Life After You

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Chapter 23

“Why hasn’t she woken up yet? She should be awake right now! What the hell did the doctors give her?...”

“Will you relax; the doctors know what they’re doing. You’re freaking me out!...”

I heard voices as my mind wandered in and out of consciousness. I tried my best to pick out the names of the people talking, but my mind was far too blurry.

I slowly peeled my eyelids open, blinking furiously to try to clarify my vision.

Three bodies paced the room.

“Ugh...” I managed to mumble. Immediately the three bodies ceased from pacing and turned towards me.

“Olivia. Honey, can you hear me?”

The sound of my father’s voice boomed throughout my ear canals, and I furrowed my eyebrows in confusion.

“D-daddy?” I softly spoke, trying my best to open my eyes fully.

“Yes baby, I’m here. You had quite the day yesterday.” He softly spoke, sitting beside me with my hand placed firmly into his.

Yesterday?

Almost instantaneously, images from yesterday came flooding back into my mind, crowding my brain.

Going to find Noah.

Getting coffee.

Macey.

Falling.

Ambulance.

Landon.

“W-where’s Landon?” I suddenly asked, knowing that I was completely out of it.

“He um... he’s not here Liv.” Riley softly spoke from my other side. That’s when it hit me.

Finally able to see clearly, I sat up but winced as I clutched my stomach.

“Careful sweetie, you burned yourself pretty badly.” My dad said, reaching over to press the button that moved the bed in an upward position so I could sit up straight.

Once I was sat up straight, I looked down at my stomach and tears immediately filled my eyes.

“T-the baby... what happened to the baby?” My eyes frantically searched my dad and Riley’s eyes, but I only saw the look of sadness fill their features.

“Liv, when you fell the strain caused the baby to move around a lot inside your belly. The baby hit it’s head and the doctors are monitoring you to be sure that the baby didn’t sustain life-long injuries, though it’s hard to tell since the baby isn’t born yet. Also, the baby’s heartbeat has been irregular since the fall and that’s being monitored too.” Riley began to explain.

My head instantly started shaking and I immediately put up a defense. “No, the baby is fine. Stop lying to me!” I yelled, feeling my heart rate begin to jump.

“Olivia, you need to calm down sweetie, the baby can’t take any extra stress.” My dad stated, firmly but gently placing his hand on my shoulder.

I couldn’t stop myself, the panic set in and I immediately began seeing images of Landon in his hospital bed and the doctor calling his time of death. It sounded so real, too real.

“Time of death: 1:45pm.”

The monitor connected to me began beeping uncontrollably. A couple of nurses came in and one of them pressed the button on my bed, slowly lowering me back down so I was laying down instead of sitting up.

“Olivia, you need to relax please. You are putting yourself and the baby in distress.” The male nurse firmly spoke, trying his best to calm me down.

Come on Olivia, you need to calm down. If not for you, for your baby.

I began taking long deep breaths, every few seconds pulling in another gulp of air.

I shut my eyes and started counting in my head.

10.

9.

8.

7.

Relax yourself Olivia.

6.

5.

4.

Do it for your baby boy.

3.

2.

1.

Good girl.

Finally, my monitors stopped beeping uncontrollably and the chaos died down.

“Good job Liv!” Riley smiled.

No longer out of it by the medication, I remembered everything perfectly and no longer asked for Landon, knowing he would never come.

I took in everything the doctor told me, and tried my best to remain positive.

“We are going to keep you here over night, and then in a couple of days you are to follow up with your OB/GYN Dr. J.” The nurse stated, taking my baby and I’s vitals once more.

“Thank you.” I sadly smiled.

I looked down at my stomach and frowned. The bandages were big and covering my stomach completely. I didn’t even wanna think about how my stomach looked underneath. Every time the nurse comes in to change the dressing, I look away.

Surprisingly enough, I ended up only spraining my ankle during the fall, not breaking it. I have to wear a soft cast for a few weeks, and because I am pregnant and are now a high-risk, I cannot use crutches to get around only a wheelchair.

Yay me.

“Hey Liv.” Tori said as she entered my room. I haven’t seen her since I woke up.

“I just got the call that you were awake and was finally able to get out of class.” She smiled, sitting down beside me. My dad and Riley were in the cafeteria getting lunch. I have been in the hospital for an entire night and I can’t believe my dad flew down over all of this. I hated the thought of taking him away from work.

“That’s alright.” I softly smiled, pressing the button on my bed to lift me upward in a seating position.

“How are you feeling?” She asked.

“Well, I could be better.” I lightly chuckled, trying to lighten the mood.

Tori slightly grinned, but then reached for her bag.

“I got something for you.” She smiled, handing me a small gift bag.

“You didn’t have to do that!” I smiled wide, beginning to pull out the light blue tissue paper.

I reached inside the bag and pulled out a small black velvet box.

“Tor, are you trying to propose or something because I’m flattered and all, but I don’t swing that way. Plus, Riley would be hella jealous.” I smirked, causing Tori to snort.

“Will you just open it asshole?” She rolled her eyes, though the smile on her face never faltered.

I opened the box and when my eyes met the shiny silver chain, I froze.

“Tor...” I began. “It’s beautiful!”

I picked up the silver chain and held it up in the light. It was a necklace with a heart-shaped locket dangling from it.

“Open the locket.” Tori smiled.

I fumbled with it for a few seconds, but finally got it open.

On one side of the locket, there was a small picture of Landon with a big goofy grin on his face. On the other side was a small copy of my latest ultrasound, just perfectly showing the baby’s head. Tears instantly filled my eyes as I smiled at my best friend.

“Tori, why do you always have to make me cry?” I whined, reaching out to signal that I wanted a hug.

She happily obliged, reaching over the bed and giving me a hug, careful not to squeeze me too tight.

I took off my other necklace and took the engagement ring Landon got for me off of it. I then placed it on the chain with the locket and fastened it around my neck.

“It’s perfect! Thank you so much.” I wiped a tear from my cheek and held the locket and ring inside my hand against my chest.

“Now no matter what, your baby and Landon will always be with you.” She softly said, giving me another heart-wrenching smile. “And when the baby is born, we can put a real picture of him inside the locket next to Landon.”

“You’re the bestest best friend a girl could ever have!” I cried some more, the hormones kicking into overdrive.

“Yeah, I know.” She smirked. “Now, you and that baby get some rest!” She instructed with a point of her finger.

“Yes mam!” I saluted playfully.

Tori smiled with a nod and left my room after turning off the small light so I could actually get some sleep. I told her to let Riley and my dad know that I am sleeping and to stay in the cafeteria or waiting room until I wake up.

As I shut my eyes, my mind kept going from my baby, to Landon and then surprisingly to Noah. I hope Noah is okay. I am sure this whole thing freaked him out. I can’t believe I was stupid enough to trip and fall knowing how careful I have to be. I am such an idiot. I swore to myself right in this very room that I was never going to put my baby’s life at risk again. My life, I don’t care about anymore. The only life that I care about is my family, and my baby. That is it.

I subconsciously brought my hand down to the bottom of my stomach and gently stroked the smallest of circles around the very edge of my bulging, burned stomach.

“I am so sorry I hurt you baby boy.” I whispered.

I am so sorry.


“Olivia.” I heard a familiar voice softly say. “How are you feeling?”

I opened my eyes to be met with a familiar pair of brown ones. “M-mom?” I choked, disbelief coursing through my veins.

When my vision became clear, the smile that lit up my face was the biggest smile I have worn since Landon passed away and since I heard my baby’s heart beat for the first time.

“W-What are you doing here?” My smile grew wide.

“Just paying you and my grandson a much needed visit.” She smiled, coming over and sitting beside me at my hospital bed. Her pale, ghost like hands reached for mine and I could actually feel her place them onto my own.

I immediately grasped onto her hands and kept them in place, scared of letting go and never being able to hold them again.

“I’ve really missed you mom.” I admitted with a frown. “I think about you every day.”

“And I think about you every day too sweetheart.” Her soft voice traveled the room until they met my ears, and it was as if I were listening to my most favorite song.

“Even about Riley?” I smirk.

“Yes, even about him.” She smirked back, joining in on the teasing of my brother.

I looked down at my stomach and frowned at the site of the many bandages.

“You have got to be more careful sweetpea. You are not only responsible for your life, but now for his life as well. I know it was an accident, and accidents happen... but I got so scared for the both of you when I saw you fall.” She admitted, giving my hands a gentle squeeze.

“You saw?” I asked, unsure of how.

“I see everything dear. Well, only the stuff I care to see.” She smirked at me again, and my cheeks immediately grew red.

“Mom!” I whined, looking away from her.

“I’m just teasing kiddo. Relax.” She laughed. Her laugh filled the entire hospital room and hearing it so close and so loudly almost made me feel nauseous. It felt surreal.

“I promise I will be more careful mom. I just... I had to make sure that Noah knew I didn’t mean to get upset with him. I just wanted to apologize.” I sighed.

“I am sure that Noah understands baby. He is a smart boy after all, especially if he’s interested in you.” She smiled, and I felt my cheeks turn red again.

“Mom... I just... I can’t with Noah right now. It isn’t fair to Landon. He is all I think about. I can’t believe I lost him and you. Two important people in my life, gone. Just like that. In the blink of an eye.” I could feel tears beginning to resurface around my tired eyes.

“Aww, baby. Shh.” My mom stood up and the next thing I knew she was lying beside me, with my face lying against her chest.

“I miss you both so much it hurts momma. It hurts every day.” I sniffled against her, feeling like a little kid again when she used to console me whenever Riley or Landon would pick on me.

“And we miss you too sweetpea. So much it hurts.” She softly spoke, gently running her hand along my hair to comfort me.

I took in a few deep breaths, trying my best to breathe her in before she vanishes again. The sweet smell of her vanilla body spray and strawberry scented hair consumed me until I almost couldn’t breathe anymore. I clutched her arm for dear life as it held me close to her, and I wished that I could stay in this dream forever, though I knew it wouldn’t last.

“You’re going to be an amazing mother sweetpea.” I smiled at my old nickname and I couldn’t believe how beautiful it sounded coming from my mom after all these years. “I promise.”

“Really? How do you know? What if I mess up?” I shyfully asked.

“Of course you’re going to mess up Olivia. You are going to make more mistakes than you can care to count. You are going to be nervous and scared all the time. However, you will also be the happiest you have ever been. The love from a child is a feeling that no mother could ever explain. The way they call you mommy, the way they give you small kisses and hugs. The way they cry to you whenever they need your comfort, or the way they laugh when you make a lame joke. The relationship you will have with this baby boy will be of no other relationship you have ever experienced. It will be hard, in fact... it will be the biggest challenge of your entire life but I know for a fact you’ll succeed.”

Her words rang inside my head and I believed and trusted everything that she said to me. I knew I was going to be okay, and I knew that she wouldn’t lie to me about this. If there were one thing I remember most about my mom, it would be her wisdom. She always knew how to solve a problem, or make Riley and me feel better. She always knew what to say to get us to stop fighting.

“Thank you mom. I really needed to hear that.” I smiled up at her. Her soft brown eyes peered back into my own, and I sighed with content in her arms.

“Anytime.”

“Hey mom?”

“Yes?” She hummed.

“Dad misses you too.” I sadly smiled.

“I know he does. Lord that man would move heaven and earth for me and you kids. He is an amazing man and an amazing father. I am so lucky that he was there for you both when you needed it most. I couldn’t have chosen a better partner to share my life with.” I watched my mom smile as she talked about my dad. It brought more tears to my eyes, but they were happy tears.

“You guys were really in love, huh?” I smiled up at her.

“Oh you best believe it! Your father and I got together when we were very young. Teenagers. In fact, he was my very first boyfriend. I never touched a single soul other than him. He was it for me and he still is.” I could see a small tear forming around her eye, but I didn’t say anything.

“I’m sorry you were taken away from him so suddenly. I know you wish you had more time with him.” I found myself blurting out.

“I wish I had more time with all of you.” She smiled down at me. “But I like these little visits, don’t you?”

“Absolutely!” I smiled wide, happy to be able and talk these things through with my mom. “Let’s have them more often!”

“You got yourself a deal, sweetpea!” My mom tightened her arms around me. “Please give your dad and brother a big hug for me.”

“As long as you give Landon a hug for me.” I squeezed her as tight as I could before loosening my grip as she slowly started to disappear.

“I promise.”

“Mom, don’t go yet!” I frowned.

“I love you sweetpea!”

And just like that, she was gone again and I had no idea when I would see her again.

I love you too momma.

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