When a tragedy happens, Dan is forced into sadness. And he's left alone with a new born baby, and a mother who tends to do everything for him. They say that friends are truly the best things someone could ever need, but can Katy, Dan's best friend, really save him from the darkness?
First in the series of one of prompts that was given to me from my friend. Full list of prompts can be found here: http://beres-ford.livejournal.com/22653.html
Genre: Romance/Tradgedy (couldn't find tradgedy in the
There was always something about a phone call in the middle of the night, that sent chills down Dan’s spine. He’d never expected something quite as clichéd as this to happen to him, because well it was true when he realised it only ever really happened in films.
Until of course, it happened to you.
There was no mistaking it, he’d known from the moment he’d picked up the phone and heard his mother speaking on the other end of the phone. His mother hadn’t even needed to say it, because he knew, he’d just known. It was one of those moments when before you pick up the phone you know something bad had happened, you know that whoever was calling on the other was about to tell you something life changing and bad.
Dan couldn’t say a thing as he heard the details of his wife’s death. Grace had been almost nine months pregnant, she’d been working constantly due to the fact that she wanted to save up for the cot they’d chosen together. But it was obvious that they couldn’t afford it, Dan was an Actor and Grace a writer… not exactly the most likely couple to have a million pounds now were they?
She’d been on business in London; she’d been attempting to work out a work schedule for the BBC. They’d had so many plans, and Grace working for the BBC was one of them.
They would have been moving to London, the city with the bright lights and seems to never sleep. Oh it’s nothing like New York, but London was always a place that Grace and Dan had wanted to go to. They wanted the big house somewhere in the middle of London where they could catch a tube and be in the most exciting place in existence if grace had gotten that job.
But she hadn’t.
And now she was dead.
The big bright lights that had once ruled their lives once were now going out.
The day of Graces funeral was the worst for Dan, his mother had arranged everything. The Service, the Church, the music, even the flowers that were to be put on her grave that day. Dan didn’t and couldn’t do a thing.
The baby had survived; they’d managed to get the baby out before Grace had deteriorated so much that they couldn’t. So right now, the said baby, the little girl that had been brought into this world so quickly was being held by her Grandfather, Dan having not been able to look his daughter in the eye from the painful memory that her mother was gone.
Which was what the greater worry was about to his parents, they didn’t mind that they comforted him until he fell asleep at night. That was to be expected, especially after going through something as traumatic as losing a wife. But to abandon the baby that had been so eagerly awaited was extremely out of character for Dan.
But then wasn’t grief meant to make people appear out of character? Isn’t this something that can happen?
Dan wasn’t so sure of himself anymore.
Subject: Message full of friend goodness!
How are things at the moment?
I’m so sorry to hear about what happened to Grace, and I hope you know that I’m here for you whenever you need me. I may be living in Australia but I’m only a phone call away if you need me.
I haven’t heard from Dan in quite a while, I know that Grace’s death must have put him under a lot of strain, and with the new baby… poor thing. Just tell him I’m there for him? even if I am what feels like a million miles away.
I’m coming over in a few weeks time, it turns out the Theatre Company are doing a run in Stratford. I’d love for you to be able to come and see me, Dan as well, so long as he’s feeling up to it anyway. I hope he’s ok, I know that loving a loved one is painful; it was terrible when I lost Mum last year. But to lose a wife or husband is more than… well I’m sure you know what I’m getting at.
Hope that you and Ben are well, Dan’s very lucky to have parents like you!
It is hard for Dan at the moment, and he’s lost his job so that’s not made things any better for him. So we’ve persuaded him to come and stay with us for a while, I think it helps him cope with the baby slightly as well. She’s just gorgeous! She’s about three months old now; Dan wouldn’t hold her for quite some time… and he’s still not quite right even now. So Ben and I are looking after her quite a lot at the moment, which we don’t mind at all.
We just want to get Dan back to normal.
As for Stratford upon Avon, we would love to come. Whether it’s all of us, I don’t know, but we’ll be there.
Don’t worry about that.
All the best,
Subject: RE: Message full of friend goodness!
You’re coming back to England!!!!
Believe me, this is just what I need at the moment, it’s been hard on my own but I’m coping. I’m sure my Mother will give you a good old description of what I’m like but I’m getting there… just taking a while I suppose.
Anyway, I’ll see you at the airport!
Heathrow Airport was always a busy place. Always full of people running round attempting to catch their flight in time, parents screaming at children misbehaving, the laughter from some kind of school group as they discuss the latest heart throb in the media. Excited families going on they’re yearly holidays, parents hugging their children for one last time before they embark on some kind of travelling experiences.
Airports were full of different people going through different emotions.
Full of people going through different stages of life, there wasn’t a shortage of ages in this place.
Babies, Toddlers, Children, Teenagers, Adults, Elderly …
Dan clutched his baby ever so slightly tighter to his chest as he watched some rather tanned looking large built Australian men getting off the flight.
And then he saw Katy.
Grace, Katy and Himself, had been best friends ever since Primary School. In fact he’d been the first boy to “infect their table with boyness” wad what they’d said; from what he could remember, and the three of them had been inseparable since. He hadn’t seen her in about a year and a half now (which was a long time for their standards!) her blonde hair was lighter. Which made sense, the sun in Australia was known for its heat, her skinny little arms were tanned. Her face was freckled, and like her arms a lot browner than it had been when she’d left England.
But she was here, and smiling the so familiar smile that used to life his and Graces spirits up whenever they saw it.
Dan couldn’t help but grin himself, perhaps the first time since Graces death. He hadn’t felt happiness quite like this in a while, despite having a new baby he felt he was oddly detached from the world.
Katy pulled him into a tight hug the moment she got to him; he grinned more when she pulled back to inspect that baby in his arms.
“Oh Dan,” Katy whispered looking at the baby. “She’s beautiful… what’s her name? You never said over the email, and I’ve been bursting to know!”
Dan laughed as he felt Katy hook her arm around his and began walking towards the exit.
“I don’t’ know,” Dan laughed quietly, “I haven’t decided yet. I was hoping you might be able to help me out there.”
“I will put my detective hat on and have a good look!” Katy exclaimed before stopping as she drew him into a gentler hug. This time Dan knew exactly what she was about to say and shushed her before she could say anything different.
“I’m ok…” Dan said softly, wrapping his free arm around her and cuddling into the comforting smell of her clothes. “I swear I’m ok…”
“Yeah…” Katy replied smiling slightly, “And I skydived from the moon…”
Dan rolled his eyes as Katy burst into fits of giggles at the look on Dan’s face.
Katy Malone had landed in England; and he had a feeling that things were never going to be the dark world he’d been living in ever again. There was something about Katy, something about the way she was that brought a spark into his life, brought a spark into what he did because she was so full of happiness all the time.
Perhaps the lights might get turned on a little bit more than he’d originally thought.
“And the rocks are like… well the biggest thing I’ve ever seen!” Katy exclaimed over the dinner they were having. His mother had the baby, and had pushed him and Katy out the door, telling them not to come back until they’d eaten something properly and had a good time together.
Dan hadn’t been complaining though, he’d thought it as a godsend after what he’d been going through the last few weeks. And it still hurt, of course it did, but he could finally put that to the side for a little bit and enjoy some time with a friend. In time of crisis’ friends seemed to be just what people needed; and Katy, right at this very moment in time, was just what Dan needed.
“And then the sun began to go down, everything went quiet and this massive hawk like creature… I don’t know what it was. But it flew right over my head! Well I screamed, course I did, not often you get to see something like that, let alone have it almost hit you on the head in the middle of an Australian Wilderness. But it wasn’t afraid, it didn’t even flinch. And then it just hit me that… well maybe it wasn’t so bad to be there after all. I mean I had no make-up, no deodorant, and there weren’t any showers anywhere so I hadn’t bathed for days. But then I saw that bird thing and it just struck me how beautiful it was, and how lucky I was to be standing there in the midst of it all…”
Dan could only smile and watched as she sipped her water happily in the midst of the restaurant.
Once the dinner had been finished, Dan escorted Katy out of the building happily. It was perhaps true that friends could do you a world of good when things appeared to be…well down.
“So…” Katy said smiling as they walked along some kind of Riverbank, “I’m back to Stratford tomorrow… you gonna be alright?”
“’Course I will… I always am.” Dan replied.
“And you know that I know you always aren’t…” Katy said softly, “I know you Dan…”
“Well so did Grace, but it doesn’t mean that I told her everything does it?”
A silence seemed to cut between the pair after that. It wasn’t that Dan was annoyed with Katy for something, he was just fed up with being badgered constantly about something he was supposedly trying to move past.
“I’m sorry…” Katy said quietly.
“Everyone is Katy,” Dan said looking at her, “That’s all I hear nowadays. If I meet someone in a shop, they look at me and say “I’m sorry…” or “How are you doing?” I mean I met Mrs Wick…remember her? Our old History Teacher and somehow even she’d found out about it all… and I’m sick of it. I just want to move on now but I can’t because everyone around me is holding me back…even the baby… oh Katy she’s so like her Mother and I don’t know what to do with her…I can’t even look after my own child…”
“Dan you were fine earlier…”
“Well believe me, that’s the first time one of us haven’t cried…” Dan replied quickly, crossing his arms and watching as a man walked past with a bunch full of Roses. Whenever Dan had been abroad he’d always seen men attempting to sell things like that to people on the streets for their valentine.
It took a moment before Dan noticed that Katy had briskly walked over to the Rose seller and came back, holding one out to him.
“I’m not one for tradition so I didn’t expect you to buy one…” Katy said softly, “But I know that Grace would have given you one, as cheesy as this sounds… lets say this is from her. From beyond the Grave…”
Dan took the flower slowly and smiled gently at his friend. A memory from a while ago came into his head, whilst he’d been in Paris with Grace. They’d danced the night away and Grace had declared that she’d always live on in some kind of Rose…
“I know what to call the baby…” Dan whispered looking at her, “Because Grace said…I haven’t lost her… not really have I? Because the baby… no, Rose. She’s called Rose…”
“What you talking about?” Katy asked softly.
“Grace can live on, in Rose.”