"You're up early," Bill said walking into the office. "When I saw those empty bottles in kitchen I figured you'd be passed out till noon.
"I need to pack this stuff up," Laura replied looking around at the piles of books, papers, and supplies that surrounded her. "The boys will be home tomorrow and Kara needs a place to sleep. Not to mention Dara will be back and we have to have the room ready for inspection. We'll have to figure out where we're putting all this stuff. I figure the desk will probably fit in our room by the window. Maybe we can donate some of these books, split them up between our offices at work," Laura rambled.
Bill walked over to his wife, wrapped his arms around her waist and rested his chin on her shoulder.
"Breath," he instructed. "Slow down."
"I can't," Laura whispered. "If I stop moving I'm afraid I'll stop entirely. I need to keep busy. At least for now."
"What's this?" Bill asked inspecting a box on the table.
"It's - um - throwing it away," she forced out the words catching in her mouth and her body losing its strength as she leaned back to depend more heavily on her husband's support.
"Are you sure?"
The box contained all the things she hid from herself in the office. Pregnancy and baby name books, a rattle he had bought for her the first time, a blue blanket with Jake's name embroidered in the corner, the baby book she had started for him and a pile of pictures including sonograms.
"We can get them out the apartment but we don't have to throw them out," he said holding her tightly. "Your parents have space in the attic or -"
"No. No. I just - I need to get rid of it. Move on. You heard the doctor, I can't keep doing this - even accidently," Laura reminded quickly wiping away falling tears. "Holding on to this. I hold on to that idea that I'll have a baby. Or I think about all the babies we don't have... Jake would have been eighteen months next week. Can you believe that?"
"I know," Bill replied watching his wife disappear into her thoughts.
"And now this boy..." Laura continued placing her hand over her empty stomach. "I wonder if they were all boys. You have quite a track record for what we know - so I think they were... I remember when you gave this to me," Laura said picking up the sterling silver rattle. "When we first found out and didn't know I couldn't - we talked about having a girl. You said you always wanted a daughter..."
Bill wanted to say something comforting. To ease her pain but he couldn't. Whenever he tried it always came back to the fact that he was a father. He had sons who adored him. Who shared his traits and appearance. He experienced all the firsts and happy moment with Carolanne. And so he had learned to listen.
It was the least he could do. Although he had hoped to have children with Laura, her inability to have a successful pregnancy did not leave him with the same emotions. The loss of their sons were heartbreaking. The other losses were also difficult. The fact that they wouldn't be able to have children together was disappointing but he could move on without the intense sense of loss and emptiness Laura experienced. He wanted to take away her pain. He'd do anything to make her feel better but all he had at his disposal was time. Time to heal wounds and the memory of their loss and what could have been.
"I love you," Bill said kissing her cheek. "I love you very much."
"I know," Laura managed to squeak out past the lump in her throat.
"Can I make you breakfast? Toast? A banana even?"
"I can do it," Laura replied standing up straight and forcing a smile. "Kara will be up soon. She gets the permanent cast today. Then I'll take her to my parents and Di will watch her."
"You want me to go to the appointment with you?"
"It's okay. It shouldn't take too long and you have to work."
"Ok," Bill said nodding in agreement. "Let me take care of this room then."
"Deal," Laura replied giving him a kiss. "I love you too Bill."
"I hope you enjoyed your day with Di because that was it," Laura said letting them in the apartment. "She's never babysitting you again."
"Why?!" Kara whined. "I love Diana!"
"I believe it," Laura replied with a snort. "All the treats you want, pierced ears, a kitten -"
"And London!" Kara reminded enthusiastically sitting down on the couch.
"Right," Laura sighed setting their dinner on the table. "The General will be late tonight. So it's just us girls."
Laura rolled her eyes at the latest surprise from her sister, a blonde kitten from their neighbor's litter. "And Cat," Laura concurred. "Put him down and wash your hands."
"Can we watch Breakfast at Tiffany's?"
"You spent all day watching movies with Diana. Wouldn't you rather do something else?"
"I like watching movies," Kara replied quietly. "I only get to see them when I'm with you."
Laura ran her hand threw Kara's hair and rubbed her back. "Well you're stuck with me now so you'll see plenty of movies. And if that's what you want to do tonight that's fine. But no Breakfast at Tiffanys."
"Why?" Kara moaned. "It's Diana's favorite and that's where Cat got his name."
"I know it. But still it's too old for you."
"Boo hoo," Laura teased setting a plate before Kara.
"Where is Tiffanys?"
"The one in the film is New York but there are lots of Tiffanys. There is one on Mikhailovskyay."
"Can we go there for breakfast?"
"It's a jewelry store Sweetie not a restaurant," Laura delicately informed the girl. "But sure. We can be like Audrey one day eat breakfast there."
Kara silently ate her dinner before continuing.
"Do you have jewelry from Tiffanys?"
"I do. A few things. My ring," Laura said holding up her hand. "Bill bought me a couple necklaces over the years. And some earrings."
"Earrings!" Kara repeated her eyes lighting up.
"Yes," Laura affirmed with a smile. "Sit tight."
Kara sat anxiously waiting for Laura to return. The mere minutes of her absences feeling like hours.
"How would you like to upgrade those studs?" Laura asked holding out yellow and white pear shaped diamond earrings.
"Your Starbuck earrings?"
"Yep. Bill bought them because they reminded us of you. Now that you're here and you have your ears pierced. It seems appropriate that you wear them." Laura said sitting down.
She removed Kara's earring and cleaned her ear before replacing it with the Tiffany pair.
"Beautiful," Laura said holding up a mirror for Kara.
"I can keep them?" Kara asked holding her ear.
"They're all yours," Laura assured brushing Kara's hair behind her ear.