Hearts of the Past and Present
"Hershel please save my baby!" I cried.
Hershel was fretting, he was looking panicked as his hovered uneasily on his crutches. "Beth removed her top and jeans," he ordered, ignoring my request.
Beth looked even more panicked, petrified even. She managed to get my mud soaked clothes off of me, as she manuvered me I screamed in more twisting and stabbing pain. She covered me with a thin, clean sheet.
"Hershel, please, help me." I cried as Beth laid me out straight and held my arms down.
"I'm sorry Lily, there's nothing I can do." He said honestly as he fiddled with tube he fed medication to Daryl with.
I screamed out at both the pain and his reply, my baby, Daryl's baby was in danger, it was hurting, it was in pain and it was helpless. Maybe the baby wasn't in danger, I felt like I was having contractions, the way mothers described the pain was certainly how I was feeling.
Am I definitely three months? How long ago did I have sex with Daryl before in the forest? Could I be in labour?
Of course not, I was replying to my stupid, pathetic questions. I knew what was happening, what was going to happen and what I was going to lose
Hershel jammed the tube into a thick vein of mine and I felt the cool liquid rush into my system, "To easy the pain.." Beth said to me quietly, her voice matched the feeling of the medication.
I continued to cry, scream, shout, thrash until the medication kicked in properly and I began to struggle to do those types of things.
"No, no," I argued sleepily, "Don't give up on my baby, I'm not giving up on my baby."
Hershel was perched on a stool beside me, grasped my hand in his own old and worn.
"Lily," he said softly.
My eyes were so heavily, I was being dragged into a sleep I didn't want to be in, I was bound to have nightmares.
"Don't let me go under, please, I want to stay with my baby." I whispered, another tear spilled over.
"I'm sorry." Hershel said once more before my eyes shut.
I drowsily woke from a medically induced sleep. I was groggy and felt rough. My chest was aching, my ribs stabbed me and I felt generally strange. Something was different with me.
I propped myself up on my elbows, I was still connected to a drip of whatever. I looked down and all my bedding had been changed, all white and clean.
I puffed my pillows and sat up properly, in the corner, who I didn't notice at first, was Hershel.
I got straight down to business.
"What happened to me?" I asked reluctantly.
Hershel sighed deeply, "I'm sorry Lily, but you've had a miscarriage. You bled heavily, there was nothing Beth or I could do.. all there was for us was for Beth the changed the sheets and for I to help you deal with the pain. I'm so so sorry Lily."
I pressed my lips into a hard line and squeezed my eyes shut, "Thank you Hershel." I said quietly.
There wasn't any pain any more, I didn't know whether that was because of the medicine or because it was no longer carrying a baby.. was it really a baby or was it a foetus? Had it developed into what someone would call a baby yet? I didn't know exactly when a baby develops certain parts, I failed biology first time round at school.
"Urm, Hershel," I said through tears. This wasn't the type of crying I did before, this was sad but silent crying. I let the tears fall without any shouting, sobbing or gasps for breath. "At what point does a unborn baby become a baby?"
Hershel moved the stool back over to my beside before answering, "Well, that depends on a person's personal view, or on their religious beliefs."
"Sorry Hersh," I knew he was a big believer, "I don't think there's a god after seeing everything I've saw. So just tell me some specifics of the growth. I wanna know if our baby was a baby when it died, if it had features, the look of a person.."
"Hmm," he began, "It is considered a foetus at 13 weeks, as it is no longer a group of embryos. At 4 weeks, arms and legs begin to form, 6 weeks bones and 7 weeks fingers and thumbs. At 10 weeks, organs are nearly formed and on the 12th week the vocal chords and sexual organs. It becomes either a boy or a girl."
I failed miserably at stifling a gasp.
"How many weeks were you Lily?" Hershel asked softly.
"Around 13 to 14, I can't be sure."
"Ah," he nodded along.
"What are some ideas of when life begins Doc?" I picked up the habit of calling Hershel doc from Daryl, I knew he was a vet but he had more medical and religious knowledge than any of us.
"Some believe at conception or implantation if it's IVF or surrogacy. Then there's when it becomes a foetus at 13 weeks or when the foetus can potentially live without the mother, and finally, some believe that life begins at birth." He explained.
I understood all of them, but my heart wasn't with any suggestion of the beginning of life.. heart.. Heart!
"At what point does a baby's- um, I mean, foetus' heart begin to function and beat?" I asked.
Hershel deliberated for a moment, "25 days."
"25 days?" I repeated. "3 weeks and 4 days. Oh my god."
This was when I personally believed that life began, when a heart started to beat. Mine and Daryl's baby had a beating heart, it had arms and legs, bones, tiny fingers and thumbs, it had organs, a voice ready to be used as well as sexual organs at 12 weeks. I was 13 or 14 weeks gone, I had a baby boy or a girl, but I would never know.
I hung my head, my chin was pressed into my chest as I left the tears fall from my face into my sheets. Hershel put his hand over mine comfortingly.
"How long have I been out?" I asked.
"A couple of hours," Hershel replied.
Suddenly everything came flooding back to me. The horse, the walkers, the gun shot. Rick shouting, Pete shouting, Daryl..
"Who was it?!" I jumped, "Who was in the forest, was it the intruder, has Rick spoke to them, let them in? Is anyone hurt?"
"Shhhh Lily, you need to rest. Calm yourself, everyone is okay. It was two survivors, a brother and a sister. They mean no harm and they are sick. I suspect they drank from the lake you did." Hershel explained, relief washed over me. "And Daryl, he doesn't know. We've managed to keep him out of here while you slept, I didn't want to tell him without your permission, or do you want to do it?"
I cowered into my bed, I couldn't do it. I could be the one to tell Daryl that he had lost ANOTHER child, even though I probably should.
"I can't," I whispered, "I just can't."
Hershel patted my hand, "Don't you be worrying about that just now, you need to rest. Sleep. I can deal with Daryl and the others for you if you wish."
"Thank you," my voice was barely audible now because of the overwhelming amount of emotion and tears that rushed over my cheeks.
I laid back down flat on my back and pulled the thin, white covers over my head to cut me out from the world. It worked sometimes, but those sometimes were when I was with Daryl. I needed him.
"Daryl, I'm so sorry but when Lily was thrown from the horse, she sustained injuries that interfered with her pregnancy... I'm afraid she's lost the baby."
I could see the misshapen shadows of two people on the curtain that hung over the cell door. The shadows belonged to Hershel and Daryl.
"W-what? No!" Daryl exclaimed.
An arm reached up and held a pair of shoulders, it was Hershel's on Daryl's to keep him calm but comfort him at the same time.
"I'm sorry Daryl, there was nothing we could do, she bled heavily." He explained.
Daryl's voice was a lot quieter, he sounded hurt. "Is she okay?"
"She's doing okay, she's sleeping now."
I wasn't but I was only minutes ago. My sleep was disturbed by the deep voices outside which kept Daryl from coming in. The shadows showed me that Daryl's hand had risen and had been placed on his face.
"Can I see her still?" He asked.
I quickly shut my eyes and stayed completely still. I didn't want look at Daryl's face, surely he would look heartbroken.
I heard footsteps, the cell door open then more footsteps. It was silent in the cell. I felt a hand on my face, it brushed my cheeks.
"She'd look pale if she wasn't covered in dry mud," Daryl tried hard to laugh and joke about it, but I could hear the tears in his voice. He sighed heavily in defeat.
I wanted to open my eyes, open my arms and pull him close, I was so sorry for loosing his baby. I wanted nothing more than to have Daryl belong to a family, a family of our own.
"I guess it wasn't meant to be right now," he said quietly.
I felt something light and delicate be dropped into my hands which was raised and left of my pillow beside my head, palm facing upwards. Daryl curled his hand around mine and around whatever he placed inside.
He sniffed and made those awful sounds when you tried to hold back sobs.
Daryl was a lot closer to me now, I could feel his breath on my cheek, he placed his hand on my forehead then pushed back my hair.
"I'm so sorry Lily, but I've got to go." He said and kissed me on the forehead.
Daryl crossed the bed cell, "Goodbye Hershel," he said, the pain present in his voice.
"Where are you going Daryl?"
"Away for a bit, I can't do this." He said and I herd the clang of the metal.
I rose up from the bed, "Daryl!" I called after him, but I got no reply.
He was gone.
But where was he going? Why was he going? He can't do this..
I threw myself back down onto the pillows, tears soon brimmed in my eyes.
To distract myself, I looked to see what Daryl gave me. The thin silver chain hung over my index finger and swung gently in front and above my face. The was a simple silver heart charm hanging from the bottom of it. I had received this gift before.
Daryl had given me this necklace on my 21st birthday, I didn't take it off until the night he brought Bella to the prison. What an awful night, full of screaming, crying, hitting and kicking. I remember, hazily, being in my cell on the same night; I pulled it from my neck and through it into the corner of my bed cell. God knows when Daryl found it again.
Each time I have received this gift, it had meant something different. The first time, daryl was hitting at his love for me, he gave me a very special present on a very special birthday in very special circumstances. But this time round, when Daryl handed me the necklace, he was handing over his heart.
Sorry if this wasn't how you wanted things to be, but I've got some ideas that wouldn't work well if Lily was pregnant! Hope you liiiiiked xx