Waking up the next day, I was still groggy. Brandt slept in a chair next to the bed with his feet on the ottoman. I replayed what happened the night before and knew it had something to do with those damn pain pills. I needed to throw them out. The pain never bothered me anyway.
My actions last night were atrocious. The thought of ever harming Brandt was too much to bear. I killed his child, and now I could have hurt him. He slept in the chair all night so he could be there for me, and I tried to kill him? Why did he still have me here?
Taking the covers off myself, I made my way to a sitting position. The pain in my right hip alerted me to its presence; always ripe in the morning, and it made me winced. He noticed my movement and woke up, putting his feet on the floor. Coming over to my side, he spoke softly, “Hey, you’re up. How are you feeling?”
The sincerity in his voice so genuine, I could barely look at him. What happened last night was unforgivable. I kept my head down. “Fine.”
“Are you hungry? I can make something for breakfast?”
Food was the last thing on my mind. “No, I think I will get in the shower though.”
Standing up, I grimaced and tried not to let him see it. “I will throw something together for when you get out.” I just nodded and continued my way to the bathroom knowing we had Dr. Hunt’s appointment today. The checkup from the D&C procedure.
Standing in the shower for what felt like an eternity, I realized it wasn’t long enough. I hoped the warm water would make me feel human again, but after I came out and looked in the mirror I still felt subhuman, hollow.
Once downstairs, I made my way to the kitchen. I didn’t want to go in there, but Brandt waited for me, cooking a meal and expecting me to eat. “I made some eggs and toast and here is some coffee.”
He had a plate laid out on the countertop with the food on it. I glanced at the new patio doors. “I think I will eat in the family room if it is okay with you.” Guilt darkened his eyes as he looked from me to the doors.
“Yeah, sure. You eat, and I will get ready.” He leaned in to kiss the top of my head, and I stiffened again. The physical contact and the fact that he was being so nice to me ended up hurting. I didn’t deserve it.
While he left, I waited a while before scraping my plate into the garbage. He would be upset if I didn’t eat but my stomach threatened turmoil and I knew I would be unable to keep any nutrients down. I forced myself to drink the coffee though. The caffeine would help to ward off the drowsiness and prevent me from sleeping for a while. My dreams were enough to stave off sleep for a lifetime.
The staff at Dr. Hunt’s office was prepared for my arrival, sweeping me into an exam room, so I didn’t have to be amongst the happy pregnant women in the waiting area. They prepped me for my examination and it didn’t surprise me I found myself in the same position I was just seven years ago. On my back in stirrups, staring at the ceiling and mourning over the loss of a child. The only difference I noticed was that the holes in her ceiling tiles were more slanted than round.
I had pain during the exam. Not the physical pain I had come to welcome like an old friend, but emotional pain as she inspected my hollow womb. This time my heart hurt worse knowing I missed motherhood not once, but twice.
My thoughts turned back to what happened last night. I swore I saw Dan, although it was impossible. He haunted me both in my dreams and now my broken reality. The last image I had of him involved his disengaged head. Every time I closed my eyes, I could see it play over and over in my mind. The brutality of it all from start to finish. Was it wrong to be happy he died and could no longer hurt me again? Was it wrong that I wished he suffered more for what he did? The more I thought about it, the more I got numb to it.
“Chelsea?” Just then, I realized Dr. Hunt was talking to me. She stood up from the stool between my legs, concerned lines carved groves in her face. She took the drape and pulled it down my legs to give me some modesty signaling the end of her examination.
Helping me up to a sitting position, she saw me wince yet again. “Were you given pain medication from the hospital? I could write for something.”
Shaking my head, I look at her, “No. I took some last night, and I freaked out. I don’t do well with pills like that. Besides, the pain isn’t bad.” Doubt flashed in her eyes before she could conceal it, but she didn’t call me on it.
Turning to the sink to wash her hands, she continued, “We should start you back on birth control pills as soon as possible.” I nodded my head but kept quiet. I didn’t think I needed to be worried about having sex anytime soon. Brandt was a wonderful guy, but I knew as soon as I felt better, I would probably be packing my bags.
She didn’t understand what my nod meant as evident in her next statement. “Sex might be a little uncomfortable the first time after a miscarriage, so I would advise to take it slow.”
Sighing, I nodded again. I didn’t want to explain it to her, I wanted to leave. Go back to the confines of Brandt’s house for as long as he would let me.
She continued, “The birth control pills will help with your endometriosis. I know the trouble you had with cramping and bleeding before, and I want to get on top of it early.” Would it be worse now? I thought I read that it got better after each pregnancy although it made it harder to get pregnant in the first place. A jolt of fear shot through me. Did I screw up my last chance to conceive? Served me right. I couldn’t seem to keep them anyway.
“Chelsea, I know that this is hard for you. I really think you should talk to someone. I have the name of a colleague I could recommend.”
Colleague? She meant shrink. I started to shake my head. “No, Dr. Hunt. Really, I will be okay. Thank you though.” The thought of talking to someone about what happened frightened me. I didn’t want it brought up. I wanted to forget it, knowing I would never be able to discuss it with anyone. She covered her disappointment, instead handing me some tissues so I could dress and clean myself from her exam. What she didn’t realize was that no amount of cleaning would ever make me feel whole again.
After waking up this morning, I came to some realizations: she didn’t feel safe with me, and she didn’t feel safe in this house. My disregard for her safety in the past was plain stupid. Living in a house without any protection cost her dearly and I could hardly look at myself in the mirror. My fame brought unheeded attention to her and I should have done more to keep her safe.
Even those damn pills I forced on her last night might just as well have killed her, and I decide to hide the butcher’s block of knives for now just in case she took another pill. What if she cut herself? How could she possibly forgive me for all the shit I put her through?
The thought of her being scared around me kept lurking in my mind, and while I made breakfast, I thought it over. I needed a security system. The best money could buy. No one would get to her ever again.
I called Louis for his advice, and he assured me a state-of-the-art security system would be installed today. Would it be enough to make her feel safe? Maybe we needed a bodyguard? I couldn’t be here all the time. Even with the tour ending, the record company won’t be okay with us just hanging out and not putting out a new record.
Our next record only meant another tour. How would I ever be able to leave her again? I wouldn’t. She would have to come with me this time. It was the only way I could keep her safe.
Would she ever trust me again? She didn’t want me to go into the exam room with her for her checkup. I wished she would’ve let me, but she didn’t want me to see her bruises. Hell, I didn’t want to see her bruises, but I wanted to be there for her. Every time I saw the marks on her body, it made me think of what could have happened. Both with Dan and by my own hand now almost a year ago now.
They had me wait in Dr. Hunt’s office until she was done and I paced the floor like a lunatic wondering if there had been any damage done to her with the loss of the baby. Did the damage that Dan caused make it so she couldn’t have children in the future? She would never be able to forgive me then.
When Dr. Hunt finally came in, I ambushed her. “Is she all right? How does she look?”
She had an earnest look on her face. “Brandt, she is all right.” Then she swallowed, “Physically.”
“Will she be able to have kids again?”
“Yes she will, but not for a while. I am putting her back on birth control medication. Without it, she will have issues with her endometriosis.” Her answers lightened the weight in my chest, albeit minimally. We would still be able to have children. That is if we could ever get back to normal.
“Brandt, there is more to it.” Looking at her questioningly I let her continue. “She is still in shock. I can tell she is having a hard time dealing with all of this. I offered her to see a psychiatrist friend of mine--”
“A psychiatrist?” I wasn’t sure why the thought bothered me. Talking to someone would be good for her, but I wanted that someone to be me. No, she needed to know that she could rely on me and not some stranger.
“Yes, Brandt. A professional that has dealt with this before. Dr. Kellen has received many accolades in her field and I think--”
“No, Dr. Hunt. All she needs is some time. We are working on it. We can get past this.” Apprehension swept over her, but she didn’t challenge me. Instead, she walked around to her desk and pulled out a business card from her top drawer.
She handed it to me, “Then take this just in case. But don’t let it go too long. She is hurting, Brandt. She needs help.”
Just then the door to the office opened, and Chelsea stared at us, obviously noticing we were talking about her, and I looked away guiltily. I should’ve accepted Dr. Hunt’s advice, but I needed to be the one that helped her. I needed to show her I could still be her Superman, and I needed to do it soon. I couldn’t stand to see her looking so fragile. She was once so strong and optimistic, and I really wanted to think we could get back to that. We could work this out. Just the two of us. I knew we could.
It wasn’t until the installation service came for the security system later that I finally breathed a sigh of relief. I planned to lock this place up tight, like a fortress. Chelsea would never have to worry again.