Bittersweet Replacement

When he told her they were over, the sun was shining.

It seemed horribly incorrect, the light and warmth and heat. A part of her knew the sky should have been dark, with rolling clouds and flashes of lightning. The earth should have trembled from the force of the heaven's roar, the earth wet with its tears. Instead, far above, the sky was a clear azure and the winds were warm and the air sweet.

She stood across from him, park bench to her left and lake to the right. He had his hands in his pockets, shoulders hunched and gaze on the still water. She fisted her hands in the worn fabric of her hoodie, fighting back a broken sob as she forced a serene smile to spread across her lips. When he looked back at her, he started with surprise.

"It's okay," The girl whispered. "You love her, so it's okay."

He let out a shaky breath, smiling. "I thought you'd be angry, you know?"

She shook her head. "You wouldn't be happy if you stayed."

The boy withdrew his hands from his pockets, hesitated. Then he pulled her close, and she let her cheek rest against his shoulder. She bit her lip, clenched her eyes shut. She tucked her hands under his arms, relished in the warmth, and then stepped away. She smiled, a soft turn of her lips but her expression was harrowed.

They stood there for a time, neither speaking. She turned her gaze out to the lake, to the grass wrapping around the bank. He stood behind her, and then he set his hand on her shoulder. The girl turned her gaze to him, smiling softly as he said, "I'll take you home."

"No," The girl smoothed her hair out of her face. "Go to her. You can't keep her waiting."

He bit his lip, worrying the thin flesh between too-white teeth. She turned her back, watched the water as his heat slowly eased away. When he was gone, her hands settled on her abdomen. She splayed her fingers across the swollen bump, tears spilling down her cheeks as a small bundle of life fluttered within her. She smiled, let her head drop back as the light washed over her face.

The sun was shining, when he left her and their unborn child.

Overhead, a rumble of thunder echoed.