Wednesday came, and Wednesday went. It was now Thursday, Little Renna's birthday.
It was noon, now, and Renna didn't appear to be aware of what the special occasion was for. All she knew was that later in the day, she got to open up presents and eat cake and ice cream.
"Where's daddy?" Mathew asked.
"He should be home any moment now. Then, after we eat, we can have cake and ice cream," Marissa answered with a smile.
She recalled the talk with Tom around midnight, when the kids were asleep. He had talked everything over, and he would be getting on a plane at eight in the morning, and be back around noon. It was eleven, now.
With a sigh, and a lack of anything better to do, Marissa flipped on the news.
There wasn't anything really suprising. Break-ins, robberies, muggings. The same depressing things that they only shared about for ratings.
Mathew and Renna were playing Candy Land on the floor behind the couch.
"Breaking News today: A plane went down today over Denver, Colorado. From the little information we've collected so far, it sounds like some birds got caught in the engines, and that was all it took to bring the plane down.
"So far, there haven't been any survivors reccorded." the woman with blond hair and bright blue eyes announced on the Eleven 'O Clock News.
Marissa's eyes were wide with terror, praying with all her might that it hadn't been Tom's plane.
She raced to the kitchen and snatched the phone, unable to bear not knowing if he was okay.
Each ring that went by, Marissa's heart sunk even further. She couldn't handle it if... No, she wouldn't think about that.
Tom, oh, please. Tom. Please, be okay, she thought wildly.
The call went to Voice Mail.
Tom's voice was there, cheerily saying he wasn't available at the moment, but that if you left a short message he'd get back with you as soon as he could.
"But you won't be able to get back to me," Marissa whispered, trying to blink back tears.
She hung up the phone and tried again, each attempt in vain.
"Oh, no. No, it's not real. It's not happening," Marissa started to plead with the world.
The kids stopped playing and looked up at her. She couldn't face them, not now, not after Tom's plane... No.
Marissa went into her bedroom and began to cry. The phone rang.
With a surge of hope, she answered the phone. "Tom?"
"Oh, sweetie, I'm so sorry. I just heard on the news. I'm on my way over, with your sister," a kind and familiar voice said. It was Marissa's mother.
"Okay," she whispered, voice hoars.
A few mintues later, Marissa's mother and sister arrived. While Marie, her sister, occupied the children, Marissa and her mother went outside on the back porch.
"I can't believe he's gone. It's my fault. I forced him to get on a plane today so he wouldn't miss Renna's birthday, and now he's dead," she said, stifling a sob.
"Oh, Rissa dear. It's not your fault," she said, wrapping her arms around her daughter in a tight embracing hug.
"How can you say that?" she said, tears freely streaming down her face now.
"Because I'm your mother, and mothers know everything," she said in an attempt to make her daughter smile, if only briefly.
"No sweetie, I say it because it's true."