After losing her baby when she was only 15, Tierra has finally come to terms with reality.
|Fifteen Years Ago
Dead? How can she be dead? My mind was racing as I watched the E.R. doctors fail to revive my baby. The head doctor, Dr. Jacobs, walked up to me, his head shaking back and forth, “I’m sorry Tierra, but Natalie’s gone. We couldn’t bring her back. There was too much damage done to her brain, that even if we could’ve got her back, she would’ve been brain dead.”
I just stood there, tears flowing down my face. She’s dead, my baby girl is dead. And I killed her. I killed my baby! I screamed before falling to my knees sobbing. Dr. Jacobs kneeled down beside me and pulled me into a hug. “She’s really gone, my baby is really dead?” I sobbed into his chest, “I killed her!” I looked up at the table where they were cleaning up and caught the very last glimpse of my daughters face before they covered her over. “Natty,” I calmed down slightly; Dr. Jacobs helped me up and into one of the large hard chairs in the room.
“Is there anyone we can call to come get you?”
I nodded my head, “My sister,” I said looking down at the floor. “My sister Darian, call her.”
The first thing Darian did when she got to the E.R. was run and give me a hug. “Oh my God, sis, I came as quick as I could. Are you alright? How’s the baby.” My eyes watered back up when she mentioned Natalie. Darian looked at me for a little while with a look of confusion on her face until she looked over at the operating table and saw the tiny covered body, that’s when she understood what happened and what I did. “YOU KILLED YOUR BABY!” She screamed enraged, I shot her a look to kill.
“YOU THINK I WOULD KILL MY BABY?! NO! I WOULD NEVER HURT HER!”
“WELL THEN PRAY TELL WHAT HAPPENED THEN!”
“Tierra, can you get me a copy of that new report? Jonah wants it by noon.” Chris said as he walked by my office.
I looked up from my computer, and smiled, “How many copies? One or two, or does it matter?” I asked as I rolled my chair over to the file cabinet.
Chris back stepped and walked into my office. “He didn’t say, but I’m pretty sure he just wants one.” Chris said smiling, before heading back out of my office and down the long hallway.
Liar, but oh well, I’ll just make two in case. I got out the report, and walked down the hall to the copy room. As I was walking in I bumped into someone, causing them to spill their coffee all over the report and our suits. “Oh, I’m so sorry sir, I wasn’t paying attention.” I said, looking up. HOLY SHIT! My mouth gaped open as I realized just who I’d bumped into. “Oh my God, Brandon, is that really you? It’s been what?” I asked, laughing to myself. How could I not know Brandon worked here?
“Fifteen years today,” He said, looking deep into my eyes. My heart dropped, as the memories and pain came back.
I pulled into Natalie’s babysitter’s driveway and got out. Mrs. Handan was already waiting out on the front porch with Natalie fast asleep in her arms. “I was wondering if you were going to show up.” She said as I took Natalie and handed her a twenty. “I was busy,” I said, as turned to walk back to the car. Mrs. Handan grabbed my shoulder, jerking me back, “Is that alcohol I smell on your breath?” She asked, “Oh for heaven’s sake, you’ve been drinking, haven’t you?! And you're going to drive?” I nodded as she shook her head. I waved at her, buckled Natalie in her car seat, then got back in and pulled out back onto the road.
Ten minutes after leaving the party, I finally felt the full effect of the alcohol kicking in. All of a sudden, Ericka started screaming as we ran over the bank and the car went flying through the air. When we landed, I looked back, Ericka wasn’t in the car, and Natalie had blood covering her face. I turned back, tears soaking my face and thought. What have I done?
“Tierra! Tierra!” Brandon yelled as I collapsed to the floor shaking and convulsing uncontrollably.
“I remember… it was my fault… she died because of my stupidity” I sobbed, Brandon helped me sit up, just as Jonah, my boss, rushed into the room and kneeled down in front of me, concern plain on his face.
“Tierra, are you ok? What happened?”
“I remembered. “ I said breathlessly, Jonah gave me a confused look then it hit him, I was remembering the night she died. Brandon sat there with his arm around me being as quiet as a church mouse. I knew I was the reason.
After my episode in the copy room, Jonah told me to take the rest of the day off. Brandon offered to take me home, which Jonah almost said no to, but I said I’d really appreciate so he relented and said yes. As we were walking to Brandon’s car, he stopped and turned towards me. “What happened back there? You said you remembered? What was that about? What’d you remember?” He asked as he opened my door for me, I turned my head to face him.
“I remember the night she died.” I said looking into his dark brown eyes.
He slammed the door shut and kicked at the car, “GOD DAMN IT!” He shouted before climbing in the driver’s seat. “Why’d you do it?” He asked, reaching his hand over and forcing me to look at him. “Why’d you go to Josh’s party? You knew there’d be alcohol, and you knew you’d have to pick her up from Mrs. Handan’s?” He started the car and pulled out of the parking lot.
“I just wanted to have some fun, I wasn’t thinking. I had no idea that I’d end up losing my best friend and the most precious and most important person in my life, because I decided to have some fun. I was fucking fifteen! You really think I was going to think before doing?!” I yelled, all these years I’ve held in my frustration, knowing that one day I’d have to face him, Natalie’s father, the guy sitting next to me, Brandon.
When I think back to that day I realize I should’ve known better, but I guess I can see that now because I’m older and can distinguish between logical thinking and not thinking at all. If I’d only given a moment’s thought to what might happen, I never would’ve went to that damn party, I never would’ve drank that night, I’d still have my baby girl. There are times when I try to picture what she’d look like if she’d lived. She’d have my chestnut hair, his dark brown eyes, my tan complexion, she’d be tall like Brandon, and skinny too.
Tears welled in my eyes, “Look, Brandon, I’m sorry, I made a mistake and it cost not only me, but those I care about most. I never meant for Natalie to die, I wish I could go back and change what happened but I can’t. I can’t go back, I can’t bring her back, I can’t bring Ericka back, and I can’t bring myself back.”