This story is by Gina Rivere and was part of our 10th Anniversary Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
Gianna rushed to the door to see who was there. A short, young man was holding a bouquet of flowers. “Gianna, these are for you.” She closed the door, placed the flowers in the center of the table, and opened the envelope. “Happy Anniversary, Bae. I love you.”
She smiled as she continued to tidy up her condominium unit. Her home was small but had everything she wanted: a swimming pool, a private gym, restaurants, coffee shops, and a grocery store- all in walking distance.
She hurried back to her home office. Gianna was a full-time writer, who works on several projects at a time. Organization is one of her strongest skills. She stares at the monitor for a minute to read the last sentence she wrote for the romance novel. Her fingers moved across the keyboard as she typed each word. After a couple of hours, she finally typed her two favorite words: The End.
Today is special and she wanted everything to be perfect. It is the 4-year anniversary that she began dating Ryan Dawson. Ryan was tall and handsome. He was established and an attorney at a local real estate title company. Ryan was far from perfect, but he was perfect for her. Gianna felt safe with him. He was always dependable, and they had so much in common. They were both workaholics and perfectionists.
She had some news to share with him and hopefully, he will be happy, too. They had a whirlwind courtship, and they loved each other, but they never discussed marriage. Although she often dreamed about his proposal to her.
After returning from the farmer’s market, she began to cook the anniversary dinner, but she began to feel cramps in her stomach- more like pressure.
She went upstairs, took a shower, applied make-up, and fixed her long curly hair.
“I think I will wear the red dress,” she thought to herself.
She stared at her reflection in the mirror and said, “Perfect. Just Perfect.”
She dimmed the lights, lit the candles, and put on some Lionel Richie love songs in the background.
Gianna sat on the sofa to wrap the gift she bought for Ryan. She bought two pairs of baby booties: one set was pink and the other blue. She took one from each pack to wrap as one gift, with a card that reads: Ballerina or Baseball player?
She was nervous. This was definitely not planned, but she loved the idea of being a mother. She was 12-weeks along and was extremely tired and sick all the time. Gianna knew that her body was changing but she did not think she was pregnant because she was still having her menstrual cycle. She went to urgent care two days ago, thinking she had a virus.
The doctor walked into the examining room and said, “Congratulations.”
“Excuse me,” Gianna looked puzzled.
“You don’t have a virus, you are pregnant.”
“Are you sure? I was told that I can never get pregnant because I have endometriosis.”
“You are one of the lucky ones,” he said before leaving the room to search for a sample of prenatal vitamins.
So, she decided to wait for their anniversary to tell Ryan he was going to be a father. It was the beginning of fall, and the baby was due in April.
“Hmmm, it must have happened around the 4th of July when we took a trip to Key West, Florida.
Just then, she heard a car door.
“Daddy is home,” she said as she held her stomach.
She ran into his arms and said, “Happy Anniversary!”
After a long, passionate kiss, Ryan looked around and said,” Something smells amazing.”
The dining room table was beautiful. Fresh flowers and candles were the centerpieces on top of a beautiful white vintage tablecloth decorated with exquisite lace. It was her grandmother’s tablecloth that she only used on special occasions.
“This looks amazing, Bae. Thank you for going through so much trouble for me today,” Ryan said as he kissed her on her forehead.
Grilled steaks, roasted asparagus, and a green salad were on the menu.
After dinner, Ryan said, “I have something for you.”
“I have something for you too,” she said as she winked at him.
He sat next to her on the sofa and pulled out a small box. She looked down and her heart was starting to race.
“Oh my, is he really about to propose to me,” she thought.
“This is perfect,” she thought to herself.
Ryan was holding out a small box.
“Open it,” he said.
She slowly unwrapped the small box and pulled the lid up. She grabbed the hinged box and pulled the side apart. Inside of the box was a beautiful gold Fleur-de-lis pendant, outlined with diamonds. It was beautiful but not what she was expecting on her 4-year anniversary. She was not sure what she was expecting, but this? His gifts do not represent love.
“Would I feel differently if it was a gold heart outlined in diamonds,” she thought to herself.
Even the flowers he bought her were equally beautiful, but they were not roses. He did send her favorite flowers, which are lilies.
“Look, it is the French version of your favorite flower, the Fleur-de-lis,” Ryan said.
She looked up and said, “Thank you. It’s beautiful.”
Now she was extremely nervous. She just realized none of his gifts represent love. “It’s like he is giving a gift to his sister when he gives me gifts,” she thought.
Her heart was pounding as she handed him the gift.
He unwrapped it and said, “W-h-a-t is this?
“I am 12-weeks pregnant,” she said as she watched his smile quickly faded.
“I thought you couldn’t get pregnant,” he said.
“I am just as surprised as you are. It’s a miracle,” she said as tears slowly ran down her cheek.
Ryan put his head down and said, “I’m not ready to be a father.”
Everything went quiet. Neither spoke. There were no words.
The cramps in her stomach were getting more severe. She ran to the bathroom and noticed that she was bleeding. She began to sob uncontrollably.
Ryan ran to the door. “Are you ok?
“I don’t think so. Please bring me to the emergency room.”
Ryan lifted her in his arms and carried her to the truck. The ride to the hospital seemed like hours, but it was only 10 minutes. Ryan concentrated on the road as Gianna wept quietly. She knew that something terrible was happening.
When they arrived at the hospital, he ran to get a wheelchair for her. The nurse brought her to a room filled with machines.
“My name is Melinda, I am a nurse practitioner, and I am here to help you, but you have to calm down,” she said. “Please put this gown on with the slit to the front.”
Gianna laid on the bed and Ryan was at her side.
Melinda opened her gown and said, “This will be cold.” She placed gel on the probe and rubbed it against her stomach.
Gianna and Ryan were both staring at the monitor, but they did not know what they were looking at. Melinda kept going over the same area and the look on her face was serious.
“I’ll be right back, let me just grab Dr. Farrington to take a look,” Melinda said.
“Is everything ok?” Gianna asked as Melinda walked out the door.
About 15 minutes later, both Melinda and Dr. Farrington walked back into the room.
“Hello, I’m Dr. Farrington,” he said as he grabbed the probe.
He did the same thing Melinda did and kept moving along the same area. Gianna watched his face, but it was stone cold. No expression.
“Doctor, please tell me. What do you see?” Gianna asked.
“I am very sorry, but we can’t find a heartbeat.”
“So, what do we do next?” Gianna asked.
“There is nothing to do, Gianna. You are having a miscarriage.”
“No, No. My baby. My baby.” Gianna screamed.
Ryan tried to console her, but she pushed him away.
She looked at Ryan and asked, “Is this what you were hoping for.”
Gianna sobbed as they wheeled her into surgery.
She woke up feeling empty and sad. She had a huge hole in her heart that no one can ever fill. A part of her was gone that she will never get back.
When the nurse rolled her back into her room, Ryan was waiting for her.
“Can I get you anything?”, he asked.
“Please leave. I want to be alone.”
“Are you sure?”, he asked.
“Yes,” she whispered.
He kissed her on her forehead and said, “I am sorry.”
“I am sorry, too,” she said. “Do you realize this day will forever be sketched in my heart?”
“This is the day we met 4 years ago,” she said, “This is the day my baby died.”
“And finally, this is the day that I end our relationship,” she said.