He didn't want to be here. It was too busy; there were too many people. But what did you expect in a huge store like the one he was in.
He tailed behind his small wife, unable to look anywhere but ahead. If he took in the smiling customers, he would break down. He didn't need a reminder of how other lives were perfect, when his was so... so wrong.
He wanted to just curl in a ball, and cry. Yes, he just wanted to let it all out. He wanted to be alone, be away. He didn't want to see the sunlight, or feel the warmth. How could he accept such pleasures when his heart was ice cold?
"Jen, please let's go." He whispered, standing closer behind her. She pretended she didn't hear him, and instead stopped to look at a roll of wallpaper.
"What about this one?" She asked, biting her lips.
"Don't do this." He muttered, rubbing his eyes with his hands.
"What colour would you say it is?" She asked, ignoring him. She cocked her head to the side. "A burgundy pink?"
"Like it matters. Don't you care?" He said, loudly. He turned away, and closed his eyes. Why had he agreed to this shopping trip? He wasn't up for it. It wasn't just the reminders that life went on, but the denial he was getting from his wife.
"I like this one. Let's get it." She said, pretending he hadn't said a word. He spun round.
"Jen! Snap out of this! It's okay to mourn you know. It's okay to show a bit of emotion. How can you be so hard-"
"Stop!" She screamed suddenly. She looked at him for the first time that day.
"I don't want to mourn. I don't want to show emotion. I want to forget. I can't handle it Sam. I just can't. I had a baby, and I lost it. I lost it. How could I loose a baby? Like I took her to the park and couldn't find her? Like I would just loose my keys? She didn't even take her first breath Sam!"
Tears began to flow down her cheeks. He lifted his arm towards her, but she pushed it away.
"No. Don't. Just don't. You stand there, and you think I'm hard. You think I don't care. It's just if I do this, I won't stop. I don't want to be alive Sam. Do you understand that? This should be the happiest time of my life and it's not. It's not."
He moved closer, and pulled her into a tight hug, where for the first time since she had given birth to their still born, she burst into sobs. He closed his eyes, to stop his own from falling.
He knew it was a bad idea to come. But she needed this. She needed normality. It wasn't just him in this, it was her.
He was aware people were staring, but he didn't care. They didn't understand. They couldn't. How could you possibly begin to imagine the empty hole in your heart from loosing a child? Their first as well.
"Puce." He whispered down her ear. She looked up at him, puzzled.
"The colour. It's puce." he said.
He lip trembled.
"How are we going to get through this?" She asked him, her voice cracking.
He breathed out heavily. How could he answer her when he didn't know?
"I don't know, Jen." He told her, letting her go. He wiped the still flowing tears from her cheeks, and gently cupped her puffy face.
"But for a start, lets buy that paper." He said, forcing a smile. She looked back at it, then back at him. She looked lost. Like she didn't know where she was. Then she turned back to the paper, and moved closer to feel it.
"I'm sorry." He whispered so quietly that she wouldn't hear it. Who he was saying it to, he didn't know. Himself. Her. Their child.
"I like puce." His wife said softly.
The next colour shall be -- Burnt Orange