Brock Hart sat in his expensive office chair, staring out the window. His mind had been so confused lately, leaving him lost and searching for something he felt was just within his grasp. It'd been frustrating for him to feel this way, and it wasn't helping that the one woman he needed help from so badly seemed to be battling her own fight. He sighed, looking down to his lap as his thoughts drifted to his wife. They'd been married for twenty years now, and were the farthest apart they'd ever been. It killed him to see how hurt and angry she was all the time and he knew she could tell he was keeping something from her. She had always known him so well; she had always been able to read him like a book.
Brock spun his chair around, returning his eyes to the stack of papers lying on his desk. He took a deep breath, tears filling his eyes. This was it. They were both so tired of fighting, of struggling with each other. A decision had been made, and now with their decision staring him in the face, he wasn't sure they had made the right one. He still loved his wife so very much, and the thought of signing his name on a document, that told her he was willing to let her go, killed him. Brock took a deep breath, running a hand through his hair. How had he let this get so far? She had to still love him as well. She wasn't a woman to take away her love so quickly, but then again, he didn't know how long she'd been holding on to their love. He didn't know if she'd been struggling longer than him or not. He didn't know if she had reached a limit he thought wasn't there. He sighed, closing his eyes and wishing to wake up from a terrible nightmare.
"Dr. Hart, I'll be in the x-ray room if you need me." Barbra Jean Booker smiled at him as she stood in his doorway, nerves emanating from her body almost more than her bubbly cluelessness. Brock nodded his head, watching her leave before allowing his eyes to fall onto the picture of a gorgeous smiling redhead. He picked the picture up, smiling back at her as a few tears slipped from his eyes. His mind fed him a memory from long ago, distracting him from the world of reality for just a bit.
The sun was low in the sky, just beginning to appear over the horizon. A couple chuckled as they stumbled together into an old diner. The waitress behind the counter smiled as she watched the young man pull the redhead in closer, gently touching her lips with his own. The girl blushed before moving away and leading the blonde to their usual corner booth. She followed them a minute later, smiling to herself as they teased each other before ordering. "You always get pancakes." Brock set their menus back where they belonged as he waited for a response. Reba shrugged her shoulders, playing with the corner of a napkin.
"You always pick this diner. What's the difference?" Brock wrapped his arm around her shoulders and kissed the side of her head. Reba smiled, leaning closer to him and resting her head on his shoulder. They continued to enjoy their Sunday tradition, talking and laughing through their breakfast before paying and heading to the beach just a few blocks over.
Reba closed her eyes, enjoying the slight breeze and salty smell coming from the ocean. The waves set a slow, calm pace for the couple to walk to, and as they held hands the water tickled their bare feet. When Reba opened her eyes, Brock was smiling at her in awe. She smiled back, curious as to why he was staring at her so intently. "I love you, Reba, more than I could ever love anyone else." She blushed.
"I love you, too, Brock, way more than I could ever love anyone else." She smirked at him, not surprised when he playfully rolled his eyes. She chuckled softly, removing her hand from his to tuck a strand of her curly hair behind her ear.
"Do you always have to one-up me on everything we do and say?" Reba nodded her head, turning to walk backwards so she could look at him better. "Can I not win just one time?" Reba giggled, shaking her head. "Well, why not?"
"Because I'm better than you, duh." Reba winked at him, her smile growing just a little. Brock took a deep breath, his smile more of a loving one than a joking one. He stopped walking, and Reba did the same.
"And I'm lucky to have you. I'll never ever take advantage of being with a woman so far out of my league." Reba moved closer to him caressing his cheek for a moment before giving him a sweet, loving kiss. They pulled apart slowly, continuing their walk hand in hand in silence. A minute or two later, Brock stopped again. Reba stared at him confused for a moment. Brock cupped her cheeks with his hands, his eyes diving deep into hers as he stared for several long minutes. Reba blushed under his intense stare, and looked down to the sand between their feet. Brock smiled at her as he placed his index finger under her chin to guide her eyes back to his. "Marry me." Reba stared at him in shock, unsure if she'd really heard those words or if this was all just a wonderful dream she'd had countless of times in the last few months.
Brock could see the thoughts running through her mind and gently glided his thumb back and forth on her cheek. "You make me the happiest I've ever been, and I just…I just can't let you get away. I love you and every single thing about you. Please, say you'll marry me?" His voice pleaded that her answer be yes, and when she took her time to reply, he felt fear soar from his heart to the rest of his body and back again. His breathing quickened and tears began to brim his eyes.
Reba smiled at him, tears of her own slipping from her blue eyes. "Yes, I'll marry you…as many times as you want." Brock's smile stretched from ear to ear and before Reba could make another move he had her swept up in his arms, spinning them in circles until he lost his balance. Reba chuckled at his excitement and couldn't help it when her smile grew as big as his. They lied in the sand, Brock hovering over her.
"Why'd you wait so long to answer, Reba? You had me worried there for a minute." Reba studied his face, her fingers lightly brushing sand off his cheek. He kept his eyes locked on hers, waiting patiently for her to answer him.
"So you'd know what it would feel like to lose me." Reba smiled softly at him before bringing her lips to his for a passionate kiss.
I remember Sunday mornings walking on the beach
And that place we'd stop for breakfast with the old red vinyl seats
The hours of the tide chart
The way the sunlight danced upon your face
Brock shook his head, ridding it of the memory for the time being. It had been years since they'd gone back to that beach. He would give almost anything to be able to take her back there one more time, to make love to her in the exact spot where he'd proposed so long ago. He sighed, setting the picture frame back in its rightful place. He tried to ignore the haunting calling of the papers on his desk, but the call was getting louder, making his task so much harder to do. He placed his hands, palms down, on either side of the divorce papers, and stared at it as if he had the power to just make it disappear or burst into flames. After a minute he jumped from his chair and ran into the hallway. Once he was safely out of his office, he took a deep breath and ran a hand through his hair. What was he going to do?
"Dr. Hart, is everything all right?" Barbra Jean stood in the doorway of the x-ray room, worry etched across her face. Brock wasn't sure how to answer her therefore changed the subject. He followed her into the x-ray room, hoping to keep his mind off of the trouble in his office and of the heartache waiting for him at home. He watched as she worked, making sure she was doing everything correctly. After a minute or two of watching, he joined her, needing something to do with his hands to keep his mind from taking control. They talked quietly as they worked, long moments of pause between their conversations.
Reba Hart held her son's hand as she followed her daughters into the amusement park. She hadn't been here in so long that she was nervous of the memories and feelings she knew would envelope her as soon as they made it inside. She hid her nerves when her oldest daughter glanced back at her and smiled to ease the concern forming on her face. Cheyenne turned back around, replying to her sister's smart remark. Reba looked down to her side when her son, Jake, pulled on her arm.
"Can we ride the rollercoaster first? That's my favorite!" Reba smiled at him, nodding her head yes, and passed his hand to Cheyenne as they reached the ticket booth. She quickly paid, received their tickets, and followed Cheyenne, Kyra, and Jake into the packed park. Jake grabbed her hand, announcing that he knew the way to his favorite roller coaster. Reba chuckled as she jogged to keep up, and glanced over her shoulder to make sure Kyra and Cheyenne were keeping up. Once they made it to the line, Reba handed her daughters their share of tickets and watched as they disappeared in the crowd to find either a ride they wanted to go on or their group of friends somewhere in the park. She checked her purse to be sure her cell phone was there, and rolled her eyes when she couldn't find it.
"Mom, can we ride in the front? That's the most fun." Jake's voice gained his mother's attention, taking it away from the fact her cell phone was still at home. Hopefully, her daughters wouldn't need her today. She sighed, listening as Jake told her every fact he knew about roller coasters. After a few minutes, her mind began to wander, and Jake began to run out of things to say. She watched as the roller coaster took off for another ride around the track, and smiled when she heard a few happy and scared screams. "Hey, Mom?" She returned her attention to Jake, waiting for him to continue. "Is it true that you and Dad used to ride this one all the time before you got married?" Reba's eyes shot to the roller coaster, and sadness swept her away as she realized that it was indeed the one Brock had made her ride countless times before.
"Yes, it's true. How do you know that?" Jake smiled at his mother, telling her that Brock had brought him here last week for their father-son-time. Jake cheered as the roller coaster took off again, and just like that his attention was lost until after he got his turn. Reba smiled to herself, happy that Brock hadn't forgotten their old Sunday tradition. So many years had passed since they'd stop doing it, but maybe she could talk to him about starting it up again? Reba frowned as she remembered where their relationship was headed. They were getting divorced. Sundays would be spent picking up or dropping off their children, and once they were old enough to be on their own, Sundays would just become another boring day in the week. She was tired of always hurting and always focusing on the negatives in her life now. Memories were good places to be until you remembered they would only stay in the past and never be your present. She sighed, letting her mind take her back to a happier time and place as she watched the old roller coaster slowly climb and then quickly descend producing several more screams.
Reba sat in the passenger seat of Brock's small truck, her eyes closed tight and an excited smile stretched across her lips. Brock chuckled as she asked once again how much longer she had to wait for her surprise. "Just a few more minutes. We're almost there, I promise."
"Yeah, well, you said that a couple minutes ago, too." She folded her arms over her chest and removed her smile from her lips as impatience filled her body and mind. Brock shook his head, pulling into a parking space and shutting off his truck. Reba sat up straighter when she heard the engine click off, her hands flew to her eyes as a way to keep them close. Brock chuckled at her again, telling her she could open her eyes if she wanted to do so. When she did, her eyebrows scrunched together and she turned to Brock.
"An amusement park? You brought me to an amusement park as my surprise?" Her voice sounded disappointed, and Brock knew she was. She'd been here several times with her friends, just as he had been, but this time he had something planned for her.
"Yes, this is an amusement park, but this isn't your surprise." Brock smiled at her, and Reba narrowed her eyes as she noticed he was up to something. She stayed quiet as they walked to the front entrance of the park, and studied his every move. Brock pretended to not notice her curious stares, and fought to keep a smile from forming on his lips. "Are you ready?" He asked once they had made it inside the park where people were slowly starting out their day. She nodded her head, but when he started to walk away she didn't move. He turned around to see what she was doing.
"What are you up to? I have a really big feeling I'm not gonna like what you have planned today." Reba folded her arms, staring at him intently. She was determined to figure out what it was before it was too late for her to say no. Brock shrugged his shoulders, telling her she'd have to wait and see. "What if I don't like it, or what if I don't want to do it?" Brock rolled his eyes, reaching for one of her hands.
"You trust me, don't you?" Reba didn't nod or shake her head. "Fine, I guess you won't ever find out what your surprise is, and we can just get something to eat before riding the Ferris wheel." Reba rolled her eyes, realizing he knew her just as well as she knew him. She agreed to go with him, and regretted it the minute they got to the roller coaster line.
"I'm not doing this. Forget it." Brock held tightly onto her hand, and when she started to walk away, he pulled her closer to him. "Brock, you can't make me do this. You know I don't like heights." He sighed before starting to whistle as a way to drown out her excuses. Reba glared at him before elbowing him in the side. Brock reacted to the pain, but still held tightly onto her hand.
"Please, Reba, do this for me? I want you to ride it just one time…then you'll never have to do it again. I'll just wait until we go out with friends…or have kids." Reba stared at him, thinking over her answer. Did she really want to do this? No. Did Brock plan something fun for them to do since they'd both been stressed with work, the wedding plans, and finishing the school year? Yes. Did she want to take this excitement away from him just because she was scared? A little bit. She sighed, finally agreeing to ride the big scary roller coaster once and that was it. Brock smiled at his victory before handing over their tickets for the ride and leading her to the front of the train. "This spot is the most fun." Reba swallowed her fear, and refused to let go of Brock's hand. She smiled weakly at him once all the safety bars were in place and the conductor was back at the control panel. Brock chuckled as the ride started and Reba tensed. His chuckle soon turned into laughter as he watched the terror in her eyes turn into screams for her life.
That antique roller coaster you just had to ride
I remember how you laughed at the terror in my eyes
The color and the detail
Just like it was yesterday
Reba was shaken out of her memory by Jake asking for the tickets so they could get to their seats. She passed over the right number and followed him to the front of the roller coaster. She blinked back the tears in her eyes, and tried to focus her attention on Jake's excitement, but it only reminded her of Brock. She was glad when the ride took off and blew wind into her eyes. She allowed a few tears to slip, and when the ride was over and Jake asked why she was crying, she blamed it on the wind. It was an answer he seemed to accept, and turned the conversation to the next ride he wanted to go on.
Brock listened as Barbra Jean rambled on about one of her family members, and tried to keep his mind from thinking about his family. Divorce. It didn't only hurt the couple, but the children as well. Cheyenne and Kyra would understand, but it didn't mean they wouldn't be angry. Jake was too young to really understand. He'd know what was happening, but a part of Brock believed he wouldn't understand the why. Divorce. Could he really do it? Could he sign those papers, let her leave him, and suffer the rest of his life because he regretted this decision? He closed his eyes, holding back the tears that threatened to fall.
"Are you okay, Dr. Hart? You seem a little out of it today. Would you like to talk?" Barbra Jean's voice brought him out of his head, and for a minute he thought about taking her up on her offer. But like many times before, he declined. Talking to her wouldn't help him any, not in the ways it helped when he talked to Reba. He excused himself from the room, telling her she could leave early today if she wanted. Barbra Jean nodded her head, and watched as he made a bee line back to his office. She went to her desk, checked the appointment book to be sure he didn't have any more appointments, and left the building with a bad feeling in her gut. She'd have to call Reba later that night to see if she knew what could be bothering him.
Brock entered his office, found his chair, and spun it around to face the window again. His eyes glanced over a picture hanging on the wall next to the window, and he found them wandering back to it. He stood up, walking to the family picture taken years ago when he was still in college. His mother and father stood on either side of him. He smiled at his mother, remembering that he needed to call her soon. His eyes travelled to his father and his heart ached. He had passed away a year ago, and Brock missed him so much. They might not have been on the best of terms before he passed, but that had always been their relationship, hard to handle but always available. He sighed, another memory flashing before his eyes.
Reba and Brock sat at the kitchen table, quietly eating their lunches. They had had another fight that morning, and had spent the last ten minutes trying to work it out. Eventually they had given up and resorted to eating in silence. The house phone interrupted their quietness, forcing Brock to leave the table. He answered the phone, staring at Reba's back. His mother's voice came from the other end, and her words brought tears to his eyes and panic to his heart. When he found his voice, it came out slightly weak and vulnerable. Reba turned around to look at him, worry etched on her face. She stood up, make her way to him. Brock hung up the phone, and his eyes landed and locked on Reba's.
"My father…" His voice whispered his answer to the question in her eyes, and before anything else could be said or done, Reba was pulling him closer to her and his head was falling to her shoulder. He wrapped his arms tightly around her, using her for support and comfort. She held on just as tight as he did, and whispered soothing sounds and words into his ear. After a few minutes, they pulled apart and Reba offered to call Barbra Jean to reschedule his appointments for the next couple of days. He nodded his head, and wrapped his arms around her shoulders from behind as she made the call. He didn't want to let her go, to lose the warmth her body brought to his suddenly freezing one. Reba rubbed her free hand along his arms until her phone call was over, and then turned around to wipe away his tears.
"I'm sorry, Brock." Her voice was quiet and he nodded his head in response before gently pulling her out of the kitchen and into the living room where he fell onto the couch, asking her to join him. Reba lied down next to him, allowing him to wrap his arms tightly around her and bury his nose into her hair. For once she was glad the kids all had plans for the night. They stayed like that for most of the night. Every now and then they would talk, tell memories of his father, or cry as the sadness enveloped them over and over again. Around ten thirty, Reba managed to convince him to go to bed, and lied next to him, waiting for him to fall asleep first before she allowed herself to drift off.
And I remember how you held me the night my father died
I didn't have to tell you
I just broke down and cried
Brock shook his head, moving away from the picture. She had been his rock for weeks after that, never asking for a moment of weakness on her part. She had been close to his father as well, and looking back on it now, Brock wished he'd given her a little support at least once. She understood why he hadn't, didn't she? She was always so considerate and understanding. She had to have known then and now. Brock let the feeling go, deciding it was too late to change anything now. It was even too late to tell her how he felt. He took a deep breath, wiping away his tears and returning to his chair.
The sky was starting to darken, and he knew that Reba would be making dinner soon. He couldn't make tonight another late night at the office. This could be his last night with his family as a whole, no matter how little he wanted it to happen. He didn't want to end his marriage. Along with his children it was the best thing in his life, but what if Reba wanted out of the marriage? Could he really not give her what she wanted? If it made her happy then he should do it, right?
Brock closed his eyes, pinching the bridge of his nose with his index finger and thumb. He didn't want to lose her, but if she wanted out then he had no choice. Slowly, he spun his chair around to face his desk again. If her name was signed on the dotted lines then he would sign his as well. Flipping through the pages, he found all the lines to be empty. He took a deep breath, trying not to let this get his hopes up high. Maybe she hadn't found the papers, yet, or maybe she didn't get the chance to sign them before he left for work with them in his hand? Maybe he should call and ask her? Brock took a deep breath, picking up his phone to call his wife.
You're sewn into the fabric, the pieces of my life
And I just can't remember why we said goodbye
Reba walked hand in hand with Jake through the amusement park, searching for Kyra and Cheyenne. Jake was beginning to get tired, and complained every few minutes about his legs hurting from walking. Each time Reba ignored him, and kept her eyes on the people around her. "Where do you think they are, Jake?" The young boy sighed, looking up to his worried mother.
"I don't know. Can't we just leave them?" Reba stopped walking, looking down at Jake in shock. He let out a frustrated breath. "Sorry." Reba started walking again, spotting someone that she some-what remembered seeing with Kyra earlier that day when they'd all passed by. She gently tugged Jake as she moved to the teenager's side. Kyra was standing next to her, just out of Reba's view from her previous spot.
"Kyra, we need to get going. You're father should be home soon, and I haven't even started dinner, yet." The redhead sighed, telling her friends bye before helping her mother find Cheyenne. It took them another ten minutes to find her. She had just gotten off the Ferris wheel with her boyfriend, Van Montgomery. Reba smiled at him, inviting him to dinner. They left the park quickly, and the car ride home was music to Reba's ears. They all shared their stories from the day, laughing and enjoying each other's company. She soaked up every minute of it, knowing in just a short period of time all of it would be gone. Divorce. It would tear them all apart.
Brock hung up his phone when he received Reba's voicemail box. She either didn't want to talk to him, or had left her phone somewhere she couldn't hear it. He took a deep breath, wishing he knew how to fix this situation. He had waited too long, and now he was losing it all. Brock let out a shaky sigh before he finally broke down. Tears and sobs escaped him, and he was glad that Barbra Jean had taken him up on his offer to leave early. He placed his head in his hands, his tear drops splashing onto the divorce papers below.
After a few minutes, he stood up and turned around to stare out the window, looking down at all the commotion going on in Houston. His eyes darted to a couple fighting across the street. She was crying and yelling, and he was apologizing and yelling back. Brock frowned, his morning fight with Reba coming to mind. Once again, they had argued over the toaster being left out on the counter, and he had stormed out, leaving too early for work. He had taken a left where he should have taken a right, and continued to drive until he'd reached the old boardwalk. For his whole life, it had been his place to visit when he was troubled, but it was letting him down now. Brock closed his eyes, trying to remove the picture of all the lonely people he had walked past out of his mind.
Brock climbed out of his truck, letting the door slam shut behind him. He took a deep breath, and started his half hour walk down the boardwalk. He nodded his head when he passed an old man sitting on a bench, talking to the sky with tears in his eyes and a smile on his lips. Brock looked to his feet, and stuffed his hands into his pockets. Slowly the boardwalk gained more people, and only one or two couples had been amongst them. Brock sat down on an empty bench and stared out at the beach. He felt tears coming to his eyes as he thought about Reba and how much she loved walking along the beach just before the temperature started to warm up. He attempted to hide wiping at his eyes, but a woman walking by him gave him a small smile as if to signify she knew what he was feeling.
Brock shook his head, letting out a deep breath. Why had such a great relationship end up going downhill? They were so in love just a few years ago. He didn't know what could have happened to change it, and he prayed to God to keep them together, to bring them back to a time they didn't fight over everything. He looked at his watch, realizing he needed to leave in order to make it to work on time, and stood up slowly. Everything was changing, and he wasn't sure anymore that he'd be able to stop it. By the time he'd made back to his truck, he had cried just enough tears to hopefully get him through the day.
Up and down this boardwalk lonely people sit
I know it wasn't perfect but nothing ever is
The sails out in the harbor
Are searching for the wind
Brock opened his eyes, acknowledging that he didn't want to be one of the boardwalk's lonely faces. He was happy with his life exactly like it was, and he had had plenty of almost break-ups with Reba before that they'd managed to work through. This time couldn't be any different. He wouldn't let go so easily. He turned back to his desk, sitting down in his chair. He took a deep breath, glanced at the papers, and picked up his phone to call Reba again. She didn't pick up, but this time he decided to leave her a message. He took a deep breath, almost hiding his emotions, but decided against it. He had to start fixing his mistakes from the last few years. He felt a few tears slip from his eyes as he started to speak.
"Reba, it's Brock. I was looking over the divorce papers, and I've tried all day to understand how we've gotten to this point, but I can't figure it out. We've been together for so long now that I don't think I could make it without you. You mean too much to me, help me with so much, and I don't know what I'd do without you. I don't know what I'd do if you didn't love me, if you wanted to leave me." He took another breath, tears spilling from his eyes as he slowly broke down. "Why are we doing this, Reba? Do you remember because I certainly don't? Have I done something to make you want to leave? Is there something going on with you that I need to know about? That maybe I haven't noticed? Whatever the reason is, please, tell me so I can fix it. I don't want to lose you. I don't want to say goodbye to what we have. I don't want to say goodbye to you." His breathing quickened and sobs filled the room and phone. He felt his defensive walls falling, and closed his eyes to hold back the tears.
"Please, don't say goodbye to me. I need you, Reba." He took a deep, shaky breath, his body shaking uncontrollable. "I love you more than I could ever love anyone else…and I know you still love me way more than you could ever love anyone else. Marry me, Reba, as many times as I want…as you want. Please, please, Reba, don't make me do this. I love you too much." He took a moment, trying to gain back any composure, but he had lost it all. He completely broke down, sobbing into the phone and trying to tell her he loved her again and again. When he realized he wouldn't be able to say another word, he hung up the phone, wiping at his cheeks with the palms of his hands.
I just had to call you
I had to hear your voice
And tell you I still love you
We still have a choice
You're sewn into the fabric, the pieces of my life
And I just can't remember why we said goodbye
Everything I do leads me back to you
I know I just can't let us go
There must have been a reason, but I can't remember now
I know if I could hold you we could work it out
You're sewn into the fabric, the pieces of my life
And girl let's give it one more try
Cause I just can't remember why we said goodbye.
Standing up he moved to the couch in his office where he had spent plenty of nights, and fell onto the uncomfortable cushions. He kicked off his shoes and stretched out on the love seat. He lied there, crying as ideas on what his life would be like without Reba played throughout his mind.
Reba followed her children into the house, watching as they all rushed into the living room to watch television. She sighed, moving to the cabinets to find something to make for dinner. She heard a beep, and turned to the kitchen table where her cell phone rested. She walked to the table, quickly checking her phone for text messages or missed calls. She called her voicemail, listening as Barbra Jean told her she was worried about Brock. Reba deleted the message, slightly angry that Barbra Jean might have gotten some information out of Brock that she, herself, had not managed to receive. She rolled her eyes as the next message started. She was startled at first to hear Brock's voice so lost and sad. She fell into the chair, listening as he told her how much he still loved her and how he didn't want the divorce any more than she did. Her heart ached incredibly, and by the time the message had ended she was in tears herself.
Brock remained on his couch, his tears had dried up but his body still shook with quiet sobs. He knew he should get up and leave for home, but his body was too heavy for him to keep it up right. His mind was too numb to be able to drive home. He was safer staying here, and apologizing to Reba in the morning. He closed his eyes, the urge to cry being shot down by the lack of tears.
When he opened his eyes, his office door was swinging open, and Reba was rushing inside. She stopped a few steps into the room, her arms falling to her side and her chest racing to gain back the breath it'd lost during her mad race to get to him. Brock sat up slowly, staring at her as if he was uncertain it was really her. Reba dropped her purse, jumping slightly at the noise it made when it hit the floor. There was a long moment of silence as they shared a wordless conversation before Brock stood up with his arms stretched out. Reba closed her eyes for a second before running into his arms and kissing him passionately.
When they pulled apart, Brock cupped her cheeks, using his thumbs to wipe away her tears. "I'm so sorry for whatever made you angry or sad. Oh, I've missed you so much." He pulled her back into his arms, and held tightly onto her, kissing the top of her head. Reba took a deep breath, crying into his chest as her hands balled into fists around his shirt. They stood like that for a couple minutes, each one apologizing over and over. Once they had managed to calm down some, Brock pulled Reba to the couch with him. She sat in his lap, resting her head on his shoulder. She welcomed his comforting arms as they wrapped tightly around her.
Reba took a deep breath, closing her eyes for a brief moment. "I took the kids to the amusement park today. Jake made me ride the roller coaster with him…our roller coaster." Reba turned her head to the side slightly, her nose brushing against his neck as she breathed in her favorite cologne. Brock chuckled softly, her look of terror flashing before his eyes. Reba smiled sweetly at his enjoyment.
"I thought you said you'd never ride it again? You know, after Cheyenne was born." Reba rolled her eyes, wrapping her arms around him and scooting closer. Brock tightened his grip afraid she would slip and fall to the floor.
"I did, but you weren't there to ride it with him. I missed you holding my hand and laughing at me." Brock kissed the top of her head, taking a couple seconds to breathe in her shampoo and hairspray.
"I'm sorry I wasn't there. Next time you take him I'll go with y'all." Reba smiled, telling him that Jake would love it. They were quiet for a minute, each one lost in their own thoughts. Brock snapped out of his day dream, squeezing Reba to get her attention. She looked up at him, her eyes curious as to what he wanted. "I think we should go to the beach next weekend…our beach." Reba smiled, her face lighting up with excitement before a thought crossed her mind. Brock was confused for a moment when he saw her beautiful smile drop into a frown.
"I don't think so." She looked down to her lap, embarrassment forcing her cheeks to redden just a bit. He asked her why, and she took a deep breath before she answered him. "I don't like the way I look in a bathing suit anymore." Brock pulled away from her just enough to look into her eyes, shock written across his face. "Don't look at me like that." Brock smiled at her, shaking his head. Reba looked away, her cheeks darkening even more.
"Do I not get a say?" Reba looked back at him, one eyebrow raised. She shook her head no, and smiled when Brock began to tsk-tsk her. "I don't think that's very fair, Reba. You can't make a final decision on something like that without first getting my opinion." He was teasing her, and Reba couldn't help but enjoy it. They hadn't joked with each other in at least half a year, and laughing with Brock had been one the hardest things to miss. Brock gently scooped her up, starting to leave his office. "So, it's decided. We're going to the beach." Reba's eyes widened at his words, and she fought to get back on her feet.
"You mean now?" Brock nodded his head, struggling to keep her in his arms. "I don't even have a bathing suit! Put me down!" Reba smiled when she managed to kick her way free, and took off running as soon as she was steady. Brock chased her, laughing as she screamed for him to leave her alone. They ran out of the building and into the parking lot, darting around parked cars and light poles. Reba yelped as she ran into the back of Brock's truck and his hands landed on either side of her. She tried to hold back her giggles as she turned around to face him. "Don't hurt me." Her voice was small, and Brock couldn't help but laugh at her.
"I'm not gonna hurt you." Reba pretended to be relieved, and laughed softly at the childlike joy on his face. "I'm just gonna kidnap you, Silly!" And with that he had her tossed over his shoulder, heading for the passenger side.
"Brock, come on! I don't want to do this!" He shut the door, standing outside it as if to warn her not to try to get out. Reba raised one eyebrow at him before reaching for her seat belt and buckling up. Satisfied, Brock ran to the other side, and climbed onto the seat. "I don't like you." Reba folded her arms over her chest and stuck out her bottom lip. Brock chuckled softly at her.
"Yeah, well, people tend not to like their kidnappers." Brock pulled out of the parking lot as Reba's soft laughter filled the space around them. They both knew their problems were still there and that they would eventually need to talk about them, but right now, their problems did not outweigh their happiness anymore. When they made it to the beach, it was pitch dark outside. They tossed their shoes into the truck bed, rolled up their pant legs, and raced to the spot where the water and the sand met. They spent the rest of the night laughing, chasing each other, and making love in the exact spot where he had proposed to her so many years ago. By the time morning came along, their problems no longer existed and they had found their way back to each other.