We’re getting close to the end of Till You Die now. There’s just one more part to go after today’s one. How is everything panning out, after what happened to Julia at the end of the last part? Read on and find out…
Happy reading! 😊
Joanna’s tiny baby was motherless. At least, for a few days he was. Joanna was mortified when she regained consciousness and realised that she had missed the first few days of her baby’s life. The hospital put her in the picture. Her contractions had been strong by the time she had been brought to the hospital. Her fall had been quite horrific, they said, and the head injuries she’d sustained had rendered her unconscious and unable to deliver the baby, so they’d performed a caesarean.
But, through her tears, there in the hospital bed, she also realised that there was Craig. Her entire insides pounded. All her thoughts, fears – everything – of recent months converged on that chair where the man who she was convinced was trying to kill her now sat with their baby in his arms, smiling with the hospital staff, giving a bottle to the baby. One movement from her in the bed, and he was looking up and grinning at her. He blew her a kiss, then concentrated on the task of feeding. All her emotions turned into tears. She forgave him for not coming over to her bedside. She forgave him for all those moments in her own imaginings when she’d turned him into a raving psychopath. Guilt and stupidity and sheer love overwhelmed her. Finally, Craig responded to his son.
‘Is he… perfect, Craig? Is he perfect for you?’ She felt the drip of tears on her cheeks. Without looking up at her, eyes on the baby, he replied.
‘There was nothing to worry about. Mum will adore him. We’ll call him Joseph.’
Joanna had no intention of arguing. Her husband, her baby – and she – were together. That was the only thing that mattered. So that had been it, had it? He’d been worried about what his mum might think. How she would react to anything – a baby – out of the ordinary. She never had really liked his mum. She was a bit too pushy for her liking.
Joanna sighed at herself. She must have been mad before, believing in witch or watch balls and mumbo jumbo, and letting the words of that weird little man drive her nearly insane. She’d had enough to deal with in her head as it was: the amniocentesis, Gran dying, her own health issues. The phone calls… no, she would put that out of her mind now. She shuddered. Maybe he was a spiteful man with nothing better to do than to spot a weakness in her and to take a kind of sadistic pleasure in putting ideas in her head.
Joanna thought about the walnut-headed man again, days later, on the way home from the hospital, as she sat in the back of the car, next to her tiny infant who was dribbling away contentedly in his car seat. Maybe, in a weird sort of way, though, the old man had been right in what he’d said. Joseph was male – the old man’s ‘he’ – and then there had been the contractions, the fall; the possibility of harm coming to her. She shivered. She could have died, if she’d actually been on her own in the house. But no, Craig had been there, hadn’t he? And she’d rung Mark, too. He’d been the one she was convinced she could trust. He would have made sure his sister had gone to the hospital.
Just for a moment, she wondered who had rung the ambulance.
Craig got the baby out of the car when they pulled up in the driveway. Joanna hobbled to unlock the door, still intensely sore from the operation. Unable to help herself, she turned and headed slowly, painfully, back to her husband and her child. ‘Are we going to be all right?’ She slid her fingers into the hand that wasn’t laden with a baby car seat. ‘We’re a family now, aren’t we – the three of us?’
Craig looked down at her with those amazing green eyes, and in his voice she heard the old early tones, and they rang back music to her ears.
‘Everything’s going to be fine. Look at him. He’s beautiful.’ Craig peered into the car seat in which Joseph was fast asleep. Joanna felt the warmth of his palm as he put his hand under her chin and lifted her head to meet his eyes. ‘I’ve been… stupid recently. I want to put it right. I’ve always told you, Joanna – I’ll love you till you die.’
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