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The Day The World Ended

Guest rfran

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Story Title: The day the world ended

Type of story: Short/Medium fic

Main Characters: Aden, Geoff, Nicole, Belle, Roman, Annie, Irene

BTTB rating: I’d better say T to be safe,

Genre: Drama

Does story include spoilers: No

Any warnings: Reference to suicidal thoughts in chapter 6

Summary: Set 10 years into the future, things have progressed when a tragedy occurs and it has far reaching consequences.

The stuff in italics are flash backs

Chapter 1

She watched as two parents stood around a table a young boy excitedly buzzed in the chair his excitement plane to see as the lights are dipped in walks a blond haired slightly older man carrying a child’s birthday cake in the shape of a train with three large candles alight on the top. Around the table are sat a collection of children and around are stood a selection of adults a woman who could be the grandmother is stood next to the mother, she is stood further along a blond haired man has his arm around her shoulder as the young boy excitedly leans in to blow out the candles the couples share looks of complete happiness

Where did it all go wrong she wondered, what had caused her family to fall so spectacularly apart Nicole wondered, that birthday party was only eight months ago. Since then everything had changed, well she and Geoff were still together and they were having this baby she thought placing her hand on her heavily distended stomach but there was no closeness any more they inhabited the same house but the connection they had always shared had gone. The pressure of grief and secrets had told on them all.

Geoff walked in disturbing her moment of contemplation, he had returned from visiting a member of his congregation.

“How is Mrs Slater” Nicole asked

“As well as can be expected I suppose, she is worried about her husband’s illness but coping” her husband responded.

This it seemed to Nicole had become the level of their relationship, discussing other people’s problems and never getting close to the ones between them. She wanted to discuss the phone call she had received from Aden earlier in the day, he wasn’t coping at all. Even after the ten years together Geoff only tolerated Aden for the sake of those he cared about and even this toleration had been severally tested in the last few months, Nicole was finding life was simpler if she didn’t mention him at all; instead she would discuss her concerns with Roman later

“Dad I’m so glad to hear from you, you must have read my mind” Nicole spoke into the telephone

“I was just phoning to see how you are, you seemed quite aggregated when we poke earlier” Roman replied

“Well things are a little tense, He phoned!”

“Is Geoff around, he can’t still be upset that Aden is keeping in touch with you can he?”

“Yes and he’s still upset he still blames him for making the last months worse for Belle. He sees her as a sister, He forgets Aden is my brother well as near as makes no difference” Nicole says leaving the room and shutting the door as she speaks “I know Aden hasn’t behaved well but he’s Aden and he never did, but he’ll be my brother all the same.”

“What did Aden have to say?” Roman inquired

“He’s still not settled he’s travelling in Italy he said he’d be there for a few weeks more after that he didn’t know. Dad I just wish he’d come home!” Nicole exclaimed

“We both do but you know Aden it’s always taken him a long time to face his problems” Roman concluded.

Hope you like this.

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Thanks for the responces.

There are loads of questions, there were when I started writting but this chapter and the next should help you see a bit more of whats happening.

Anyway new chapter new point of view as before flashbacks is italics

Chapter 2

A serious young man stood in the church waiting nervously in front of a packed congregation, it felt unusual to him, the nerves that is, the church was as familiar as his own home and for that he was thankful.

The front row s of the church was filled with his family, not like everyone else’s but his own, Irene, and a heavily pregnant Belle, his foster sister with her husband Aden surrogate brother to, his bride to be.

He turned again, the sun shone through the window and formed a pool of light in the aisle into which his beautiful bride to be walked accompanied by her father, although he in no way looked old enough to be father of the bride followed by his sister, who looked every inch the beauty as a young woman.

Geoff pondered the response he should make to the plans to reduce community policing in the area for which he was minister, his congregation would expect a response at the community meeting they had organised this evening, he felt relief knowing it was another evening he would not have to face the silence that lay between his wife and him, the relief he felt changed to guilt, he should not feel this way but her support of Aden felt like betrayal of Belle. His faith normally helped him in times like these but not this time, he found himself constantly battling with unchristian anger directed at his god especially when he spoke to Belle, he knew life wasn’t fair but this was something different. This turn of events had brought into sharp focus the cruelty of luck, the unfairness of fate and the lack of consolation achieved by prayer when your trust in the wisdom of god wavers. He knew his crisis of faith was not unusual but that knowledge was not as reassuring as it might have been.

Earlier in the day he had received an e-mail from Annie earlier she had moved in with Belle since everything had fallen to pieces and she had returned from a year’s OE in Europe and South East Asia. Belle had not been coping in her home alone, when Geoff had visited before Annie got back she seemed to be jumping at shadows.

A.Campbell@n.e.internet 10:43am Tue 1:11:18

Hi. How are things with Nicole and the baby I’m so excited hope there well wish I could come and visit I’m going to have to find away when the baby arrives I can’t not meet my little nephew or niece. It’s getting harder to lie to Belle though I wish I could tell her but I’m not sure she’s ready yet but she’ll hate it when she finds out we’ve been keeping it from her.

Sill here the jobs ok I suppose feel a bit trapped, have been applying for other jobs but there is nothing much about round here and I still can’t leave. Belle depends on me and more than she realises, but you know Belle, she hates to admit to anyone how much she needs them, anyone except him but when things get tough just like in the very beginning he runs a mile, I know he must be having a bad time to but abandoning her was a bit much. I can’t understand someone having that sort of hold over a person, how can she love someone like that? I know we went over this when they got together, but I couldn’t love someone who left me to cope with something like this on my own.

Annie Campbell

Geoff still had to reply it had been several hours since he’d first read the e-mail; it was taking him longer and longer to reply to his sister’s queries, she relied upon him to be the voice of reason, to be strong but he was angry, with the word with his God how could he have abandoned his nephew he was worried the anger his crises of faith caused would further unsettle his family.

I'll be posting the next chapter in a bit cause I think you need to have that to get a bit more of the picture.

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Chapter 3

It was unusual for the pier diner to be so full of familiar faces these days she concluded, her friends and family were here to see her, to wish her well as she left to go travelling, she was not sure when she would see them again.

Her brother and his wife were back from the inner city area he was working in, the problems of this tough area were challenge to him, being a country lad at hart, but gave his wife the opportunity to work in a fashionable city centre boutique.

A small boy ran quietly giggling amongst the forest of legs his mother smiling indulgently as his father grabbed him by the waist picking him up lifting him high in the air, the volume of his laughter increasing as he rose, his father lowered him and returned him to his mother. Holding the boy with one arm he placed his arm round the shoulders of his wife and leaned in to place a tender kiss on her forehead, the connection between them clear for all to see.

The day dragged tediously as Annie sat behind the counter of the bank, she paid in checks for old women and paid out float for the local rugby clubs charity night. Her mind drifted this wasn’t what she thought she would be doing when she retuned from travelling but when she arrived it was clear that Belle needed companionship.

She was shocked when she entered the house, she knew it must be hard but this was something different, she moved like a ghost neither sleeping nor eating the house a shrine to the day before it happened. Children’s toys were scattered across the living room floor, bills piled up on the counter requiring attention, Aden’s desk open with marking and lesson plans he had left at home on the morning it happened, that terrible morning the morning Belles life fell to pieces, the morning it all ended.

On her break Annie checked her e-mail; excitedly she discovered she had received one from Jai, it seemed funny to think that once they had dated an age ago, now friends. She hadn’t heard from him for months as he’d been working in some out of the way place as an aid worker. He thanked her for photos she had sent him, it took her some time to remember which ones he meant, it occurred to her that they were ones of family and friends, and it was so long ago before it happened. He still lived in a world where a little boy, Belle and Aden’s little boy would in a few months turn four, not one in which he lay cold in a grave upon which a small teddy and a small bunch of regularly refreshed white roses sat.

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Sorry haven't updated I've got a stinking cold.

Chapter 4

He was here amongst the parents of the candidates and although he was not the young mans father with the young woman who was accompanying him they were just as important to one particular candidate.

As the ceremony commenced they sat quietly and waited, watching intently both remembering how a matter of years ago no one would have expected this, Aden graduating. It may so easily not have happened; his preparations for the HSC could hardly be described as ideal, what with his father’s alcoholism and his breakdown, not to mention being on trial for Kidnapping and attempted murder. It seemed such a long time ago now.

His name was called, the man could not have been more proud if it had been his own daughter standing up there and the look on the young woman’s face perfectly expressed her joy.

He took the couple for a meal to celebrate, as they ate glances were exchanged between the couple, a wordless conversation he was not included in. She left the table and when she returned she sat obviously displaying her hands, it took a matter of seconds for him to notice, the intense look the young man focussed on her hands impossible to miss the stone set in the ring caught the light and scattered a rainbow of colours across the walls.

The diner was always at its very quietest the week following the school winter break; Roman talked to the sole occupants an elderly couple passing through on there way to visit family, there were still several hours to before the school closed and the local teens would arrive filling the place with noise and movement he thought. As the old couple left he thought back to last winter Aden and Bell had been back in the bay for a visit with there son, he ran round full of life and questions, asking why to everything his parents told him, and running Belle ragged. He thought how different things were now. Belle would love to be able to return to those moments.

He had tried to stay in touch with her after Aden had left but it was difficult, he had been to close and now he relied on second hand information relayed by Irene and Nicole.

Irene arrived some time later they had been business partners for eleven years now and friend too, it seemed like this was the only partnership that had not been rocked over the last months.

“Annie called, I wish I could be up their for Belle instead of her, she hates her job, not that she’d tell Belle, she has been looking for others but any thing she’d like to do she’d have to move for, there’s not much up there for a girl like her. The town was great for Belle and ….” Irene’s voice faded unable to mention his name.

Roman understood.

She continued a drop of venom in her voice when she mentioned Aden “her job on the local paper his as a teacher and the footy coach, then her work as a photographer as well. I would go and stay with her to help but I know what she would say, I’m just glad she seems not to notice what Annie is doing for her, there was only one person she would ever except help from and he’s run off!!”

Roman nodded in the right places knowing Irene needed to vent

“They had both been through so much and come out the other side when they were in the Bay” Roman said

His thoughts continued when Aden had decided to go to uni Belle had followed and herself decided to study media, they had married then travelled together for a while before settling down and starting a family. To those who had didn’t know about what happened when they were here they seemed like the luckiest couple.

“I just wish there was a way to help them” Roman hopelessly said, it was old ground “Aden phoned Nicole last week, he’s in Italy at the moment drifting from one place to the next avoiding his memories, it’s not easy for him ether”

“Geoff didn’t say” Irene responded “although I get the feeling things are difficult between him and Nicole”

“I think he feels Nicole being there for Aden is a betrayal of Belle, it’s difficult for her and she needs all the support she can get with the baby due soon, she feels so guilty keeping the pregnancy from them both and to start with I agreed, Belle and Aden couldn’t have coped, now I just wish they’d let us tell them”.

Hope you found this interesting

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Sorry for the delay mad week loads to do then bought myself a new ipod and got distracted from this anyway i've tryed to write some fluff in this one so hear goes....

Chapter 5

They say you should see Paris in the spring but for him Venice by twilight was the most magical place of all; it had been where they had visited before taking their backpackers tour of Europe. He had been saving madly to afford a lovely hotel just a short walk from the Rialto. It was to be a compete change from the hostels they would be staying in over the reminder of there trip and the shared houses they had been in the last months whilst working in London. They had now been married six months and he wanted to celebrate and surprise his wife.

He had taken charge as they had arrive at the train station booking a water taxi, Bell was absorbed in her photography as he gave the destination, as they arrived she was still trying to capture the faded magic with her camera. He called her grabbing the bags as she followed still unaware of his surprise. They passed through the dark entrance and into the plush reception did she realise her husband’s subterfuge.

He watched as the confused look was replaced by the broadest of smiles. The look between them was electric the passion obvious. They quickly filled out the forms and they were shown to their room he took her hand in his, tipping the bell boy quickly they shut the door. As it closed and they were alone he leant in and his lips brushed hers, at first as lightly as a cobweb brushing hers then as she tried to kiss her more forcefully he pulled away fractionally to tease her, she rose onto her tiptoes to meet him there kiss became more frantic......

In these months he had been wandering, to most people it would have seemed to be aimless meandering but it wasn’t, he was only visiting new places; places with no memories, no history, places that didn’t bring her face into the clearest of views as soon as the name was spoken. He still wanted her, she was the only person who made his life make sense but after this he knew she wouldn’t want him so he would have to keep running, wouldn’t he?

Knowing it was going to happen had not made this any easier, this was the first time he had been somewhere which held memories for him. It had been unavoidable, but it was only a couple of hours at a station, but it was this station, in Venice it would he knew be hard and now it seemed like he was stuck, his train the last one for the night had been cancelled.

He was running from his memories. Trying to hide from what he was feeling was something he had tried before and he knew it didn’t work but he felt he had no other option. This pain was too vivid to raw, the counselling he had had before had gone out of the window he couldn’t live without them he couldn’t stop the pain Belle felt.

There was no life for him; no way he felt he could be in their relationship without BEN.

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So you know by now this isn't going to be fun but this is important it's the first time we hear from another important person in this story it's probably the hardest chapter and the most messed up but that goes with the story. So take a very deep breath.

Chapter 6 Warning: Describes suicidal thoughts and death

She woke slowly the sun streaming between the gap between the curtains she lay silently her eyes on the peaceful face of her sleeping husband she smiled to herself, this was the best time of the day she considered those moments between day and night when the day was full unfulfilled promise and nothing had happened to spoil it. She heard footsteps bounding towards the bedroom door. Her husband woke of to this their normal morning alarm and kissed her on the forehead then softly on the lips, the door was barged open and in arrived that little tornado of energy, the wonderful centre to their universe, their pride and joy, their son Ben.

The day had started like many others, after a couple of minutes of cuddles her husband jumped out of bed taking the boy and gave him some breakfast. She hurriedly dressed remembering which assignment she was covering dressing appropriately, well it wouldn’t do to turn up to a local dignitaries funeral in bright colours and conversely that outfit wouldn’t be great for a fun day at the local kindergarten (she wouldn’t have thought like this as a decade ago) she rushed through to the disorder of her kitchen packed lunches and discarded breakfast dishes and took over while her husband prepared for work. When he returned dressed and looking as sexy as she always thought, the feelings for her husband were different than when they fell in love she considered but no less strong, more rounded especially since Ben was born. She left hurriedly grabbing her bags and kissing both of them grabbing the car keys as she swept out of the door. She thought of the pair of them as she drove to the photographic assignment she was working on, she knew there routine her husband dressing their son, putting on his sunscreen and hat before taking him to the childminder.

But that day was a day like no other; it was the last morning, for her it was the day the world ended.

To say she had just woken would be a mistake, that implied she had slept sleep had evaded her in these last months as the sun evades a polar winter.

As she arose groggily the radio playing quietly in the kitchen and the smell of coffee permeated the air. She padded into the kitchen almost in a dream and for one delicious moment expected to see her husband and son. Instead her vacant, dead eyes were met by Annie, loyal, dependable Annie and with that realisation her hart sunk like lead.

10:56:11am that was the moment, the moment her world fell to pieces, a call from an unknown number was not unusual, another job she had thought as she let the phone ring out and continuing to drive, seconds later it rang again she noticed it was the same number she looked to pull over as she stopped it rang out second later it piped up again a knot formed in her stomach there was something wrong, she picked up the phone.

“Hello Belle Jeffries”

“Mrs Jeffries there has been an incident we need you to return to town” the disembodied voice at the end of the line responded.

The knot in Belle’s stomach grew, she didn’t recognise the voice.

“Incident, what incident” She nervously responded

“It’s Ben, he’s had an accident, just a bump to the head. Keep calm and come back he’s at the hospital” The voice said not all together convincingly

She felt like she was being lied to and she didn’t like it.

Her head throbbed; she reached the sink and without speaking she pours a tumbler of water completely ignoring the pitiful looks she receives from her house mate and step sister Annie, Belle continued silently picking up a bottle of tablets, like most morning she counted the tablets considering the consequences of taking them all, who would miss her now she considered, she didn’t have a son to look after now, no husband no life just a day to day existence but it is only the merest moment before some primeval survival instinct kicks in only allowing her to take the prescribed dose.

She arrived at hospital in a state of blind panic, she burst through the door not knowing what to expect. Her husband sat, his body seething with contained anger. As she approached him to ask about Ben the look in his eyes was so frozen it chilled her, she knew there was something really wrong, he was incapable of noticing her let alone speaking.

“I’m sorry Mr and Mrs Jeffries.” The approaching doctor announced “Please take a seat, we did everything possible but the head injures lead to an intracranial bleed this caused Bens condition to deteriorate rapidly, we did everything we could but we were unable to save him. Ben died at 1:13

“Ben” She wailed before collapsing to the floor in a dead faint.

It seemed hours later when the police came to talk to her.

“I’m sorry Mrs Jeffries. Your child minder was waiting to cross Bridge road on the way to the park when a ute swerved out of control, they were hit and the vehicle ploughed into the wall witnesses called the paramedics and Ben was brought to hospital with head injuries. The childminder and the driver of the vehicle were pronounced dead at the scene; the driver is thought to be speeding and was drunk. All I can say is how sorry we are to have to bring you this news”

All Belle shock cracked and the realisation came crashing through that Ben, her Ben, he was.....

He was dead.

She sat glass eyed staring into space.

She should work, do something a voice in her head told her but then another responded what is the point, there is nothing to work for now, no family, no one.

She was alone in the world.

Sorry I know this was hard reading it was really difficult to write.

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I'm feeling like I'm on a bit of a roll, I've edited this chapter at work today (don't tell my boss). So you wait for a bus then two come at once and at the moment it's like that with this fic!!!

I hope you like it. It's been great to have such lovely comments.

Chapter 7

A kind of auto pilot had taken hold over these last days as he had organised the funeral arrangements but now with it all done his resolve was crumbling not that you would see it from the outside. In his head he pondered how could so many things have been taken from him, had it only been 8 days he asked himself, it already felt like years had passed since that morning, a morning when everything had been beautiful, his wife, his son, his life. It had all been perfect, to perfect, a life he did not deserve. The insecurities from his past had returned. He was ruined and undeserving of this life the pain and misery he and his family had inflicted upon them selves and other was returning to haunt him.

Of cause his son had been taken from him by some drunk, it was retribution, he had hindered the investigation into the fatal accident his father had caused, the useless drunk that he was then, and yet he could feel that same need, the need not to feel that had caused he fathers alcoholism it was calling him that senseless oblivion. He knew he could be saved, she could always save him, one word, one action and he would be saved, but she couldn’t she was in to much pain, to much anguish to respond to him, to his pain.

All there disjointed non-conventional family were there to support them and as hard as they tried he knew nether he or his wife could be helped through this by any one else. Nicole was watching remote from all around her grief making her utterly unapproachable, Roman was there feeling as if he should support him but not having the words to help, he was unable to penetrate the icy shell Aden had surrounded himself with. Irene was with his wife, but she was wrapped in a veil of tears penetrated only by the dreamless drug induced sleep, which she eventually succumbed too, the only thing fragmenting the time since she had been told. So consumed was she by the all consuming grief she felt.

He sat in the empty station the force of his emotions riddling him with guilt, he should never have left but he couldn’t go back, could he, he would hurt her to much. As he sat the station bench grew colder and harder beneath him. His exhaustion made him less able to keep control over his wandering mind, his thoughts travelled back the pain of his grief all the more vicious without alcohol to take the edge of his feelings.

Belle was gaunt and pail left the house for the first time to attend the funeral, the mocking sun beat down on them as they all followed Roman carrying the small white box. Geoff took the service his voice cracked with emotion explained in the most appropriate words he could find the minutest fraction of the emotion they all felt. Geoff’s face a familiar resting place for his eyes to focus on as he tried not to feel, not to break. He moved his hand to take hers to offer her all the comfort he could muster. The movement of her hand was so sharp, so vicious and unyielding as she moved it away and took with it her whole body and yet at the same time it was subtle no one else would have known. To the angry man it spoke volumes it told him she did not want him.

He thought again, how he could have left her? Still berating himself he pulled his coat round him tighter but the fabric failed to prevent the damp from penetrating him causing shivers to pulsate through him. It must have been self preservation he concluded, he had left because her pushing him away frightened him and he knew he wouldn’t come with it so he’d run before she could push him.

He needed, needed someone, someone who he could talk to about Ben, maybe Nicole, she would be there, she had been in the past, his sister but better than that, she choose to be there.

The phone rang and rang, he needed her now, ring, ring, ring, there was going to be no answer, there was only one other person who could help he realised, one other person who would be there for him unquestioningly, Roman.

It rang and on the second tone Roman picked up answering expectantly


“No. Umm...it’s urr...Aden” he answered confused

“Sorry mate I was expecting a call, how are you I haven’t heard from you for ages”

“I’m umm... I’m fine, how’s Nicole I can’t get hold of her?”

“She’s fantastic and the bay....” Roman stumbled

“The bay...?” Aden repeated

“Sorry mate, I wasn’t met to tell you but I suppose I better tell you, you were in such a mess they thought you wouldn’t cope, Nicole she’s had a baby, a little girl”

A different mix of emotions came over Aden, this was not all about him and Ben this was sadness, regret and anger but due to missing out on this special time, something which he could have shared with Nicole but something positive which may have brought himself and Belle move together to a new future. Most of all Aden felt an abject sense of loneliness, he needed them and the pain he knew being with them would cause was no longer being comparable with the benefits.

It was time to go home and face his problems.

It was time to face Belle

I'll try to update soon but it could easily be Tuesday at the earliest before I can update again.

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Thank you all for your lovely comments hope you like this, the next to chapters have been difficult couldn't get them to read right.

Chapter 8

She was only vaguely managing to hold herself together, she couldn’t have missed this but it was taking every ounce of the little strength she had to stand and sit at the appropriate times anything more and she knew she would fall apart. She felt him moving closer to her trying to offer her a shoulder to cry on, an arm to lean on but she could not share this, she worried it would be too much, that she could not bear it, and that the sight of her falling apart would be too much for him, he had so much to deal with, it wasn’t just losing a child and the feeling of having failed to protect them, he also had to deal with the similarities to Axle’s death. He wouldn’t and couldn’t have the strength to cope with sharing this, so she felt must not burden him. He stepped forward and Roman with him picked up that white box and they, together moved onwards out of the church and into the light.

Move on, Move on, MOVE ON.

The sensible voice in her head screamed loudly at her.

“The blank pages of my diary,

That I haven't touched since you left me,

The closed blinds in my home

See no light of day.

Dust gathers on my stereo

Cos I can't bare to hear the radio

The piano sits in a shaded space

With a picture of your face.

I'm scared to face another day

Cos the fear in me just won't go away.

In an instant, you were gone and I'm scared.”

(Duffy I’m Scared)

The stereo played quietly in the background the song lyrics seemed to say everything, making her realize just how little she’d cared about herself how indulgent she had been, yes the last year had been hard but it wasn’t going to improve unless she made it happen. She had this week succeeded more than in any previous week in moving forward. She had been out a little more, visiting the paper, picking up some groceries even cooking dinner one evening, then sitting and eating it without chasing every mouthful round the plate then leaving most of it, her bird like appetite surpassed. It must have been obvious that she was starting to move forward little by little day by day, the improvement had been noticed she realised when Annie had cautiously broached leaving her so she could visit Geoff and Nicole, she had only seen Geoff briefly since she had got back to Australia and Belle realised that was now months ago, months when Annie had been worried to leave her, even for the brief hours she was working.

Sat over a simple meal Belle broke the impenetrable silence that so often accompanied their meals.

“Annie” Belle called to her the young woman who had been there for her with unquestioning loyalty come what may since it happened, she continued “You talked about visiting Geoff; I thought we should go together, I need to get away”

“But I, you, we, I mean we can’t” Annie stumbled “I mean I’d have to check, umm.... ask if it was convenient, I’m not sure if they have room”

The panic building in the young womans voice as she struggled to think how to change the subject, unable to think of a valid reason for Belle not to visit with her and knowing that the trip could help her coming to terms with Ben

“We could stay longer and visit the Irene in the Bay while we are down there” Belle said sounded almost excited, for the first time in a long time.

I heard the song and went that's Belle

I might put up another bit later cause they sort of go together

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Chapter 9

He had observed changes in her watched as she seemed to be tense around him as if there was some one else in the room, she had been tearful and slightly reserved, even before they had found out about the Ben’s death. With the news all of them had changed an he had forgotten his previous concerns, when everything had been wrong little things had been masked, that is until she became sick, and that had worried him, it was unlike her and she wouldn’t talk, she just became more and more distant at first he had thought it was grief but as it got worse he became confused. That morning it had all fallen into place, the brooding look on her face, the mood swings, everything. His wife announced they were having a baby, she had been so overcome that she had lost track of time, he was excited and proud but all the emotion he was feeling was tempered by memories, memories of Ben and of the pain it would cause Belle. He decided she couldn’t find out now it would hurt her too much.

Nicole sat feeding their daughter Naomi, he was transfixed by the exquisite scene he was watching, the intensity of the feelings he had took him by surprise. He felt like the problems they had faced melted away and his love for his wife was renewed, his faith was restored. There was only one problem left in his life, how to tell Belle, she needed to know, his guilt took over him for the briefest of moments, but she was starting to improve, he would have to let her know and soon.

“B...B...Belle” he stuttered

“Geoff, you seem surprised, this is my phone”

“I know, ummm... How are you?”

“Better you know.” She replied

Geoff didn’t know but agreed with her anyway. “I have some news, ur... well... um... a while back Nicole ur.... found out that she was umm... well....

“Oh whatever you have to tell me just get on with it Geoff” Belle snapped

“I’m sorry we didn’t tell you we weren’t sure it was good timing but anyway she told me she was pregnant and um last week she well we um had a little girl, we have called her Ruth.” He finished

The silence that was received from the other end of the phone was deafening as she slowly absorbed the information she had received. Seconds passed into minutes before Belle responded. The guilt Geoff felt was torturous, both because he had kept this from Belle and more so for his joy at becoming a father.

“Well, congratulations they are both well?” Belle asked with a tone so that sounded so disinterested she may as well have been asking about the weather.

“Yes,” Geoff responded “they are well”

Belle interrupted hastily “I’ll have to go, speak soon.” Tears began to fall from her eyes, running in steady streams down her face, a reservoir of repressed emotion was finally breached, she slumped to the ground her legs unable to carry her weight for a moment longer.

Sorry this was really short but when I wrote it it was quite snappy especialy the end, but they both know about the baby now and you'll proberbly get the next bit on Thursday/Friday when ever I'm in next and don't have to much work, I've prity much written it but I want to write the next bit incase I want to change a bit.

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So I worked my problem out and didn't need to change things round in the end. There is no flash back in this one.

Hope you all enjoy it

Chapter 10

Leaving the airport the realisation dawned there was no escaping it now, there was now no were else to go, I want to be here the traveller repeated to them self convincing them self less and less each time the words cycled through there head. Walking to the bus station the weight of there bags seemed like the weight of there troubles. The slow journey from the city towards the place that had once been home seemed to take an age, the unending road wound out of the city and up the coast, the realisation that this journey could have been quicker if a call had been made if someone was expecting them occurred to the passenger more than once, there leaden eye lids closing as the music from an iPod shut out the excited chatter of fellow travellers the melancholy notes perfectly reflecting the way they felt.

On reaching Yabbie Creek the passenger left the bus, moving so slowly the driver had thought all those to leave had already done so and started to re-enter the bus as he met the weary traveller. A taxi was hailed for the remainder of the journey; the traveller had relented and considered they were incapable of waiting the three quarters of an hour for the service bus which at this time of day would be full of youngsters returning from shopping trips. The exhausted passenger in the car that pulled up had to be awoken from their fitful sleep as they arrived at their destination. The driver announced the price and the passenger fumbled with their money before retrieving there bags from the back seat.

Stepping away from the road and towards the beach the sun shone onto the water were it was scattered up by its movement, for a second the traveller stood transfixed breathing in the salty air as they did “Umm... home” he announced to no one in particular.

The diner door pushed open, head down to counteract the weight of the rucksack he almost walked into an unfamiliar waitress who almost spilled the contents of the plates she was carrying down him. He headed for the kitchen she called out for him to stop as he passed the counter, her eyes along with all those of the customers followed him as he continued the couple of steps it took to reach the entrance the kitchen. As he reached the door frame he leaned against it as if he was unable to take the weight bearing down upon him Roman gasped with surprise as he looked at him, it was not just that he was not expecting the newcomer he looked so different, the unkempt hair and beard framed a face so sallow and gaunt Roman almost feared he was ill. This was not the Aden he knew peering feebly round the door.

“I was hoping you could put me up for a bit? Just until I get myself sorted” Aden muttered exhaustedly

“Sure mate,” Roman replied with an ease that sounded like he’d been asked for a cup of sugar “You can stay as long as you need, you know that.”

“Grab a seat and a coffee” Roman continued after a pause “I’ll come back with you” He reached for the phone to call Irene to swap a shift.

Aden reached an unoccupied table, his coffee arrived and he took two sips before his head drooped into his arms and he fell asleep unaware of the noise in the shop. No more than five minutes had passed when Irene entered the diner, she was about to approach the tramp like sleeping customer to move them on when Roman left the kitchen and called out to her diverting her from her mission, he figured it the noise hadn’t kept Aden awake this wouldn’t and although Irene and him would have to meet and deal with their problems this was not the time. He looked again at the sleeping figure he looked almost helpless, not like the villain of the piece, abandoning his grieving wife to go on some jolly around Europe like they had suggested.

Roman woke him carefully and took him home.

“Hello” the voice at the end of the phone answered

“Guess where I am” Aden asked

“Aden! Your home aren’t you” She continued

“Yes, I’m at your Dad’s” Aden informed her

“I’m so glad your home” Nicole replied “We’ve all been so worried, well Dad and I have. Dad said you found out about Naomi, I’m so sorry we didn’t tell you about her. Geoff was worried that it would hurt you too much”

“It’s alright” He replied “I’ve had time to come to terms with it, I don’t think I could have dealt with it so soon after the funeral, but now, now it has made me realise where I wanted to be and that I needed to come home. It’s the next bit that’s going to be difficult. Whatever else had happened leaving has only made it worse. I’m going to have to face up to Belle; I shouldn’t have left, we have to talk....” his voice drifted off as he could find no more words to explain the sorrow he felt for causing more pain for Belle.

“…..but I guess she won’t want to speak to me” he continued eventually.

Hope you enjoyed it and can I just say thanks for all your comments, they make me want to keep writting.

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