I try to reach for you, but you have closed your mind.
Whatever happened to our love? I wish I understood.
It used to be so nice, it used to be so good.
"Grace, please.." Carol almost chucked the finished file to the opposite side of her desk. Her daughter had been crying for nearly 15 minutes, she watched her trying to push the buckle away from her chest that kept her secure in her rocker. She had thrown every toy and object Carol had given her, and the new mother was at the end of her patience. She had stacks of files still to do, flying schedules to sign off, plane MOT's to organize. And she was doing it all alone.
Carol pushed her chair back from her desk, standing up behind it to walk round to Grace, seeing her daughter rocking back and forward and practically whining with impatience. At only a few weeks old, she already had her mother wrapped around her little finger. Carol bent down to unbuckle Grace from her chair, slowly lifting her up to rest against her chest.
"Sorry, baby girl. There we go, it's alright." Carol pressed a delicate kiss upon her daughter's head, taking in the scent she could only associate with her baby girl. She began to sway her body gently to try and rock Grace to sleep again, wondering over towards the open door leading out onto the balcony. That balcony.. The one that held so many memories that were dear to her heart. She pushed open the door fully, walking out towards the end of the balcony, inhaling a deep breath as she noticed the sunset that was fast approaching. Carol murmured softly down to her daughter, holding her close to her chest, her hand cupped around the back of Grace's head.
"You see that sunset, my angel? That means your Daddy's coming to see you." She knew Hal would come. She never for one second doubted him. They'd been so close for so many years, since they were kids, she knew when certain promises of his were true.
The sun was getting lower and lower by the minute, Carol watched as more of it disappeared behind the horizon. Her husband was late already, and the wind was getting colder out than normal. She glanced down at her daughter, smiling softly at the sight of finally asleep against her chest, Grace's hand touching upon the skin close to her collarbone. Carol had got so used to Grace falling asleep on her that she nearly always slept in her bed with her daughter cradled in her arms. The frequent emptiness beside her in bed where Hal should be often caused Carol to want to protect her baby girl even more, and have her as close to her as she can.
Carol turned around to go back into her office, the strength of the breeze blowing over the balcony made her almost automatically move her arms tighter round her daughter's tiny body laid over her chest. Once she'd stepped back into her office, Carol twisted her body back to look at the still open door. It was always open. She always kept it open. False hope is one of my biggest weaknesses. She would tell herself over and over again, thinking Hal might appear there and everything would be back to the way it was. How wrong she was.
Suddenly, there was a loud knock at the door, Grace moved at the noise straight away, it stirring her awake from her peaceful slumber upon her mother's chest. Carol looked over to the doorway, calling out to the closed door, her voice bellowed through the office. "Come in."
The door opened, and stood there was a tall figure, broad shoulders, and scruffy hair that she could only associate with one person. Nick De'Aablo. Carol had hired Nick around the same time as Hal, she noticed the same ambition and drive in him that she had when she was training to be a pilot all those years ago. She flashed a smile over to Nick hovering in the doorway to her office.
"Ma'am, I just came to check how you were doing? I know that your Father has given you all the paperwork that was incomplete from weeks ago and.." Carol interrupted her employee, gently beginning to rub her daughter's back, knowing that her Father had probably sent Nick to check up on her. Only interested if she'd finished the filing he'd sent her. "I'm fine here," she stated, showing weakness at times like this wasn't Carol's style. It wasn't her work ethic. She'd preached everyone to be independent and confident in her work force, the key attributes a pilot should carry in every aspect of their work. Although, Nick had known Carol for many years, and he could see when his boss was struggling. And she didn't hide it well.
"Let me help?" Nick cautiously made his way over to Carol stood close by her desk with Grace still in her arms, he smiled warmly to her, before taking one of the closed files into his hands. He looked down, beginning to skim-read the words written, picking up one of Carol's pens on her desk to write beside the notes already there. He sympathized with how stressed Carol must be with her daughter at work with her and all this paperwork she had to finish on her own. Carol attempted to settle Grace when she became uneasy again, the sound of Nick's voice in the room seeming to agitate her into trying to move out of her mother's arms. Nick's head turned to glance up at Grace fighting to be held in Carol's arms, he straightened his back, leaving the pen beside the edge of the file. Carol could see he didn't really know what to do in the situation, but she waited until he spoke.
"I can take her if you want to sign these couple of files?" Nick's smile was reassuring. Something Carol hadn't witnessed from any man in her life for quite some time. She trusted him.
"Do you mind? She's been so restless today." Carol carefully and slowly handed Grace into Nick's accommodating arms, watching him hold her in a completely different position to the one Carol was used to. But Grace didn't make a fuss, she didn't react like Carol expected. She was calm, her daughter settled into Nick's arms like he was her own Father. Another punch in the heart. Carol's thoughts reacted with her body like a chemical explosion, the pain in her chest was back, the longing she had for her husband was back.
But Carol's eyes averted down, straight to the file Nick had left open on her desk, she quickly read the notes he'd written to make sure they were of standard. She picked up the pen, scribbling her signature in the box that directed her to. The soft coos Grace was making from above her in Nick's arms started to calm Carol, making her forget everything clouding her mind in that moment.
Hal's glowing green suit vanished from his skin, his clothes replacing it over his body as soon as his feet hit the concrete of Carol's office balcony. The door was closed. The door that was always open, was closed. Hal's head starting spinning with thoughts. Why was the door closed? Had something happened? Had Carol given up waiting? He knew he was late, and he knew he was in the doghouse, but Hal couldn't accept that Carol would have just left without seeing him. It hadn't occurred to him that she might of had other things to do and that their daughter needed to go home, he just needed so badly to see them both. Hal reached his hand out towards the handle of the closed door, pulling it back to him with ease.
After being without it for so long, Carol's voice was like a smooth love song to Hal's ears. His eyes settled on her sitting in one of the black leather couches situated close one wall of her office, his daughter's hands reaching up to try and reach her neck. He smiled towards his wife and baby, the sight of them together, his two girls, warming his heart once again. Hal wondered over to join Carol on the couch beside her.
"I'm sorry I'm late, I got caught up with.." Carol was silent, she had looked over to her husband once since he had walked in. Hal knew now wasn't a time for explaining, and that Carol was probably mad enough with him as it is without him rambling on trying to explain his lateness. He gazed down at their daughter, his hand's securing under Grace's arms to lift her up and over into his own. He had been craving to hold his daughter every minute of everyday he'd been away from her. His little miracle along with his wife were the only things keeping him going through these jobs that carried so much danger. Grace released a soft cry from Hal's arms, the movement from her mother's arms and the temperature change of her Father's body distressing her. Carol was on edge, her eyes didn't waver from her daughter as soon as she was taken from her.
"Hey, shh. It's okay. It's only Daddy." Hal tried his hardest to soothe his little girl in his arms, but nothing seemed to be working. Her cries grew louder, and Carol grew closer to his side, pining to take her back from him again hearing her daughter upset.
"She needs feeding," Carol stated firmly, moving her hands around Grace's sides to bring her back against her chest, letting the side of her head settle into the crevice of her neck. Grace's cries lowered in volume, feeling the warmth of her mother radiating from her soft skin. Hal was stone cold in comparison, and Carol knew her daughter liked being held close to people's bodies. A habit her husband hadn't been around to take note of.
"Listen, baby, I'm sorry.."
Hal's attempt at an apology was short-lived and cut off by a knock at Carol's office door. The couple's heads both turned towards the sound that was heard from the opposite side of the dark colored wood.
Hal could hear the stern tone in Carol's voice, it was familiar to him, and it could rip through anything and anyone. The door swung open slowly, and he began to take in the figure stood before him and his wife. Hal's teeth gritted together, his jaw tensing.
"S..Sorry, I'm interrupting aren't I? I'll come back later." Nick's voice appeared fast and cutting, him and Hal never got on ever since the first day of training. They despised each other, and that hadn't changed in over 6 years.
"No, it's fine. Hal was just leaving." Nick froze in the doorway. Punch in the heart. Hal felt it hard & fast. Something that Carol was all too familiar with. These punches were something she'd gotten used to, everyday. Hal looked at his wife in sincere confusion, quickly frowning over in her direction. But Carol's gaze was cold, her eyes were piercing into his like she was throwing daggers in his direction. The tension was building up in the room, the two bodies on the couch ticking away like a time bomb ready to blow.
Hal's chest was starting to raise up and down with anger, Carol could see it, but she didn't react. It wrongly felt bittersweet to her, seeing her husband feeling the exact same emotions as she did when he left her for hours, days. Her eyes just kept a deathly hold upon his. Hal got up, leaving as fast as he came. Punch in the heart. Carol hadn't time to catch Hal, her heart told her to go after him, but her mind told her to not give in.
Hal stormed down the corridor down from Carol's office, reaching his arm out to push off every trophy on the cabinet lining the side of the hallway. Each set of doors he came to, he pushed open with such strength, the hinges shook, the nails struggling to take the force. His thought's eating his mind up.
Was he losing the only two things he was living for?
He'd fight, like his job, like everyday.
He'd fight for them. For his family.