I would be lying if I said that I wasn't hurting, but at the end of the day I didn't have the right to hurt – not the way Callie was hurting. If she was hurting. She wouldn't talk to me, she could barely even look at me, and the idea of actually being in the same room together for more than thirty seconds at a time was laughable.
When the malpractice suit was brought to the board, I would have never thought it would be against Callie. She was the best surgeon I knew. When Jackson announced the suit, Callie's eyes were glued to the dark wood table. There were gasps of astonishment and my eyes were boring holes into Callie, but she never once looked up. The other board members were looking between Callie and me to try and gauge my reaction, but I just sat there in shock.
I barely remember Jackson talking about the lawyers that would be brought in and how the hospital was going to fight the suit. At one point the word bankruptcy was brought up again. Callie's eyes shot up to look at the person who uttered the word. All of the emotions from the last time we went through that were displayed across her face in the moment. It broke my heart to see the emotion on her face, to see her vulnerable and hurting. When Jackson stopped talking, everyone started to leave the room and Callie was the first one out the door.
I sat there for a little while after the meeting and thought about how much my life had changed. I thought about how much I had done to change my life and how many of those things I wish I could go back and redo. Getting on that plane, hating Callie for making the decision about my leg, treating Callie the way I did when she was only trying to be there for me. Staying in that room when she told me that it was okay to lose control. I thought about how much I missed being able to go home to my wife and daughter after a long day. Was I even still allowed to call her my wife?
When I was done having my own pity party about how much I screwed up my life, I headed back towards the Peds wing. I had some paperwork to wrap up before I could call it a night and pick Sofia up from daycare. Sofia, the one constant joy in my life right now. Thankfully she was far too young to understand what was going on between Callie and me. When I got to the daycare, Callie was sitting at the table coloring with Sofia. I stood outside and watched through the window for a few minutes. My girls.
This isn't the first time I have found Callie in here with her before I've picked her up. It always brought me back to Mark and how I broke my promise to him to take care of "our girls." For someone who I never wanted around, I would do anything to have him back right now.
I knew Callie's day was far worse than mine. I could see it written all over her face, she may be able to hide her emotions from most people, but no matter what state our relationship was in, I knew exactly how she was feeling today. I didn't want to interrupt her time with Sofia, but, in that moment, she looked up and our eyes instantly met. She stood up as I walked into the room.
"Mama!" Sofia smiled brightly.
"Hi there little miss."
"Sofia, I'll see you tomorrow." Callie squatted down to say goodbye to Sofia.
"Mami! Finish color." Sofia looked down and pointed to the drawing Callie had been working on.
"Sofia, your mama is here to pick you up." Callie sounded annoyed as she stood back up.
"Do you want to take her tonight?" I spoke softly and avoided eye contact. Her eyes widened and started to fill with tears. She just nodded her head. "Hey Soph?" I sat down next to my daughter.
"Yes?" She was smart girl and I knew that in about ten years she would be talking back to Callie and me on a daily basis. I could see the sassiness starting already.
"How would you like to stay with Mami tonight?" She looked at me and tilted her head to the side before looking up to Callie.
"Is Mami okay?" Her soft innocent voice spoke.
"Yes, Mami is okay. She just misses you, sweetie."
"You have dinna wid us, Mama?" Callie took a step back.
"Not tonight, Soph. I will come have lunch with you tomorrow though. I'll get your favorite pizza and we can share it."
"Okay!" She smiled brightly and the small crisis of having to explain to her why I couldn't have dinner with her tonight was avoided. For now.
"Can I have a big hug?"
"Of course, mama!" She flung her little arms around my neck.
"Thank you." I laughed. "I'll see you tomorrow at lunch. I love you so much."
"I love you more, Mama!"
"Impossible." I whispered.
I slowly stood back up and went to leave. I felt a hand on my own as it stopped me in my tracks. I looked back and Callie stood there.
"Thank you." I could barely hear her she said it so quietly, but I knew if she said it out loud she was probably going to start crying in the middle of the daycare. I looked down at her hand, still on my own before looking back up again and nodding. She dropped my hand and I left.
I knew that she needed Sophia more than I did tonight. I couldn't be there for her, but I knew that Sophia could be, even if she didn't realize what she was doing for her Mami, I knew.
I was almost at my car when I heard someone running behind me.
"Arizona, I've been calling your name. I thought you had Sophia tonight?" It was a question, not a statement.
"Murphy, not now please."
"Is every…" She started to ask but I cut her off.
"I can't keep doing this. I need…" I stopped myself. I didn't owe her an explanation. "I just can't keep doing this."
"Oh. Do you want to talk about it?"
"Ha!" It wasn't meant to be said out loud, but it slipped out anyways. "No, I don't." I looked down and shook my head. "I have to go."
I heard her say bye as I got into my car. I searched for a cigarette in my glove box and found a pack with one left. As soon as I pulled out of the hospital I put the window down a little bit and lit the cigarette. The first drag felt like heaven on earth. When I got to the Archfield, the valet took my car and I headed straight for the hotel bar.
"Yes, Dr. Robbins." The fact that the hotel bartender knew me by last name and my title was unnerving. I thought about getting my own place, but I couldn't do it. "Are you going to have dinner this evening as well?"
"In a little bit, just wine for now though."
He poured the glass and slid it over to me. "Let me know if you need anything."
I nodded before taking the first sip. Just like the cigarette, the fix was only temporary. Drinking was not going to change what was going on in my life. I sat at the bar and read the subtitles on the news since the volume was muted. I continued to think my thoughts from earlier while I sat there.
"Arizona?" I knew the voice the moment I heard it. I really hoped that I was dreaming, that I was hallucinating after a long day, but when I turned to the direction it came from, I knew that I wasn't.
"Carlos…" There were no words for all of the emotions I started to feel in that moment. "What are you doing here?"
"I should ask you the same question…"
"Does Callie know you are here?"
"We spoke this morning, briefly. She informed me about the lawsuit but then had to go. I was in Los Angeles on business and took a flight up here when I was done in my meetings this afternoon. Now again, why are YOU here?" He looked at me and then made a motion with his hands to include our placement in the hotel.
"She hasn't talked to you?" I would have figured that she talked to her father about everything going on. She had to talk to someone, right?
"Is there something you would like to tell me, Arizona?"
"I… Umm… I really think Callie should be the one to tell you."
"You are here now. Tell me what?"
"Callie and I, we…" I stopped as I looked down at my hand and started to fidget with my ring. "We separated." I didn't see his reaction because I couldn't bring myself to look at him. I promised this man that I was "a good man in a storm." How was I supposed to tell him that I failed his daughter and granddaughter? Although I didn't look up, I knew he was thinking. I could only imagine the look on his face and at any moment I knew I might be thrown up against a wall and threatened.
"Hmm…" was all he said at first. When I finally looked up, I could see sadness in his eyes. "I could tell something had happened, but I would have never suspected this."
"Sir, I am so sorry. I thought she would have told you."
"How long has this been?"
"A few months now."
"Come, let's go. I have a car waiting outside. We are going to go speak with Calliope."
"Sir, I really don't think that is a good idea."
"Arizona, I don't remember it being optional."
"Yes, sir. Let me just pay my tab." I walked back over to my spot at the bar and took one last large sip of my wine before telling the bartender I would be back later. He knew which room I was in.
The ride to Callie's was quiet and the short ride felt as though it was never going to end. As I looked out the window, I could feel my eyes start to well with tears. I had to do everything I could not to cry in front of Carlos. I could appreciate his effort, but as we came to a stop, I realized that I didn't have my own car here and was essentially stuck.
We took the elevator to the fifth floor and he stood to one side out of the view of the peephole and knocked on the door, leaving me to stand there.
"Arizona, what are you doing here?" she asked.
All I could do was mouth the words, "I'm sorry." She looked confused for a moment.
"Calliope!" He cheerful tone was not something she expected to hear.
"Daddy?" Her eyes were wide as he hugged her and she just looked at me, expecting some sort of explanation. I did not have one for her.
"Are you going to invite us in?"
"Of course, come in. Sofia is just getting ready for bed. Let me go grab her."
"Oh, I'll go see if she needs any help." My dad said cheerfully as he walked towards Sophia's room.
"What the hell, Arizona?" She said as soon as he was out of sight.
"Oh please, you think I brought him here to ambush you? I ran into him at the Archfield. You never told him that we separated!"
"What was I supposed to say? Oh, Daddy, my wife cheated on me with some whore. So that's two marriages, maybe the next one will work out."
"You could have at least told him we aren't living together right now. I had to tell him in the hotel lobby." I tried to act as if her comment about her next marriage didn't bother me, but in that moment I could feel my stomach drop and my heart break into a million little pieces. We had not once talked about divorce. Besides her asking me to move out, we barely talked about us at all. It was too hard and now with the lawsuit, it was going to get pushed back even more.
"What did you say to him?"
"I told him that we are separated."
"That was all you told him?" She looked at me like I was purposefully keeping something from him.
"Don't call me that." She said before I could continue my sentence.
"I didn't know what else to say to him. I could barely tell him that we separated."
"Why the hell does he just show up?" She asked as she pulled down two glasses from the cupboard and got a bottle of white and bottle of red. Her gesture was out of instinct. She didn't realize was she was doing until she was handing me the glass of white.
"Thank you." I said sheepishly.
"Mami! Mami!" Sophia came running out of her room. "Mama?" Her tone changed as she noticed me at the island. "Abuelo is here!"
"I know, sweetie. He and your Mama stopped by for a surprise visit." Callie said as she took a sip of her wine. I could easily sense the disapproval in her tone and it didn't slip past Carlos either.
"Abuelo said he would read me a story tonight."
"Isn't that sweet of him? How about Mama goes and get you settled in bed and reads you one before Abuelo does?"
"Really, Mama!" Sophia turned to me in her excitement. "Come on!" Sophia took my hand and started to drag me to her room.
She quickly jumped in her bed and scooted over so I could sit right next to her. "Mama, how come you no sleep here?" Her voice was so innocent. I just looked down at her and tried not to cry in front of my daughter.
"Oh sweetie, your Mami and I just need some time apart right now."
"Do you still love Mami?"
"Yes I do. I love your Mami very much."
"Do you still love me?"
"Of course. I will always love you, Sophia. No matter what, I will always love you." She hugged my side and I kissed the top of her head as a wiped away a tear with one hand. Before I could start reading Carlos came in the room. "I will see you tomorrow little miss. Be good for your Mami tonight."
"Okay, mama." She squeezed me a little bit tighter before letting go. "I love you."
"I love you too, Soph, I love you so much."
As I stood up the pain in my leg almost forced me back down but I took a deep breath and headed towards the kitchen again. Callie was still standing at the counter. I took my glass of wine in my hand and took a quick sip. Callie was already pouring her second glass and I did not blame her.
"Callie, he didn't really give me a choice..." I needed to explain why I was there. I didn't need there to be another reason for her to be upset with me. "I know you don't want me here." She didn't say anything. "I'm going to call a cab. Do… Do you mind if I sit for a moment?"
"No, go ahead." She moved over to the couch with me and she sat in one of the chairs while I sat on the far side of the couch. I called for the cab and when I hung the phone up she started to talk. "I didn't know he was going to show up. I talked to him this morning and then POOF, he's here." She used her hands to talk. She looked straight ahead and I did the same.
"I know, that's what he said earlier." The silence between us was deafening. "Cal, with this suit… Are you – Are you alright?"
"I can't talk about it right now. I need to not think about it right now." I dared to look over at her and she sat there still staring ahead. She looked and sounded so vulnerable and in that moment I would have done anything to take her in my arms and hold her.
A couple minutes passed by before I spoke. "I should go wait outside. My cab should be here soon."
"Thanks for letting me have Sophia tonight. She can stay with you tomorrow." She said as I opened the door.
"Goodnight, Calliope." To be honest I didn't even realize I said it until she looked over at me. There was a faint smile on her face and I closed the door to leave.