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Thirty Three

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Tomorrow’s just an excuse away- Thirty-Three by The Smashing Pumpkins

The sun came up and she was still gone, Daryl never got used to that and he knew he never would. The grass was wet as usual, and he always woke up face down. For a moment he would try and clear his head and sometimes he was so close to almost forgetting where he was. But he always remembered eventually. It was usually a flood of memories that hit him like a tidal wave and knocked him out every time.

He and Isabelle camped together a few times, and in the first morning light, he always thought she would be next to him. They had slept out under the stars’ lots of times in their sleeping bags, talking and planning their life together looking up at the stars, and making love. All the things that young couples in love did every day, and they had done those things too.

They had been so innocent then, so focused on each other, the way you are the first time you fall in love before you find out how cruel life can be.

Before you find out doom is lurking right around the corner to take any and all happiness away from you forever.

It could easily have been one of those times and she could easily have been next to him. She should have been because what happened to her wasn’t supposed to happen, but it did.

Isabelle wasn’t there though when he reached for her, and then he would look up and see her name carved in the stone. He hadn’t meant to come here, but no matter where he started his night he always ended up here, always drunk. The night before was no different. Tara had the baby for the night and he went to the liquor store as usual. He drove to the church that was down the path from where he was right now.

Daryl always stopped at the church first and sat on the steps to drink. He would finish whatever he had bought, he always did and then he would go into the church. Sometimes he sat down and sometimes he kneeled, but he never prayed.

He didn’t believe anymore, the was no way there was a god that could be so cruel as to take Izzie from him. She was the love of his life and they had a baby together, he had wanted to marry her, in the church he looked up at right now.

But she was gone and she was never coming back. They had so little time in reality and he had thought they were going to grow old together. He thought they would raise Emily and get married and he had to do it all alone now.

He knew Izzie had asked Tara and Merle to help him and they were. Right now they were letting him mourn her, and helping with the baby, probably more than they should. It was coming up on six months and he still found himself doing this, at least twice a week.

Daryl kicked her headstone once, and he never drank tequila again after that. That night he laid down on the ground and cried for hours. He missed her, and he understood why she chose the way she did. She had her reasons, but he was angry sometimes. Not at her, sometimes at her, but mostly at the situation. He knew he would never hurt Emily, but Isabelle should have lived.

He never touched her headstone again after that except to lay flowers there for her, always tulips, her favorite. He brought every time too along with the booze. He still hated himself for what he did that night, he could have blamed the tequila, but he wasn’t that lit. He was just having an angry day, a day where he wished she had listened to him.

Tara had given him a book by some woman doctor about mourning and he recognized that he was stuck in the anger stage and unable to move past that. Not yet. He just didn’t understand how this had happened.

How could a twenty-three-year-old woman get cancer? But they did, every day, as he found out soon enough. They met a lot of women like Izzie in those last few months and most of them were still alive.

Izzie had Non- Hodgkin’s Lymphoma that needed aggressive treatment right from the start and she had refused, because she was pregnant. Now Emily was six months old and he was not coping with anything, not with anything at all and he didn’t want to.

He just wanted her back.