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Title: Empty

Category: one shot

Genre: drama

Main Characters: Jack and Martha

Rating: A

Warnings: (v) kinda, sad thoughst in general

Summary: Jack and Martha suffer a terrible lost - will they ever be able to come back from it?

Well, seeing as though everyone else seems to be posting their entries, I thought I'd post mine. :) Please comment!

EMPTY – One shot fic

I flopped down on the sofa; exhausted, thinking of the tiring day I had at work. “God, my life has changed so much since we moved to Summer Bay.” I said to my dad who was standing in the kitchen making dinner for Beth. I laughed.

“You know it’s weird; I can barely remember the last couple of years – they’ve gone so quickly!” I saw Dad’s face change from happy to confused.

"Don't you remember that night?" he said, as the painful memories came flooding back.

"Oh, that night..." I said sadly, turning away from him "Yeah, I remember."


She felt darkness close in. She felt like she was falling through air, unable to see around her. Desperately she grappled for some kind of hold but there was nothing to grasp. Colours of red and brown momentarily flashed, before dissolving back into the blackness.


Martha’s eyes opened quickly and suddenly, as she awoke. Breathing heavily she slowly orientated herself, remembering in seconds where she was. She groaned as she registered how hot, sticky and uncomfortable she was, even with Jack’s arms around her. Not to mention the pounding of her head, that was enabling only very little concentration. Turning slightly, she looked up at the ceiling, contemplating why she was having these strange dreams at this time in her life of all times.

‘This is crazy,’ Martha thought to herself. The dreams; or more the nightmares, that she had been having recently were indecipherable; and they were driving her mad. She couldn’t remember the last time she had received dreams this bad in her sleep, but it had definitely not been since she had had Jack’s arms around her every night for the last two years. It was definitely strange.

Slowly, Martha eased herself away from Jack and leant over to grab the aspirin and water from the bedside table. Taking deep breaths she tried to calm herself enough so that she would be able to sleep. She drank the water, which was, by now, warm from having been there for a few hours. The hot airless feeling of summer was really not helping Martha to sleep and she restlessly tried to get comfortable again.

Martha looked over at Jack peacefully sleeping and smiled. ‘Well at least one of us won’t be in a grumpy mood tomorrow morning’ she thought to herself.

Surprisingly, everything was going well for them and Martha had never been happier, even if she was being deprived of sleep. Her and Jack had recently moved into an apartment together and it had been shortly after that, that Martha had discovered that she was pregnant. She, Jack and the rest of Summer Bay were overjoyed at the news that soon there would be a mini Holden joining the community. Martha was happy because it just felt so right. She still loved Jack as much as she had before and she was sure that he felt the same way. She knew that she wanted to spend the rest of her life with him; and most of all, she knew that he would make a great dad.


The next morning Martha awoke not in the best of moods after her lack of sleep. She turned around and realised that Jack was missing from her side but as soon as the smell of breakfast came wafting through the door she knew why.

She walked into the kitchen and smiled as she saw Jack cooking with his back to her.

“You know, I should have gotten pregnant ages ago, if I had known that I would be waited on hand and foot with breakfast served every morning.” She said cheekily. Jack turned around and looked at her. Despite the fact that she was in pyjamas and had only just woken up, he still thought that she looked beautiful.

“I would cook you breakfast anytime.” said Jack smiling sweetly. Martha laughed.

“You’re going to regret saying that.” She said amused.

“I’m sure I will.” replied Jack. “So, are pancakes and fruit ok?” Martha grinned.

“Sounds more than ok to me!” she replied. “But Jack…”

“Yes?” answered jack suspiciously. “No wait! Let me guess…” he said as he walked towards the freezer and opened it. “You want ice cream to go with that?”

“How did you know?” asked Martha amazed.

“Hey! You think I’m stupid?” Martha nodded her head cheekily. Jack just continued. “You see I didn’t fail to notice that the tub of chocolate and toffee ice cream that I bought only two days ago had gone.” He looked at her, as if expecting an excuse.

“Hey! Leave me alone! I’m pregnant!”

It was still quite early as Jack and Martha walked down the beach, his arm around her waist. She smiled to herself. Since when had life been this good? Summer was here; the sun was shining, the beach looked lovely and she couldn’t help but notice that Cassie and Mathilda were already sun bathing.

“Everything’s so perfect.” She said quietly to Jack.

“I know” said Jack, who had been thinking the exact same thing. Moving to Summer Bay had been one of the best things in his life. Not only was the surf great, and the people lovely, but he had met the love of his life and they were having a baby. Granted, it wasn’t something they had planned for. They hadn’t really ever talked about it, but he knew Martha was the right woman for him so the baby just seemed to fit in. Just walking down the beach with his beautiful girlfriend felt like bliss to him.

Suddenly, Jack was pulled away from his thoughts.

“What’s the time??” he asked Martha urgently.

“Hey! What’s the rush?!” said Martha amused. “Jack, I love you, but you really need to chill out, the ultrasound appointment is at 10:30, it’s still only 9:45!” Jack sighed relieved. Surprisingly, out of the two of them, Jack had been the one getting stressed about Martha’s health and the baby’s. Martha guessed he was just being over protective but sometimes she had to tell him to relax and calm down. It was only last week that he would barely let her get out of bed!

Jack and Martha walked into the hospital, relieved to step into the air conditioned waiting area. Jack had insisted on them turning up early, so they were having to wait 10 minutes. Martha hit him gently.

“See?? Was there really any point in coming early?” Jack just smiled in reply.

A nurse approached them 5 minutes later.

“Hey guys, someone cancelled their appointment so you can come in now if you like.” She said. Jack just looked at Martha as if to say ‘I told you so’. Martha stuck her tongue out playfully in return. Laughing he grabbed her hand and squeezed it tightly as they followed the nurse into the room. No matter how many times they had an ultrasound; Jack always found it amazing to see his child growing, to hear its little heart beating.

Martha carefully got up onto the bed and lifted her top to let the nurse put the gel on her tummy. Slowly she moved the stick around and started looking at the screen. Waiting. And suddenly the baby was on the screen. Their baby. They looked at each other and smiled. But the nurse wasn’t smiling. She stopped using the stick and put it down.

“Erm, excuse me a moment, I just want to get a doctor in here to look at this.” With that the nurse exited the room quickly, before Martha and Jack could ask any questions. Martha looked at Jack, worry clearly etched across his face.

“Jack…” she said softly, trying hard not to think the worst. Jack looked at her and smiled, squeezing her hand for moral support.

“Let’s not jump to conclusions. I’m sure everything is fine.” He said, unsure of himself.

Ten minutes later, Rachel entered followed by the nurse.

“Hey guys, sorry for taking so long, I was dealing with a patient in casualty. So, let me have a look at your baby.” Rachel grabbed the stick, and started moving it over Martha’s tummy again. She stared intently at the screen and listened carefully. In her head she ticked off the signs. No visible movement. No heartbeat.

Rachel felt awful. She just didn’t quite know how to tell them her diagnosis. Hesitantly she turned around to face Jack and Martha, both of whom were looking increasingly worried.

“I’m really sorry.” She said, struggling to hold back a few tears of her own. It was bad enough when patients went through this, but to see her own friends go through it…. Well she was just having a hard time with it.

“It seems like your baby has been dead for about a week now. There’s no heartbeat, no visible movement. I’m so sorry.” Jack looked at her, the shock at what he had just heard reflected in his eyes. It was Martha who spoke.

“You said it seems. You’ve probably just made a mistake. I mean it’s not possible, Jack has taken care of me, I haven’t done anything strenuous! “ she said, starting to get worked up. Jack took both her hands and looked at her.

“Martha, Rachel’s a doctor, she’s right.” He said gently.

“NO!” Martha shouted as she angrily snatched her hands away from Jack’s. “You’re lying! Both of you! Look!” she said pointing to the screen where there was a picture of the ultrasound. “The baby’s there!” she said, tears starting to fall, her eyes going blurry. “I didn’t do anything wrong!” she said finally breaking down, tears pouring down her face as she tried to acknowledge what she had just been told. Jack immediately went forward, grabbing her in his arms as she cried. “But I didn’t do anything wrong!” she said repeatedly.

“Martha, you didn’t do anything wrong. You are having what we call a ‘silent miscarriage’.” started Rachel “A miscarriage doesn’t occur because of anything you’ve done, it’s just because of chance. Whether you laid in bed from the day of your positive pregnancy test or went hang-gliding every day wouldn't have changed things. It’s nature's way of making sure that when you do have a baby, it has the best chance for all of its life. Often it happens because of missing genetic information, but Martha, you’ve got to understand that this is not your fault.” Rachel looked sympathetically at her friends, devastation on their faces.

“Erm, I’ll give you guys some time alone and then I’ll be back to discuss and organize the procedures with you.” Rachel then left quietly with the nurse. All Martha could do was cry in Jack’s arms.

On the way home both Jack and Martha remained quiet, not sure what to say or how to make the other feel better. Jack was devastated but he knew that Martha had taken it worse. Since crying she hadn’t spoken, she hadn’t moved without Jack telling her too, she hadn’t looked at anyone. She just kept fiddling with her hands, ignoring everything around her. After an awkward drive home Jack led Martha to the door and made her sit on the couch. Going to the kitchen, he grabbed a glass of water and crouched in front of her, lifting her head to look at him.

“We’re going to get through this together.” He said gently, feeling increasingly awful as he saw the sadness in her eyes. Martha just looked at him, as feelings surfaced that she wasn’t aware she could ever feel. She turned away feeling guilty. In her head, she just couldn’t understand why Jack would want to look at her, or touch her. How could he bear to be with her when all this was her fault?

Jack looked sadly as Martha looked away. He didn’t know what she was feeling but he wanted to know.

“Martha” he said softly “Speak to me. Tell me how you’re feeling.” But she just shook her head, refusing to even open her mouth. She knew that even if she had wanted to speak she wouldn’t have been able to. When she had tried earlier her voice had only got stuck in her throat anyway.

Jack sighed and sat down next to her. He reached towards her to put his arms around her but she flinched under his touch and moved away to the far end of the sofa, as far from him as possible. Jack’s face registered surprise and then hurt as she moved and then refused to look him in the eye. Jack felt overwhelming sadness over what happened, but it was obvious that Martha was feeling a lot of things that he couldn’t even guess. He got up and went into his room, grabbing the phone as he went, intent on calling Rachel to help him. It rang for a while before she finally picked up.

“Hi Rachel it’ s Jack.” He whispered, not wanting Martha to hear.

“Oh hi Jack how are you feeling?” asked Rachel gently.

“Well, I’m hardly happy.” Said Jack “ But I’m really calling you about Martha. She’s really not taking this well and I was wondering if maybe some counselling sessions with you would maybe help?”

“Erm, yea sure. I would agree. Seeing the way she reacted this morning, she’s probably going to have a lot of guilt and self hate to work through at the moment. I’ve got free slots on Monday’s, Wednesday’s and Saturday’s if you would like to bring her then. They’re all at 5:00.” Jack smiled gratefully for the first time that day.

“Thanks Rachel. And the operation to have the baby removed is still tomorrow at 3:00 right?” he added.

“Yes.” She replied. “Bye Jack. Just be there for her ok?” “I will.” said Jack, meaning it more than he had ever meant it in his life.

Half and hour later, Jack walked back into the room to find Martha sleeping on the couch. He went towards her and softly touched her wet cheek, seeing the tear stains on her skin from the endless tears. He slipped his hands underneath her and lifted her off the couch, starting to carry her towards the bedroom. Clearly having a nightmare or some sort of vision she twisted and turned subconsciously in his arms. Jack could see the pain in her face, even when she was sleep she wasn’t getting any peace. Gently he placed her on their bed, pulling the covers over the top of her and sitting on the bed, praying for her pain to go away.

Martha lay on the hospital bed not moving. Refusing to acknowledge to herself that she no longer had her baby inside her, where it belonged. Jack was sitting in a chair next to the bed, holding her hand, silently begging her to say something, to give him some sort of indication of how she was feeling, but she didn’t. She didn’t because she couldn’t even look him in the eye.

“Martha, I know you’re feeling a sadness that can’t be described, because I’m feeling it as well. I just want us to go through it tog…” . Martha interrupted.

“You don’t know how I feel.” She said bluntly, her voice starting to get louder.

“You have absolutely no idea, no clue. You can’t possibly be feeling what I’m feeling. You’ve hardly cried!” she was shouting now, and Jack was becoming more and more upset at seeing Martha so distressed. “You haven’t had a baby growing inside of you!! To feel it there, part of you, knowing that it’s going to be part of your life forever. Well at least thinking it’s going to be part of your life forever. And then just to have that taken away from you, in one ultrasound, in one stupid appointment, by one stupid doctor!” Martha was now back to crying uncontrollably. “You have no idea what it’s like to feel this empty…” she finished quietly.

Looking at Jack’s face, Martha could see that she had hurt him, and she was sorry, but for some reason she just couldn’t bring herself to reach out to him and let him hold her. She remembered back to when every time she had looked at him her knees had gone weak, to when just one touch from him would send her wild, to when just looking at him would create an overwhelming feeling of love inside her. Only a day ago, the magic had been there between them, the love had been there. Now she wasn’t so sure… All that seemed to be left was emptiness, guilt, pain and anger between them.

Over the next day, Martha just stayed in bed, letting Jack bring her glasses of water, food, anything she wanted. She felt herself getting angry. The fact that she only ever felt pain when she saw Jack was starting to worry her. Maybe it would all change when things got back to normal. But Martha couldn’t help wondering if things would ever return to how they were before.

Jack entered the bedroom with a fresh glass of water to meet Martha in the middle of getting dressed into clothes other than her pyjamas.

“Hey! What are you doing? You should be resting!” exclaimed Jack, moving towards her in a bid to get her to get back into bed, but she dodged to the side.

“In case you hadn’t noticed Jack, I’m not pregnant anymore! See!” she snapped, pointing to her stomach, which had gotten a lot flatter since the operation.

“Martha…” Jack started to protest.

“No Jack, just stop it, I need to get my life back on track. Starting from now. I’m cooking dinner tonight, no arguments.” And with that she walked out of the bedroom before Jack could even disagree. He followed and started opening his mouth to talk.

“Jack, I swear, if you’re looking to get on the wrong side of me then you’re going the right way about it.!” Jack could tell she was being serious and knew not to push her, so he sighed, giving up and yet really not wanting to.

Later, as Jack sat down to dinner, Martha started to speak.

“I heard there’s a beach party tomorrow evening, I thought we could go, you know get out a bit, have some fun.” She said smiling at him. Jack could see straight through it. That wasn’t a Martha smile, the one that lit up the room, it was totally fake.

“Martha, I don’t think that’s really a good idea.” He replied looking concerned at her complete turnaround.

“Fine.” She responded bluntly. “You don’t have to go. But I am.” She finished and continued eating.

As Martha lay in bed that night she heard the door of the bedroom open and saw Jack enter quietly. Gently he got in next to her and put his arms around her body, pulling her into him.

“You know I love you don’t you? And I only ever want to look after you.” He said softly. Martha just nodded, but her mind was somewhere else. She was still trying to comprehend why being with Jack was causing her so much pain; why she so quickly seemed to be falling out of love with him. “Was that even possible?” thought Martha to herself .


Two days later

Dear Jack,

Before I say anything I want to say that I loved you. You have been a huge part of my life, one that will never be forgotten. You have given me some of the happiest times of my life and I will always treasure that night, the night that we found out I was pregnant. I want you to know how happy I was. How blissfully happy it made me feel that I wasn’t just having a child, but that it was yours.

But the miscarriage was something I didn’t expect. Trust me I really wanted to try and get through it with you by my side, to love me, hold me, and comfort me, but I guess I never really let that happen. When I lost that baby, it was a part of me physically and emotionally, and I changed. And when I changed, the way I looked at everything altered, including the way I saw you. I really tried to make it work. I wanted us to be like we were before, but when I look at you now and all the pain is brought back of losing our child, because I can see it in your eyes. That sounds like such a heartless thing to say because you have the right to be upset, to grieve but that’s how I feel. I will always cherish the times when I loved you more than life itself, because I had never loved anyone like I loved you. But I can’t live a lie.

To be honest I hate the baby for breaking us up, for ruining such a good thing but I hate myself more for saying that. I’m not really sure how I feel and I think it’s going to take a long time to find some sort of closure. I want to apologise because the whole time that I was being depressed you had to hold in your emotions to comfort me and that wasn’t fair.

For both of us I think it is better if I leave and give us time to deal with our loss. Maybe in the future we’ll meet again and I truly hope you’re happy, that you are with someone that you deserve, because you do deserve happiness and that’s why I’m not prepared to put you through the pain. The love may have gone but I still care about you because of what we’ve shared. I’m so sorry.

Martha xx

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