Dax’s Dad holds Sarah’s hand. “It doesn’t matter. He needs you now.”
IN THE PAST… Sarah and Dax huddle around the hotel sink and a white plastic stick. Dax holds the watch. “Thirty seconds more.”
Sarah tilts the stick toward Dax. “We don’t need it.” A plus symbol is already visible on the stick. Sarah’s head feels like liquid and she thinks its content might spill at their feet. How could two days be so different? Just a week ago, she was in paradise knowing that she would spend the rest of her life with the man that she loved. And not just any love, but the kind that stories are written about… The kind that are passed down through the centuries.
Just that very week ago, she was standing under the canopy on the beach when Dax put his ring on her finger. Well, technically it was the second time he put it on her finger, but who’s counting? She looks at it now where he had placed it. So why would the news of a pending baby, feel like the end of the world? She doesn’t know exactly, but it just does.
Dax is hard-pressed to contain his smile when the plus symbol appears. But he can see that it’s not having the same effect on Sarah. “Do you think we should do it again?”
Sarah shakes her head. She drops the stick in the sink and walks out of the bathroom, leaving Dax to stare at it.
He picks it up and slips it into the medicine chest for safekeeping. He knows she is upset, although for the life of him he can’t understand why. He loves her beyond measure and the thought of making another life with her, within her makes his heart burst from abundance. But if she needs time to process it, he’ll try to understand.
He exits the bathroom to find her, although he doesn’t have to go far. She’s sitting at the open window with her feet up on the other chair. She looks out at the ocean.
Dax walks over and lifts her feet to sit in the chair opposite her, then places her feet in his lap. She turns her gaze from the ocean to him. “I’m sorry.”
He rubs her feet. “I love you, you know.”
Sarah smiles weakly. “I know. It’s just so much change. I don’t want everything to change.”
He smiles at her. “Everything doesn’t have to.”
Sarah pulls her feet from his lap and sits up. “Don’t kid yourself. Of course it will. A baby is a huge change. I’m not ready.”
Dax leans forward to press his point. “What do you want me to do? Just tell me and I’ll do it.”
Sarah stands up. She raises her voice even though she doesn’t mean to. “I don’t want to be a mother.” She can see that she’s hurt him, so she softly clarifies. “Not yet.”
Dax is frustrated. He wants to be her rock, but he can’t see what the problem is. Sure, it’s a bit sooner than they both would like. But it was inevitable eventually. Right? “Sarah, you may not have a choice.”
Sarah is angry. She’s angry at his words. She’s angry at that white stick. But most of all she’s angry with herself. “There is always a choice.” She walks out.
He looks like he’s been punched in the gut. She couldn’t possibly be thinking what he thinks she’s thinking.
PRESENT DAY… Sarah gave in to Dax’s Dad. She stands in the doorway of Dax’s hospital room. Her heart is in her throat. She can barely breathe and her nerves might topple her.
Dax looks up, and his entire face lights up when he sees her. Tears of joy well in his eyes. “God, I missed you.”
Tears run down Sarah’s cheeks and she smiles. How long she had waited to hear those words. How much she wished they were true. But she knew that he wasn’t thinking of Today-Sarah, he was thinking of Yesterday-Sarah. But the words aren’t any less sweet, and she is frozen in the doorframe… Not sure what to do.
Dax looks at her still in the doorframe and half-laughs. “Well, are you gonna make me come to you?”
Dax’s Dad stands behind her, and Dax’s Mom looks at Sarah with motherly concern. She knows that they are asking a lot of her, but if it helps Dax they will continue to ask. She knows that this is causing Sarah discomfort. Even though she doesn’t know the specifics of how their relationship ended, she knows that it caused both of them a lot of pain. And it’s obvious that it still does.
Sarah snaps out of it and walks toward Dax. His smile is everything she remembered. His voice still grabs hold of her, like it always did. She can hardly believe that she’s here. She leans down slowly at the side of the bed and allows herself to be enveloped in his arms. She closes her eyes and slowly melts her head onto his shoulder. “I was so worried about you.”
He kisses the top of her head. “I was so glad you weren’t in the car with me. I don’t know what I’d do if anything happened to you.” His voice cracks.
Sarah keeps her head buried in his shoulder. She can’t fight the tears anymore. She wants to stay in his arms. She wants to hear his voice in her ear. But for different reasons than his memory loss will allow.
Dax can feel her agony. “I’m okay, Sarah. I’m alright.”
Dax’s Parents look at each other. They both think, are they doing the right thing? This may be too much.
Sarah swallows her emotions and sits in the chair next to him. She smiles weakly. Dax gently wipes the tears from her cheeks.
She has so much to say to him… so much that went unsaid. But now is not the time. “I was so petrified when they pulled you from the wreck.” She quickly realizes that she might have said too much. She looks to his Dad for support.
Dax looks puzzled. “I thought you weren’t in the accident.”
Sarah quickly clarifies to avoid giving him further stress. “I wasn’t.”
And his Dad swoops in with the explanation. “Sarah was driving another car. She’s the one that called 911.”
Dax grabs her hand. “You saw it happen? That must have been awful.”
Sarah looks at his left hand around hers, and the wedding band on his finger. “No. I didn’t. I got there right after it happened.”
Dax is satisfied with the answer and continues to rub her hand. He looks more closely, “Where’s your ring?”
Sarah is stumped for a second. She wasn’t prepared for that. Luckily Dax’s Mom steps in and pulls the engagement ring from her pocket. “Poor thing is skin and bones, not eating with worry. It slipped right off her finger.” She walks over and puts it in Sarah’s palm. She stares at it, then Dax puts it on her finger without a second thought.
Sarah does all that she can to not collapse into tears.
His Parents breathe a sigh of relief, but they all know that this is heading down a dangerous path fast. Luckily the Doctor walks in to provide some very needed distraction.
He moves to Dax’s side. “How’s the patient doing?” He checks his pulse.
Dax smiles. “Good.” He glances at Sarah. “Better now.”
The doctor looks at Sarah, assessing the situation with a poker face. Then leans over Dax and flashes the pen light in his eyes. “Follow my finger with your eyes without turning your head.” The doctor moves his finger slowly from one side to the other and Dax does as instructed. After once back and forth, the doctor shuts the light. “Good.”
Dax looks at the doctor for some answers. “Some of my memories are foggy.”
The Doctor gives him his full attention. “How so?”
Dax smiles apologetically at Sarah. “I can’t remember our wedding, for starters.” Then he looks at his Parents. “And everyone looks just a bit older than I picture them in my head. Is that normal?”
The Doctor gives him a reassuring nod. “It’s absolutely normal to have some memory loss.” Then he gently probes further. “What’s the last thing you remember?”
Dax looks at Sarah and then at the Doctor. “Taking a pregnancy test with Sarah.”