I do not own Heavy Rain or any of its associated characters.
The next morning was a repeat of the previous one – several hours of me lying on the cool tile of the bathroom floor. When I had finally regained my composure, I went to the kitchen to find blue orchids on the kitchen table and Norman pouring glasses of orange juice.
"You're okay," Norman breathed when he saw me sit at the table. I reached out and took the flowers in my hand and ran my fingers over the petals. "Aren't you?" he asked. All I did was nod. He came to the table and sat down across from me, placing the glasses of juice between us.
"…What?" He was taken aback.
"Triptocaine," I repeated. It wasn't a question this time. A series of emotions flashed across his face. First surprise, then sadness, then anger, and finally shame.
"How did you find out?" he asked without meeting my eyes.
"I'm an idiot," he said. But he wasn't. Not before, he wasn't. We sat in silence for a few moments. I don't think either of us knew what to say.
"So, what now?" I finally asked.
"You want me to stop taking it," he concluded. No shit.
"Please," I said instead. That seemed to be a frequent request of mine.
"We'll be late for work," he deflected. Even though he was right, I wished that timing wasn't so convenient for him.
That night, things were unusually quiet between the two of us, but at least he was home. I had decided that that was a start.
"Can we continue this morning's conversation?" I had dared to ask as I was getting ready for bed.
"No." That was it?
"Please?" There was that word again.
"What do you want me to say, April?" I couldn't figure out whether he was frustrated or just exhausted.
"Whatever you need to say," I said.
"You want the truth?" he asked.
"I can't stop taking it. You don't understand this mess I've got on my hands."
"What don't I understand?" I felt like this had the potential of becoming a constructive conversation. Sadly, that hope was short-lived because he suddenly began to yell at me.
"Goddammit, April! Why do you do this to me?!" he shouted, and the vulgar language and angry questioning continued. I grew anxious and started wringing my hands.
"Please stop yelling at me," I whispered. He stopped in mid-accusation.
"Stop yelling at me," I repeated. He grabbed me by the shirt and slammed me against the wall, pinning me there.
"Why do you always have to make this about you?!" he screamed in my face.
"I'm trying to help you!" I yelled back. We continued to yell at each other, and I began to violently sob.
"You disgust me," he finished, and he turned his back on me. I sunk to the floor and continued to sob uncontrollably. Norman headed to the door. So, he was just going to leave me again?
"Norman," I yelped between sobs.
"What?" he asked flatly without turning to face me.
"I can't… stay… if you're… like this," I choked out. He said nothing and walked out the door. And there I was alone again, sobbing.
Ugly nausea struck me again the following morning, and I began to worry. My eyes were also so swollen from all the crying I had been doing that I called off from work. I found Norman at the kitchen table with a bowl of cereal when I had found the courage to leave the bedroom. After glancing at the couch, I realized he had come home in the night and slept there instead of joining me in the bedroom.
"Norman?" I said with a hoarse voice.
"Yeah?" he responded softly. I sat at the table so he could see my pitiful state. When he looked at me, his eyes became soft. "You look sick," was all he said.
"I am," I said. "I'm not going to work today."
"Is this because of me?" he asked. I said nothing, and we were both silent for a moment. "April, I want to fix things," he finally said.
"I was hoping you could tell me," he said.
"First of all, take me to the doctor?" I requested.
"Of course," he agreed.
"And no more triptocaine," I said.
"I knew you would ask that of me."
"I have every right to," I qualified.
"Yes, you do," he said with a distant look as if he were reflecting over the ugly parts of our relationship.
"So, what do you say?" I asked.
"I'll try." I had to take it because it was the best I was going to get.
Norman decided to go into work a few hours late so he could accompany me to the doctor, which is something I was immensely grateful for. Visiting the doctor always made me nervous.
"Is everything okay at home?" Dr. Madison asked before we could even get into the specifics of my condition.
"No," I admitted.
"What's happening?" she asked as she took a seat across from me.
"Does this stay in complete confidence?" I asked.
"Absolutely," she said.
"My husband—er, live-in boyfriend actually—are having some problems," I said vaguely, chickening out at the last minute.
"What kind of problems?" she tried.
"That's not important."
"It's important enough for your health to suffer," she said. I suppose she had a point, but it still didn't work. I wasn't about to sell Norman out. I didn't want anyone to know I was living with an addict.
"Can we just find out if I'm pregnant?" I suddenly asked. She raised her eyebrows at me.
"Is that why you're here?" she asked. I nodded.
The appointment seemed to last forever, and with Norman in the waiting room, I was even more anxious. Dr. Madison told me to go home and rest; she was going to run my tests over to the clinic, and she would give me a call later in the day. In the mean time, she told me to just stay hydrated.
"Everything okay?" Norman asked as we left.
"She ran some tests and is going to call me later," I told him.
"You going to be okay at home alone?" Funny, he never asked me that whenever he would stay out all night. Or when he would walk out on me.
"Yeah," I concluded. I was just worried that he wouldn't come straight home after work… maybe go out to get more of his wonder drug.
"I'll be home as early as I can," he promised as if he had read my mind.
When we got home, he tucked me into bed as if I were a child, sat a glass of water at my bedside, kissed me on the forehead, and left for work. I slept off and on until the phone finally rang that afternoon.
"April, this is Dr. Madison," she said.
"Hi," I responded.
"Your results have come in."
"And?" I prompted.
"It's positive." Great. Just great. This was exactly what I needed.
"Thanks," I said and hung up the phone even though I could hear her say something as I ended the call. I didn't know what to do, so I took the easy way out and just went back to sleep and hoped everything would be fixed when I woke up again. Boy, was I wrong.
I woke up when Norman slammed the front door closed. I sat up in bed to see him stumbling to the bathroom, so I went to stand outside the door.
"Norman?" I called through the door. He didn't answer, so I reached for the knob to find it unlocked. I slowly opened the door and found him lying on the floor in a sweat and shaking. I didn't hesitate when letting myself in and kneeling at his side.
"I don't know if I can do this," he croaked.
"Sure you can," I encouraged. I stepped over him and turned the shower on. "C'mon, let me help you." I helped him sit up, strip down to his underwear, and climb into the shower. He just sat there and let the water fall on him.
After that withdrawal episode, we just lounged in bed watching television and snacking on saltine crackers.
"Did the doctor call you back?" he asked during a toilet paper commercial.
"What did she say?"
"You need to get clean," I said.
"I know that—"
"Because she said you're going to be a dad," I cut him off. He was taken aback.
"What?" He was shocked. "You mean…"
"Yeah," I said without emotion. He pulled himself upright in bed and looked down at me, placing a hand on my stomach.
"But we've been so careful," he said to me.
"Not recently," I reminded him as I thought back to the times we would make up from our frequent fighting.
"So… we're going to have a baby," he said. I tilted my head to look at him, but I couldn't bring myself to say anything. I wanted to have a family with him, but that was before he became this other person. Sure, he was trying to sober up, but the risk of relapse was always there, and with how violent he got, I didn't want to raise a child in that type of environment.
"We can't have a baby if you're still on triptocaine," I finally told him. He exhaled heavily, his cheeks slightly puffing up when he did so.
"Thank you for being so patient with me. I've been so awful to you," he said. I nodded in agreement. "And thank you for helping me this afternoon." He reached out to run his fingers through my hair. "I want to fix things, and I want to have this baby with you."
"Okay," was all I said. Now, I just had to figure out how to tell my mother.
Two days later I was meeting her for lunch at our favorite sandwich shop in the area. She could immediately tell something was up.
"Trouble in paradise?" she questioned.
"Mom, please," I said. She giggled a little, but her eyes were still serious.
"So, what's going on?"
"Surprise, I'm having a baby," I said bluntly. I didn't feel like beating around the bush, but I still couldn't bring myself to use the word "pregnant." She cleared her throat before she spoke.
"I was hoping for no more surprises," she said with disappointment in her voice. "But a new life is always something to celebrate." She must have been reluctant to say that, but I could tell it was important for her to do so. "So, how are you and Norman handling it?"
"Well, it's difficult to say," I told her. She had absolutely no idea what we had been going through those recent months.
"Why might that be?" she asked.
"We've been fighting a lot recently, and now with the baby coming, it's like we have no choice but to tough it out, you know?"
"You wouldn't have toughed it out if you weren't pregnant?" she asked.
"It's complicated," I said as I buried my face in my hands.
"April, you're such a strong young woman that I know you can handle whatever comes at you. You'll figure this out, and then I'll have a beautiful grandchild to love," she told me with a compassionate smile. You've got to love my mom.
The next couple of days were awful. Between my morning sickness and Norman's withdrawals, I felt like we'd both die there in our apartment without anyone knowing. Well, maybe not die, but it seemed almost unbearable. We couldn't take care of each other because we were too wrapped up in trying to help ourselves.
And then Norman relapsed. He came home from work one day with guilt written all over his face.
"You didn't… please tell me you didn't," I said. He sighed.
"I'm sorry," he said flatly. "Just… please don't try to lecture me right now." I honored that request because I could tell he wasn't proud of himself. I decided to blame his drug use that day on the most recent murder. This "origami killer" was making my pseudo-husband's life a living hell.
A couple weeks later, we tried again. Same ugly process… cold showers and saltine crackers, but it seemed to be working. After many late night talks, I felt like he finally realized that I didn't want our child living with a drug addict as a father. I had this feeling that we would soon be able to focus on becoming parents.
"April?" he called one morning through the closed bathroom door.
"Uh huh," I responded. I was sitting on the cool tile floor and resting my head against the wall. He let himself in and sat on the floor next to me.
"I've been thinking… and I know I haven't been clean for very long, but…" He had definitely gotten my attention; I was very curious as to where this was going. "I'd like for us to get married," he finished.
"You want to get married?" I clarified.
"Yeah," he confirmed. And there was that smile I hadn't seen in such a long time.
"You're right about not being clean for very long," I said.
"If I don't relapse again… I mean, when I don't relapse again, would you be more comfortable saying yes?" he asked.
"You're on probation," I joked. "But if you stay clean from today on, I'll marry you after the baby is born," I agreed. So, not only was I pregnant, I was engaged. What an interesting surprise. We just needed to get through this pregnancy.
Throughout the following week, Norman's recovery was going exceptionally well, and he was definitely on his way to proving his sobriety to me. His withdrawal episodes became less frequent, so he was able to lend me a hand whenever I needed him. One night, though, I felt sicker than usual.
"What's wrong?" Norman asked as I clutched my stomach.
"I just really don't feel well," I said. Part of me wanted to blame my stomach pains on the worry I felt when I saw the newest headline about the origami killer. Norman always reacted negatively to them, and this time didn't seem much different. He was very distant, and I was nervous about another possible relapse. He had been doing so well, and I didn't want to seem pessimistic, so I didn't share my concern with him.
"Nausea?" he asked absently.
"This is different," I told him, which was the truth. I was in a lot of pain, and I didn't know what was wrong. Norman suggested I turn in early, so I went directly to bed. Strangely enough, he didn't join me, and this made me worry about him even more. I laid there and cried until I fell asleep.
I woke up the next morning with the same severe stomach pains. I rolled over onto my side to see that I was alone in bed; Norman was missing for the first time since his last relapse. I didn't want to do this again. Especially when I was in so much pain. I sat up, and everything hurt more when I moved. I looked down, and what I saw terrified me. My shorts were wet with blood. I immediately reached for the phone and dialed Norman. No answer. I tried his office phone and got his voicemail. I started to sob and didn't know what else to do. I called the only other person I thought of – Mom.
"Hello?" she said when she picked up the phone.
"Mom?!" I cried hysterically. I was still sobbing uncontrollably.
"Come get me," I pleaded.
"Are you at home?" she asked.
"I'm coming," she said without question and hung up the phone.
Hours later I was hooked up to all different types of machines at the hospital, and Norman was still nowhere to be found.
"Did you try his office phone again?" I asked my mom from under the oxygen mask the nurse had just placed over my face. After panicking for so long, this was the only way they could keep me from hyperventilating.
"Yeah," she said, obviously exhausted just as the doctor came in. "So, what happened?" my mom demanded without giving the doctor any chance to begin.
"I'm sorry, April, but you miscarried." And that was that – I didn't hear anything else. I was no longer going to be a mother. I was no longer making my mom a grandmother. I was devastated. My heart dropped, and I began to cry again.
I was allowed to go home that afternoon, and as soon as my mom made sure I was comfortable, she asked if I wanted her to stay. Personally, I think the idea of chewing Norman out whenever he showed up was what she was shooting for, and I didn't want anymore yelling. Because of this, I sent her home and told her I'd call her if I needed her. In the mean time, I curled up in the fetal position and waited for Norman to come home. I slept lightly but heard him come in around midnight. I sat up in bed, turned on the bedside lamp, and waited for him to come into the bedroom. There was that guilty face again.
"Where were you?" I asked hoarsely.
"No," I interrupted.
"No… where were you?"
"I'm sorry," he said. "Are you okay?" he asked.
"No, I'm not okay," I informed him. "I woke up and didn't know where you were, and I called and called, and you never answered. I was in the hospital for hours just to find out our baby was dead, and I still couldn't find you! I waited for you to come home, and instead of being with your—sort of your wife who just lost her baby, you're busy doing God knows what! I'm tired. I'm lonely. I'm scared. I'm unhappy. I know you're using again. And I'm in so much pain."
"I failed you, didn't I?" he asked after a few moments of silence. No shit! But instead of responding, I just cried again. He was suddenly at my side crying too. I wanted to push him away, but I just reveled in his presence because although he didn't know it yet, I had already decided what I was going to do. I knew he loved me, but the best thing for him was to get clean, and he wasn't going to get clean with me there. Leaving him was either going to be his wake-up call, or it was going to be the end of him, but it was the only thing left for me to do.
The next morning, after Norman had left for work, my mom came over to help me move my things out. I would live with her until I could fully recover from my miscarriage and from the devastation of this relationship. An hour before Norman was expected home, and after my mom had packed my last box in her car, I laid my key on the kitchen table and left, locking the door behind me. I didn't leave a note. In fact, I didn't leave any evidence that I had ever lived there at all.
Norman rang my cell phone several times that night, but I didn't have the heart to answer him. I knew that the moment I heard him I would want to forgive him and move back, but this was what was best for the both of us. While lying in bed, I wondered how he must have reacted when he saw all my things were missing from our apartment. Did he cry? Did he use? Did he make the decision to give up the triptocaine and get himself back on track?
I thought of him often after that. I was still madly in love with him, but there was no going back. I would even dream of our unborn child at times – a gorgeous baby boy with his daddy's features. After I had recovered enough to go back to work, I had soon heard that he had been transferred to investigate the origami murders. What happened during that time, or even after, is still a mystery to me.