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However Far, However Long (I Will Not Break)

Chapter Text

 

 

A Life That’s Good

 

I don't get many things right the first time

In fact, I am told that a lot

Now I know all the wrong turns, the stumbles and falls

Brought me here

- ‘The Luckiest’, Ben Folds

  

PART ONE

 


HFHL: Part 1 from lorelaisquared on 8tracks Radio.

 

Lizzie woke up slowly, stretching before propping herself up on her elbow to smile down at William’s sleeping form. He was always so relaxed and peaceful when he was asleep, his face holding a boyish innocence in slumber that fascinated her. Gone were the worry lines and severe gaze and in their place remained the smooth, tranquil profile of someone who was perfectly content. After over two years of marriage, Lizzie had practically memorized his features, yet she never tired of watching him like this. She found him to be the most alluring and enchanting person she had ever seen and she treasured mornings where she woke before him and could appreciate him in silence. 

 

She felt a sudden burst of affection for him and, growing impatient with waiting for him to awaken, she kissed him. Lips pressed lightly against the softness of his, she kissed him leisurely at first, increasing intensity and pressure as he began to stir. Soon, he flipped her gently onto her back, gliding his lips over hers with heightened urgency until they both lay flushed and breathless. 

 

“Good morning, my dear, sweet Lizzie,” William breathed against the contour of her jaw as he kissed his way up towards her hairline. He buried his face in her hair, inhaling deeply before laying back against his pillow, a glint in his eye. “I have missed our lazy Saturdays.” 

 

Lizzie cuddled herself against his chest. “So have I. I’m glad you don’t have to work at all this weekend.” 

 

“I do need to pack for my trip on Tuesday, but aside from that, I am all yours.” He kissed the top of her head, then started to ease himself out of bed. “Why don’t we shower and then I’ll make us something to eat?”

 

Lizzie grinned. “Okay.” 

 

True to his word, William made them breakfast. Throughout their many years of dating and marriage, Lizzie had learned that when William was cooking, it was best to stay back and observe, lest she get in the way. He had a very particular rhythm while he worked and frankly, she enjoyed watching more than helping anyway. On this particular morning, he did not disappoint as he expertly whisked the crepes he’d made from scratch into a smooth golden-yellow batter. 

 

Lizzie sipped her coffee, periodically peering over her phone to appreciate the lithe way he moved around the kitchen. She was in the midst of juggling light-hearted text conversations with both Gigi and Charlotte, when William set their plates on the table. 

 

“So, you’ll only be gone for four days?” Lizzie asked between bites as they both began to eat. 

 

“Yes. I fly into Guatemala on Tuesday morning and return Friday. It’s a brief preliminary trip to scout the facility we would be equipping and to work out some of the details in person. There will be a follow up trip in a few months when it’s time to actually get everything set up.” 

 

Lizzie smiled. This Guatemalan partnership had ignited a level of passion in him that she’d never seen before when it came to his work. “I think it’s so great the way that you’re utilising Pemberley’s technology to help bring advancement to education in a country like Guatemala.” 

 

“I’m glad we have the ability to use our knowledge to help people.” William took a sip of his coffee. “Pemberley won’t profit from this endeavour, of course, but the children at the school we’re hoping to assist will have greater opportunities and brighter futures should this be successful.” 

 

“And you think it will be?” 

 

William nodded. “Absolutely. This trip will confirm it, but I can’t see why we won’t be able to come to an agreement. My hope is that, if this venture works, we’ll be able to branch out to assist similar schools in countries all over the world.” 

 

“Look at you, bettering the education of children everywhere.” 

 

“That’s the dream.” William shrugged. “By this time next week, I should know for sure.” 

 

“I’m proud of you, William. To think that I once thought you were a wealthy snob who didn’t care about anyone’s interests but your own.” 

 

William leaned over to kiss her nose. “Well, I for one am very grateful you got over that assumption.” 

 

“It took me long enough.” 

 

“It’s true, it did.” William looked upward, raising his eyebrows playfully. “You were so slow.” 

 

“Hey now.” Lizzie pushed his shoulder. “Be nice.” 

 

He sat up straighter, gesturing to his chest. “I am always nice.” 

 

Lizzie regarded him sceptically. “I could present plenty of evidence to the contrary, but,” Lizzie picked up their plates and carried them to the kitchen, “Since we are meeting your sister and Fitz at the Exploratorium in an hour, I think we should get ready instead.”

 

 

 

— 

 

The Exploratorium was great fun. William’s inability to walk past anything without either explaining (in great depth) how it worked, or examining it closely to find out how it functioned, was incredibly endearing to Lizzie. It was a side of him that she didn’t get to see very often, but William loved science and technology and there was nothing like a museum full of innovative exhibits to bring out his inner science geek. 

 

Dinner afterward was at a nearby restaurant and the four of them fell quickly into easy conversation. 

 

“So, Will, my man, are you excited about your trip next week?” Fitz asked. “I’ve always wanted to go to Central America. Brandon keeps promising me we can go sometimes but it hasn’t happened yet. The tease.” 

 

“I am, yes.” William took a sip of his wine. “I’m especially looking forward to seeing the school we’re hoping to assist.” 

 

“I can’t wait to hear about that,” Gigi said. “It was definitely the most interesting of the schools I researched for you. Did you know that the principal was hired when he was only fifteen? Actually, he was less hired and more appointed, but he built the school from the ground up with very little support.” 

 

“Wow.” Lizzie looked at William. “You didn’t tell me that.” 

 

“I didn’t know.” William looked at Gigi. “That’s impressive. I must remember to ask him about that.” 

 

Gigi beamed at her brother. “You should. It’s really amazing what he’s accomplished.” 

 

The waitress came to take their orders. As she went around the table, William shifted closer to Lizzie until his shoulder brushed against hers, as did his knee and his ankle. A current of electricity spread through her and she internally marveled how, even after two years of marriage and several of dating, a simple bit of contact could set her pulse racing and make her cheeks flush. 

 

“So, Brandon and I are thinking about starting a family,” Fitz announced once the waitress had left. “We’re going to meet with some adoption agencies next week.” 

 

“Wow! That’s amazing,” Gigi told him. “How does that work? Do you get to request if you want a boy or girl?” 

 

“I’m not really sure yet,” Fitz said. “I’ll let you know once we’ve talked to them. We don’t really have a preference though. We have talked about maybe adopting an older child though, since they’re the ones who often end up in the system. Not that we wouldn’t love a baby, but the demand for babies is greater.” 

 

“You’ve done your research.” Lizzie remarked. 

 

“Always, Lizzie, B.” 

 

“I think that’s fantastic,” William told his friend. “You and Brandon will make excellent parents.” 

 

The rest of the meal passed in pleasant conversation and, before Lizzie knew it, they were standing outside bidding farewell to Gigi and Fitz. 

 

“Have a good trip, big brother,” Gigi chirped. “And try to have a little fun while you’re at it. You can’t be serious all the time.” 

 

“Don’t worry, Gigi, I will.” William folded her into a hug. “We’re still on for lunch to debrief on the first Monday I’m back?” 

 

“Definitely.” Gigi hugged her brother back. “I expect details. I want to know everything!” 

 

“You got it.” He planted a kiss on the top of her head. 

 

Lizzie and William watched for a moment as Gigi and Fitz headed in the direction of Fitz’s car. William threaded his fingers between hers and tugged her gently towards him. “Ready to go home?” he asked in a suggestively low voice, his eyes sparkling with unspoken promise. 

 

Lizzie moistened her lips. “Definitely.” 

 

 

 

 

The rest of the weekend passed in a blur and, before Lizzie knew it, Tuesday morning dawned bright with warm August sun. She’d taken the morning off work to drive William to the airport, even though he’d insisted he could just hire a car. Maybe it came from all the rom-coms she’d seen as a teenager, but she liked the idea of seeing her husband off, even though he was only going to be gone for a few days.

 

After parking the car, Lizzie and William walked hand in hand across the concourse to the terminal. William had already checked in online so, after leaving his suitcase with bag drop, they walked together in the direction of his gate.

 

“Well, I guess I can’t go any further,” she said softly as they neared the line for security. 

 

William stopped a few feet from the security entrance. “I guess not.” He pulled her into a tight hug and suddenly, Lizzie inexplicably didn’t want to let go. 

 

“I love you,” she whispered into his shoulder. 

 

He released her, taking a moment to slowly brush her hair off her face. She’d curled it before they’d left and, judging from the smile on his face as he twisted his fingers through the soft spirals, he liked it. “I love you too, my dear, sweet, Lizzie.”  He hugged her again, briefly this time. “I shall miss you.

 

“I’m glad you’ll only be gone for four days,” Lizzie admitted. They’d come to rely on each other’s presence and the thought of him not being there when she woke up in the morning was not one she liked. 

 

“As am I.” 

 

“You promise you’ll Skype?” 

 

“I shall try. I do not know what the internet will be like but, should it be possible, I will Skype you, otherwise I shall telephone you instead.” 

 

His use of ‘telephone’ made her lips turn upwards. Even after over five years together, he still surprised her with his formal speech patterns. “That works.” 

 

They stood staring at each other for several beats, neither wanting to be the first to say goodbye. Behind William, the line through security was growing and Lizzie knew it was time. She rolled up to the tips of her toes to kiss him tenderly. His hands instinctively found her waist as he leaned into her, lengthening the kiss with gentle, languid motions that caused butterflies in her stomach to stir. 

 

Someone nearby cleared their throat and Lizzie reluctantly broke the kiss, turning their embrace into a hug. 

 

“Goodbye, William,” she said, her voice shaking slightly as she pulled away, needing to have physical distance between him in order to let him go. “I hope your tour of the school goes well tomorrow.” 

 

“Thank you, Lizzie.” His gaze lingered on hers for a moment. “I love you.” 

 

“I love you, too.” She raised her hand in a sort of half wave as he turned to join the security line. Lizzie remained rooted to her spot until he disappeared beyond the barrier and vanished from sight. 

 

Lizzie drove straight from the airport to Pemberley, settling into her office not long past noon. After checking with her secretary for messages, she distracted herself from missing William by tackling the large pile of paperwork on her desk. Before she knew it, it was time to go home. Not wanting to return to an empty apartment just yet, she swung by Gigi’s office on the way out, but Gigi had already left for the day. Instead, Lizzie picked up takeout, curled up on the couch to watch a terrible movie, and eventually fell asleep. 

 

The phone woke her early on Wednesday morning. As she reached out to answer it, pain shot through her neck due to the awkward position she’d been in on the sofa. 

 

“Hello?” she said groggily. 

 

“Lizzie?” It was William. His voice was faint over the crackly line but it made her smile anyway. 

 

“William,” she said more clearly, rubbing at her sore neck as she sat up. “How’s Guatemala?” 

 

“Hot and sticky.” She could almost picture the expression of disgust on his face. William was a steadfast fan of the San Francisco fog and, on the rare days when the heat escalated, he was never amused.

 

“Have you seen the school yet?” 

 

“No, I’m on my way there shortly. I wanted to call you now since I’m not sure how long that will take and the internet was really patchy last night.” 

 

“I’m glad you did.” Lizzie yawned. “It’s nice to hear your voice.” 

 

“Yours too.” There was some noise in the background and after a moment William added, “I am sorry, Lizzie, I have to go, but I will try to call you tonight.” 

 

“Okay. Bye, William.” 

 

“Goodbye, Lizzie. I will talk to you soon.” 

 

She stared at the phone for a beat before setting it aside and hauling herself to her feet. It was time to get ready for work.

 

Not long before lunch, there was a knock on Lizzie’s office door.

 

“Gigi!” She smiled as she looked up to see her sister-in-law in the doorway. 

 

“Hi, Lizzie. I was wondering if maybe you’d like to grab some lunch with me today.” 

 

Lizzie smiled easily. “I’d love to!” She and Gigi had grown close, particularly in the year since Lizzie had started working at Pemberley, and she enjoyed spending time with her. It almost made up for her own sisters living in other parts of the country. 

 

“Great! Just let me grab my things. Meet me at the elevators in five?” 

 

“Sounds good.” 

 

Fifteen minutes later, they were settled at a table in one of their favorite nearby restaurants. 

 

They chatted comfortably throughout the meal, Gigi entertaining Lizzie with tales of her various online dating mishaps, while Lizzie relayed amusing stories of her mother dropping anvil-sized hints regarding grandbabies. 

 

“It’s not enough that Jane already has two children. Apparently, Lydia and I need to do our part too.” 

 

“Your mother is a determined woman.” Gigi shook her head. “Did you hear what she said to me when we were all at the 4th of July barbecue last month?”

 

“No, I think I missed that.” 

 

“Well, she gave me this devastated look and said, ‘Why Gigi, it’s such a shame that a beautiful young woman like you doesn’t have a ring on her finger. You would think there would be dozens of suitable young men in a big city like San Francisco.’” Gigi had done such a great impression of Lizzie’s mother that Lizzie burst out laughing. 

 

“Really? Oh god.” Lizzie rolled her eyes inwardly. “That’s a true sign you’ve been adopted into the Bennet family then. I’m sorry.”

 

“Don’t be. As wedding and baby crazy as your mother is, it’s actually kind of nice having someone other than you or my brother care about my future.”  Gigi’s eyes grew sombre. “I never thought I’d get the chance to experience that.” 

 

Lizzie squeezed Gigi’s hand. “I’m glad then.” 

 

“Me too.” Gigi squeezed back. “My brother couldn’t have married into a better family.” 

 

Lizzie found herself welling up and she blinked furiously. “Look at me getting all weepy. I blame the sappy movie I watched last night.”

 

Gigi laughed. “I always seem to be more sentimental this time of the month. At least I’m not crampy today. Yesterday was dreadful. I actually left work early so I could go have a date with my heating pad.” 

 

“Ugh, that’s the worst.” Lizzie frowned, a strange sensation washing over as she did some quick math in her head and she realized she was a week late. She’d been so busy with work that she hadn’t noticed until that moment. She wasn’t overly concerned though: she’d been late before, and even if it turned out she was pregnant, she and William would manage. They’d talked about having a family one day and even though they had planned to wait a little longer, they could adapt if necessary. Making a mental note to stop on the way home to get a test, Lizzie smiled at Gigi who was studying her with concern. “We should probably get back to the office.” 

 

Gigi looked as though she wanted to ask Lizzie what was wrong, but she seemed to reconsider at the last moment and nodded. “Good idea.” 

 

Lizzie’s computer was beeping at her when she let herself into the apartment that evening. She’d left her laptop open on the kitchen table and, as she examined it, she saw that William was calling her on Skype. She’d hoped to to take the pregnancy test before they talked but it seemed that she would have to wait. She accepted his call as she peeled off her coat and slid into one of the dining room chairs. 

 

“William?” His image was fuzzy. 

 

“Lizzie! Did you just get home?” He frowned. “I suppose I calculated the time difference conversion incorrectly. No matter. How was your day?” 

 

“Great. I had lunch with your sister, it was nice.” 

 

“I’m glad.” 

 

“How was the school tour?” 

 

“It was informative. The school is very primitive and basic. Less of a building and more of a room, but with some minor electricity additions, which we are going to work out tomorrow, it should be able to handle our technology.” 

 

“Oh, that’s fabulous!” 

 

“Yes. It is. I had the chance to meet many of the students it will benefit. This is going to change their futures, Lizzie. They will have so many more opportunities once the project is complete.” 

 

“I’m so glad, William. You seem very excited about this.” 

 

He smiled. “I am. It has been my desire to execute this form of outreach for a long time; to make a difference in the world, even in a small way.” 

 

“You are, William.” 

 

His image became distorted suddenly and, though she could tell he was trying to say something, the sound was unclear. 

 

“William? I didn’t catch that.”

 

More indistinct noises followed and then the call dropped. Lizzie waited for a few minutes, hoping that he’d call back. Just as she was about to give up, he sent a text message through Skype. 

 

I’m sorry Lizzie, the connection cut out. It’s come back but video chat will no longer connect so I shall bid you goodnight and I will talk to you tomorrow morning.

 

Okay. Sounds good. I’ll talk to you tomorrow. I love you.

 

I love you too, Lizzie. 

 

Lizzie lowered the lid to her laptop and spotted the paper bag she’d thrown haphazardly on the table in her haste to answer William’s call. She’d completely forgotten about the pregnancy test while talking to William, but it didn’t matter. She would take the test that night and, if there was any news to share, she’d tell him in the morning. She pulled the white and pink box from the bag, reading the instructions once more before making her way to the bathroom to take the test. 

 

Several minutes later, Lizzie set the timer on her phone for the specified amount of time and started pacing. She suddenly felt inexplicably nervous. If it was positive, that would mean she was going to be a mother. She had contemplated motherhood before, but she often fought doubts that she wouldn’t make a very good one. Look at the mess she had made of things with Lydia all those years ago. What if she messed up with her own child and hurt him or her the way she’d hurt her sister? Lizzie couldn’t bear the thought of that. She suddenly wished William was there with her, waiting by her side, holding her hand. Maybe she should have waited until Friday when he was home to take the test. Maybe she —

 

The timer trilled suddenly, interrupting her thoughts. She gave herself a moment to gather her courage before picking up the little white stick and staring down at it. Her heart started to beat more quickly. Unless she had done it wrong, she was indeed pregnant. Suddenly struck by the irony of her conversation with Gigi earlier that day regarding her mother’s quest for grandbabies, Lizzie began to laugh. Life sure had a funny sense of humor sometimes. 

 

Oddly enough, as soon as Lizzie knew for sure that she was pregnant, her qualms about it seemed to abate. As she curled up on the couch that night, she wrapped her arms around her belly protectively and marvelled at the fact that there was a life growing inside her. A life created by her and William out of their love. It was beautiful really. 

 

She grinned as she thought about how happy William would be to know he was going to be a father. After growing up the way that he had, and losing his parents at such a young age, Lizzie knew that having a family of his own was something that was incredibly important to him. 

 

There were practical things to consider, like her job. It had only been a year since she had been hired as the Director of Interactive Media at Pemberley after all, and she had hoped to be more comfortable in her role before taking this step. Still, she knew that it was going to be alright. She and William would work it out together, the way they always did. 

 

Lizzie crawled into bed, smiling as she tried to imagine William’s face when she told him the news. For the briefest moment, she toyed with the idea of waiting until Friday to tell him in person, but she quickly discarded the idea. She was too happy to keep this news to herself any longer than necessary. She’d tell him when he called her in the morning. With that, she drifted off to sleep, a smile on her face. 

 

 

 

— 

 

 

BANG!

 

“Lizzie?” 

 

BANG! 

 

“Come on, Lizzie, please open the door.” 

 

BANG! BANG! BANG!

 

A moan escaped Lizzie’s lips as she stumbled out of bed to see who was pounding on her door at six o’clock in the morning. 

 

“I’m coming!” she shouted as her unexpected visitor knocked again. Lizzie swung open the door, surprised to see Gigi standing there in her pajamas, tears staining her cheeks. 

 

“Oh, Lizzie, thank god.”

 

“Gigi? What’s wrong? Why aren’t you dressed? Were you crying?” 

 

Gigi grabbed her arm, pulling Lizzie up the stairs. “You need to turn on the TV. Now.” 

 

“What? Why? Gigi what is going on? You’re scaring me.” 

 

Ignoring her questions, the younger girl gently propelled Lizzie towards the living room, flipped the TV to the news and collapsed onto the couch. “Just watch, I… oh god.” Gigi buried her face in her hands. Lizzie frowned as she settled beside Gigi, rubbing her hand over the other girl’s back as she tried to pay attention and make sense of what was going on. 

 

“…The 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Guatemala at 7:13 am local time this morning. Dozens of buildings have collapsed and officials are reporting that there have been hundreds of casualties, though they will not know exact numbers for a while. All phone networks are down and the power company is reporting major outages…” 

 

Blood rushed through Lizzie’s ears as the words hit her. Earthquake. Guatemala. “William.” She whispered. “Gigi, William’s there.” 

 

Gigi looked up at her. “I know. I tried calling him but there was no answer. Lizzie, the epicentre was less than 3 miles from Guatemala city.” 

 

“Oh god.” Lizzie couldn’t breathe. Images of William laying trapped or injured or worse filtered through her mind and she let out a low pitched wail. “Gigi, he has to be okay, he has to be.” 

 

Gigi just stared at her, eyes swimming with tears. “I know. I’ve already lost my parents, he’s my only family. Lizzie I can’t lose him too.” Gigi started to sob and Lizzie instinctively wrapped her arms around her, rocking her gently as her own shoulders began to shake. They clung to each other, the news continuing to play in the background as they both prayed that William was alright. 

 

In the hours that followed, Lizzie completely lost track of time. She remembered snippets of the news, fragmented bits of information like how the earthquake was shallow and devastating; reports of people being rescued from the rubble; reports of more buildings collapsing as the country was hit with large aftershocks. As the day wore on, there were phone calls from her sisters and her parents wanting to know if she’d heard anything from William, but Lizzie could barely talk to them, giving them clipped answers as she tried to hold back her tears. She continued to cling to Gigi. All they could do was sit and wait. 

 

Fitz came by, sitting with them and holding vigil. Lizzie said that she wanted to go look for William but Gigi and Fitz both talked her out of it. It was too dangerous. The country was in a state of emergency. They needed to let the emergency teams do their job. 

 

Somehow, they made it through the day. Fitz had brought pizza but neither Lizzie nor Gigi had much of an appetite. Before he left, he put it in the fridge, making them promise to try to eat later. Around 11, Lizzie turned off the TV. She couldn’t take anymore - all those reporters spouting facts and statistics were meaningless. They told her nothing that she wanted to know. Like where William was, or that he was okay and on his way back to her. 

 

She looked at Gigi. “We should probably sleep.” 

 

Gigi nodded. “Can I stay here? I don’t want to go home to my empty apartment.” 

 

“Of course.” Lizzie looked down the hallway toward her bedroom and shuddered. The thought of crawling into their bed with William missing was unbearable. “I’ll get blankets. We can sleep out here.” 

 

Gigi helped her turn the large couch into a bed for them. Lizzie lay awake long after Gigi’s breathing patterns had levelled out in sleep. She was tired but her brain refused to let her rest. Instead, she drove herself crazy imagining every scenario possible. William lying bleeding and broken in the rubble. William lying lifeless on the ground. William lying unconscious in a hospital somewhere. She finally managed to settle her mind by imagining that he’d gotten out safely and that he’d been returning to San Francisco the next day as planned.

 

 

 

— 

 

Friday morning, they woke to the news of another large aftershock. More damage, more deaths, more destruction. Still, Lizzie clung to the hope she’d had the night before and insisted to Gigi that they get dressed and drive out to the airport to meet William’s flight. 

 

“He’ll be on it,” Lizzie insisted, “I just know he will.” 

 

“He has to be,” Gigi agreed. 

 

William’s flight had originally been due to land at 12:30, but it had been delayed by several hours since passengers had been bussed to a different airport that was safe to fly out of, so Lizzie and Gigi left for the airport around 3. By the time they got to the terminal, his flight still hadn’t arrived, so Lizzie and Gigi waited, watching the monitors, eager for an update. They didn’t chat much. Lizzie knew that Gigi was wrestling with her own worries and fears and she didn’t want to push the other girl to talk unless she wanted to. 

 

After what seemed like an eternity, Gigi suddenly stood up. “It’s here. Lizzie, his flight has landed.” 

 

Lizzie gripped Gigi’s hand as they approached the area where people from the flight would be arriving. The first passengers came out and, breath held, Lizzie stood on tiptoe, trying to see over the crowd. She looked for the familiar head of hair, the formal posture, his great smile, but as the minutes ticked by and he didn’t emerge, Lizzie’s heart began to sink. As the rest of the crowd dispersed, leaving Lizzie and Gigi standing alone in a sea of not William, a wave of grief shook through Lizzie’s body and she suddenly found herself on her knees. Somewhere nearby, someone was wailing. After several moments, Lizzie realized it was her. 

 

Beside her, Gigi sank to her knees, her own grief visible on her features. Lizzie reached for her and they hugged, clinging to each other desperately. 

 

After a while, Lizzie just felt numb and words flowed from her mouth without thought or connection. “No. William. Gigi. Supposed to be on that plane. Isn’t happening. Baby. Doesn’t know.” 

 

“Baby? Lizzie, what are you talking about?” Gigi was staring at her but all Lizzie could do was wonder how Gigi had managed to string her words into a coherent sentence. “Lizzie?” 

 

Lizzie closed her eyes, taking a deep breath as she tried to assemble her thoughts into something resembling sense. “I’m pregnant,” she whispered finally. 

 

“Does he know?” 

 

Shaking her head, Lizzie closed her eyes again. For some reason it was easier to talk when she couldn’t see. “I found out on Wednesday night. I was going to tell him when he called me the next day but he never… the earthquake…” She opened her eyes, tears flowing freely. “Gigi, what am I going to do?” 

 

Her news seemed to have helped Gigi pull herself together and she stood up, offering a hand to Lizzie and pulling her to her feet as well. “You’re going to let me drive you home and then you’re going to take care of yourself. I know my brother and he’s a survivor, he’s going to come home, it’s just going to take him a little longer than we thought. He probably thought he should stay to help with the relief effort or something. You know how he is. But he will come home Lizzie, and when he does, he’s going to want to know that you and his baby are taken care of.” 

 

Lizzie nodded. What Gigi was saying made sense. Besides, if something awful had happened to him, Lizzie would know. Wouldn’t she? “Okay.”

 

 

 

— 

 

September 16, 2018

 

Dear William, 

 

I miss you.

 

It’s officially been a month since the earthquake in Guatemala hit and you are still missing. I miss you so much that every time I breathe it hurts and I fear it won’t stop until you come back. I’m terrified, William, terrified that you’re out there hurt and needing help and no one is there to help you. Please be okay, William. Please. It makes my heart ache to think about where you might be right now and what you might be going through.  

 

Gigi misses you too, William. You’d be proud of her and how strong she’s been through all of this. She’s hurting just as much as I am, if not more, and yet she’s been there for me. I honestly don’t know how I would have made it through the last 30 days without her. I’m trying to be there to support her in return and I’m very glad we’ve had each other throughout this mess. 

 

I wanted so badly to tell you this in person William, and hopefully I still can, but prepare yourself because soon it won’t just be the two of us. You’re going to be a father, William. That’s right, I’m pregnant. Isn’t that amazing? I had my first doctor’s appointment a few days ago. Gigi came with me, but I wish it had been you there holding my hand and listening as the doctor gave me all kinds of information. I didn’t get to hear our baby yet, that will come next month and I’m sure you’ll be back by then and we can hear our baby’s heartbeat together. 

 

Can you believe we created a life together? I still haven’t quite processed it. You’re going to be such a great father William and I can’t wait until the day I can see you holding our son or daughter in your arms. Our baby is going to be so lucky to have you to love him or her, so you hurry back, okay?

 

I love you, William. 

 

Come back to us soon. 

 

Love, 

 

Lizzie

 

 

 

End Part One