Someday When I Stop Loving You
The foggy morning was peculiar on this specific day of the summer. More than peculiar, actually; it was unsettling. But maybe that was just Sean. Maybe if he had checked the forecast, he would have seen that it was supposed to rain all day. Maybe it really wasn't even the weather that was unsettling. Maybe it was watching Holden grabbing his luggage and getting onto the bus, headed for the airport.
"So, I think Sophia is a really good name. You know, if we end up with a girl."
Sean nodded, more content with the way Holden was tracing patterns on his chest, sleep now threatening his consciousness.
"I mean, I know this is a big step. I know that if we get this kid, that's basically it, right?"
"What do you mean?" Sean asked, senses returning to him alongside the confusion. Holden's fingers rubbed his chest now, as though erasing the countless patterns he had traced. Sean's arm pulled him in closer.
"I mean, it's always been us, and…I don't know, sort of like…shit, I don't know."
"Yeah, you do. You just don't want to tell me."
"We've always had an out. If things went bad, one of us could always walk away, because it's not like we're married or anything. But with this kid, it's like a bond we'll have forever. It's true commitment."
Sean sighed, massaging the muscles of Holden's shoulder. "Babe, I thought we were over this."
"We are. It's just…I don't know, my head's still kind of messed up and stuff, I guess. I've felt good, great actually, about us for years now. I don't know why this is coming up again. It's like I can't get rid of it."
"I hate them for doing that to you." Sean whispered, feeling a heat ignite in his chest as he pulled Holden closer still. The other man was practically lying on top of him now.
"I don't. I think it made me a lot stronger in a lot of ways. I mean, yeah, I was really self-deprecating for years, but it brought me to you. I can't say that's really a negative."
"True. I just wish that loving you could be enough."
"It is. Don't ever think it isn't. Yeah, I'm messed up, and paranoid, and sometimes I dabble in self-loathing. But Sean, you're everything to me. I know that sounds way dramatic and stupid…"
"It doesn't. You've been the most important part of my life for years now. I wouldn't leave you if I could."
Flashes of memories danced through his head, painted the skies of his imagination as Holden turned to him. Their eyes held, and Sean felt like he was going to throw up. He hadn't eaten in a few days, and he was thankful, because here was not a good place to douse the ground with the contents of his stomach. He read Holden's eyes, could tell that's what the other man wanted him to do. I'm so sorry. I wish this wasn't forever. I wish I could give you more. I love you, and I'll always love you.
"Sean, it's a girl!" Holden hollered from the other room.
Sean hurried into the other room, not even realizing that Holden was on the phone.
"That's amazing, Denise! Thank God. Is it okay if we're there for the delivery?"
Sean waited as the woman on the line replied, and he read Holden's smile before the words were out of his mouth.
"Thank you. I can't tell you how many times how much this means to us."
"Yes, I will get your husband that signature, don't worry. It's the least we can do."
A few goodbyes, and then Holden hung up and turned to Sean. There was so much boiling up inside of the other man, he could just tell. Holden stood from his desk chair, and Sean smiled, smiled bigger than he thought was even possible.
"We're gonna be parents." Holden choked out. "It's really going to happen. We're gonna be parents, Sean."
Sean pulled him into his arms, his entire body warming inside and out at the thought. He hadn't expected to feel so ecstatic at the prospect of fathering a child. Maybe it was because of whom he was fathering the child with. Maybe it was because of everything it meant.
"I know. I can't wait, Holden."
Sean took a step forward, out of the crowd of people lining the street. Holden shook his head, turning and walking down the aisle of the bus and taking a seat. Sean took another step, just so he was in the front, so Holden could see him. He felt helpless. All he had to do was step onto the bus and beg Holden to come home, to not leave. But he couldn't. It wouldn't be enough.
"What do you mean?"
"Mr. Jackson, I'm sorry…"
"We signed a fucking contract!"
"I know, but there's the period of time after the birth when…"
"I know. Trust me, I know. Dammit, do you know how much this means to him? There's no way in hell that she wants this kid as much as he does. No fucking way!"
"Mr. Jackson, I wish I had some control over this…"
He sat down, putting his face in his hands. "I'm sorry. I know this is out of your control."
"When is Mr. Wilson coming into town?"
"His flight lands in an hour."
"You should be there to greet him. It'd be best that he doesn't come to the hospital."
He nodded. The doctor took a seat beside him. "I know it doesn't mean much, but I'm so, so sorry."
"He had her whole room perfect. My mom bought us outfits and he had the rest of our lives planned out, planned around this kid. He doesn't…I don't think he can handle this."
"He's going to have to. There's always adoption."
"I know, but this kid…he is so attached to this girl. It's…I don't think I can describe it. It's like he carried the kid himself."
"Mr. Jackson, I wish there was more I could say."
"I know. None of this is your fault. I need to go. He's going to need me.
He didn't know if he could let this happen. The bus doors closed, and he stepped closed still. It'd be so easy, stepping out into the road. Especially if he waited for the bus to start going. He would be killed, surely. But instead he stopped just shy of it's path, the goodbyes of others in the crowd falling on deaf ears.
He looked into the bus at Holden, who was looking right back at him. Everything between them, years of love, of dedication. The promise of forever. It wasn't enough. Nothing could ever be enough. So as the bus drove away and Sean realized that he would never see Holden Wilson again, he felt the final pieces of his life turn to dust.
He was the last one left standing there by the bus stop, still watching where the bus had disappeared down the road. The memories were nothing but pain now, but he couldn't let them go. After everything they had been through, there was no way he could let Holden go. If only Holden had felt the same.