‹ Prequel: God Please
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Second Chance

Missed Calls

3 missed calls

Calloused fingers scrolled down the list to find that all were from the same number. It was one who had already called him several times in the past few days. Though he was supposedly unlisted, he still received calls from telemarketers just like everyone else. And like everyone else, it annoyed the daylights out of him. How easy their job must be, he mused inwardly. Probably ninety five percent of people hung up in the first ten seconds. As far as he could tell, they essentially got paid for nothing more than dialing numbers.

"Did you find those lyrics, man?" Zack asked upon returning into the den.

"No, sorry. Was checking my phone. "

"Everything okay?"

"Yeah. Em, Val, and Lacey are still at the spa. I'm just getting hammered with solicitors again. Can't even say my name right. I'm Mr. Hayner," he snorted.

"Why are you even answering them?"

"I'm not. They keep leaving me voicemails." his response caused the younger man to raise an eyebrow at him. "What?"

"Uh, they haven't left me messages in ages. What do they say? What company are they calling from?"

"That is the strange part. They never say who they represent. They just say it's urgent they speak with me. Same guy each time. " tired eyes glanced down at the screen and he let a little groan escape. With a flick of his wrist, he rotated the device for his friend to see. "Here they are again. "

"Okay, so here's a crazy question, " the rhythm deadpanned now with a flat look. "Why don't you answer it?"

"Why would I do that? If they don't have the decency to tell me who they are when they call I'm not messing with them. "

"You should answer because if it is the same company calling you all the time, it shouldn't be the same guy. Not unless it's a bill collector, and last I checked, you and Emily seemed pretty on top of your lives." when his words didn't solicit a response, he leaned across the table and took the loudly ringing device from the lead. "Give me the stupid phone."

"Go for it, " he snickered, and sat back with a cross of his arms to watch the green eyed man waste his time.

"Hello," it was a statement, not a question. "No, this is Zack, Brian isn't available right now. Who's calling, please?" as the man on the line spoke, the half amused look on his face slowly faded, and a different expression settled in on his face. "Okay. Yes, I remember. "

"What?" he mouthed now as he sat forward now, only to get an index finger in his direction to tell him to wait.

"Yes. No, it really is no trouble at all, it's what he gave it to you for. He's just been dealing with a lott recently. Here, let me find a pen and I'll take your information down. " once the item in question was in his free hand, he settled back in and asked for the name and number. "Okay, I've got it. I will tell him and he will get back to you shortly. No problem, bye. "

"Okay, what in the world was that?"

"That wasn't a solicitor, rockstar. That was the guy from the waiting room at the hospital. "

Dark brows furrowed now an he took the device back. "What guy?"

"Remember, the guy who was there with his wife's mom and grandma? You gave him your number and told him to call you if he needed anything. "

"Oh, yes. I remember. Wow. I didn't actually think he would call." he replied with a point to the cigarettes between them. "Can I have one of those?"

"That one is empty. I'll go grab another pack. Are you going to call him back now?"

"I will in a little bit. And I was wrong on that line, by the way. I remembered while you were on the phone. "

"I tried to tell you that. But you're not the least bit curious as to what he wants?"

"I was going to call him when I went to pick up Em. But seeing that the fourteen year old girl inside you is dying for juicy gossip to tell the others, I'll do it now. " he mused before picking his phone up off the arm of the chair again.


Glancing up at the clock, Avenged's lead guitarist moved quietly through the hallway and into the master bedroom. Tired feet lifted into brown leather slip on shoes one after another, and the flat expression on his face remained in place. He really didn't see the reason for meeting this gentleman in person. The language barrier wasn't so strong he couldn't talk to him over the phone. Whatever the purpose, the older man had been adamant that this needed to be a face to face conversation. That was the solitary factor that drew him out of the comfort of his studio this afternoon.

However, upon seeing that his bride wasn't still in bed, he set off to check on her before he left. It had been the toughest week so far, and due to that, he knew he need look no further than the nursery.

Pausing briefly in the doorway, he took in the heartbreaking sight. Emily sat in the rocking chair, the baby blanket her mother had made for Grayson draped over her lap. The small black photo album that contained all of the ultrasound pictures from the last seven months clutched lightly in her fingers as she gently rocked back and forth. Obviously half asleep, the Haner wife looked markedly different than she had just a month ago. The smile that always graced her face was nowhere to be found. He missed her airy laugh, and the way she would roll her eyes and give him a playful smack on the arm when he said something stupid. Most of all, he missed just being with her. He missed his best friend.

Carefully making his way over to her, he eased himself down to kneel in front of her. The loving pet name he always called her left him quietly, and a hand came to her cheek.

"Baby, hey, " he repeated, and waited until she roused enough to look at him. "I thought you were napping."

"I was, but I wasn't sleeping well. Kept having flashbacks of that day. "

"I'm sorry. I wish I could help. " he cocked his head at the quiet sound that dropped out her her mouth at the words. "What?"

"I don't get it. "

"Get what?" sensing this was serious, he settled in fully on his knees on the plush white carpet before her.

"How you can just go from being excited about being a father to, 'well, that sucks.' Then in less than a month you're like, sitting here telling me I need to get out more!" before she knew it, she had raised her voice to the point she was nearly screaming, which was totally out of character for her. "You're wanting to go out to eat, and hang out with Matt and Val, or go to a ballgame with Zack and Johnny. And I'm sitting here blindsided. " her shoulders slumped and a few fingers came to the bridge of her nose to greet the fresh batch of tears that came tumbling from saddened eyes. "We just lost our baby, Brian! I can't hardly bring myself to eat! I can't sleep without having nightmares of you and the doctors coming in to tell me I can't hold my baby, because he's gone! I can barely function from day to day, I feel like I'm stuck in a nightmare, and you're just ready to move on like nothing happened!!"

The older man's expression dropped at her outburst, and his heart went with it. Usually vibrant brown eyes glossed over, and though his mouth opened, not a solitary word came out. If only she knew.

"What? Is that not how you feel?" she challenged, out of sheer desperation.

"No. That's not how I feel at all." thin lips barely managed to push out before his voice began to fail him. "I am beyond devastated, Em. It's all I can do to keep it together. You have no idea how many times a day I almost want to just give up. "

"Why haven't you said anything to me?"

"I have to be strong for you. I can't do that if I'm losing my shit here. " though he had never wanted to tell her this, he immediately felt a weight leave him when he did.

"Baby, I need you to. I need to hear I'm not alone in this. I need to know you're every bit as lost and hurt as I am. All this time I've been feeling guilty for taking this as hard as I have been. It just seemed like you were ready to resume normal life; like everything is just fine. "

His head shook slowly in disbelief. He had felt like he had to be the strong one, but had no idea it came across like he didn't care. That sliced him to his core.

"That couldn't be further from the truth. I feel like someone ripped my heart and soul out and I'm somehow still existing. I want to be angry and curse God, but I can't bring myself to because I begged Him to spare you, and you're still here. I couldn't bear to lose you both, Em. Had that happened, I would have been with the two of you before the guys had the chance to get me out of the hospital. "

"Please don't say that, baby. "

"I'm just being honest. But He let me keep you, and I thank Him for that multiple times a day. "

A wisp of pain was sucked through her teeth as she tried to change positions.

"What did I say?"

"Nothing. My back is just hurting. Let's go sit on the couch and talk, okay?"

"Yes. Let me make a call real quick, and I will be right in. "

"Is it time for your meeting?" she questioned with a small bite to the inside of her lower lip. "You can go. I'm interested to see what he wants. "

"I'm in no mood to see anyone right now. Whatever it is, it can wait. "

"Alright, baby. I'll grab ice cream and a couple of spoons, and meet you in there in five?"

"Okay. I'll gather up some pillows and blankets. " he agreed, and dotted a kiss to her forehead before rising to his feet.

He hated to have to go back on his word, but he could only handle so much at once. It was becoming irritating that they couldn't just have this conversation via phone, or at least video chat. Though he tried his best, his voice still became a little strained near the end of the call. He could understand the frustration of calling several times, then being promised a meeting only to be put off yet again. Really, he could. However, his heart was in a vice this afternoon, and he knew himself well enough to know he just needed to spend time with his wife today. Their rendezvous could wait another few days.
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Hello to the new readers and subscribers. Pull up a chair and get comfortable. :) Don't be afraid to drop a comment!

Have at least 5 more chapters written in my notebook, maybe 7 at this point. Just have to get them typed up and edited so I can put them up. This story is very active.