Hot Chocolate

Cross-legged, her cardigan tightly wrapped around her and her hands clutching a mug of hot chocolate, Claire stared out over the ocean. For the past four weeks she was here on the beach every day, watching the sunset, and she stayed here until it was almost too dark to see a hand in front of her face and until the mug had long gone cod. She had hoped that different surroundings would help to speed up her recovery.

Her recovery.

Her thoughts involuntarily went back to that night, now almost six months ago. A terrible pain awoke her. It was the pain she had feared for weeks and had hoped would never come. Why did it always happen at night? Michael had jerked up beside her, woken by the screams she didn’t hear. In addition to the pain, there was blood. Her fingers were covered in it and no matter how hard she had pressed between her legs, she could not stop it anymore. That paramedics lifted her onto a stretched and drove her to the hospital is something that she had not consciously experienced. Seventeen weeks. That was how long she was pregnant this time. They thought this third time they would get lucky, but again her pregnancy has ended in a miscarriage.

After ten days in hospital they transferred her to the rehabilitation center. It was not safe for her to be home alone, they told her, but just like with all the other things they said to her, she did not react to this either. Words like ‘apathetic’ and ‘burnout’ and ‘heavy depression’ mixed with the words in her head: ‘miscarriage’ and ‘failure’ and ‘I want to die’. She spent three months in rehabilitation, three long months before they found it responsible to send her home. Work was still out of the question. It was far too early for that. Michael had really done his best. Most days she hated him that he could just go on with his life. After all, it was his child too. Why was she the only one grieving?

Only here on this isolated beach, with only the incoming waves as her companions, she realized how wrong she was. Michael was grieving too, but stayed strong for her. He couldn’t express his grief after her collapse. He too longed for a child, a child that was not rejected by her body. Tears ran down her cheeks. Michael needed her, but still he agreed with her seclusion in this remote place, where she had hoped to find herself again. An intense longing for her husband overtook Claire. She wanted to feel his arms around her. She wanted to cry with him about their loss; wanted to pick up the pieces and continue with their live. Together they were strong.

The sin had sunk halfway into the sea. Claire could not wait any longer. Her half-cold hot chocolate was forgotten as she stood up to walk back to the house. For the first time she noticed how beautiful this place was. The impressive white mansion with its secluded beach, surrounded with rocks that hid it from the eyes of the neighbors. Michael had chosen it well. Her pace accelerated and she almost ran up the stairs to the terrace above, where her mobile phone lay on a table. There was a message from Michael:

Happiness is loving you. I miss you!

Again tears formed in her eyes, but this time it was different. Claire felt like she was finally getting to the surface after she had been under water for far too long. The grief was still there, but it was as if a weight has fallen off her shoulders. She quickly tapped Michael’s name on her screen. The phone rang, but Michael didn’t answer. Claire tried it a couple of times more, but without success. She didn’t know what to do. Michael always answered the phone when she called. She re-read the message he had sent. Even though at first she thought it was a sweet and loving message, she now wondered whether the first part was an accussation at her address. That he thought she didn’t love him anymore. She shook her head. No. Michael wasn’t like that. If he had something to say, he wouldn’t sent it in a message but just tell her. But what if…?

Claire breathed in deep and closed her eyes. No. Stop! Stop-Stop-Stop! She repeated it like a mantra and mumbled it when she walked back to the beach. The cold mug, half-filled with what once was hot chocolate, stood forgotten on the table, next to her mobile phone. Her dress fluttered in the evening breeze as she walked back to the spot she had sat in earlier. A thin edge of the sun was still visible above the waves. Claire sat down on the sand, pulled her legs up and wrapped her long cardigan around it. Her chin rested on her knees. For the first time in weeks her mind wasn’t filled with what had happened. All she could think of was Michael.

The sun had now completely disappeared in the sea. Despite the fact that it would soon be dark, Claire stayed. The hand that unexpectedly rested on her shoulder she would have recognized from thousands. His smell surrounded her. She sniffed it up, closed her eyes and rested her cheek against his hand. She had not heard Michael approach. A peace she had not felt in months enveloped her. He sat on his knees behind her and hugged her. Claire turned around in his arms and hugged him back while her mouth searched for his. He kissed her carefully at first, but finally he answered her passion. Claire was pulled with him when he fell back in the sand. She landed on his chest. Her hands touched him all over, pulled frantically at his clothes. She had missed him so! She pushed his unbuttoned shirt from his shoulders and roughly pulled her dress over her head. Something tore, but she didn’t hear it. Both naked, Claire lowered herself over his erection and onto his chest. She wanted to feel his warm body against hers.

He fucked her slowly, but Claire urged him one. First by moving her hips and fucking him back, but then with words: ‘take me’ and ‘fuck me’. He pushed deeper into her.
“Yes, darling, fuck me. Deeper. Harder. I missed you so much. I am so sorry. I want you. Yes, fuck this is so nice. I miss you. I love you.”
Claire talked non-stop. Michael let her urge him on. He upped the tempo and pushed Claire to sit up. In the last light of the day, she saw his beautiful, sad eyes. But there was more than grief there. She saw love. Happiness. Claire took his hand and put it on her stomach. Tears shone in her eyes as she nodded to him. He understood her message: the hard time lay behind them. It’s time to focus on the future.

Personal note: The festive days are when we miss those we have lost the most. My thoughts go out to everyone who has to miss their loved ones during the holiday season.

Source image: unknown

© Rebel’s Notes

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