise full time.
"I promise I will Troy" she held his hands through the window.
"Say goodbye to daddy Eloise" came Maria Montez's voice.
Troy turned around and smiled at his baby girl in her car seat, being held by her grandmother. He kissed her forehead and stroked her cheek.
"Love you El" he whispered. He kissed Maria's cheek and then leant down to the open window.
"I love you Troy" Gabriella told him.
"I love you to Gabs" he kissed her softly. "Call me"
"I will, at every pit stop I swear" she kissed him again.
"Good, I'll miss you" he kissed her again. "Make sure Eloise doesn't forget me" Gabriella giggled.
"Of course Troy" he smiled. "And please put the shelves up" she smiled.
"Ok slave driver" they kissed again.
"Come on guys: shouted Gabriella's dad, Carlos.
"Ok C, look after my girls" Troy told him.
"Of course Troy" Gabriella leant out of the window as they drove down the street. She waved and blew kisses to Troy until he was out of sight.
Troy sighed. He hated them leaving him but there was no way he could go. He went into the house and decided to do what Gabriella asked. He got out the shelves and started, or attempted, to fix them together. After about half an hour his cell phone rang. He smiled, thinking it would be Gabriella but it wasn't.
"Hey Dan" it was his soon-to-be step dad.
"Troy, I need your help" he sighed.
"Your mother is returning home soon and I want to do something to surprise her" Troy frowned.
"And...? I fit into this how?" He asked slowly.
"Your her son, you know what she likes"
"Your her fiancée, you should no too!" He exclaimed in disbelief.
"Please Troy, an hour the tops?"
"Fine" he sighed. "I'll meet you at the coffee shop"
"Thanks" Troy hung up and left the nursery. He grabbed his car keys and went towards the coffee shop. As he parked the car his cell rang, this time it was Gabriella.
"Hey babe!" He smiled. He stayed sitting in the car.
"Hey sweetie, you glad to hear me or something?" She giggled.
"You have no idea, how are you?"
"Ok, dad is killing me though, he keeps singing and telling all his old stories" Troy chuckled.
"Oh dear babe" they both laughed. "How is Eloise?"
"Ok, she has slept the whole way so far" Troy smiled.
"I'm not surprised, she was crying near enough all night last night" Gabriella giggled.
"Yeah" she agreed. "Anyway, dad wants to make a move so I better go babe" Troy sighed.
"Ok, Call me when you can?"
"Defo babe, signal is bad though so I might not be able to for a while" Troy nodded to himself.
"I know, Kiss Eloise for me"
"Will do babe, we both love you lots" Troy smiled.
"I love you girls too" Troy hung up and got out of the car.
He entered the coffee shop and spotted Dan right away. He walked over and sat down. Dan looked up from his laptop and smiled a grateful one.
"Thanks Troy" Troy just shook his head.
"No probs, need something to take my mind of Gabs and El anyway" Dan smiled.
"Missing them already?"
"Yeah, I worry so much when they are not here" Dan patted his shoulder.
"They'll be home before you know it" Troy smiled.
"Yeah, anyway, what are you thinking of doing for mom?" He asked to change the subject.
"A party?" Troy shook his head. "Romantic dinner?" He didn't look impressed again. "Well what?"
"Well, she has been away from everyone for nearly a month so it has to include everyone she loves" Troy started. "And she isn't big for parties so it can't be your usual surprise home coming thing" Dan nodded. "Think about what she likes" he added.
"Well, make a list" Dan started typing on his laptop. "Ok, first you" Dan nodded.
"Me, Gabs, Eloise all her friends" Dan nodded.
"Close friends and family" he spoke as he typed.
"Hmmm, how about favourite music?" Dan nodded.
"Love songs" Troy nodded. "Favourite food?"
"Good idea, it's picky stuff, like picnic kind of foods" Dan nodded.
"Try champagne, she won't admit it but she loves the stuff" he told Dan.
"Location..." he stated. "She likes the beach" Troy told him. "And her favourite light is the moonlight" Dan smiled.
"I got it" Troy motioned for him to say it.
"I gathering, on the beach, as the sunsets to the moon and soft music in the background with a table full of nibbles and champagne" Troy smiled.
"That would be perfect Dan" they high fived.
"Thanks for your help" Troy smiled.
"Anytime" he checked his phone and sighed.
"Signal is bad remember?"
"I know, I just freak out when she doesn't call" he said as he let it go to voicemail as he called her. "Hey Gabs, just me, wondering where you are? Call me" he hung up.
"What are you doing now?" Dan asked.
"I think I will finish the shelves"
"Shelves?" Dan raised his eyebrows.
"For Eloise's room" Dan laughed.
"She has you in the palm of her hand" Troy smirked.
"Like my mom doesn't with you?" He said, voice thick with sarcasm.
"Yeah, yeah, whatever" Troy laughed as he left.
He got home and decided to make some lunch before finishing the shelves. He cooked some fries and made a few fries butties. He sat at the big table in the house and sighed. It was horrible being here alone. He lived with Gabriella and her parents as well as his mom. Although she was likely to move in with Dan and his daughter soon no doubt.
After lunch he left another voicemail with Gabriella asking her to call before going into the nursery. He was about to sit down to start building the shelves as the doorbell rang. He groaned and went to get it. He opened the door to reveal one of his friends standing there.
Chad Danforth, best friends since the day he moved on the street. They played sports together, went to school together, and Chad was dating Gabriella's best friend Taylor. Troy let him in and they went to the kitchen and sat down.
"Gabi get off ok?" Troy nodded. "She called yet?"
"Once, she isn't answering when I call her" he sounded worried.
"Dude, signal is crap out there, just chill she will be alright" Troy nodded.
"I know, I just miss them both" Chad smiled.
"How was Eloise?"
"Great, apparently all she did was sleep for the first hour of the journey" they both laughed.
"Figures, she sleeps when no one else does and cries when they try to" Chad stated as Troy nodded.
"Yeah, likes to keep us on our toes" they both laughed again.
"That she does, just like her mommy" Troy nodded.
Chad stayed for about an hour and then said he was going to meet Taylor so would see him soon. Troy decided to leave the shelves now, he had a week to do them. He flopped down on the sofa and sighed. He switched on the T.V and turned it off ten minutes later when he found nothing to watch. He flipped open his cell and dialed Gabriella's number again.
"Just me again babe, I guess you still have bad reception, call me when you can, love you" he hung up and closed his eyes.
He felt so tired. Eloise was definitely a screamer that was for sure. He hadn't had a full nights sleep since she arrived. He decided to take a nap and relax while the house was quiet. He fell asleep almost immediately and dreamt of his girls. What it would be like to see them when they came home, how happy he would be when they were home.
After another few hours he woke up and felt better. He still had no call or text from Gabriella and this time when he called her cell Carlos picked up.
"Tr..." he heard before the line died. What was wrong? Gabriella never gave anyone her cell. He shook his head, she was probably in the toilet or something.
He decided to go for a walk and left the house. He bumped into his other friends at the park. Zeke and Sharpay. He hung out with them for a while then Taylor and Chad showed up. They all laughed and talked about things, mostly Gabriella and Eloise. They stayed at the park for another hour before heading back to Troy's. The house phone rang as soon as they entered and Troy picked it up.
"Thank god Troy" it was Carlos.
"C, what is it?" He asked, worried.
"There has been an accident..." he trailed off.
"The car, I had to dodge an animal and I lost control, it crashed and flipped over" Troy felt sick.
"Where is Gabriella? Is she ok?"
"I don't know"
"What do you mean you don't know?!" He shouted, his friends watched worried.
"She has gone, I went to get help and when I returned Maria said she took Eloise and went looking for help herself" he explained in a quick voice.
"So Eloise is gone as well?"
"We are starting a search, will you go to the hospital? Maria is on her way in an air ambulance"
"I have to help find my girls!" He exclaimed.
"Please Troy, I promise to call as soon as we have found them"
"Ok" he sighed. "Carlos please find them" he pleaded.
"I will, I won't give up until I do" Troy hung up and felt like fainting.
"Troy, what's happened?"
"The Car, it crashed, Gabriella and Eloise are gone" he said.
"What do you mean gone?"
"She went to find help or something and now they can't find her" he shook his head. "I need to go to the hospital, Maria is there" they all nodded and said they'd go to.
They got to the hospital and Troy asked for Maria's room number. His friends stayed outside and Troy ran in. Maria broke down when she saw him and Troy hugged her.
"Have they found them?" She cried.
"Not yet, Carlos is helping them look" he told her.
They hugged for a while and then Troy said he was going to get a drink. At that moment one of their neighbours, and one of Maria's best friends came in. Lilly was Zeke's mom and Chad's guardian. Troy left them to it and sighed as he left the room. He sat with his friends who all offered him comforting words.
They stayed at the hospital for hours. It was the next morning, early next morning, by the time news came. They had Found them. Eloise was crying but seemed fine and Gabriella was a little out of it so they were checking her over before flying her here in the air ambulance. Troy paced around the waiting area. Where were his girls? How long would it take?
"Where are they?!" He shouted. "The ambulance has landed!" He paced around the room. Then a few minutes later a trolley was raced in. "Gabs!" He shouted but doctors pushed him back. A nurse then walked in with Eloise. "Give her to me" he held out his arms.
"She needs to be checked over" the nurse told him.
"Please? Five minutes?" She sighed.
"Five minutes" she handed him his daughter.
"Hey baby girl" he kissed her head. "You scared daddy" he told her softly. "I love you princess" he kissed her again then handed her to the nurse. "Please bring her back to me" the nurse nodded and went to the pediatric ward.
He then ran into Maria's room.
"They're here" she smiled.
"Are they ok?"
"Eloise seems to be, they need to do tests on Gabriella though" he told her. "She will be ok though, she is strong" Maria and Lilly nodded as he left the room and sat with his friends.
They waited for half an hour until Eloise was brought back. Troy was told he could have her for an hour but then she needed to go back to the ward to be supervised for a while. He held her close, not letting anyone else hold her the whole time. He went into Maria's room and Carlos was stood by her bed. The doctor who was treating Gabriella entered.
"We need to go into surgery, there is internal bleeding and we need to find where it is coming from" they all nodded.
"Give us what we need to sign and we will" Maria told her.
"I am sorry, it is Troy who's permission I need" he nodded and shuffled Eloise, moving her to the other arm, she started to cry.
"Shhh baby girl, it's ok, daddy's got you" he then signed the paper and calmed down Eloise.
"Thank you" the doctor smiled.
"Please just save her" Troy begged.
The doctor just nodded and left. Troy turned to Gabriella's parents and saw they were as scared as he was. He couldn't lose her, not now, not after everything they had been through. They had split up loads before finally realising they were made for each other. They then got engaged, got married and had a baby. Their lives had only just begun, she had to live for that. For him. For them. For their daughter. For their family.
A little while later Troy handed Eloise back to the nurse and then went to sit with his friends. The doctor then walked out. She came over.
"How is she?" He asked as everyone stood up and Maria came to her door with Carlos.
"Stable, we won't know more for a while, but the bleeding seemed to have stopped" they all nodded.
"Can we see her?" Carlos asked.
"One or two at a time" the doctor nodded.
"Troy?" Maria called his name. "Would you like to go in first?"
"You guys go, I need to get the house ready for when she comes home" he said before running out. He needed to get out of that place. The house was a mess and Gabriella would hate that. He needed to put the shelves up as well. He had so much to do for her return.
He reached the house and started clearing away some rubbish. He then went into the nursery. He started on the shelves again then heard his friend, Zeke, call his name. He didn't answer. Zeke then came in and sighed.
"Man, she needs you"
"No, she will be alright, she will want these up for when she gets home" Zeke stopped his movements.
"Troy, she will want you there when she wakes up" he told his best friend. "Come on dude, your all she'll want" Troy nodded and left with Zeke.
They got to the hospital and just as Troy entered the room he heard the best sound ever.
"Where's Troy?" It was Gabriella.
"I am right here baby" he ran over and took her hand. "You really scared me" he kissed her head.
"Sorry" she smiled. "I didn't mean to" Troy chuckled.
"It's ok, as long as you promise not to do it again" she nodded.
"Promise" the doctor then entered.
"You all need to leave as I check her over" Troy let go of her hand but she panicked.
"Please stay" she pleaded. Troy looked at the doctor.
"Just you" Gabriella's parents nodded and left. Troy held her hand again and kissed it repeatedly.
Once the doctor checked her out, she seemed fine and everyone came in a few at a time to see Gabriella. She asked for Eloise so Troy went to find the nurse. They said they could put her incubator/crib in Gabriella's room. A few minutes later Eloise was safely by Gabriella's bed and Troy was perched on the edge of the bed. Taylor and Chad came in the room.
"I brought you clothes hun" Taylor held up a bag. "I know how uncomfortable these hospital gowns can be. Gabriella giggled.
"Thanks Tay" they hugged carefully.
"How you doing?" Chad asked.
"Ok, a little groggy but I feel great" she smiled.
They stayed for a few minutes then Zeke and Sharpay came in. It was basically the same conversation, asking if she was alright and stuff. Her parents then came in. They stayed for about an hour and made sure she was ok before Carlos made Maria go to her bed and rest. They promised to come back later and kissed her, told her they loved her, before leaving the room. They also passed on the message that his mom was on her way home. She had been in Australia visiting his sister and her husband and baby. He shook his head and said what was the point? Gabriella was fine and going to be home soon anyway.
Troy smiled as Gabriella yawned. He kissed the top of her head and then got off the bed. He picked up Eloise and held her in his arms, her head on his shoulder.
"We'll let you get rest" Gabriella nodded.
"Troy?" She called as he reached the door.
"Can you promise me something?"
"What is it?"
"Promise that if something happens to me..." he cut her off.
"You are going to be fine" he told her.
"I know, but just promise that if something does happen you will take care of her and always let her know who her mommy is" Troy nodded.
"I don't need to though, you are going to be fine" Gabriella just nodded. "What's bothering you baby?" He asked, walking back over and standing by her bed.
"I had a dream, when I was on the operating table" she told him.
"Eloise's third birthday" Troy smiled.
"What were we doing?"
"Playing on the park, she was giggling on the swings as you pushed her" she smiled.
"Sounds fun" Gabriella nodded.
"I love you" she said.
"I know, I love you too" he kissed her softly. "Now, get some sleep" Gabriella nodded and settled down.
Troy left the room and went to sit with the gang. Eloise was asleep in his arms and he spotted her stroller.
"Who brought that?"
"I did, when I got Gabi's things" Taylor smiled.
"Thanks" he placed Eloise in it then rocked it softly.
"How is she?" Sharpay asked.
"Tired, I have told her to get some sleep" he smiled.
It was 12:00pm and everyone felt exhausted. Half an hour later machines were going off in Gabriella's room and Troy jumped up. Maria and Carlos ran out of Maria's room. Doctors and nurses rushed in. Troy was panicking, what was going on?!!?
After another half an hour all the staff left the room. Gabriella's doctor was last to leave. She looked at Troy then down at Eloise and back up to him. She didn't smile. She gave her sympathetic face then spoke.
"I'm sorry" that did it. Troy felt like he couldn't breath, he collapsed to the floor slowly and cried. No! This couldn't happen! He was just talking to her, what the hell?!?!?!
Everyone was speechless. They all cried. Gabriella was a great friend, mother for the time was allowed to be, a great daughter and many other titles. She couldn't be gone! Not like that! What about Eloise? She wasn't even two months old yet and her mother was gone? Why was the world being so cruel? There was criminals running free but someone as caring, loving and sweet as Gabriella was taken away? Where was the justice in that? How would Troy survive with out his life, his wife, his love.
Troy, Gabriella's parents and Eloise stayed at the hospital for a while after the incident. They had to find out how this happened, ok the doctor said she was critical for the next 24 hours, but she woke up, Troy thought that meant she would be fine. She had spoken to him, held his hand, kissed him and held him close. How could she just go after that? He was sat on the floor, pushing the stroller back and forth as Gabriella's parents sat on the chairs by him.
A neighbours, one of Carlos's friends and Lilly's husband came over to them. He was a doctor also. He sat in front of them, across from them and Troy just looked blankly at him.
"It was a blood clot" he stated. "There was nothing anyone could do" Troy couldn't believe this was happening, it was real. "There is one thing we need though Troy..." he started then paused. "Gabriella had said she wanted to be an organ donor, you need to sign the papers" that did it. Troy couldn't do this right now. His wife had just died for god sake! He stood up, left Eloise where she was and walked away. This was so hard. How could you prepare for things like this? He thought he and Gabriella would have the rest of their lives to be together, be happy, be a family with Eloise. Now she was gone and all those thoughts, those plans, all those dreams were gone and he had no control over it.
Troy went home. As soon as he entered the house he felt like physically being sick. Gabriella wouldn't walk through that door anymore. She wouldn't light up the room with her smile, her presence. In a sense the room felt cold, strange, lonely without her there. Troy felt so helpless. He was 17, a single parent and a widower. There has got to be something wrong with the last part right? Widowers were supposed to be old men who had lived 70 years with their wives, not 17 year old school boys.
He sat down on the sofa and just stared at the door. In his mind praying she would walk through that door any second with her beautiful smile gracing her face. He felt a tear slide down his cheek at the realization that he would never see that again. Her smile. He would never be able to hold her in his arms, feel her kisses, her touches. He wouldn't hear her talk or laugh. But the thing that killed him most was Eloise wouldn't even remember her own mother.
He didn't know how long it had been but some time later the door opened and he thought, crazily for a moment, that maybe his wishes had come true. Maybe Gabriella would walk in. That was short lived though as Carlos and Maria entered with Eloise in Maria's arms. Troy stood up and just looked at them.
"Why did you leave Troy?" Maria asked softly. "We thought you'd come back after some air for Eloise" she told him.
"I just couldn't think about all that stuff, not yet" he shook his head.
"Do you want her?" Maria held his daughter out to him. He took one look at her face and shook his head.
"I can't even look at her" he closed his eyes.
"Troy, she is your little girl" Carlos touched his shoulder.
"She looks too much like her, she has her eyes and mouth, I can't see that" he whispered before walking out the room.
He went to the nursery and saw the half put up shelves laying on the floor. Suddenly he wasn't upset, he was angry. How could they take her from him? Hoe could they do this?! He kicked the shelves and collapsed them and punched and let out all his frustrations. Carlos walked in and stopped him then held Troy as he cried.
"I need her" he cried.
"Shhh, it's alright son" he patted his back. Carlos was like Troy's dad, more so than his mom's fiancée Dan.
"I can't do any of this without her" Troy said as he pulled away.
"You will, in time" Troy shook his head.
"She was my life Carlos, how am I supposed to live without her?" He asked rhetorically.
"I don't know Troy, but we all have to deal with this, come to terms with the fact she won't be coming home" At that Carlos choked on his words.
"How?" He asked.
"Together" they man hugged again before Maria walked in.
"Troy? Do you want to feed her?" He shook his head and left the room, not even glancing at his daughter in her grandmothers arms.
Troy walked into the family room and then the door burst open. His mom dropped her bags and ran over. Troy collapsed into her arms and they cried together.
"Shhh baby, it will be ok" she said through her tears.
"Gabs is gone mom" he cried.
"I know, but we will do this together, we have all lost a very special girl" she held his face in her hands.
"I miss her already" Lucille nodded.
"I know sweetie" she hugged him again.
Maria and Carlos walked out, Eloise in his arms and Lucille immediately took the baby. She cradled her to her chest and kissed her head repeatedly.
"Hey beautiful" she whispered. "Troy, she wants her daddy" she held her out but he shook his head.
"She has her eyes and mouth mom, I can't even look at her" he put on his running shoes and went out.
It had started to rain but he didn't care. He ran for ages. Thinking, screaming to himself in his head, cursing the heavens for taking his life away from him. Why? This was his only question. Why did this happen to them? They did well in school, they were good parents, as good as they could be, they loved their family and friends, they were all round good people, so why were they the ones who had been punished? That is what it felt like to him, they were being punished for something that they didn't do.
After his run he walked home, slowly as to not get there soon. He couldn't face everyone, he couldn't face the house, the smell, it all reminded him too much of the love of his life who had been snatched from his grasp. When he eventually arrived home he entered through the back door as he was dripping wet and saw the Montez's and his mother sitting at the kitchen table. He saw them all offer a weak smile but couldn't take that. He didn't want their sympathetic looks or touches or words, he just wanted his Gabriella back. It was the only thing that could make him heal, make him better, make him feel whole again.
"How are you Troy?" Asked Lucille.
"I have just lost the love of my life mom, how do you think I am?" He asked.
"Troy..." Carlos started but he shook his head.
"No, don't, I need to be by myself" he told them as he went for a shower.
Troy took his time showering. As the warm water washed over his skin he let his thoughts drift to Gabriella again. She was so perfect to him in every possible way. She was gorgeous, funny, sweet, kind and caring. The best mother and wife for the short amount of time she was able to be and was the best friend anyone could ask for.
He eventually had to get out of the shower as the water ran cold and after getting changed he walked into the nursery. He spotted Eloise in her crib, starting to whimper. He gripped the bars of her crib tightly, his knuckles turning white. She reminded him so much of Gabriella. Her eyes had already changed to Gabriella's chocolate brown, it happened very early, her eyes should still be blue but they changed almost right away. When she smiled she had Gabriella's smile and it broke his heart but made it flutter at the same time.
He knew he should be happy his daughter looked like her mommy, it was a way for him to have a piece of Gabriella with him always but it was just to hard. Seeing her made him think of his wife, not living anymore and he just couldn't handle that. Eloise broke his thoughts by fully screaming and crying. He couldn't calm her, comfort her at the moment. He knew she would be able to sense his stress but he just couldn't help her. How was he supposed to help her when he couldn't help himself right now?
He just stood there, watching her. He heard the door creak open and in walked his mom. She rushed over and picked up Eloise. Troy just stared at the empty crib. Looking at the little impression, mould of her body in the mattress. He loosened his grip on the crib and slowly turned.
"Troy, she needs you" Lucille said desperately.
"I just can't mom" he shook his head sadly. "I wish I could, but right now it is too painful to look at her" Lucille smiled sympathetically. "How am I supposed to hold her, comfort her and all that stuff if I can't even bring myself to look at her?"
"Troy, I know it is hard but she can't go through this without you" he just walked out.
He didn't sleep at all that night. He just lay there, in 'their' bed in the pitch black and stared at the ceiling. He couldn't get used to Gabriella not snuggling into his warmth. Laying her head on his chest. Holding his hand, stroking his hair, kissing his lips. She couldn't be gone? How could she be gone? She was his life, how was he supposed to survive himself without his life?
After a long, sleepless night Troy heard loud voices, mostly his mothers, coming from the family room. He looked at the time it was around 10:00am. He got out of bed and entered the room.
"What is going on?" He sighed.
"Carlos and Maria are leaving" Lucille stated. "And they want to take Eloise" Troy looked between his mom and Gabriella's parents.
"I agree" he nodded as Lucille whipped her head to look at him.
"What?!" She shouted.
"Mom, I can't take care of her, so she should go with them" Maria hugged him.
"Thank you" she whispered.
Troy just left the room to get changed. Once he was he left his room, past the nursery and into the family room again. He saw his mom hugging Eloise and talking to her softly. He left quickly before she could go on at him again. He went outside and saw Chad and Zeke in their front garden. He walked over.
"Hey man" Troy man hugged Chad then Zeke.
"Hey guys" he said quietly.
"How you holding up?" Zeke asked.
"I'm not" he answered honestly.
"You know we're all here right? For you and Eloise?"
"Chad, it won't matter, she is going" he sighed. "Leaving with Carlos and Maria" Chad and Zeke looked shocked.
"What do you mean?"
"I can't even look at her, she has too much of Gabriella in her and it kills me inside" he let a tear slide down his cheek.
"It will get easier, Troy she needs you" Zeke said.
"I am no good for her" he sighed. "I am going to walk around for a bit, catch you later" he said before leaving.
He walked around for ages, He went to the football field, the coffee shop, the park and loads of other places he used to visit with Gabriella. As he got onto their street he bumped into Lauren, Zeke's step-sister.
"Hey Troy" she smiled.
"Hey Lauren" he smiled weakly.
"How are you?"
"Hurting" he sighed. "How do you get through this?" He asked. Several years ago she lost her husband, her little boy Jake was only a few months old. Jake was now seven.
"I won't lie to you it is hard, but it gets better" she told him as they sat down on a bench.
"How?" He asked.
"I don't know, but it does, Jake helped me" she told him. "It takes time but it does get easier" she placed her hand on his shoulder.
"I can't be there for Eloise" he sighed.
"You have to be" she told him softly.
"How am I supposed to help her when I can't even help myself through this?" He asked, wanting an answer.
"Because, you are her daddy, and she needs to know she still has one of her parents" she told him.
"But, her face, her everything reminds me of Gabriella" she smiled.
"I know sweetie, but she will help you through it" she hugged him.
"Did Jake look like Ben?" He asked. Ben was Lauren's husband.
"Like his baby twin" she smiled. "I found it difficult at first for the same reasons as you but eventually I thought to myself, maybe it's a good thing they are so a-like" she explained. "It was my little piece of Ben forever" Troy smiled.
"I got that thought before" he told her. "I better go see her" Lauren nodded as they stood up.
"You go and be her armor" they hugged then Troy walked into his house.
He entered the nursery and saw Eloise whimpering in her crib. He took in a breath and picked her up. He then sat in the rocking chair and rocked her back and forth. He hummed a song that Gabriella used to sing for her and she still didn't stop crying.
"I can't sing like mommy could princess" he whispered.
She still cried.
"Ok, here goes..." he sighed and started to sing the words. "If I never knew you, If I never felt this love, I would have no inkling of, How precious life can be..." Eloise slowly stopped crying. "And if I never held you, I would never have a clue, How at last I'd find in you, The missing part of me." she fell asleep in his arms and he smiled. "Sleep tight princess" he whispered as he kissed her head.
Troy placed Eloise in the crib and then covered her with her blanket. He stroked her head softly and smiled as she sighed contently. She didn't understand why her mommy wasn't here, she couldn't understand that she wouldn't ever be back. He left her nursery and entered the kitchen. He told the parents to sit down. He sat at the end of the table and took a breath.
"I have been thinking about Eloise..." he started. "I need her here, you can't take her away from me" he told Gabriella's parents.
"We aren't taking her away from you Troy" Maria smiled. "If you can handle it, she will stay here" he smiled.
"Thank you" Carlos and Maria stood up and hugged Troy. His mom then joined in and they all smiled. Real smiles since Gabriella died.
They all sat at the table, talking about her, about her life, the way she was. She had the biggest and prettiest smile, the most gorgeous eyes and was just so perfect in every other way. She was smart, funny, caring, considerate. The list was endless. After a couple of hours Eloise woke up and Troy went to get her. He brought her into the kitchen and got her bottle from the fridge. He then felt like someone had stabbed his heart.
"Troy, are you ok?" Lucille asked.
"This is the last of Gabi's breast milk mom" she smiled softly.
"Sweetie it will be ok" Troy just started to get it ready for Eloise.
Once it was warm he sat in the family room and fed his baby girl. She held his finger in her tiny hand as she drank her milk and he didn't take his eyes off her. She was so precious. So delicate. So like her mother it was unbelievable. He felt his mom sit by him and he still didn't look up.
"I am happy you changed your mind Troy, you need her more than ever" he nodded.
"I know, Lauren helped me realise she needs me now more than she ever has" he explained. "I am the only parent she is ever going to have again so I need her to trust that I will always be here, I want leave her ever" Lucille placed her head on his shoulder.
"She knows that sweetie" Troy finally looked at his mom who had stood back up.
"You think so?"
"I know so, look how she cannot take her eyes off you" Troy looked down and smiled. "She adores you Troy, she relies on you now" she then left.
Troy spent the rest of the afternoon with Eloise. Just the two of them. He changed her nappy after feeding her then changed her clothes. He then placed her in her stroller and took her for a walk, she needed some sunlight and fresh air. He walked her to the small pond/lake and put the brakes on the stroller. He picked her up and cradled her to his chest protectively.
"This was mommy's favourite place" he told her. "She found it calming, peaceful, easy to think" he continued.
Eloise whimpered so he moved her so she could see his face. He smiled at her and she gave her slight baby smile back. People said that at this age it was just wind but he knew his baby, he knew that was a real smile. He stayed at this spot for a while until it got a little chilly then he placed Eloise back in her stroller and slowly walked back to the street.
As he entered the street he saw his friends in Chad and Zeke's garden. He walked over and they all seemed to smile in a relieved way to see him with Eloise. Everyone knew how hard it was for him and were just happy for him to be finally getting used to her again.
"Hey Troy" Taylor hugged him.
"Hey Tay" he put the brakes on the stroller again.
"How are you both today?" Sharpay smiled sweetly.
"Ok I guess, I realised she needs me now more than ever though, it is refreshing to see her now, she makes me not want to mope around, I have to be ok for her" they all nodded.
"Well, we are glad you are getting there man" Chad patted his back.
"I wouldn't say that" he told them quietly. "I don't know what will happen at the funeral, it will really make it final and I don't know if I am ready for that" he sighed.
"Awww" Sharpay hugged him. "Well, as long as you know we are here for you Troy" they all joined in the hug.
"I know, thanks guys" they all pulled away when Eloise whimpered. "I best get her inside, she must be hungry again" they all nodded.
"Try and get some sleep ok?" Taylor told him.
"I will" he pushed the stroller to his house and entered to see the parents in the family room.
"Hey Troy" Maria smiled. "Where have you two been?"
"Just spending time together, went to Gabriella's favourite spot" they all smiled. "I need to change her and stuff" he told them as he lifted her from the stroller and walked into the nursery.
Troy talked to her and blue raspberries on her bare tummy as she smiled her baby smile. He got her all nicely changed and in a fresh onesie before walking into the family room with her.
"Do we have any formula?" He asked. "She is hungry and there is no more of Gabriella's milk" he said quietly.
"I picked some up sweetie" Troy nodded and handed Eloise to his mom. As soon as she left his arms she cried. He quickly went to make a bottle, she cried the whole time. When he took her back she calmed instantly.
"Do you think she is scared I won't come back?" He asked as he sat down and placed the bottle in her mouth.
"I don't know, she will be ok though" he nodded.
It took a lot longer than normal as she was getting used to the formula, but she managed to finish it all and fall asleep in Troy's arms. He stood up and walked to the nursery. He lay her softly in her crib and sung the song a little bit until she was fully asleep in her crib. He then kissed her head softly, whispered he loved her then left the room.
A few days had passed since that tragic day and today was the day Troy had dreaded the whole time. Today was the day he buried his wife. Eloise buried her mother. Carlos and Maria buried their daughter. This was the day the whole street had dreaded, not just Troy.
He was dressed in his black suit and just gotten Eloise dressed in her little dress. He wrapped her in a blanket incase it was a little cold then left the nursery. He entered the family room and saw Carlos, Maria, his mom and Dan sitting there, all looking distraught. Carlos was the first to notice him standing there.
"Troy, how are you holding up?" He asked as they all stood up and looked at him and Eloise.
"As good as I can" he sighed. "The car is here, we need to go" they all nodded and followed him out of the house. He felt faint when he saw the coffin. It wasn't right. This whole stupid situation wasn't right. He kissed the window of the car and felt all the neighbours eyes on him. He looked up and people sent him sympathetic smiles, and mouthed comforting words to him. He pulled Eloise closer and got into their car. He wanted to be alone with his daughter so the parents were traveling in another car behind them.
It took around ten minutes to reach the church and when he got out of the car people were already there. He sighed as he saw all his friends, their friends, huddled together for comfort. He walked over and saw all the girls crying, the guys trying to be strong and hold it in. He smiled faintly.
"Hey guys" he said quietly.
"Oh Troy" Taylor cried as she hugged him and Eloise.
"Shhh, it's alright Tay" he comforted her.
Half an hour later everyone was sat in the church and the priest was about to begin the service. They didn't want it to be a big traditional way so after a few words from him the service was going to be handed over to Gabriella's friends and family. She was up the front, an open coffin. Troy would be saying a few words, Zeke would be then Chad had chosen a song he wanted to play for her. Taylor and Sharpay would be speaking together. For support.
"Ladies and Gentleman, we are here today to say a final farewell to Gabriella Montez/Bolton" the priest started. "She was a kind, caring and loving soul, who as a fantastic mother, wife, friend and daughter" he smiled out to Troy. "Her husband didn't want the traditional funeral, he said she would want it to be a happy time so I would like to ask her dear friend Zeke to come and say a few words" Zeke stood up, his sheet in his hands and stood where the priest previously was.
"Gabriella was the best" he said simply. "She was funny, caring, loving, special to all who knew her and she won't ever be forgotten" his tears slipped out. "I was so lucky to have known her for the time I had, I really valued our friendship, she helped me get with my girlfriend, she helped me when I was upset, hurt, angry, she was always the one person I knew I could turn to always" he took a breath. "So, it kills me to say goodbye to her, I just can't say it to her, she will be dearly missed" he then went to the coffin. "I love you little sis" he told the lifeless body before walking back to his seat.
Chad then went to the front. He cleared his throat of emotion and started.
"I couldn't find any words to say today, the feelings I am feeling are too raw, too hurtful to speak" he blinked back tears. "So, instead I picked a song for her, she loved this one, always sang and danced along so I would like you all to picture that and smile for her as you listen" he then pressed play on a boom box and the song 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough' played.
A few laughs were heard and sobs as well. People were doing as he said though, they were smiling for her.
When the song was over it was Taylor and Sharpay's turn to speak. They walked up, arms linked together and both had tears falling down their cheeks. Sharpay spoke first.
"I hadn't known Gabriella long, only a year, but she was still one of my closest friends" she started. "As soon as I moved onto the street she welcomed me, she came over and introduced herself and told me to hang out with her and the gang" she smiled at the thought. "She was just so caring and sensitive to others needs that you couldn't help love her" she sighed. "I have lost one of my best friends and right now I don't see how I can ever get over that" she then turned to the coffin and let out a sob. "I love you Gabs" she blew her a kiss as Taylor went to speak.
"Gabriella and I have been best friends since forever" she started. "We grew up together then Chad moved on the street and I was totally hot for him" a few laughs were heard. "The one person I told was Gabriella, she was the one that persuaded me to go for it, and now, thanks to her advice, me and Chad are still going strong" she closed her eyes. "I owe so much to her, for all she has ever done for me" she wiped her tears. "Gabriella Montez was not just a girl, she was not just a friend to me, she was like my sister, she was the closest I had to that and I was just so grateful to have her for all the years I did" she also turned to the coffin. "I love you sis, see you soon" she whispered before blowing her a kiss and walking away with Sharpay.
The priest then looked at Troy who nodded. He handed Eloise to Taylor and walked to the front. He cleared his throat and looked out to all the people.
"I first of all want to thank you all for coming today" he tried to smile. "Gabriella was such a special person to me, she was the love of my life, but it hasn't always been that way..." he started. "When I first moved on the street she hated me and I kind of felt the same about her. She was so annoying, acted like she knew everything, was never wrong in her mind" he laughed slightly. "She probably thought the same about me, but then one day I walked out of my house and saw her dressed in a yellow knee length sundress, her long curls cascading down her back and I thought, WOW!" He told them all. "She literally took my breath away, she caught my eye and for the first time I think she smiled at me" everyone laughed. "I walked over to her and smiled, that was the first time we had a conversation without arguing. From then on we got closer and closer until we accidentally kissed, the rest as they say is history" he then sighed. "I just wish we could have made more history together" he then heard Eloise cry and he looked at her. "We made a beautiful baby girl together, yes she wasn't planned, but if you were to ask me if I'd change any of her I would say no way" Eloise still cried. "Come here baby" he walked and took her from Taylor. He then went back to the front. "We are not saying goodbye today, we are simply saying see you soon, in another life because Gabriella can not have just ended, she still has more chapters to write, so she will be watching over all of us right now, especially Eloise" he held her up a little. "So, Gabriella, my love, my best friend, my wife..." a tear slipped down his cheek. "I love you so much baby, I won't say goodbye to you, not now, not ever, I will simply say I can't wait to see you again one day" he then walked to the coffin and bent down to kiss her lips. "I love you and miss you, so does Eloise" he then walked and sat back down next his mom.
The rest of the service was the actual burial. Everyone cried and whispered goodbyes as the priest did his whole speech. After all that was over people left flowers and teddies and other little things by the ground before leaving Troy, his mom, Gabriella's parents and Eloise by the grave side.
"Troy, your speech was lovely" Maria told him.
"Thanks, I just needed everyone to know what she meant to me" he told them.
"They knew sweetie" Lucille told him softly.
"When do you guys leave?" Troy asked Carlos and Maria.
"In an hour or so" he nodded.
"We'll leave you to say your goodbyes then" Troy then turned and walked away, holding Eloise close and his mom following behind.
An hour later Troy, Eloise and Lucille were standing on the street with the other neighbours, getting ready to say goodbye to the Montez'. Carlos patted Troy's back and held his granddaughter for a few minutes before handing her to Maria. She cried as she kissed her granddaughter and made Troy promise to visit all the time.
"Of course we will Maria" he took Eloise from her. "Gabriella would never forgive me if we didn't" Maria kissed his forehead tearfully.
"She would be so proud of you Troy, I always had faith that my baby would be safe with you" Troy frowned.
"But she wasn't was she? She isn't here now" Maria hugged him.
"She is always here, that little angel in your arms is always going to mean she won't be far away" he smiled and kissed her cheek.
"Thanks, we'll miss you guys" he waved as they got into their car. "Drive carefully" he warned.
"We will" Carlos smiled as they drove off. Maria hung out the window and waved until everyone vanished.
After the Montez' left everyone gathered in the house and remembered Gabriella. They talked about her, laughed, cried and showed every emotion possible in a way of remembrance. When Eloise got cranky Troy excused himself and went into the nursery to put her down for her nap. She wailed when her daddy's strong arms weren't holding her and stopped when he picked her back up.
"Princess, daddy is right here" he whispered as he cradled her to his chest and sat in the rocking chair. "I won't ever leave you I promise" and for one tiny second he was angry at Gabriella. Angry that she would give up so easily when they had a new baby daughter to look after. Then he felt guilty, guilty that he was angry with her. He was so confused. What should he feel? Sad? Angry? Guilty? Confused? Numb?
He looked down and saw Eloise was fast asleep. He couldn't bare to put her down yet, she was the reason he didn't cry, he couldn't break down in her presence and let her feel how sad he was. He knew it sounded strange but he just didn't want her to be all upset and restless so was planning to do all he could to stop it. As he sat there in thought he heard someone enter the room. He looked up and smiled, it was Taylor.
"How are you?" She asked him.
"Pulling through I guess" he shrugged then looked back at his daughter. "She keeps me strong" Taylor walked over as he placed Eloise in her crib gently.
"I know she does, but you need to feel too Troy, you lost your wife, so you don't have to be the brave superman right now ok?" Troy nodded as a tear slipped out and landed on the mattress of the crib.
"It hurts so much Tay, how could she leave us?" He asked. "I know she was your best friend but I can't help be angry at her but then I feel guilty because I know it wasn't her fault I am just so messed up and confused" she pulled him into a hug and comforted him.
"Shhh, it's alright Troy" she rubbed his back.
"How can it ever be alright without her?" He cried.
"I don't know" Taylor started to cry herself.
Soon all the gang was there and having a group hug as Eloise slept, unaware of the sadness around her right now.
That night Troy couldn't sleep so he just sat in the nursery rocking back and forth on the chair whilst holding Eloise. He whispered stories to her sleeping form and sang lullabies to her. He cried and kissed her repeatedly, wanting to feel her warmth to calm him. This was backwards, he was supposed to comfort his daughter not the other way around! He jumped slightly when the door creaked open.
"Troy..." his mom shook her head.
"I miss her mom" he broke down and cried into Eloise's shoulder.
"Oh sweetie" she rushed over and carefully took Eloise from him, placed her in the crib then hugged her son close.
"She can't be gone, she has to come back to me, to us, Eloise needs her mommy" Lucille soothed him.
"I know baby, I know it is hard but it will get better" he just cried into her shoulder.
Troy eventually fell asleep on the chair and Lucille couldn't bare wake him, knowing he needed sleep. So she covered him with a blanket then tip toed out the room to get some sleep of her own.
Troy slept until 8:00am the next morning then Eloise woke up. He startled as he heard her cry and quickly rushed to the crib and picked her up.
"Daddy's here baby girl" he whispered as he rocked her. "Let's get you some breakfast" he carried her to the kitchen and made her a bottle before sitting in the family room and feeding her in silence. He stroked her cheek softly and watched her eyes as she suckled the teat. She looked in his eyes and held his finger in her tiny hand. He winded her in the middle of the bottle then took her in the nursery to get her changed.
He put her in a mini sundress Gabriella had picked out and then placed her in her play chair as he quickly changed. He looked at her once he was changed and smiled as she kicked her legs and waved her arms around, hitting the dangling toys. It was at that moment, when his daughter was happy that he knew they would get through this.
Together, just the two of them would deal with life without Gabriella. Yes it would be hard, at times it would be unbearable, but with each other they would make it through. He lifted her from the chair and kissed her head as she gave a slight smile. He smiled wide, she had never smiled before.
"My beautiful Girl" he whispered to her as he kissed her head.
I got this idea after watching a few very heartbreaking episodes of Neighbours:( If you watch it you will know what I mean!
I hope you all enjoy this and I am thinking of doing a one-shot to go with this maybe set a few years later to see what happens with Troy and Eloise, so review and tell me if I should or not=]
Reviews make a writers day=]
xxx Paige xxx