6 years later
“That...is probably the cutest thing I’ve ever seen” I say as I hand Becks back her sonogram picture “how far are you now? I keep losing track.”
“24 weeks or 6months.” She reply’s as she rubs her swelling belly. She then looks up to me with a mischievous glint in her eyes.
“No. No, no, no. I already told you, you are not going to the hen party.”
“But whyyyyyy?” She whines “this is discrimination.” She hits the table with her hand.
I chuckle “you’re not going because there is no hen party! Besides you would have ended up dragging us out to a night club or, god forbid, a strip club like last time. Remember?”
“Uh...no? I thought that was you.”
"It was not. You don’t remember because you got completely wasted and you looked half dead the next day. Thank goodness we planned it two days before the wedding or you would have looked like a zombie in your wedding photos.” I remind her.
“But that’s the thing. I’m pregnant, I’m not going to get drunk...” she drones out ominously.
“No, but you can get me drunk. And you would. And my wedding is the next day.”
“Well, that’s just poor planning” she mumbles “you can’t exclude me from the hen, it’s not fair! I’m the maid of honour, I have to be there.”
“I’m not excluding you. This is it. We are having a nice dinner in this nice expensive restaurant. No party.”
“Bullshit. That’s bullshit. You can’t get married without going out with a bang. Dinner, is boring.”
“I’m the one paying for the bill, remember?”
"Boring" she sings.
“Becks” I whine.
"Casey" she imitates me.
“I hate you.”
“You love me. In fact. If I wasn’t married to Thomas, I bet you and I would elope” she wiggles her brows.
I laugh “is it really too late!” I fake plea with her and we laugh.
Me and Oliver got engaged 2 years ago. He proposed in a restaurant. It was so embarrassing, especially when he thought I’d eaten the ring he had the waiter hide in my dessert. It turned out that Oliver had the ring in his, he nearly choked. It was both hilarious and embarrassing.
Becks and Thomas got married 3 years ago when they were both 19, the wedding was nothing traditional. It was small and simple, few close family and friends. In the park where we always walk through. Where they supposedly had their first kiss.
The reception was in a close bar, it involved a lot of marker pens. I’m not joking. It seems to be their ‘thing’ now, they drew on each other’s faces and the guests, though Becks did warn Thomas to ′draw something nice’ or he ‘won’t have a thing to consummate the marriage with’.
They had Ben do the ceremony, her words were, and I quote ′fuck priests, they creep the shit out of me’. I have to agree with her.
That’s when Ben come out. No, not a wardrobe malfunction, his plus one was Philip. Becks hit him multiple times for not telling us sooner that he was gay. She nearly knocked him out when Phillip told us they had been seeing each other for 8 months.
Me and Oliver planned a simply wedding too over the two years and as we turned 22, we decided that it was time to tie the knot.
Beach wedding. Knee length backless wedding dress, simple tux, max 40 people. Small buffet in a local hall with a disco light, that’s all we need.
Oh, if you’re wondering. You can’t see the scars anymore. On my back I have a beautiful black and white upside down rose that covers the lot.
Also, above my heart, a simple colourful lily covers the scar that use to give me nightmares.
Even though you can still feel the scars if you run your finger across it, it’s true what they say ’out of sight, out of mind’.
Ben finally turns up. A playful smile on his face as he looks at Becks “Holy shit. Who stranded the whale?” He said in an extremely exaggerated tone of worry. I started laughing.
“Har, har. Like I haven’t heard that one before” she said gripping the table tightly and clenching her teeth.
“You got twins in there? Triplets even?” He commented as he sat down, only to immediately get back up again and back away slightly as Becks attempted to climb over the table, only to be stopped by me.
“He’s kidding, he’s kidding” I pat her head and she actually bites my hand “ow! Bad Becks” I laugh.
Ben sits back down “how far are you?” He asks cautiously.
“6 months” she grumbles.
“Shit! Seriously? In that case, are we even sure there’s a baby in there? Surly you’re too small for 6 months” Becks smiles at his comment and he winks to me, I pat his back and nod.
“Good boy” I whisper to him.
“So, how are you feeling? Getting married to zombie boy tomorrow” he asks.
“I honestly can’t wait. You still good to do the ceremony?”
“Yep. Still got a license from when I did those two” he points to Becks “I love how I’m the one who gets to marry both of you couples off.”
“I know! It’s so cute.” Becks squeaks.
“Well, you’re cheaper than a priest and more humble, a little less creepy too.”
“A little?” He questions offended. I smile.
“Where’s Phil?” I ask.
He sighs a laugh “making sure your fiancé doesn’t do anything stupid and making sure your husband doesn’t persuade him to do anything stupid” he directs his glares to Becks.
“Oh no, I forgot he was with them” I cover my eyes with my hand. If Thomas screws things up imma kill him.
“After the dinner could you go join them, I seriously don’t trust Thomas.”
“Sure thing, that was the plan” Ben kisses my cheek.
Soon enough everyone arrives, mum and Lou included and some friends I met at uni and we all sit and have a really nice Italian dinner, a starter, first course, main course and dessert.
It was nice to just sit down, stuff my face and have a relaxing time with my closest friends and family.
“Okay, Oliver, repeat after me. I Oliver” Ben coughs “Zombie boy” Oliver glares at Ben whilst he just continues as I, and our guests, chuckle ”Samuel Turner, take you Casey” Ben coughs again “munchkin” now I glare at him as Oliver laughs “Lila Nickels to be my wife.”
“I’m not saying it” Oliver argues.
“You have to” Ben smiles innocently “it’s in the vows now, I can’t take them back so be a good boy and say it.” Oliver sighs and repeats it word from word, even ‘zombie boy’.
“To have and to hold from this day forward” Oliver repeats it “for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer” he stops again as Oliver repeats it “in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part” as Oliver finishes his speech, he slides the ring on my finger.
Ben turns to me as I glare at him more. He’s going to make me say it too, isn’t he? He smiles happily at me.
I whack Oliver’s arm “You told him to say that didn’t you” I glare at him as he holds his hands up.
“And you didn’t tell him to call me ’zombie boy?” He questions, I shake my head and that’s when we both turn to see my maid of honour laughing, dammit Becks! I shake my head.
“It’s not too late to demote you, ya know!” I whisper yell at her and she quietens down.
Ben repeats the same speech to me and I repeat it back to Oliver as I put the ring on his finger.
“Then, with the power invested in me, I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may now kiss the bride” Ben exaggerates his words, the power seemingly going to his head.
Our families and friends clap and cheer as we lean in. I go for a quick kiss as we are in front of people, Oliver has a different plan.
Cupping the back of my neck he kisses me deeply to the point where I sigh a moan. Only then does he pull away.
Such a tease.
We turn to the rows of people and Oliver lifts up our entwined hands in the air. I laugh and thank Ben who’s still behind us.
Sitting at the reception and enjoying the small buffet prepared I see the two people I didn’t think would be able to make it.
“Officer Rose Parker and Officer James Andrews. You missed the ceremony” I fake scold them with a smile “thank you for coming” I hug them both.
“Free food. How could we not come?” James comments.
“Help yourself” I gesture to the food.
Me, Oliver, Rose and James have kept in contact over the years. They say they are proud to see how far we’ve come and what we’ve accomplished. I can still see the guilt that they still have in their eyes, especially Rose.
She even apologised to me for being ‘bitchy’ and not getting to me in time. I told her that it didn’t matter and that she still saved me, I thanked her for not giving up on me and told her to let it go because I hold no grudge.
After a while of talking to the guests and eating our fill, it’s turned dark outside and it’s time to leave.
“Have a good honeymoon you lucky ducks, I’m so damn jealous. How the hell did you get a 5-star hotel?” Becks rants to us as we say goodbye.
“4-star and it’s called money and hard work.” I hug her “I’ll only be gone for two weeks, text me all the gossip going on around here” I tell her and she nods.
I turn to see Lou and mum.
“Have a good time in France, baby. Call me every day.”
"Mummm" I whine like a child.
“Fine, whenever you can then. Have fun.”
I turn to my now 12-year-old, little shit, brother.
“Don’t give mum any trouble mister” he rolls his eyes “hey, you’re the man of the house now, be good, don’t be stupid” I kiss his cheek and ruffle his hair, he pretends to protest but I see the clear smile on his face. A mini grownup but not a grownup just yet. He’s a good kid “love you little bro” my hand on his shoulder and...his act crumples.
“I love you, big sis” he hugs me “don’t be gone too long” I give him another kiss on the head and me and Oliver leave.
“Munchkin? Time to wake up.”
“5 more minutes” bright light floods into my vision, I roll over from the opened curtains “5 more minutes!” He’s done this everyday of our honeymoon.
“Fine” he grumbles. The bed dips, sheets crinkle. His hand glides from my shoulder and down to my naked waist. “I’ll have to wake you up a different way” he whispers into my ear. He places small kisses down my neck making me giggle.
“I thought you’d have enough of that last night, and the night before that, and the night before that, and the night before that.”
“I could never have enough of you.”
I turn to face him when my phone goes off.
“Ignore it” he whispers.
I lift the screen “but it’s mum.”
“Ignore it” he’s practically begging.
I see notifications “shit. Oliver, I have 13 miss calls” I jump up and quickly answer the phone.
“Thank goodness Casey! Have you been online at all?”
“What? No, why? What’s going on? What’s with all the calls?”
“Would it be on in France?” She asks someone else in the room ”okay baby, hold on" she puts the phone down but I can still hear her “I don’t know how to tell her.”
“What’s going on?” Oliver whispers as he scoots behind me, an arm loosely around my waist and his chin on my shoulder.
“I don’t know.”
“Hey Casey, it’s Officer Parker here.”
“Rose? What are you doing with my mum?” I give a concerned side glance to Oliver.
“There was an incident.”
I put it on loud speaker for Oliver “what do you mean there was a incident?”
“It’s...it’s him. Damian Kyle, he’s dead.”
Complete and utter confusion. Should I feel relieved that he’s finally gone? Angry that he can’t carry out the rest of his sentence? He’s only had 6 years.
"Wh-what do you mean, he’s dead?”
“He was put into general population a few weeks ago, a fight broke out last night and he was stabbed by another inmate. He died this morning from his injury’s.”
I don’t feel...anything. How should I feel?
It’s been so long since I thought about him, so long since I heard his name.
“Are you sure he’s dead?” What if this is an escape plan? Maybe he tricked them into thinking he’s dead.
“Me and officer Andrews made sure, he’s gone, really gone.”
I take a minute “thank you for informing us” I hang up the phone and turn to Oliver “he’s dead” a smile breaks out onto my lips, why? I don’t know.
Oliver side hugs me. I seen a smile on his face too. I feel horrible about celebrating a person’s death but, his death. I can’t help it...and I don’t care.
I slowly lower myself onto the bed again, lost in thought, Oliver lies next to me, the opposite way round. He lies on his side and curls up around me, his head on my stomach and thighs behind my head.
He holds my hands as I curl up to him as well, lying on his thighs, the side of my head resting on his chest and my thighs around the back of his head.
He kisses my hands and holds me close as we lie in a ball.
“Do you still think about it?” Oliver asks after a minute.
“How could I not? It was the darkest days of my life. Everything he did, destroyed me. I-we had to build everything back up, ourselves I mean.”
“I know. Some things are just, Imprinted into my head. I’ve tried everything to forget.”
“The smile, right?” I look down to my husband. “His smile” he nods resting his head more on my thighs to look up to me “I’ve tried to forget too” I whisper as I bury my head into his stomach.
“We’ll always have each other.” He kisses the palms of my hands.
“Always” I smile at him.
A 2 weeks later we’re back home. Well, not home right now, right now we are on our way to the prison.
“Are you sure you want to do this?” Oliver asks me again.
“Yeah.” I whisper as I fiddle with my ring, twisting it around my finger. Oliver holds my hand and continues driving.
We arrive to the gates.
“I’ll be right with you. When you want to leave just say” I nod.
We go through security, empty our pockets, go through the metal detector, even get pat-downs. The officers there show us to the visitation room.
All it is 6 plastic chairs on one side of small shallow cubicles with a sheet of glass in front on it, the glass has holes so you can hear and speak through to the person on the other side.
I sit on the chair as other people sit on the others, also here visiting other inmates. A loud buzz sounds and a door opens. A few men come into the room.
A bold man with beautiful alluring blue eyes and neck tattoos sits the other side of me.
“Hello their little lady.” He says seductively, I hear whistles coming from others. “You okay their sugar? What made you visit little old me? I don’t seem to recognise ya.”
“You killed him?” I bluntly ask. He looks at me confused with his eye brows furrowed.
“Excuse me?” He asks no longer in his playful tone.
“You killed him” I state.
Realisation hits him as he shuffles in his seat and sits up straighter. He leans onto the surface, closer to the glass.
“The child molest-...small-frie Damy?” I just stare at him “you’re...you’re the one he...” guilt forms on his face “honey I’m so sorry for the way I just acted. We don’t get to see many girls such as yourself in here, you know, young...beautiful. I didn’t know you were here because...” he drifts off.
“You stabbed him, you killed him.”
“Yes, yeah, I uh, did” he scratches his neck uncomfortably, clearly not knowing where this is going.
Silence fills our conversation as I look him in the eyes.
“Thank you” I get up and walk away without looking back.
I meant it. I really did.
2 years later
“Oliver! I am going to KILL you!” I scream.
“Shit, shit, shit. Uhh. I don’t know where it is?!” He screams back in pure panic.
“You are so dead!” I yell as a wave of pain spreads through me.
“I found it!” I hear him running to me “let’s go, I found the hospital bag” he swings his arm around me and helps me stand. We make it to the car and he begins speeding down the motorway.
"Fucks sake Oliver! I want to get there in one piece.”
“I can’t believe this is happening, I can’t believe it’s finally happening” he squeals in excitement.
I glare at him with disgust and resist the urge to punch him in his stupid smiling face.
“You’re not the one with a fucking baby trying to squeeze out of your-” another wave goes through me “ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow!” I whine.
“I’m sorry, I’m just excited to finally meet our little one. Munchkin just breathe, remember the Lamaze classes?” He says trying to calm me.
“FUCK Lamaze! It’s all a bunch of bullshit!”
“We are almost there just try to relax.”
“RELAX! You try pushing a melon through your dick!”
We get to the hospital and after 7 gruelling hours our beautiful baby girl is born. Yes, I had an epidural, no way in hell I’m putting up with that damn pain for 7 hours.
She perfect, happy and healthy. 7 pounds.
Our little Layla, Layla Mia Turner.
“She’s so perfect” Oliver whispers as he holds his tiny daughter. He places a kiss on top her head “she smells so good" he exaggerates. She tightly holds his pinky finger in her hand. “Munchkin you did so good.” He sits on the edge of the bed and kisses my greasy head.
“I’m not doing that again. It was so worth it but not for at least a couple years.” He smiles at me.
“But it was fun trying to conceive her” he grins cheekily.
In truth, it wasn’t. Hey! The sex is amazing, Oliver is amazing and all, but it was just so...devastating to read all those negative tests, one after the other, after the other, after the other.
It took a couple of months of trying, 6 months and 23 days to be exact. Something about lasting damage and old scar tissue...I don’t want to think about it. But still, 1 year and 4 months later, we have our heathy and beautiful baby girl, safe in our arms.
“Thank you” Oliver speaks after a moments silence, looking down at our daughter in his arms.
“For giving me all this happiness. For giving me your heart, your love and for creating this life” he cuddles her to his chest more “I have a life time to thank you for it all.”
I smile at his sweetness “hey, it was a team effort, it takes two” I remind him “thank you for everything. All of it. Our life as it is now, I could never of done any of it with out you.”
He leans down to kiss me when the door opens.
“Where is my niece!?” I hear Lou shout as he comes into the room “hey sis, hey Oliver. I wanna hold her” he quickly greets us before immediately going to Layla.
It’s adorable, he’s been dying to hold her and have a little niece since we told everyone the news.
Oliver hands her over and soon enough everyone piles in. Becks and Thomas with their two little ones, Skyler and Josh. Mum and Oliver’s dad too. Ben, Daniel, him and Philip sadly didn’t end up working out. I’m surprised the nurses let them all in.
They all get turns in holding our new creation.
After a few more hours, we’re allowed to go home.
Lying in bed with my sleeping husband next to me and our precious new-born daughter in the next-to-me crib, I don’t care how I got here. I don’t care what happened. I don’t care about the past.
All I care about now is this.
Safe and happy.
I wouldn’t change any of it if it meant I lose something I have now.
I’m finally, truly happy.
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