Chapter One

Heartache and Confessions

"Mommy." Alex said into the phone. Barely concealing the tremble in her voice. She wanted to just break down crying right then and there but had to squeak out the painful sentence she was about to say.

"Alex darling what's wrong. You sound like you're about to cry!" Her mother said on the other end of the phone, she was thousands of miles away but she still knew her daughter.

"Mommy….Andy….Andy's dead." She cried into the phone. The phone was silent as her mother absorbed what was just said. Andy Delore, Alex's husband of three years. Was dead.

Alex sat in the chair, still numb, staring at a photo of Andy in her hands. The memorial service was over and everyone was exiting the building, many dabbing their eyes with tissues. Alex just sat in the chair though, her eyes looking at the picture of her husband as if wishing hard enough would bring him back. She just wanted him back again, to hold her and say it was all a misunderstand, a mistake. He hadn't died in the car accident.

"Hey Ally. Collin just called and asked if I wanted to go play basketball. I said I'd meet him in 20 minutes. You going to be okay tonight alone?" Andy asked as he grabbed a duffle bag out of the closet.

"Yah I'll be fine. You go have fun." Alex smiled at her husband. "Here, let me get you some cookies to take with you. I know how much Collin loves my gluten free chocolate chip cookies." Alex laughed and opened the cookie jar.

"Yah…only he doesn't know they are Gluten free." Andy laughed. Alex just held a finger up to her lips and laughed.

"Our little secret." Alex laughed and handed him the little bag of cookies.

"Thanks hon." Andy gave her a peck on the lips before heading towards the door. He looked outside and saw it raining, he just shrugged and grabbed an umbrella.

"Drive safe." Alex said after him.

"Of course." Andy smiled. "Don't stay up to late Alex, you've been to tired recently. Go take a bath and relax."

"Will do." Alex smiled and gazed after her husband as he left the house. She had some special news to tell him, but it could wait until he got home.

Alex thought back to the last time she saw her husband. The kiss, if only she had known it was their last, she would have treasured it more, made it last longer. She couldn't change that now. She wanted to remember what that quick little kiss felt like, but all she could think about right now was how much she wanted to die too. She didn't know how she could live without Andy. He was her world, her love, her best friend. He was gone, and all her happiness with him. Her body ached, her head felt like it was nonexistent, her hands were trembling and her eyes prickled with tears.

"Honey, Alex, we should go." Her mother sat down next to her and put a supportive hand on her back. Alex nodded her head and stood up on wobbly legs. She rested on her mother for support. Her father took one of her arms and help to walk the now crying Alex outside to the car. On their way out they past a large vase of flowers at the opening of the doors. On it was a plaque that read "In memory of Andy Delore." Alex stopped and looked at her husbands name for a second before stretching out her pale hand. She put the picture atop the plaque and left the building without looking back.

She cried the whole way back to her house. The house seemed so empty now, cold and uninviting. She didn't want to be here.

"I'm going to go to bed." She said quietly and started up the stairs.

"Do you need anything Alex?" Her father asked her quietly.

"No." Alex shook her head with dead eyes and walked up to her bedroom. She opened the door and looked at the bed. Her marital bed that she had shared with Alex. She didn't want to be in it, remembering all the time she had shared with Andy in that bed. Another part of her though craved the familiar warmth and comfort. She stripped off her clothes and climbed inside naked. She felt the blankets surround her, and pretended they were Andy giving her warmth. Oh God how she wanted him to be here wrapping his arms around her.

The rain poured down the window in a violent thunderstorm. It feel in sheets, making the street look like an ocean with waves. Alex looked out them with worry. It was late and Andy hadn't returned yet. This weather was getting frightful and the lights would flicker once in a while. Alex gripped her hot tea and inhaled the soothing aroma of chamomile. She put her hand on her stomach and watched the TV that was on mute. The silence of the house was suddenly broken by the sound of the phone ringing. Alex put her tea down and rushed to the phone, praying it was Andy she would hear on the other end.

"Hello!" Alex said eagerly.

"Hello Ms. Delore?" An older womans voice sounded instead.

"Yes." Alex said in disapointment.

"You're pressence is requested down at the Regional Hosptial. Your husbad has been in a car accident and is in critical condition." The woman said. Alex's heart stopped and her whole body went cold.

"No….." She said softly, "There must be a mistake."

"I'm afraid not. I am very sorry to tell you this. You might want to hurry down, they need you for some legal decissons about his care." The woman urged. There was a sudden clap of thunder and a bright lightening illuminated the house. Then everything went quiet and dark. The power was out.

Tears threatened to fall down her face again, but Alex pushed them back. No time to cry. Right now she wanted to sleep. She closed her eyes and curled up in the smallest ball she could. The blankets tightly wrapped around her. As she felt her body relax and drift away, a couple tears fell down her cheeks.

The next morning she felt the sun shinning into her bedroom, kissing her cheeks and warming her body. She had kicked the blankets off during the night and now laid in her bed, naked and sleepy-eyed. A knock on her door made her scramble for the blankets again.

"Alex you up?" Her father asked from the other side of the door.

"Yah I'm up Dad. I'm naked so don't come in." Alex wrapped the blanket around her.

"Oh…uh….erhm….." Her dad rambled. Alex smiled a little and got out of bed.

"I'll be down in a bit." Alex said and went towards her bedroom. She pulled out some clothes without really looking and ended up with a pair of Andy's sweat pants and a loose fitting purple t-shirt. She brushed her curley black hair out and walked down staires. She turned the corner towards the kitchen and was met with the smell of eggs and ham cooking on the stove. A wave of nausa suddenly washed over Alex like a cold shower. She ducked inside the hallway bathroom just in time to empty out her already empty stomach. It shook her body and made her fill with panic.

"Alex what's wrong!" Her mother asked, aghast from the doorway.

"I'm…" The words were interrupted but another wave of sickness. She moaned and hung her head over the toilet.

"I'll make Alex some tea." Her father said and went to the kitchen. Alex's mother grabbed a washcloth and ran it under some cold water. She wiped her daughters forehead before wiping her mouth.

"I'm…I'm okay now." Alex said sitting on her knee's. She breathed in and stood up. Her mother took her hand and sat her down in the kitchen. She placed a glass of water in front of her and told her to sip it.

"Stress?" Her mother questioned.

"No…probably not." Alex looked out the window towards the back yard. She had envisioned it being different in the future.

"What else could it be?" Her father asked, pouring the hot water into the mug. Alex just mumbled and gazed away lost in thought.

Alex ran from her car into the hospital and over to information desk. Her hair dripped water down onto her shoulders, her eyes wild and her breath shaky. The lady looked up, a little scared but not surprised.

"How may I help you?" She said strongly.

"My husband is in the ICU, where do I go? What do I do? I don't know what to do?" Alex said in a panic.

"Third floor, the reseption desk up there will tell you where to go from there. Name? I'll send word that you're on your way up." The woman said.

"Alex Delore. My husband is Andrew Delore." She said itchy to get going.

"Go on up." The woman said with empathy. Alex turned and fled towards the elevator, desperate to get up there as soon as she could. The elevator doors dinged and opened up, barely wide enough and Alex was running towards the desk with all the answerss.

"My husband! Where is my husband Andrew Delore, he is in the ICU." Alex started saying before she even reached the desk. The woman looked back at her with a little shock, that then turned once again into understanding.

"Room 239." She said after typing away on the computer for a second. Alex ran down the hallways looking for room 239 she found it just as a doctor walked out with clipboard in hand.

"Doctor….Bane." She said looking at his nametag. "My husband Andy?"

"You must be his wife Alex. Well I wish I could tell you better news but I'm sorry I cannot. He has multiple broken ribs, a punctured lung, a broken leg, and possible brain damage. We could do an operation to save his lung but I understand here that he will not accept blood transfusions. You are his legal advisor on the subject. What is your decision." The doctor asked. Alex could tell by how desperate the situation was by how fast he got to the point.

"Respect the wishes he has filled out on his files. He would not accept a transfusion if he was awake, I don't want to force it on him." Alex said calmly, she knew this was no time to be hysterical.

"You understand that with out this operation your husband will most likely die tonight." The doctor warned her.

"What about using the cell saver machine, I know this hospital has one. Or erythropoietin, a cartarisor you know all that. Why can't you use that?" Alex questioned the doctor. He was taken aback by her knowledge on the subject. He nodded.

"I'll see what I can have arranged." He said solemnly, "Go in and see your husband if you want." He walked away leaving Alex to go inside. She turned towards the door and reached for the door knob.

"Alex here are some eggs and toast." Alex's mother said putting the toast down in front of her.

"Oh…thanks." Alex looked down at the plate her mom put in front of her. Once again a wave of nausea washed over her, she put her head down and moaned trying to suppress the feeling.

"Drink the water sweetie." Her mom said quickly pushing the glass nearer to her. Alex sat up and grasped the glass. She sipped it with her eyes closed, breathing deeply. It subsided and she sat up.

"Just…the toast I think." She said picking up the toast and pushing the eggs away.

"Are you sure you're okay?" Her mother asked.

"I'm fine really….there's just something I haven't told you yet." Alex smiled a little.

"What?" Her father said, worry creeping on her face.

"Well…I found out a couple week ago…right before Andy died that…" Alex stopped and looked down at the wedding ring she wore. "I'm pregnant."

"My dear!" Her mother fawned and wrapped her arms around her daughter. "This is bittersweet news, I don't really know how to take it."

"I don't really know either." Alex said quietly. "I'm scared."

"Alex. I'm so happy to hear that you'll be a mom….but I'm also sad for you." Her father put his strong hand on her shoulder.

"Thanks, and….I know." Alex nodded. "I was so happy to hear that Andy and I were going to start a family finally. I had just gotten the confirmation from the doctor the day when Andy died." Alex admitted.

"Did you have time to tell him?" her mother asked, a sincere question. Alex's eyes welled up with tears again.

"No…." Alex cried. Her parent's hearts sank. Andy died not knowing that he would have been a father. This heart wrenching news just added to the already present sorrow in the house.

"I don't know what I'm going to do now. I don't know how I'm going to afford this house anymore, raise a child by myself, do anything by myself that I know I have to now. I don't even have a job! Who would hire me right now knowing I'd have to leave on maternity leave." Alex was confused over what action she should take now. How would she possibly do this on her own. She had some great friends that would no doubt help, but nothing is the same as a husband. Worry, panic, anxiety so many things were swirling around in Alex's head right now it was getting to much.

"I think I'm going to go lay down." Alex said and stood from the table. Her parent's understood and watched as Alex walked up the stairs to her bedroom once again.

"Alex." Her mother called out.

"Yah." Alex replied from the top of the stairs.

"Does anyone else know about this?" Her mother asked, a valid question.

"No." Was Alex's simple response. "I'll tell people when I'm ready." She went the rest of the way to her house.