By the time evening drew in, everyone had been fed and watered. Most had left by now. The rest of us sat around the table, drinking, chatting and watching the bonfire crackle. Julia and Toby snuggled together to my right, Damon sat to my left and a neighbouring couple sat next to him. I sipped my beer and listened to them chatter whilst Damon played with my fingers under the table.
"Never have I ever..." Toby grinned,
"If we're playing this game then I need a stronger drink." I interrupted and stood, "Does anyone want anything?" That was a stupid bloody question, everyone ordered different things. Fuck that. I grabbed a bottle of JD from the kitchen and a bottle of coke, they'd drink what I gave them. I dumped them on the table then poured out everyone's before sitting back down.
"Ok, you may proceed." I grinned, my hand found Damon's and I laced my fingers between his.
"Never have I ever had sex in public." Toby grinned and looked at Julia; she shook her head and took a sip with him. I took mine then noticed Damon; I frowned and pushed his glass towards his face. He stopped just before drinking and looked at everyone,
"I need some clarification. Do you mean proper sex or like a sex act?" I smiled at the dumbness and pushed the glass to his lips again, he looked at me innocently
"Sweetheart, either way you need to take a sip." I smiled sweetly as everyone laughed. He almost spat his drink out when he realised what I meant, he swallowed then mouthed 'seriously?' I nodded and shrugged, if he thought that was risqué then he should probably stop playing. He grinned and ventured to rest his arm around the back of my chair.
"Never had I ever been walked in on mid fuck." Julia looked at us both then looked at Toby,
"Does Mason count?" I heard him whisper and almost spat out my drink, she nodded and he drank. I looked at Damon, he held the glass to his mouth and looked at me; waiting for his cue. I nodded. He drank.
Damon struggled to come up with a statement. I decided it was time to get Julia back. I leant over and whispered in his ear.
"Hey that's cheating." Toby threw a bit of paper in our direction,
"Oh hush. He's got amnesia; you can't expect him to be able to think after a few drinks." I grinned as I exaggerated.
"Ok, never have I ever thrown up during a sex act then carried on." No-one drank, I watched Julia flush and look to Toby for support. He was on the verge of hysterics as she sipped.
"Hey baby, it's nothing to be ashamed of, just shows your committed to the job in hand." He grinned and kissed her passionately. I turned away and made the appropriate sounds of disapproval one should make when a relative is eating someone's face.
"Never have I ever been rimmed." Andy one of the other couple asked grinning. Damon looked at me for an answer. I pulled an apologetic face and nodded. His eyes widened, he leant in closer
"Did I like it?" His breath tickled my ear making me giggle,
"More than you'll ever know." I grinned and watched him sip. I glanced at Toby and wished I hadn't seen him sip. Probably not the best game to play with family around. Thank god we weren't prudes, there was only a year between us and our bond was stronger than most siblings. He grinned as he looked at Damon and tilted his glass as a salute to him. I shook my head and smiled at his boyishness. I completely missed the next statement and looked to Damon for help. He nodded so I sipped without question. He smiled knowingly then winked. God knows what I just admitted to.
The game became more and more sordid until no-one could sip without cries of disgust from the others. I've never laughed so hard, I almost had a Mason moment. Fortunately Katy started to cry across the monitor. I jumped to my feet.
"I'll go. I need a wee anyway." I patted Damon on the head and ran into the house. I finished my business then checked on Katy. I picked her up and rocked her gently whilst singing a lullaby. I watched her eyes close and placed her gently into her crib. I turned and almost fell into Damon, he didn't look so good. The colour had drained from his face.
"Jesus, are you ok?" I guided him to a chair, he sat down with a thud and put his head between his legs, lacing his fingers through his hair. I knelt down; he flinched at my touch and moved away.
"What's wrong?" I asked but got no reply, "Damon. You're scaring me." I pleaded, trying to keep my voice even. I'd never seen him like this before. He took a few deep breaths then looked up at me.
"You were pregnant." He almost choked on his words, my legs felt weak as panic coursed through my veins.
The day of the accident we'd taken a home pregnancy test, it was positive. Damon was over the moon. We both were. He'd been driving to the shop to get some champagne when a drunk driver collided with his car.
"I was." I nodded numbly, not wanting to live the pain
"Was? What the hell does that mean?" He was angry, what the hell was going through his head? I pulled him out of Katy's room and shut the door. I clung on to his shirt whilst he tried to push me away.
"I miscarried." I let go and ran my fingers through my hair, "Look, I know you don't chose what you remember but I really need you to let this one go. I know you have questions but I can't answer them right now." I looked up and willed the tears to stay put then blew out a shaky breath when they didn't. I wiped my eyes then went downstairs and tried to pretend that conversation hadn't just happened. I would have succeeded had I not walked into the garden and seen everyone staring at the baby monitor. Fucking stupid piece of spyware. Julia looked at me so pitifully that I almost threw up. That's why I hadn't told anyone. I didn't want the look everyone was giving me right now. I forced a big smile
"Right, I think its way past my bed time. I'm off to sleep." I kissed Julia and my brother quickly then walked briskly to the guesthouse before anyone could question me.
I sat shaking on the bed wishing he would come after me but knowing I wouldn't be able to relive the pain; to answer the questions he rightly needed to ask. I told myself I'd dealt with the loss and grieved but I hadn't, I'd pushed the memory aside in the hope it would disappear into a dark pit of despair. I'd succeeded for the most part, carried on with living half a life with a husband that didn't remember me. What was the point in crying over something that would have just complicated things? That baby, our baby. Oh god it hurt to remember how excited Damon had been, the look of sheer happiness shone from his eyes as he held me tight and declared his love for me over and over. Painful sobs tore through my body as I heaved for breath. Tears wept for what could have been as images of our little family filled my head, a little boy the spitting image of Damon playing around our feet as we laughed. A little girl with unruly dark hair and piercing emerald eyes crying with laughter as Damon tickled her. But it was a dream, a wish of a life; long since shattered by the idiocy of a drunk driver. A future brutally ripped from my womb by the stress of a husband that couldn't remember and the fear of losing him forever. My heart ached torturously in my chest as my sobs calmed, my tears all but cried out. I ran a shaking hand through my hair and clenched my roots in anger and frustration. This whole situation was ridiculous, obscenely bitter like a badly written romantic novel but this wasn't a story, this wasn't a reality I could just read and try to imagine; this was my life. Rage itched my skin as I tried to suppress it. I needed to be calm, actually no, what I really needed to do was wake the fuck up from this nightmare I'd clearly gotten trapped in. A year ago my life was not just perfect, it was fucking perfect. Now it was a mess surrounded by broken dreams shattered on the floor. Every step shredding my feet as I can't help but stand on the shards.