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A Mothers Love

Guest Danni02

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Thank you CharlieandBrax4Ever, beebee, Red Ranger 1, Kristen, pembie, Sarah, JosieTash, Zoe and Spotd1 for the comments. I don’t feel that pleased with this one, but hopefully it doesn’t disappoint. This one may be upsetting to some readers.

Chapter 41

Romeo was out in the hallway, talking to Sid. Ruby had requested that she wanted to go home to die. She didn’t want to die in the hospital; she wanted to be in a place she loved with the two people she loved more than anything. “So, we’re going to take Ruby home,” Romeo cleared his throat, keeping himself composed as he spoke to Sid. “It’s where she wants to be.”

“I think it’s best for Ruby if we keep her in the hospital.” Sid replied.

“Why?” Romeo questioned.

“There are medical staff here in case -”

“In case of what?” Romeo interrupted. “In case she dies and you revive her and then the Cancer will be gone?” Romeo gave a sort of laugh. “Don’t do this to us. Let her be where she wants to be.”

“Romeo I am not doing this on purpose, but -”

“Then discharge her. Let her be where she wants when she passes on.” Romeo said, fighting back the urge to yell and punch him in the face out of anger. Of course it wasn’t Sid’s fault, he’d done everything he could for Ruby, but he was the bearer of bad news and Romeo wanted so much to hit him for the heartache he’d brought upon them.

“Look Romeo I -”

“What’s taking so long?” Charlie questioned as the door opened.

“He won’t discharge her.” Romeo said as he looked to Charlie.

“Oh you have got to be kidding,” Charlie shook her head. “She is leaving this hospital.”

“I’m sorry; I can’t let you do that.” Sid shook his head.

“Romeo, go and get Ruby,” Charlie said as she gestured for him to get back into the room. Romeo, without having to think about it, did as he was asked and walked back into the room. “She wants to die at home and you should respect that.”

“Charlie if you take Ruby out of this hospital then it’ll be kidnap.” Sid said seriously.

Charlie gave a laugh of disbelief. “I can’t kidnap my own daughter.”

“Please just sit down, take 5 minutes to think about this,” Sid said. “This is the best place for her.”

“Maybe if you could save her,” Charlie replied. “But you can’t. So what difference is it going to make if you let her go home to where she wants to be?” Charlie questioned as Romeo appeared back at the door with a gravely ill looking Ruby in his arms. Charlie looked to them before she started to walk away from the room, with Romeo following her. Sid exhaled as he rubbed his forehead. He knew if he was in that situation he would want his son or his daughter to be at home as they wished. It was already a devastating time for Charlie and Romeo and they didn’t need him making it not how they wanted it to be.

“Charlie, wait,” Sid shouted out after them, but of course thinking he would stop them, they kept on walking. “Charlie,” Sid shouted before he ran down the corridor after her, reaching out to her arm causing her to stop walking and look up to him. “I’ll get the discharge papers.” Sid said and Charlie gave him a thankful smile before he walked off to get the papers ready.


For the next eight days, Charlie and Romeo tried to keep Ruby as comfortable as they could. No one would talk of what was going to happen, they just wanted to enjoy their last days together. They mostly never left the house on fear that she wouldn’t be strong enough and she’d pass on sooner. They played bored games, card games, watched TV and movies together, but Ruby’s favourite thing to do was snuggle in bed in-between her mother and her boyfriend, feeling their warmth and their love. She knew she could die happy. She loved to rest her head against her mother’s stomach and feel the baby sister that she was sadly never going to meet kicking and moving around. Over the last eight days she’d had visits from Alf, Colleen, Irene, Marilyn, Roo, Leah, Miles and VJ, Darcy and Heath, Dexter and April, saying their last goodbyes and reminiscing about the fun times that they’d had together. Ruby knew on that 9th morning when she woke, that it was going to be today. She’d prepared herself and was ready to go, but she knew that Romeo and Charlie weren’t yet ready to say goodbye, to let her go, and she knew she needed to talk with them and let them know how much she loved them. “Romeo.” Ruby spoke quietly as she held her hand out, finding him not to far away from the bed, sitting staring down on her as she slept.

“Yeah, Rubes?” Romeo stroked her forehead softly.

“I want....” Ruby paused, finding more breath to talk. “Take me to the....” Ruby once again took a moment to muster enough strength to talk. Romeo heard the dramatic change in her voice from yesterday and immediately felt himself welling up.

“I know,” Romeo nodded his head. “I know where you want to go.” Romeo walked over to the chair where Charlie was sitting and lightly shook her shoulder. “Charlie,” Romeo said softly causing Charlie’s eyes to flutter open. “Ruby wants to go on a little trip; can you go start up the car?”

Charlie nodded lightly as she stood up from the chair and glanced at her daughter for a moment, looking so helpless, like all sense life have been drained from her. She knew it was going to happen soon. Without talking she left the room and walked down the stairs, grabbing the car keys, before going outside and unlocking the car, before opening the back door as she saw Romeo walking out with Ruby in his arms. They got themselves into the car and Romeo told Charlie where to drive too, Charlie having to try her best not to cry as she was driving. She reached their location fairly quickly; it wasn’t that far out of the bay. She parked up the car and turned to face her daughter and saw the littlest of smiles on her face at where she was. The cliff top that over looked the bay, her favourite place to be, a place that not only meant something to her and Romeo, but also to her and Charlie. The first place that Charlie and Ruby stopped off at, looking down on the bay before moving there many years ago now, the place where she’d had her first and many more dates with Romeo. It was only fitting that this was also the last place she was with them too. Romeo lifted her out of the car and walked up the path before they all took a seat on the ground overlooking the crystal blue waters that were shining as the sun hit against them. “I love it out here.” Ruby smiled as she sat in-between Romeo and her mother, placing one hand onto her mother’s stomach to feel if the baby was moving.

“Yeah it’s gorgeous out here.” Charlie answered quietly as she put her hand on top of her daughters. She was colder than normal, but she figured that was just to be expected.

“Remember our first date here?” Romeo gave a little laugh. “It was such a disaster.”

“Couldn’t have been.....” Ruby voice was getting raspy. “That bad....you....” Ruby swallowed. “Still got me didn’t you?”

“I did,” Romeo smiled as he gently cupped Ruby’s cheek with his hand and rubbed it ever so slightly with his thumb. “I love you so much Ruby.”

“I love you too,” Ruby gave him a smile. “And....I want....” Ruby paused for a minute. “Go travelling. Go see all the places we talked about seeing and more. Please....live the life we.....want.....we wanted,” Romeo pursed his lips together as he felt a lone tear rolling down his cheek. “And you’ll find someone who you.....someone to love and you’ll be an amazing father one day.....don’t.....” Ruby once again paused. “Just promise me you’ll let yourself be....happy.”

Romeo shook his head lightly. “Not without you.”

“Mmm hmm,” Ruby nodded. “You promise Romeo Smith.....you promise....me.”

“I’ll try,” Romeo squeaked as his voice broke as a second tear rolled down his cheek. “I promise.”

Ruby smiled before she leaned forward and placed a soft kiss on his lips before turning to face her mother. “Mum.....” Ruby already saw tears streaming down her mother’s face. “I love you so much......when you.....when we were sisters you....” Ruby took a deep breath as Charlie rubbed her back.

“It’s okay....I know,” Charlie sniffed back. “You don’t have to say anything sweetheart, just rest.”

“No....I want too,” Ruby answered. “I don’t have long....and I.....” Ruby took a moment. “You were the best sister I could have asked for.....you didn’t have much chance to be......to be my mother but the short time we had as mother and daughter.....you were great and I.....you’ll be.....that’s one lucky baby,” Ruby rubbed her mother’s stomach as the baby kicked. “You’ll tell her...... about me, right?”

“Of course I will.” Charlie sniffed back as she rubbed her daughter’s cheek.

“Tell her......I would have loved to have met her.....and tell her......tell her I love her,” Ruby exhaled, feeling weaker and weaker with each breath she took. Charlie took a deep breath not wanting the moment to say goodbye to come. This wasn’t how life was supposed to go. She shouldn’t ever have to bury her child. “And you too mum, you move on.....don’t be sad about me....I’ve had a great life....enjoy the baby and anymore kids you’ll have....please get your act together and be happy with the man you love....” Ruby swallowed as she began to feel drowsier, ready to stop talking, ready to rest, ready to pass on. “I love you so much mum.....I even love....you’re cooking attempts,” Charlie and Romeo managed a little laugh at Ruby’s comment. “I just love you so much.”

“I love you too.” Charlie whispered before placing a soft kiss on her daughters head before pulling back and looking into her eyes. There was no fight left; Charlie knew it would be soon. Ruby used the last of her strength to lie down, leaning her head against her mother’s legs. Charlie put one hand onto her daughters head and stroked it gently as she saw Ruby taking one of Romeo’s hands into hers. She exhaled lightly as she felt Romeo’s other hand slipping into hers and not saying a word, she took a tighter grip of his, and they sat there in almost silence, just the occasional sound of a bird tweeting, as they waited for Ruby to take her final breath.

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Thank you all so much for the comments. I hope this one doesnt disappoint.

Chapter 42

Charlie was standing in the church, looking down on everyone. She’d been asked up to give her eulogy but she didn’t want to talk. She just wanted to run, run from the church and away from all the people. They meant well, they were only there to support Charlie, to pay their last respects to Ruby, but Charlie wasn’t ready, she’d never be ready to say goodbye to her daughter and the thought of talking in that church right now terrified her. She took a deep breath as she looked down to the sheet of paper where she had written what she wanted to say, and exhaled as a tear drop fell from her eye and blurred even more of the writing. She looked back up to the church and felt overwhelmed at how full it was, at how many people’s lives Ruby must have touched. Everyone from the bay was there to say goodbye, Ruby’s teachers and close friends, her classmates. She saw him sitting in the back, tucked away in the corner. She could shout out that he wasn’t welcome and she wanted him to leave, but understood that he just wanted to pay his respects; after all, at the end of the day, no matter how much Charlie wanted to deny it, he was her father. “I can’t.....I can’t read this....” Charlie shook her head as she focused her eyes on Romeo. After her, he was hurt by this the most and it was easiest to pretend she was talking to him and try to push everyone else sitting in the church from her mind, it was easier, she felt, the only way she’d get through reading it. “It’s all smudged with my tears,” Charlie pursed her lips together as she took a moment to compose herself, before folding up the piece of paper. It was no use trying to read it now. She would just have to say what she could remember of it, whatever came to her mind as she was standing up there. “I shouldn’t be standing here today saying goodbye to my daughter.....because.....how can I? I’m not supposed to be burying my child and I’m never ever going to be able to say goodbye. There are no words to describe how I feel right now and even though I’m surrounded by my friends and Romeo, I’ve never felt more alone in all my life than I have these past few days without Ruby. She was more than just my daughter.....she was.....we had something special and I....” Charlie trailed off as she felt more tears rolling down her cheeks. “She was the life of the party and she was a kind, sweet, smart, caring, bright, passionate girl and....” Charlie took a deep breath. “I’m sorry....I can’t....” Charlie broke down in tears, taking a step back. Brax wiped a tear from his eye before going to get up to comfort Charlie. He hated seeing her so upset; he hated himself for not being there for her when they were trying to fight this. Just as he was about to stand he noticed Romeo already on his way up to Charlie, so he sat back, knowing right now, Romeo was going to provide a better support than he ever could. Romeo wrapped his arm around Charlie and she buried her head against his chest as the tears continued to stream down her face. Romeo cleared a lump from his throat before he took a deep breath and looked out to the full church.

“My heads not really in the best place at the moment so I left what I wanted to say back at the house,” Romeo exhaled. “Ruby would have been annoyed at me for that....you know, not being fully prepared,” Romeo paused as a little laughter escaped the church. “I’m not going to say a lot. It’s not needed. Everyone knows how great Ruby was and she touched all of our lives in some way and you all have your own memories of her. Happy memories, good memories, the not so good memories, funny memories, maybe even sad memories but memories all the same. Ruby was an amazing, one of a kind girl and I’m always going to love her,” Romeo lightly rubbed Charlie’s back as he spoke, Charlie staying with her head buried against his chest. “She’ll be sadly missed forever.” Romeo looked down as a tear rolled down from his cheek. He cleared his throat before walking back down to the bench, his arm still around Charlie in support. They sat down and looked up to the minister, both of them wanting this to be over soon, it was too hard for them to sit through much more, but they both knew that going up to the graveyard and seeing the coffin being lowered into the ground was going to be the hardest part of the day. Romeo took a deep breath as he linked hands with Charlie as the minister began to continue with the service.


Charlie, Romeo, Leah, Miles, VJ, Marilyn, Colleen, Irene, Alf, Sid, April, Dex, Brax, Heath, Darcy and Bianca all went back to Charlie’s house. As soon as the door opened Romeo ran off up the stairs and the sounds of a door slamming shut could be heard. Charlie took a seat on the couch, staring out blankly as people fussed around her, Leah sorting out the food she had prepared and Brax making sure people had a drink. “I think I am going to go home,” Bianca spoke quietly to Heath. “I don’t feel like she’ll want me here.”

“You’re paying your respects to Ruby,” Heath told her. “She won’t care about anything else today.” Heath gave Bianca’s arm a gentle rub.

“No, no, I am going to go,” Bianca said feeling uncomfortable with the situation. Although Bianca and Charlie talked a little more these days, she still wouldn’t say they were great friends and felt she shouldn’t be there. “Let the babysitter get home.”

“Rocco will be fine.” Heath said.

“I know he will,” Bianca answered. “But out of respect for Charlie I don’t want to over stay my welcome,” Bianca said. “She let me be at the funeral and I think that’s enough given how things are with us.”

“I don’t want it,” Bianca and Heath turned around as they heard Charlie shouting. They saw her pushing away a drink Brax was offering her. “Do you think if I drink that it’ll help?” Charlie spat.

“No, of course not,” Brax answered. “I just thought it would maybe help settle you a bit.”

“Settle me?” Charlie spat. “I buried my daughter today,” Charlie stood up from the couch. “You don’t have any idea how I am feeling, so don’t try to tell me that it’s just a God damn drink I need to feel settled,” Charlie yelled. “And like you don’t know I’m 7 and a half months pregnant so I can’t have a drink you idiot,” Brax exhaled lightly as he looked down to the floor. “Just get out, all of you.”

“Charlie,” Leah appeared from the kitchen, having heard her outburst. “We’re just trying to help.”

“I don’t need your help,” Charlie shouted. “I don’t want your pity. I just want all of you to leave.”

“Darl,” Irene stepped forward and tentatively placed her hand on Charlie’s arm. “Don’t do this to yourself. Just let us be here for you. Let us understand what you are going through.”

“Have any of you had to bury a child?” Charlie questioned, her heart breaking more and more each time she spoke. Everyone stared around at each other, before looking back to Charlie. “None of you will ever understand my pain and hurt so just get out....now.” Charlie yelled as she walked over to the door and opened it, pointing for everyone to leave. Everyone looked around at each other before they walked out of the house, doing as Charlie requested. Marilyn, Miles and Leah hung back in the driveway, with Irene taking VJ away with her.

“Maybe one of us should talk to her,” Marilyn spoke unsure as she looked to Miles. “We’ve both been there; we know exactly what she is going through."

“She wants us to go,” Miles answered. “She’s only just buried Ruby today. I think it’s too soon.”

“When is the right time Miles?” Leah asked. “I don’t expect there is one, is there?”

“I don’t think so anyway,” Marilyn answered. “You’re never going to feel ready but it’s something she has to face, and the sooner the better I think. She has the new baby coming soon. It’s important for that little one that we help her now.”

“Everyone is different,” Miles answered. “Just because we’ve been through what she is going through now.....it’s still different.”

“Please Miles,” Leah begged him. “Please talk to her.”

“Marilyn should do it,” Miles said, scared at the thought of having to talk to Charlie, of having to bring Amber back to the surface of his mind. “She’s a woman....a mother like she was.”

“Well maybe, but....” Marilyn exhaled. “You’re a lot closer to Charlie than I am,” Marilyn answered. “Maybe you should be the one to talk to her.”

Miles took a deep breath as Leah gave his hand a squeeze of encouragement. “Try. It’s all we ask.”

“Okay,” Miles nodded; knowing deep down that it probably would do Charlie some good talking to him about it. “I’ll eh....I’ll see you at home.” Leah gave a little nod before Miles walked back up the driveway to try to talk to Charlie.

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Thank you Freakie42, Sarah, beebee, Sabrina, Red Ranger 1, CharlieandBrax4Ever, caroline77, Zoe, Kristen, Spotd1 and JosieTash for the comments. RE killing Ruby off, it took me a while to decide if I should or not, but in the end I thought go for it, it will make a change from the always happy ending stories I see and hopefully it did surprise you all and wasn’t what you expected to happen with her. Anyways, thanks again for the comments and I hope you like this one...

Chapter 43

Miles knocked on the door before walking back into the house. He found Charlie sitting against the wall, tears streaming down her face as she hugged a photograph of her daughter. “I thought....I told.....you all to leave.” Charlie spoke through her tears.

“I’ve had to bury my daughter too,” Miles said as he sat down opposite Charlie, crossing his legs.

“And my wife on the same day,” Miles exhaled. “That was the hardest day of my life but it also means I know what you are going through.”

Charlie wiped the tears from her face before looking at Miles, keeping the photo of Ruby hugged close to her chest. “How can you continue on?” Charlie questioned. “You always look so happy now.”

“I am happy now,” Miles answered. “I have Leah and Veej and hopefully one day soon we’ll have a baby of our own,” Miles exhaled. “I didn’t use to be like this....it was hard and definitely not easy to think about moving on without them, but I don’t know, you just end up coping.”

“I don’t think I am ever going to be able to cope without Ruby,” Charlie shook her head as she felt fresh tears wanting to escape her eyes. “What did you....how did you deal with it?”

“Well I’m not going to tell you what I done,” Miles shook his head. “My way left me homeless with no friends to look out for me,” Miles said. “I don’t recommend that way. I eh, pushing away your friends is the worst possible thing you can do right now, trust me on that one.”

“But it’s so hard to be around them,” Charlie answered. “They pity me and feel sorry for me and I don’t need that from them. I just need them to be my friend.”

“It’s just because they care about you, Charlie,” Miles said as he leaned himself forward and gave her arm a light rub of comfort. “We all do and we just want you to know that you’re not alone.”

“I’ve never felt more alone in all my life,” Charlie sniffed back. “Even with the baby inside me I....what am I supposed to do with her now?”

“You’ll love her and be an amazing mother to her,” Miles answered. “Believe it or not, she will be a huge help in this,” Miles said. “It’s a new life that you get to love and care for and she’ll help you heal.”

“I don’t want her replacing Ruby.” Charlie cried.

“She won’t replace Ruby. I didn’t mean it like that,” Miles shook his head. “No one will ever replace Ruby but she’ll give you something to live for. She needs her mummy and you’re going to be great with her.”

“I eh...” Charlie shook her head. “I don’t know, I....” Charlie trailed off as she looked up the stairs. “I need to go talk to Romeo so can you leave now?” Charlie questioned.

“Sure,” Miles nodded as he stood up. “But eh, just remember that right now although you feel you’re not going to be able to cope, it gets easier....if that’s the right word to use. There’s always going to be moments when you think about Rubes and times where you feel you won’t make it through, but over time you learn to cope with it and carry on with your life because you know it’s what she would want.”

“I’ll try and remember that,” Charlie said as she gave Miles a thankful smile. “Now can eh....can you help me stand back up?” Charlie questioned.

“Of course.” Miles took Charlie’s hands into his and pulled her up to standing.

“Thank you.” Charlie said quietly as she pulled Miles into a hug. Miles smiled as he rubbed her back.

“I’m here to talk anytime, okay?” Miles said and Charlie nodded as she pulled back from the hug. She took a deep breath before she walked up the stairs, letting Miles see himself out. She stood outside Ruby’s bedroom and once again took a deep breath before she knocked on the door and walked in, seeing Romeo sitting down against the wall, the tears streaming from his face as he held onto a picture of Ruby, this one with him in it also. She walked over to Romeo and took a seat next to him, not yet talking, just waiting on him to speak first.

“I eh...sorry, I know it was rude of me to come up here, but I....” Romeo paused. “I’m not in the mood for mingling.”

“It’s okay,” Charlie answered. “I sent everyone home. I’m not in the mood either.”

Romeo looked down to the picture of the two of them, taken at Dexter’s birthday party, just a month at most before Ruby got diagnosed with the leukaemia. “I know that we were just young, but.....she was the one, Charlie. There was just something about her that made me never want to let her go. She was mines for life. We were so in love and I....” Romeo stopped talking as a tear rolled down his cheek.

“I know,” Charlie nodded her head as she set her eyes on the photograph, her daughter’s beauty, her cheeky smile staring back up at her. “You had something special and I could see that you were for keeps.”

“We had so many plans. The travelling, getting married, having our children,” Romeo pushed back more tears. “I can’t believe I’m never going to have any of that.”

“Romeo,” Charlie exhaled lightly as she placed her hand on his shoulder. “You’re so young, you can still have all that,” Charlie said. “I know you won’t be thinking about it right now, but one day, when you’re ready, you will move on and find someone else.”

“Uh-uh,” Romeo shook his head. “No one will ever come close to Ruby. She was amazing and I don’t want to be with anyone else but her.” Charlie exhaled knowing one day, Romeo would be ready to move on, but of course on the day he buried Ruby, he wasn’t ever going to think it was possible.

“You could still have some of your dreams with Ruby,” Charlie said tentatively. “You can go travelling like you’d planned and see the world.”

“She won’t be with me so it’s not going to be the same.” Romeo answered.

“She’ll be with you,” Charlie said. “In your heart and in your memories. She might not be able to physically be there but she’ll be with you in spirit.” Romeo managed a weak smile at what Charlie had said and took some comfort in the fact that Ruby would always be with him in that way.

“Even if I did want go, I don’t have the money,” Romeo shook his head. “So, it’s not likely.”

“You don’t need to worry about money,” Charlie spoke softly. “I have money.”

“I can’t take your money.” Romeo replied.

“Technically it’s not all my money,” Charlie answered. “When my dad died he left me and Rubes everything. Ruby wasn’t allowed to have it until she was 18, so, I have her share of his money. You know I was looking after it until then, so money is no problem Romeo. I want you to have yours and Ruby’s dream. I want it to happen, for you to see everything you planned on seeing and more.”

“Wow, you’d really let me spend Ruby’s money?” Romeo questioned.

“Ruby loved you. And this was Ruby’s dream too,” Charlie answered. “So, I want you to know that when you feel ready to go that you don’t need to worry about the money, because Ruby will be helping make your dreams come true.”

“Thank you,” Romeo smiled down at Charlie as a tear rolled down his cheek. “That means so much to me.”

“Well you’re as good as my son-in-law Romeo,” Charlie said. “I’m always going to be here for you.”

Romeo gave Charlie another smile. “I guess you’ll want me to move out though, now Ruby is no longer....” Romeo trailed off not able to finish the sentence.

“Of course not,” Charlie shook her head. “I’ve just said you are as good as my son-in-law and you’re welcome to live here for as long as you want. As long as you don’t mind that in a month or so you’ll have a new born baby as a housemate.”

“No, I don’t mind at all,” Romeo answered. “I think the baby is going to be good for us, in the end.”

“Yeah, so I’ve been told,” Charlie pursed her lips together, still unsure about how she was going to handle the baby’s arrival. “But, we’ll get through this together Romeo, me and you, okay?” Charlie said before and Romeo gave a slightly nod before she leaned her head against Romeo’s shoulder as he wrapped his arm around her, both of them letting new tears fall as they sat in the room, in silence now, thinking about a life without Ruby.

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Thank you Zoe, Kristen, Sarah, Red Ranger 1 and Spotd1 for the comments.

Chapter 44

Charlie was leaning against the wooden fencing looking out to the beach. It had been a few days since the funeral, and a few days since she’d been out of her house. She and Romeo needed a few days by themselves and everyone seemed to respect that, but today she needed some fresh air, she needed to escape the house for a while. “Hey,” Charlie knew the voice; she didn’t need to turn around to know who it was. “Mind if I join you?” Charlie shook her head lightly. “No you don’t mind or no you don’t want me to join you?”

“The former,” Charlie answered quietly not looking around at him. “Surprised you want too,” Charlie exhaled. “I didn’t think you cared.”

“What makes you think that?” Brax questioned. “Of course I care....I....I love you Charlie.”

“You didn’t come to say goodbye,” Charlie felt her eyes stinging with tears as she spoke. “Miles, Leah, Dex and April, everyone....they came to say goodbye but you didn’t.”

“Yeah, but I....” Brax rubbed the back of his head. “I wanted to leave the time she had left for....I didn’t want to take away time from you. I thought you’d want to be with her as much as you could, and honestly, she could be scary when it came to people hurting you and I know I did that,” Brax exhaled. “She didn’t need to be getting herself all worked up.”

“I know she could be a bit stubborn and hold grudges like me, but she kept pushing me to work things out with you. I know she was mad with you at first for leaving us but she would have liked the chance to say goodbye, I know she would have.” Charlie wiped her hand across her eye as she looked at Brax for the first time since they’d started speaking.

“I’m sorry, Charlie,” Brax answered. “I was only doing what I thought was best.”

Charlie sighed lightly. “Well I guess there is no point in talking about it now. It’s not like you can talk to her. It’s not like you can say goodbye to her now.”

“I’m sorry,” Brax said again. “If I could turn back time I would but you know I can’t and maybe I can make it up to you by.....well I’ll always be here for you,” Brax put his hand onto Charlie’s arm and rubbed it gently. “And the baby...I.....I want to be there for both of you.”

“I’m glad someone does,” Charlie sniffed back. “Want to be there for the baby, I mean. This baby was supposed to save Ruby and now Ruby’s gone.....” Charlie trailed off. “Maybe I’ll feel different once she gets here but right now....I’m dreading the day that comes.”

“Charlie you are going to be great with this baby,” Brax exhaled. “I know you will.”

“You’ve got more faith in me than I do then.” Charlie sighed.

“Trust me, you’ll be fine,” Brax gently rubbed her arm once again. “So eh....have you eaten today?”

“Why?” Charlie questioned. “Want to make sure I’m not starving myself?”

Brax gave a little laugh. “I’m just heading up to work to do the books and thought I could make you a pasta dish or something. You said pizza didn’t sit so well these days, right? Maybe that’s stopped now I don’t know.”

“Oh I did say that didn’t I?” Charlie was surprised he remembered her saying that. She exhaled as she rubbed her stomach. She was hungry. “You don’t have to cook for me if you’re not open.”

“I don’t mind,” Brax shook his head. “I’m sure we’d both appreciate the company.”

“Okay, sure,” Charlie answered. “And eh, I’d love a pizza to be honest. I’ve not had one in so long.”

“You sure it’s not going to upset your stomach though?” Brax questioned as they started walk over to the restaurant.

“No,” Charlie bit her lip. “It won’t.” Charlie exhaled as she walked to the restaurant with Brax, glad not to be alone.


Charlie walked back into the house, and went up the stairs and knocked on the door of Romeo’s room, before walking in. She found him throwing all of Ruby’s clothes from the wardrobe, and into a garbage bag. “What are you doing?” Charlie questioned.

“She doesn’t need them anymore does she?” Romeo sniffed back. “May as well throw them out.”

“No Romeo, don’t,” Charlie walked forward and grabbed hold of his arms, stopping him from removing anymore of her clothes. “It’s too soon.”

“No, it’s not,” Romeo shouted. “Because she’s never coming back so what the point in keeping them any longer?” Romeo put his arm back into the wardrobe pulling out one of her dresses.

“Because I am not ready, you don’t get to decide this.” Charlie raised her voice as she once again pushed Romeo’s hands from her daughter’s clothes.

“This has to be my room,” Romeo raised his voice. “I don’t want her clothes in here. I can’t deal with opening the wardrobe every day and seeing them, so I need to get rid of them.”

“Romeo please don’t do this,” Charlie shook her head. “Please.”

“You know I am hurting too,” Romeo sniffed back again. “I need them out of this room at least. It’s hard enough to be in here without Rubes, let alone seeing her clothes, so please, please take them out of this room at least,” Romeo pleased. “You don’t have to throw them out yet, but please, please just take them out of this room. It’s too hard Charlie, it’s too hard.” Romeo broke down in tears as he slumped to the floor, picking up the dress and holding it close to him, sniffing in the scent.

Charlie exhaled as she knelt down and rubbed his back. “Okay, I’m sorry, we can move her stuff from this room, but we can’t get rid of it, Romeo, I’m not ready to do that.”

“That’s fair,” Romeo answered. “Sorry but I just can’t deal with it in here.”

“Okay,” Charlie sniffed back a tear. “We’ll move it. I’m sorry.”

“I hate this Charlie,” Romeo cried. “I want this hurt to stop. When’s it going to stop?”

“I don’t know,” Charlie shook her head. “But I hate it too. It hurts so much without her. I know it does.” Charlie said as tears rolled down her cheeks. Romeo let the tears continue to fall down his cheeks as he leaned his head against Charlie as she wrapped her arms out him, the pair of them once again, crying in each other’s arms.

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Thank you Sarah, Kristen, JosieTash, Spotd1, Red Ranger 1, Zoe, beebee, Freakie42 and pembie for the comments. I’m not so happy with this one but hopefully it’s okay.....

Chapter 45

It had been 5 weeks since Ruby had died. Charlie and Romeo had been each other’s rocks, each of them at times being the strong one and helping the other to get through. Today, they had decide to go to Ruby’s grave for the first time since the funeral and although they both wanted to go there, to the place where they would probably feel closest to Ruby, they were both nervous for going again, not sure how strong they were going to be able to be when they saw her headstone. Romeo took a deep breath as he walked down the stairs and into the living room, where Charlie was sitting on the couch, her hand clenched around her stomach. “You ready?” Romeo questioned tentatively, feeling more and more like he wanted to back out. Of course he wanted to go and see her resting place, but it was hard, Ruby should still be with him and her mother.

“Yep,” Charlie nodded as she stood up and picked up the bunch of flowers that she’d bought to take out to the grave. “Ready as I’ll ever be.”

“We’ll be fine because we have each other to lean on,” Romeo said as he opened the front door, watching as Charlie walk over, continuing to hold her stomach with one hand as she winced slightly. “Charlie are you okay?” Romeo saw the look in Charlie’s face. He knew she was uncomfortable.

“Yes,” Charlie exhaled heavily as she felt a sharp pain in her stomach. “Ooh.”

“Oh my God are you in labour?” Romeo widened his eyes as he stepped forward and put his hand onto her shoulder.

“Uh-uh,” Charlie shook her head. “The baby isn’t due for another 5 days. It’s probably just Braxton Hicks; let’s just go to the grave.”

“Are you sure?” Romeo sounded concerned. “I think we should maybe stop off at the hospital first, just to be sure.”

“I’m sure,” Charlie said. Fact was, she was lying. She wasn’t sure, in fact she was more sure that it was probably the real thing, but nothing was going to stop her going to her daughter’s grave today. “C’mon let’s go.”

Romeo exhaled unsure as they walked out of the house. They got into the car, and Romeo pulled the car out of the driveway, before looking to face Charlie. He could see she wasn’t right, her lips were pursed together like she was trying to block away pain. “Are you sure you don’t want to drive me to the hospital just to be on the safe side?”

“The hospital is in a different direction to the graveyard,” Charlie answered; whatever was giving her pain had passed as she felt a little better. “Just go to the graveyard.”

“Okay.” Romeo answered as he continued driving along the road, in the direction of the graveyard.


Charlie didn’t manage to get out of the car at the graveyard. During the journey her pain had gotten worse and the contractions were coming closer and closer together. She had to face the fact the baby was coming today and she wasn’t going to get to be at her daughter’s grave to talk to her, to tell her things that had happened since she’d gone, to tell her how much she missed her and how much she loved her. She was now sitting in the hospital room, Romeo had never left her side, although he was terrified, he was there to support to her. There was no way he could let her go through this on her own. Charlie had asked him to call Leah and she said she was in the city, but would make her way home straight away, so until then, Romeo had to be there for her. “Isn’t Leah here yet?” Charlie asked.

“She’s trying Charlie,” Romeo tried to remain calm as he rubbed her forehead gently. “But there’s lots of traffic leaving the city. She’ll get here for you as quick as she can.”

“Ahh, I want Ruby.” Charlie cried out as she felt another contraction, less than a minute apart from the last one. This baby was going to come soon. “I don’t want to do this alone. I shouldn’t have to do this alone.”

“You’re not going to be alone,” Romeo answered. “I’m with you right until Leah gets here.”

“What if she doesn’t make it?” Charlie questioned. “Ruby would know what to say, she’d know how to keep me calm....Romeo....please.”

“Charlie you know I can’t get you Ruby,” Romeo said softly. “But Leah is your best friend as she is trying as hard as she can to get here for. She’s trying, Charlie.”

“I don’t want to do this,” Charlie shook her head. “This baby isn’t even going to get to save Ruby. Why am I doing this?” Charlie cried before breathing through another contraction.

“No, she’s not going to get to save Ruby, but she is going to be your little girl. She’s here for a reason. And maybe it’s not the one we thought it would be, but having this child is going to help us get through this, I know it is, Charlie,” Romeo gave a gentle nod of the head. “She’s going to be a blessing for us. We get to care for a new baby and Ruby will live on through her little sister, you’ll see.”

“Ohh,” Charlie scrunched her face up as she grabbed Romeo hand, Romeo wincing at the grip she had on him. “I need to push, I feel like I need to push. Romeo you have to check for me.”

“I’m not looking down there.” Romeo widened his eyes as he looked shocked at Charlie’s comment.

“I don’t mean you, you idiot,” Charlie took a deep breath before exhaling. “I mean....get the midwife back.” Just as Romeo was about to walk out of the room, the door opened and the midwife and doctor came into the room to check on Charlie.

“Hey Charlie, how you feeling?” The midwife asked.

Charlie glared at her. How the hell did she think she was feeling? “Like I need to push.” Charlie gritted her teeth.

“We’ll check that for you.” The midwife said before she checked. “Yes, it is time to push.” The midwife gave Charlie a smile before she glanced at Romeo.

“I...” Romeo stood with his mouth open slightly as he rubbed the back of his head. He did not want to be in the room when Charlie was giving birth but he couldn’t exactly leave her on her own, although he knew Charlie didn’t want to be alone, he didn’t know if she would want him to stay. He looked to Charlie before looking to the door and taking a few steps towards it.

“Romeo were the hell are you going,” Charlie asked. “I need you. I can’t do this without someone for support, get back here,” Charlie raised her voice. Romeo walked over to Charlie as he went as white as a sheet at the thought of having to be with her during the delivery. He felt Charlie taking a tight grip of his hand. “Just make sure you stay at this end.” Charlie said before she gave her first big push.

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Thanks Sarah, Zoe, Red Ranger 1, Freakie42, Spotd1, Kristen, beebee and JosieTash for the comments. :wub:

Chapter 46

Charlie was sitting up in the bed, staring blankly out in front of her. All she could think about was Ruby and how excited she would have been at the arrival of her sister, about how they should be checking the umbilical cord to see if there were enough healthy cells to transplant into Ruby, but instead she was still grieving for the daughter she had lost, and now she had to care for this brand new baby. She turned her head to the side and looked down into the little cot at her daughter. Her eyes, her little nose, her chin, the little brown curl. It was like she was a clone of Ruby. Charlie felt her eyes stinging as she heard a little sound coming from the baby. She knew it wasn’t the baby’s fault, she couldn’t help that she looked like her sister, she couldn’t help that she arrived too late to save her. It was her fault. She blamed herself. She should have had the idea sooner, she should have asked Grant to make a saviour sibling as soon as Ruby had been diagnosed, that way, this baby would have saved Ruby. “I’m not really sure what I’m supposed to do with you,” Charlie spoke softly. “Well of course I know I need to take care of you and be the best mother I can, but.....I don’t think it’s going to be an easy first few months, so I apologise already. I’m going to try....you deserve that, but....well you’re not exactly what I need to be dealing with right now,” Charlie wiped her hand across her eyes before once again setting her eyes on her daughter. “Romeo, Miles, Leah, Brax.....everyone really,” Charlie exhaled. “They all tell me that you’re going to help me through this, give me something to focus on and help get me back on the right track....whatever that means. How am I supposed to ever get over having to bury my daughter? My Rubes....” Charlie took a deep breath as she felt the tear rolling down her cheek. She cleared her throat before she once again glanced down at the cot. “I eh.....guess I gotta give you a name, hmmm, you won’t want to be baby girl Buckton for life, will you?” She felt herself giving the baby an almost smile. “I know Ruby was really pushing for a gemstone name, like she had, but....” Charlie shook her head. “Going over them in my mind......well one name keeps coming back to me and it’s not a gemstone name like Ruby wanted but I know she’s looking down on us today and she’d be happy with my choice,” Charlie paused as she wiped her eyes. “I know she would be,” Charlie took a deep breath as she looked down to the baby more closely. She exhaled as she ran her hand gently over the baby’s forehead. “My little Amelia....Amelia Ruby Buckton.”


Leah ran along the corridor and stopped as she saw Romeo sitting outside, looking as white as a sheet, with some stitches on the right-hand side of his forehead, just above his eye. “Romeo are you alright?”

“Eugh,” Romeo shivered. “I saw.....so much more than I was supposed to see. That’s not pretty,” Romeo shook his head. “That puts me off ever having kids and I don’t even need to give birth.”

Leah laughed lightly. “What happened to your head?”

“When the baby came out and I saw the bit I didn’t want to see....I fainted,” Romeo said. “Cracked my head against the corner of the bedside table before hitting the floor.”

Leah pursed her lips together, trying not to laugh at him. “Well I’m sure you were still a great help to Charlie before that happened,” Leah said. “How is she doing?”

“She’s fine. I think,” Romeo answered. “Thought I’d give her some space to get a little sleep or start bonding with the baby,” Romeo took a drink of the coffee he had before looking up to Leah. “You know we were supposed to be going to the grave today. The first time we’ve felt strong enough to face it since Ruby di.....since she passed on,” Romeo cleared his throat. “I don’t think I could go without Charlie for the first few times so it might be a few days, maybe longer, before we will can get up there now.”

“I can come with you if you feel you need someone there once we’ve been with Charlie for a while, if you’d like,” Romeo gave Leah a smile of thanks and a nod. “How do you think she seemed once the baby arrived?” Leah questioned knowing it would probably be hard for Charlie to have to care for the new baby so soon after Ruby’s death, especially after the whole reason she had the baby.

“Not for long,” Romeo shook his head. “Well from when I came around anyways. I think she’d only held her a few minutes then she gave her back to the nurse and she fed her with a bottle. Charlie said she wanted to sleep and...I don’t know....I don’t think she did sleep.” Romeo shook his head.

“Well her hormones will be all over the place and on top of that she’s grieving,” Leah exhaled. “We don’t need to get too worried right away.”

“Nah,” Romeo shook his head. “Anyways, I was under strict instruction to send you into the room as soon as you arrived so you should probably go in and see her.”

“Then I shall,” Leah took a deep breath as she stood up before walking across the corridor and knocking lightly on the door before walking into the room. “Hey,” Leah smiled at her friend as she walked over to her. “I’m so sorry I wasn’t here for you,” Leah said, feeling bad that this had happened. She promised Charlie she would be her birthing partner and was mad with herself that it happened on the day she’d had to go into the city. “But I really did try to get here.”

“It’s okay,” Charlie answered. “You’re here now.”

“Yeah, and so is your precious little lady,” Leah cooed as she looked down to the cot. “Aww Charlie, you make such gorgeous daughters. She’s so much like -”

“I know,” Charlie nodded, cutting Leah off. “I know what she looks like. It’s like I’m there 17 years ago with baby Ruby.” Charlie started to cry as she spoke.

Leah exhaled as she stepped forward and wrapped her arms around Charlie in a comforting hug. “It’s alright.”

“She’s going to get me through this. That’s what you are going to say next, right?”

Leah pulled back from the hug, she couldn’t deny it. That probably was what was going to come out of her mouth or words to that effect. Leah exhaled, deciding to change the subject slightly. “So, does she have a name yet?” Leah asked as she took a seat on the chair next to Charlie’s bed.

“Amelia,” Charlie answered. “Amelia Ruby.”

“Aww Charlie that’s a lovely name,” Leah smiled as she glanced down at the baby. “Suits her perfectly.”

“Amelia was the name that Ruby had picked out for her daughter,” Charlie answered. “And....I don’t know.....it just seemed right to call her that,” Charlie sniffed back. “And Ruby.....you don’t think it’s weird me giving her the middle name Ruby, do you?”

“Of course not,” Leah shook her head. “People name their babies after passed on loved ones all the time.”

Charlie gave a weak smile. “You can hold her if you want.” Charlie said and Leah smiled as she gently lifted Amelia from the cot.

“Aww,” Leah gushed as she held her in her arms. “God she’s already making me clucky.”

Charlie raised her eyebrows. “Is Amelia going to be getting a playmate?”

“We’ll see.” Leah answered as there was a knock at the door and the nurse walked in with a bottle of milk in her hand.

“Time for another feed,” The nurse smiled as she handed Charlie the bottle. “Let mummy do it this time. You’re looking more alert now,” The nurse said. “I’ll leave you to your visitor.” The nurse smiled before she walked back out of the room.

“Here.” Leah said as she stood up to hand Amelia to her mother.

“You can do it,” Charlie said as she looked down to the bottle before handing it out for Leah to take. “I eh....I really want to try to sleep.”

“Nah, Charlie you should feed her,” Leah said. “Romeo tells me the nurse did the first feed with a bottle, so you’ll not have fed her yet.”

“I’m sure I’ll have plenty chances to feed her,” Charlie answered. “Please, can you do it?” Leah heard the pleading in Charlie’s voice.

Leah exhaled as she sat back down on the chair and took the bottle from Charlie, placing it into Amelia’s mouth, who took it straight away. “So, has you’re milk not came in yet?” Leah asked.

“I don’t know,” Charlie shrugged her shoulders. “But I’m not breastfeeding anyways so it doesn’t really matter if it has or hasn’t.”

“Aww, but Charlie breastfeeding helps with bonding and -”

“I said I’m not breastfeeding her,” Charlie raised her voice. “Now please can you just feed her and let me get some sleep.” Charlie said as she lay down in the bed, turning on her side so she was facing away from Leah. She exhaled lightly before clenching her eyes tightly shut, but not before letting a single tear escape her eye.

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Chapter 47

Charlie fluttered her eyes open before stretching a little. She wiped her hands across her eyes before sitting up in the bed. She gave a yawn, still feeling pretty tired before looking down to the cot to see her daughter was beginning to wake. She pursed her lips together, thinking about giving her a cuddle. They’d not had much contact since she was born. With the nurses happy to feed her as they let Charlie rest, with Leah having fed her once and Romeo feeding her before he went home for the night, she’d only actually held her long enough for the time it took for one feed. She reached down to the cot to pick her daughter up, but stopped when the door opened and the nurse walked in with the bottle. “Time for someone’s breakfast,” The nurse smiled. “Once you’ve fed the baby I’ll get you your breakfast brought in.”

“Okay.” Charlie answered as she took the bottle from the nurse before lifting Amelia into her arms. She couldn’t keep asking the nurse to do it, she had to get used to the fact that the baby was here to stay and that she needed her mother.

“I bet your glad to get to feed her now,” The nurse smiled as she watched Amelia immediately accepting the bottle. “The nurses hijacked last night and your friends had a shot too.”

“It’s fine,” Charlie answered. “She’s going to need a lot of bottles in her time so missing out on a few isn’t really going to matter.”

“No, I suppose not,” The nurse answered. “And this one is Amelia, right?” Charlie gave a little nod.

“It’s a lovely name.”

“I didn’t know what I wanted to call her,” Charlie said. “My daughter, my Ruby she....she knew what wanted to call her kids. Amelia obviously was her choice for a girl.”

“Oh right...” The nurse seemed slightly confused. Why did Charlie use the name if her daughter was going to?

“Ruby lost her battle with leukaemia almost 6 weeks ago,” Charlie spoke quietly. “So, I thought.....well she’s not going to be able to use the name so I wanted to....I wanted to do it for Ruby. She was supposed to save her sisters life but she just arrived too late.”

“Charlie, I am so sorry, I didn’t know,” The nurse shook her head, understanding more why Charlie seemed reluctant to bond with her child. “I eh...” The nurse was cut off by a knock at the door. “I’ll leave you to your visitor.” The nurse made a quick exit from the room as Charlie looked shocked to see him.

“What are you doing here?” Charlie questioned, feeling the need to move Amelia even closer to her chest as she took her bottle.

“I wanted to see the baby,” Grant answered. “I have something for it.” Grant didn’t like saying ‘it’ when talking about his child but he didn’t know if Charlie had had a boy or a girl.

“How did you even know I’d had the baby?” Charlie questioned.

I knew you’d be due around this time,” Grant answered. “I went into the diner this morning and I heard it from that little plump lady who likes to talk.”

“Colleen,” Charlie muttered. “Well you’re not having anything to do with her,” Charlie said. “You’re name isn’t going on the birth certificate, you’re not going to be involved. We agreed on this.”

“It’s a girl,” Grant smiled lightly as he looked down at the child who was very much enjoying her breakfast. “And I know that I’m not going to be involved, I just.....I wanted to give you this.” Grant handed Charlie a cheque to take but she didn’t accept.

“I don’t want your money.” Charlie answered.

“It’s not for you,” Grant replied. “And it’s not much. I couldn’t start taking heaps of money out the account. Tracy would notice, but I’ve managed to get that over the last 9 months. It’s just over $2,500. I’ve put it into a new account and will close it as soon as you take the money out. Buy her clothes, bibs, formula, nappies, wipes....whatever you need. I just want to contribute a little. It’s not fair to make you do it all yourself.”

“Well thank you,” Charlie exhaled. “But I hope you don’t think it means you will get rights to her.”

“No,” Grant shook his head, trying not to look down at the baby too much. It would only be harder not to see her ever again. “I won’t think that at all. Eh...what’s her....have you named her yet?”

“Amelia Ruby.” Charlie answered.

“Amelia?” Grant questioned as he screwed his face up.

“I don’t care if you don’t like it,” Charlie exhaled. “It got nothing to do with you what I call my daughter.”

“I know,” Grant nodded. “I was just thinking it’s close to Mila. You know Amelia, Mila. Sound similar, don’t you think?”

Charlie shrugged her shoulders. “Not like they’ll have anything to do with one another.”

“No I don’t suppose they will,” Grant rubbed the back of his head. “So, the funeral was lovely. What you managed to say,” Charlie looked to him with a blank expression on her face. “I eh....thank you for letting me be there. I half expect you to yell at me to get out.”

Charlie sniggered. “You’re presence there wasn’t really on the top of my thoughts,” Charlie exhaled. “It was about Ruby not you.”

“Of course,” Grant said as he looked down. “Well I’ll eh...I’ll get going. Take good care of her.” Grant said before glancing at his daughter for a few seconds before he left Charlie to finish feeding her in peace.


Romeo was sitting out on the beach, letting the sand grains fall through the gaps between his fingers before lifting up more sand, and letting it do the same. “Hey,” Romeo looked up to see April walking towards him. “How you doing?”

“Alright, I suppose,” Romeo exhaled. How about you?” Romeo questioned.

“Not bad,” April answered as she sat down next to him. “I hear Charlie had the baby yesterday?”

“Amelia Ruby,” Romeo nodded. “She is like Ruby so much it’s scary.”

“It’s a very pretty name,” April smiled at it was then she noticed Romeo’s stitches. “What happened to you?”

“Trauma in the delivery room,” Romeo exhaled. “I tell you I have a new found respect for women now I know all they need to go through to get that baby out.”

April couldn’t help but give a little laugh. “Well it’s nice that you still stayed there for Charlie.”

“I’m always going to be around for Charlie like I know she will be for me,” Romeo answered. “And Amelia. I’ll always be there for her too.”

“That’s sweet,” April smiled. “Although Charlie will probably be the one doing all the night feeds.” April gave a little laugh as she nudged Romeo’s arm.

“If she wants me to do some I’m more than happy to help,” Romeo answered. “It’ll be hard for her on her own.”

“Well I’m sure she’ll appreciate the offer,” April said. “So, do you know when Charlie is getting home?”

“Most likely today at some point, why?” Romeo answered.

“Well Dex and I are going to the movies tonight and I just wondered if you’d like you come with us.” April questioned tentatively, not sure if he’d be up for socialising in their old group, minus Ruby just yet.

“Eh...” Romeo rubbed the back of his head. “I should probably stay in with Charlie and the baby. Can’t help them her if I’m not there can I?”

“Well no, I don’t suppose you could,” April answered. “But you know she’d want you to have a social life with your friends too. Of course she’ll appreciate the help when you are around but she wouldn’t want you to not make plans for her sake.”

“Yeah we’ll maybe I don’t want to make plans when Ruby isn’t going to be there because it will be nothing like it was when she was around.” Romeo shouted as stood up.

“Romeo.” April stood up as Romeo started to walk away.

“I’m going to see Charlie and Amelia so just leave me alone.” Romeo raised his voice as he picked up his pace and walked off the beach and away from April.

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Chapter 48

Charlie and the baby had been home for a few days. She’d had visits from most of the bay, and Romeo had been great in helping out with the baby, even doing some night feeds and the dirty nappies. “You know I think she’s put weight on already,” Romeo said as he lifted her out of the moses basket. “Loves her milk so it would make sense.”

“Yeah,” Charlie gave a little laugh as she watched Romeo giving Amelia a little cuddle. “So you have any plans for today?”

“Nah,” Romeo shook his head. “Just hanging out here with you and Amelia.”

“You know you don’t have to stay here with us all the time, right?” Charlie questioned. “We’ll manage on our own and don’t you think it would be nice to see your friends?”

“Don’t you like my help?” Romeo questioned as he glanced up at Charlie. “I haven’t done anything wrong, have I?”

“No you haven’t,” Charlie shook her head. “But you’re only 18 and I’m not going to stop you going out with your friends if you want.”

“Well, Dex did ask me around to the farm today,” Romeo answered quietly. “But...I...we always hung out in a 4, you know, Dex, April, me and Rubes, and now....well, you know....and it’s not going to be the same.”

“No it won’t be,” Charlie exhaled. “But that doesn’t mean it’s still not going to be a good time and you shouldn’t stop hanging out with your friends. Ruby wouldn’t want you sitting at home all the time, would she? She’d be telling you to get out there and be with your friends.”

“I guess,” Romeo gave Charlie a weak smile. “But what if they talk about her?” Romeo questioned. “I’m not really ready to do that with anyone but you.”

“Well just ask them not to mention her,” Charlie answered. “They’ll understand.”

“You think?” Romeo looked unsure.

“I know they will,” Charlie nodded. “Now, give me my baby and you go and see Dex and April.” Charlie said as she took Amelia into her arms.

“I was just about to feed her,” Romeo answered. “I always give her her 11am bottle.”

“I’m sure she won’t mind if it’s mummy that does it at 11am for today,” Charlie said as she gave a little laugh. “Now, go on,” Charlie pointed to the door. “Out my house.”

Romeo exhaled as he stood up. “For a few hours then.” Romeo said before he opened the door and left. Charlie looked down to her baby as smiled lightly. “Sorry you are stuck with mummy but he needs to get out of the house and start mingling with his friends again. It’ll do him good to be with his friends. It really will, yes.” Charlie watched as her daughter’s big green eyes, just like Ruby’s, scanned around, them being too young to focus on her mother’s face. “Right, I’ll put you back in here for now then I will get your bottle ready, okay?” Charlie said, putting Amelia back down into the moses basket, still not comfortable with too much interaction with her. She took a deep breath before making her way to the kitchen, but the sounds of the doorbell stopped her. She exhaled before walking over to the door and opening it to see Bianca, Darcy and Rocco at the other side, with some gifts in their hands.

“Bianca,” Charlie looked surprised to see her. “Eh....come in I guess.” Rocco and Darcy ran into the house with Bianca following.

“Sorry, I won’t stay long, but Darcy was desperate to see the baby and Heath is away to Melbourne to visit Casey for the week, so...”

“It’s okay,” Charlie answered. “Can I get you a coffee or anything?”

“Just a juice is fine please.” Bianca smiled to her friend.

“Will the kids want anything?” Charlie asked.

“I have a bottle for Rocco in the bag, but Darcy might like something.” Bianca answered as she looked to Darcy who was looking down at Amelia in her moses basket as Rocco hung onto his sisters leg, wanting to know what she was looking at.

“Is apple juice okay, Darce?” Charlie questioned.

“Yeah,” Darcy nodded. “Can I hold her?”

“I’ll tell you what, Bianca can lift her out of there and have a little hold and then you could feed her if you’d like because I am about to make up a bottle for her.”

“Ah yeah,” Darcy smiled, excited at the thought of feeding the baby. “Can I Bianca?”

“If it’s okay with Charlie it’s fine by me.” Bianca smiled as she lifted Amelia out of the moses basket before taking a seat on the couch as Darcy sat next to her and Rocco tried to climb up onto it. Charlie walked through to the kitchen to prepare juice for Bianca and Darcy and to prepare the bottle for Amelia. Bianca looked down to Amelia whose eyes were studying the new face. “Charlie, she’s gorgeous.” Bianca shouted through to the kitchen. Bianca smiled as she took in the new baby smell. She loved that smell.

“Remember when Rocco was that small?” Darcy smiled as she took Amelia’s little hand in hers and rubbed it gently.

“I do,” Bianca answered. “I miss him being that little.” Bianca said, not able to take her eyes of the baby.

“Maybe you and dad should have another baby then,” Darcy answered. “That would be so cool.” Darcy smiled as Rocco clapped his hands at finally getting himself up onto the couch. Bianca looked to her son who gave her a toothy grin as he moved his blond curls from his face.

“I eh...” Bianca trailed off as Charlie walked back into the room, with their drinks and the bottle for Amelia. She put the drinks down on the table, before turning to face Bianca and Darcy.

“You ready to feed her then?” Charlie questioned and Darcy nodded as Bianca passed Amelia to her, making sure she had a good support of her head.

“She’s so little,” Darcy smiled as she took the bottle from Charlie and put it to Amelia’s mouth. “Wow she is hungry.” Darcy gave a little laugh as she watched Amelia feeding.

“Dacee,” Rocco shook his head, not liking his big sister with another baby in her arms. “Darcee me.” Rocco said as he tried to get onto her knee.

“No, Rocco, I am feeding the baby,” Darcy said as she glanced at Bianca. “Get him Bianca.”

Bianca lifted Rocco over to her knee as Charlie took a seat on the armchair. “So, how have you been?”

“It’s been hard,” Charlie was surprised she was so honest with Bianca. “Trying to bond when I have to grieve for Rubes, but....I’m getting there. I know I am.”

“Yeah, I am sure you are,” Bianca smiled. “Just take it one day at a time, don’t rush it.”

“Yeah, that’s what I am trying to do,” Charlie smiled. “I eh...I just can’t keep thinking that this was a whole waste of time,” Charlie felt herself welling up. “I know that she’s my kid, and I love her....I am trying to love her, I really am, but.....she didn’t get to save Ruby. I miss her so much Bianca. I just want Ruby.” Charlie started to cry and Bianca put Rocco down on the floor before leaning forward rubbing her back.

“I know you miss her,” Bianca spoke softly. “But she tried. She did try to fight it but it just became too much.”

“I know,” Charlie nodded. “I just wish she didn’t get sick in the first place.”

“I know, we all do, Charlie,” Bianca exhaled. “But you know, she’s going to live on. She’ll be in Amelia and in your memories. You’ll never forget the time you had with Ruby and you’ll always love her. You got to spend an amazing 17 years with her.”

“I did,” Charlie smiled lightly as she wiped her hand across her eyes. “You’re right I did and I’ll never never ever forget her.”

“No.” Bianca gave a little smile as she shook her head.

“I’m so sorry Bianca,” Charlie shook her head as more tears fell down her cheeks. “I was such a bitch to you. I....I was just upset that Brax broke up with me and I wasn’t coping because Ruby was sick, but I miss you. I miss you so much and I need my best friend back.” Charlie broke down as Bianca pulled her into a hug.

“Hey, it’s okay.” Bianca rubbed her back.

“I’m so sorry. Please forgive me. I’m so sorry.” Charlie cried.

“Hey you have nothing to be sorry for,” Bianca said. “I’m the one who did something wrong, not you. I’m the one who needs forgiving.”

“I do,” Charlie nodded. “I forgive you Bianca, please be my friend again.” Charlie questioned as she pulled back from the hug.

Bianca looked into Charlie’s eyes. She was almost pleading with her. Bianca of course was more than happy what Charlie wanted to be friends again, it was all she ever wanted to happen since they fell out. “Of course Charlie, of course I want to be friends again,” Charlie smiled lightly as she wiped her face once again. “So, you going to open these presents we brought Amelia then?” Bianca smiled as she rubbed Charlie’s arm before sitting back down on the couch.

“Yeah,” Charlie smiled as Bianca handed her the first one. Rocco widened his eyes as he sat up from the floor and climbed up onto Charlie’s knee. “You want to help me open it?” Charlie questioned as she wrapped one arm around him, keeping him secure on her knee.

“Me.” Rocco nodded as he pointed to himself before helping Charlie rip the paper from the present.

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Thank for all the comments. :wub:

Chapter 49

“Seven weeks,” Charlie exhaled as she looked to the photo in the album. A picture of her and Ruby, taken long before the leukaemia happened, long before the idea of a baby, before she and Brax broke up. It was a day out in Sydney, just the two of them. A day of shopping and pampering. She exhaled lightly as she ran her hand across Ruby’s pretty face. “I can’t believe it’s been seven weeks already,” Charlie cleared her throat. “And little Amelia is a week old today,” Charlie smiled lightly as she looked into the moses basket at the side of the couch to see her daughter staring up at her, her big green eyes moving around, taking everything in. She sighed before she looked back to the picture. “I’m trying my hardest with her, Rubes, I really am. I feed her and bathe her, rock her to sleep,” Charlie paused feeling slightly guilty that unless absolutely necessary, she didn’t hold her daughter. “Romeo’s been great with her. Cuddles as soon as she wakes, before she goes down for the night. He likes to help with her feeds and her baths. He would have been a great father to your children,” Charlie smiled. “He’s getting out more now with Dex and April. It’s important that he does. He needs to be around his friends,” Charlie said. “I think he felt guilty at first for going out and enjoying himself without you, but I told him it didn’t mean he thought any less of you. He’s always going to love you but he needs to let himself learn to enjoy life again. He brought up the idea of travelling this morning. Dex and April are keen to go with him, so at least he’ll have the company but they’re going to wait till next year once they’ve all finished the HSC’s,” Charlie exhaled. “I hope you don’t mind that I’m giving him your money from dad to go travel. I think it’s what you would have wanted. I know you wanted him to still go everywhere you’d discussed and this way it’s like you are helping make it happen, but look down on him and look after him when he does go, promise me that, yeah?” Charlie once again ran her hand over Ruby’s face. The sounds of the doorbell made her jump slightly. She exhaled as she put the photo album back down on the coffee table and walked over to the door and opened it to find Brax standing at the other side. “Brax,” Charlie smiled lightly. “What can I do for you?”

“I think I am the only person in the bay who hasn’t been to see Amelia yet.” Brax answered as he stepped into the house.

“Yeah probably,” Charlie answered. “Why haven’t you been?”

“Just thought I’d give you some space to bond and stuff,” Brax answered as he looked down to the moses basket and smiled lightly. He thought she was the double of her big sister, but in fear of upsetting Charlie, he didn’t say anything. “And you’d probably have enough visitors so I thought I let things settle before coming. And the fact I didn’t think it would be too nice for the baby to have to see my ugly face.”

Charlie laughed lightly. “I’m not sure ugly is the word I’d use.”

Brax smiled at her, none of them talking for a moment as they looked into each other’s eyes. “Anyways....how’s she doing?”

“She’s been a bit grumpy today to be honest,” Charlie answered. “She hasn’t really eaten much either.”

“Oh, is that normal?” Brax questioned as he glanced down at her again.

Charlie shrugged her shoulders. “It’s only my first week with her. I’m not entirely sure how baby’s work yet.”

“Maybe she just wants a cuddle from Brax then,” Brax said as he lifted her out of the moses basket before taking a seat on the couch as he noticed the open photo album. Charlie smiled lightly at the sight of Brax with Amelia. 9 months ago, Charlie never would have thought she would ever see that. “Nice picture of her.” Brax gestured his head down to the album as Amelia squirmed in his arms.

“Yeah.” Charlie smiled lightly as she sat down next to Brax on the couch.

“This is probably a stupid question but how are you doing?” Brax asked as he looked up to her.

“Living my life the best I can without her,” Charlie answered. “Not a day goes by where I don’t think about her, but I need to be strong for Amelia and Romeo. Yeah there are some days where I wake up and don’t want to get out of bed but then Amelia starts crying and I know it can’t just be all about me no matter how much I want it to be. “

“Well it must be hard,” Brax gently rocked Amelia as she continued to squirm in his arms. “And if you ever want a bit of time by yourself, if you ever want to go up to the graveyard alone, I’ll come watch Amelia.”

“And this is coming from the man who broke up with me because of her,” Charlie said as she glanced down at Amelia, who was still squirming and make a sound of almost discomfort. “What made you change your mind? You feel sorry for me or something?”

“Nah,” Brax shook his head. “Well yeah of course I’m sorry that Ruby died, but....well I’ve realised what’s important. You know it just shows you that life is short and if you love someone then you should try to make it work no matter what,” Brax said and Charlie gave him a weak smile. “And she is too cute,” Brax cooed as he looked down to Amelia. “But I’m not sure your liking me that much,” Brax shook his head as he spoke down to Amelia. “You don’t seem pleased you are in my arms.”

“Like I said she’s been like that all morning,” Charlie sighed. “She’s probably due a feed but I don’t think she is going to take it.”

“Try her,” Brax said and Charlie gave a little nod as she stood up from the couch and walked through to the kitchen to make up her bottle. Brax exhaled as he lay Amelia on the couch and turned his body slightly to keep a hold of her. “Hmm, you being a grumpy pants today?” Brax questioned as Amelia continued to squirm, Brax concerned at the look on her face. She seemed irritated. He gently rubbed her stomach, wondering if perhaps she had trapped wind, before gently moving her legs in a circular motion. It was then he noticed a cluster of little red spots on her right leg. “Charlie, has she always had this rash?” Brax questioned.

“What rash?” Charlie shouted through from the kitchen.

Brax ran his hand over it, before remember seeing something on the TV about rashes and a glass. “Bring me a clear glass.” Brax’s voice sounded panicked.

“What, why do you want a glass? Brax what is wrong?” Charlie questioned, beginning to feel slightly panicked.

“Just bring it,” Brax shouted. “Quick.”

Charlie appeared back in the room and handed the glass to Brax and she watched nervously as he ran it over her rash, Brax feeling his heart beating from his chest, as he was worried about the little girl. “Is it if it stays or disappears something is wrong?” Brax asked as he looked up to Charlie. He was worried for Amelia but was trying to stay strong for Charlie. Charlie widened her eyes as she shook her head.

“I don’t know,” Charlie answered as panic and worry crept into her. “What do you mean Brax? What’s wrong with her?”

“I don’t know,” Brax shook his head. “I’m probably over reacting but I think we should get her to the hospital.” Brax said as he lifted her up from the couch.

“The hospital?” Charlie looked alarmed. “Why Brax, what do you think is wrong with her?” Charlie put her hand onto her chest as she felt her heart beating fast and faster as her panic increased. She’s just lost Ruby; there was no way life could be as cruel as to make something wrong with Amelia too.

“Hopefully nothing.” Brax said as they left the house to drive Amelia to the hospital.

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Thank you everyone. :wub: This fiction will be coming to an end soon. Only a handful of chapters left.

Chapter 50

Charlie and Brax were sitting in the hospital corridor, waiting on news on Amelia. “Charlie.” Brax said as he put his hand on her leg, stopping her from shaking it.

“I can’t help it,” Charlie sighed. “I’m worried about her....I....I feel guilty.”

“What do you have to feel guilty about?” Brax questioned. “It’s not as if this is your fault.”

“But it is,” Charlie looked around to Brax as she spoke. “I’ve not been the best mother I can to her. I’ve been ignoring her and I....if anything is wrong with her it’s my fault. I should have looked after her better.”

“You are doing great with her,” Brax rubbed her arm lightly. “It’s probably nothing either. We just have to be sure. It’s most likely a heat rash yeah?”

Charlie shrugged her shoulders as she sniffed back. “I hope that’s all it is,” Charlie answered. “I couldn’t deal with anything being wrong with her too. Not so soon after Ruby.”

Brax rubbed her back gently. “She’ll be okay.” Brax said hopingly, as the door opened and Sid walked out of the room.

“Well?” Charlie said as she stood up from the chair.

“She’s fine,” Sid answered. “She’s a very healthy baby Charlie and you are doing great with her.”

“So what caused the rash?” Brax questioned as he stood up behind Charlie.

“Most likely it’s an allergy,” Sid answered. “Do you use baby lotion on her?”

Charlie nodded lightly. “Johnson’s baby.” Charlie answered.

“Well I’ll ask you to stop using that and it should clear up in a couple of days. Once it’s cleared try her on a different lotion.”

“Right yeah,” Charlie nodded. “I’ll do that. Eh, so you’re positive that’s all it was? It’s nothing worse?

“I’m sure.” Sid nodded.

“Really?” Charlie questioned. “She didn’t eat much this morning and wasn’t her usual self. Are you sure it’s nothing more?” Charlie asked, still worried for her child.

“Charlie, she is only a week old,” Sid answered. “She’s still developing a personality so you can’t say she wasn’t herself. Amelia is fine. Now go and see her, yeah?”

“Thanks,” Charlie smiled at Sid before walking into the room. “Hey baby,” Charlie said as she lifted her daughter out of the cot. “Mummy is so sorry for ignoring you. She really is and from now on I promise I’m going to be the best mother I can be to you, okay, I promise you,” Charlie smiled lightly as she placed a soft kiss on Amelia’s cheek. “How did I not notice, Brax,” Charlie said as she looked up to the doorway where Brax was standing. “I should have notice.”

“You would have when you went to feed her.” Brax answered.

“It might have been there all morning, maybe even from the night before. She’s my daughter and I should have noticed sooner.” Charlie said, her voice almost breaking.

“Charlie stop beating yourself up about this,” Brax stepped forward as he spoke. “Amelia is fine and that’s all that matters.” Brax smiled as he lightly rubbed her forehead.

“You know I still worry I’m not going to love her like I love Ruby,” Charlie felt herself opening up to Brax. “Sometimes I wonder if I even love her at all.”

“Of course you love her,” Brax answered. “Look how worried you were about her. I think it’s very obvious you love her.”

“You think?” Charlie questioned.

“Of course, and you know you do too,” Brax said. “You’re just scared to admit it because you feel like you are betraying Ruby.”

“Not quiet,” Charlie shook her head. “I’m scared I’m not going to love her like I love Ruby.”

Brax exhaled lightly as he rubbed her arm. “You won’t,” Brax said and Charlie looked slightly surprised by his comment. “You loved Ruby for who she was and you’re going to love Amelia because of who she is. It’s not going to be the same kind of love but you’re going to love her just as much.” Charlie smiled lightly at her daughter as she fell asleep in her arms.

“Yeah, you’re right,” Charlie smiled as she continued to gaze at her daughter. “I do love her, of course I love her. How could I not love her?” Charlie questioned. “I mean look at her, she is gorgeous, isn’t she?”

“Yeah. She is.” Brax nodded as he lightly cupped Charlie’s cheek with his hand. He rubbed it ever so softly with his thumb as they gazed into each other’s eyes. He smiled at her as he leaned down and placed a soft kiss on her lips. Charlie kissed him back for a moment, before she pulled back.

“Mmm, Brax wait. I eh....” Charlie exhaled.

“Ehm yeah,” Brax cleared his throat. “I eh, this probably would be a mistake. We broke up for a reason.” Brax exhaled as he rubbed the back of his head. Of course he didn’t think it would be a mistake, but he was only saying what he thought Charlie was going to say.

“Well I was just going to say that....it’s only been 7 weeks since Ruby died and I have a week old baby so....if we are going to do this can we.....can we just take it slow? I don’t need to be mucked around, especially right now, and if you are serious about wanting to get back with me then you need to accept Amelia.” Charlie said as she looked away from Brax, scared for his answer.

“Of course I can accept her,” Brax smiled lightly as he looked down to Amelia who was sound asleep in Charlie’s arms. “I want the three of us to be a family.” Brax smiled as he lightly rubbed Amelia’s little hand before looking back up to Charlie and placing a soft kiss on her lips.


Romeo arranged the flowers in front of the grave. “Hey babe,” Romeo exhaled. “I miss seeing your beautiful face every day,” Romeo paused as he cleared a lump in his throat. “Well I can still see it. I just need to close my eyes and you are there. I hear your voice in different situations,” Romeo gave a little laugh. “A witty exchange with Dexter, or when April starts going on about girly things....well I really miss you then. Me and Dex need to put up with it,” Romeo laughed once again. “Amelia is a sweet little baby. She’s got a fine set of lungs on her though. Mostly at night. Between 3 and 6,” Romeo exhaled as he placed his hand on the headstone. “I try to help your mum as much as I can with her. She’s trying hard, she is. She’s good with her when she tries but I guess it’s just going to be hard for a while,” Romeo paused briefly. “I didn’t think I’d be able to come see you myself yet. I was supposed to come last week with your mum but she went into labour so that sort of derailed our plans,” Romeo laughed. “But Leah came up with me, although I’m sure I told you that when I was here and I’m going to come with your mum soon. Once she gets Amelia into a routine and that kind of stuff. She’s not really been out of the house this week yet and Amelia was a little grumpier than usual today so she stayed at home, but she’ll come visit you soon. She will, I promise. It’s just such a hard thing to face. It’s hard enough for me so I’m not sure how your mum will cope with coming here,” Romeo exhaled. “Sorry if I am boring you but I just like being here talking to you. I feel so much closer to you. So, I’m just going to talk for a while okay,” Romeo took a deep breath as he felt a tear rolling down his cheek. “I miss you so much. I wish you didn’t leave me. Why weren’t you strong enough? You were strong, you should have be able to fight this....it’s just not fair. I love you and miss you so much.” Romeo sniffed back as he felt more tears wanting to fall. He leaned his head forward and leaned against the headstone, letting the tears fall for his girlfriend who would always be sadly missed in his life.

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