The Final Months


He watched Maia hugging her knees curled up into her chest, wedged in between the couch and the side table. He looked back at Lilly in his arms just starting to settle down, her little red cheeks hot with tears.

"Shhh, honey, it's okay, it's okay baby," he rocked her back and forth in his arms, waiting for him mother to arrive.

"C'mon Ma," he paced back and forth for five more minutes before there was a knock on the door. "God, finally!" He adjusted Lilly on his chest and went over to answer the door.

"Where is she?" Rose cam in the door and Bosco closed it quickly behind her. As soon as she walked into the living room, she stopped, looking down at Maia in the corner. Her heart almost stopped at the expression on Maia's face. "Oh honey," Rose help out her hand to Maia who just stared at the side table to her right. "Maurice, go put the baby down and give her a bottle." He watched for a moment then left with Lilly. "Maia sweetheart," Rose tried to get her attention. "Maia look at me honey." Finally she turned with teary eyes to look up at her.

"Rose," Maia breathed. "I can't protect him, I can't help him."

"What are you talking about, what do you mean?" Rose shook her head.

"I don't know what to do anymore, I don't know what's going on," Maia wiped her eyes looking down at her knees.

"Come on honey, let's get you up," Rose held out her hand again, and Maia paused for a moment before taking it and rising to her feet. She followed Rose slowly and quietly into the bedroom. As Rose fluffed the pillow and moved the sheets away, Maia lay down resting head gently on the pillow.

"Are you going to be okay?" Rose knelt down beside her. She nodded. "You know Maurice is just trying to help you, he loves you, you know, you and that precious baby of yours.

"I'm sorry," Maia blinked, sending the remaining tear down her cheek.

"Don't be sorry sweetheart, none of this is your fault, you know that." Maia closed her eyes as Rose stood up feeling sorry for her. "Get some rest okay?" Rose smiled and quietly left the room, closing the door behind her.

Outside the door, Bosco was waiting anxiously.

"I don't know what to do anymore Ma, I really don't," he began to pace as soon as he saw his mother.

"Shhh, come here," she pulled him into the kitchen were Maia couldn't hear them. She sat down at the table.

"Ma, I don't know what to do when she cried and kicks and screams at me," he whispered loudly, "I mean she won't let me touch her, the woman I'm supposed to marry, the mother of my kid, I mean I love her so much, all I want to do is help her, but I can't." Bosco took a breath, still pacing in the kitchen. "I'm no good at being helpless Ma," he pulled out a chair at the table.

"I know."

"This is all my fault," he put his head in his hand scratching his head, "If I had just went with her that day, I mean I could have…"

"Could have what?"

"I could have protected her or something, anything," he bit his bottom lip in thought.

"She thinks she has to protect you." Bosco looked up at his mother.

"What, what are you talking about?"

"She said something about not being able to protect you," Rose played with the corner of the placemat.

"When did she say that?"

"When you were feeding Lilly just now."

"Well what is that supposed to mean, it's me that needs to protect her." Bosco sighed and looked down at his hands on the table.

"Protect me? What does that mean?"

"Honey, I just think it means that she doesn't want you to hurt because she's hurting, that's all." Bosco looked back up at his mother across from his. Taking his hand in hers, she stroked it. "She's scared and confused baby, but she still loves you, just as much as ever," she nodded. He looked back down at the table fidgeting with his free hand for a few moments before Rose patted him on the hand.

"I'm gonna go okay," she stood up. Bosco looked up quickly.

"What if I need you? What am I gonna do?"

"You'll be fine honey, just be patient and take care of them," she kissed him in the forehead and headed for the door, leaving him at the table. "Bye Maurice," She waved as she shut the door behind her. Bosco sat alone at the table wondering what he should do next.

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