Chapter 77

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A/N ~ A very rushed chapter for you as I have a really hectic 48 hours coming up but Monday I shall try get the remainder of this fic written up and posted asap! ☺️

The days of the following week all blurred into one as Sam continued to work his way through the hours in the hospital. Connie however found herself bored to the point of no return after having decided it were best to step back from the hectic schedule she had at work.

Instead she filled her days with laying around the house, trying to think of something she hadn't already moved or cleaned in the house. As she lay on the sofa, her legs up the back with her head dangling freely from the comfort of the sofa, the room was upside down to her as she racked her brain for something to do.

The radio played in the background but she barely paid any attention to it. That was until the date was mentioned, her legs instantly spinning as she shot upright. Reaching forwards for her phone she picked it up to see the date that she was refusing to believe. "Shit..."

Getting up from where she'd been sitting she began grabbing things and throwing them into her bag as she moved towards the front door. Reaching it she dropped a hand to her stomach, feeling the rush to leave the house she groaned as someone else had other ideas. "Ughhh always when I need to leave!" Dropping her bag beside the wall Connie ran back through the house towards the bathroom, no longer able to cope with the thrashing against her bladder.

By the time she could finally leave the house, it was already 12 and Sam was due home in a little over three hours. She wasn't sure how she'd let the day slip her mind but somehow it had got lost among the other things they had going on. Glancing at the time, she continued to drive through the quiet streets before reaching the town centre.

Connie had never been one for celebrating or remembering much, but if there was one thing she knew about Sam it was that he wouldn't let this slip. Every year he insisted on taking her, and every year she refused but she knew there would be no getting out of this time. As she strolled along the street she found her mind racing with thoughts, ones she had never considered before.

Six years on, and this never became any easier. Her father wasn't exactly the perfect parent and he was far from encouraging of Connie but the days she spent caring for him, watching him deteriorate still haunted her. "Is everything okay?" Connie's head snapped up not having realised the young girl standing beside her. "Sorry I was-" "A million miles away?" She smiled briefly with a nod. "Something like that..."

"Anything you're looking for?" "Sorry, I'm really awful at this sort of thing. Buying flowers isn't really my forte." She nodded with a smile beginning to gather a few things up, Connie glad for the help. "Someone special?" Inhaling she felt the hint of sadness creep over her but she quickly shut it down before it could truly take over. "My father..."

With a single glance up to Connie the younger woman understood. "I'm sorry..." Shaking her head she watched as the flowers were quickly tucked together and wrapped. Paying for them she looked to the various colours that fit together in almost perfect formation. She'd have never been able to arrange that even if she'd spent hours trying. "Here-" "Thank you..."

After the brief interaction Connie found herself wishing that she had intact continued to remain blissfully unaware of the day. The longer she spent alone, the longer she had to think about everything. The grandchild that he would never get to know, whether that was good or bad she wasn't sure. How he would never get to meet Sam, see how happy she finally was.

Making her way home she decided to drive the longest way possible, as though it would put off the inevitable. It was only when she arrived back and saw Sam standing on the balcony that she noticed the time. Swearing to herself she then realised the number of calls that she had missed from him.

Connie didn't have chance to make her way up to the flat as Sam met her in the entrance. "Hey-" "Hey I was worried..." She smiled glumly before feeling his hand brush across her arm. "Good day at work?" "The usual... Are you okay?" "Why wouldn't I be?" Sam eyes her suspiciously before she tried moving past him. "Uh- Nice try. Keys." "I'm capable of driving Sam."

Spinning on her heel she stormed back to her car as he rolled his eyes following her. She had always been moody when it came to this time of year, refusing to admit that today really affected her. He wasn't about to let her get away without visiting, normally Elliot would go with her but he didn't feel right letting her go with him this year.

The drive was silent, not a sound from either of them as she drove the familiar route. Connie lifted her head to look across at the church that stood tall beside them, unsure if she were really capable of getting out now they were here. She felt his eyes on her and didn't want to show him any sort of weakness, not here.

Getting out of the car swiftly, she picked up the flowers from the back seat while Sam got out watching her. She walked alone but knew that he was only a matter of steps behind her. Taking a deep breath she slowed before coming to a stop. A large tree hung over them, protecting them from the sun that was still high in the sky. The gravestone darkened by the six years of varying weather it had endured.

Releasing a breath she didn't know she'd been holding she placed the flowers down on the grass. Bending down, she kept herself balanced with a hand resting to the top of the stone. "I know you'd expect me to come here every year and say something great about you, but there's not much to say."

Letting her eyes drop to the ground she momentarily forgot that anyone else was there with her. "You always did have to have things your way, you always had to have the last say. Well I guess you got that by dying before I could ever prove you wrong." Looking away she felt the years of unshed tears build. "You always told me that I'd never be happy because I was too selfish, too focused on the job."

Feeling the lump in her throat as she rubbed a hand across her stomach she released another slow breath. "You had to leave before I could ever prove you wrong, show you that I could do it. You always had to leave when I wanted you." The tears feel freely now as she thought back to all the times she'd felt abandoned by her father.

Sam stepped forwards to crouch beside her, a hand moving to rest against her back. "Why'd he have to do it again?" He tried desperately to soothe her as he pulled her into a hug, his lips pressing to the top of her head. "He's proud of you Con, and he knows how happy you are now. I promise he does."

She held onto him as she sobbed, something she'd never done when here before. Something always seemed to stop her from truly letting herself feel the pain and hurt from the last six years but now, with Sam next to her and the edge of her new life within reaching distance she allowed everything to fall out.

They remained there for sometime, barely a sound passing before Sam helped her up from the floor and walked back towards the car with her. He drove them home, helping her inside as she remained quiet still. She hadn't spoken since they walked away from her fathers grave and he was unsure as to what was on her mind.

Connie was laying in bed as Sam finally gave up and moved to rest beside her. Silently wrapping an arm around her, he pulled her back to lay against his chest. She felt his hand move into hers, no words exchanged as he proved just how much he was going to be there for her. Turning back to look over her shoulder, she pressed a gentle kiss to his lips before smiling briefly. There was no need for thank yous or promises, they knew what the other wanted to say. Instead they fell asleep quickly with one another, happy knowing that the other was still there.

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