But none of those things happened...
Justine could pretend that she had grabbed hold of Lars, that she had refused to leave without him. That somehow, someway they had escaped together. That surviving this had brought them closer. That both had stuck to the story of the plane crashing, never telling anyone about what had happened in the village. That both had recovered together slowly, how at the hospital she had met Lars' mother who had thrown her arms around her squeezing her tight. That just a few weeks later, she would return to her class, so distracted she didn't think she could even focus. That finally there came a time where Lars appeared at her dorm room door, his eyes wide and frightened. How Kaycee excused herself, saying she had someplace to be. How both had sat on the edge of her bed, both venting about how everyone was staring at them in class and whenever they walked around on campus. How the nightmares were getting worse, and how worried they had been with each other. Justine would gently turn his face towards hers, before reaching down and squeezing his hand.
There he would lean over and kiss her and everything would be all right. How Lars began staying over at her dorm, and each night they would fall asleep, arms wrapped around each other. And when she discovered how she was pregnant, what would his reaction be? That's when the fantasy would fade out and no longer become a pleasant day dream in which she could escape. Instead, she would be brought back here, alone, frightened, and pregnant. Pregnant from that one time in that cage, where he attempted to save her life. Lars was dead, so weren't the others. She had escaped, lied, and lived. Now, she was pregnant, alone, and frightened.
When she told Kaycee finally, showing her the pregnancy test she broke down crying.
"Who's is it? I had no idea you were sleeping with someone?"
Justine rubbed her raw eyes and explained who the father was. Taking a second, Kaycee blinked.
"The freshmen? The one who died in the plane crash?" "Did you know him?"
"I saw him around campus a few times, holy shit when did this happen?" Thinking of Lars and her up against the cage bamboo wall, her stomach turned. He had done this, trying to prevent those people from hurting her. Instead, it cost him his life.
"Before, the night before the crash. I was drinking...it was a mistake."
"You didn't use anything?"
Thinking of him pressing his forehead up against hers, telling her that it was just the two of them flashed before her again. Sighing she shook her head. Sighing, Kayecee reached over and squeezed her hand.
"Are you gonna get rid of it?"
Justine lifted her eyes and knew that truly was the question.
Several months later... "
Push Justine! Push!"
The nurse coached her, squeezing her hand. Justine leaned forward, her pinned up hair hanging down in sweaty strands. She was sitting up in the hospital bed, legs spread as the doctor worked between them. The pain was agonizing as she screamed in terrible pain, straining with all of her might. Lars' mother stood at the end with the doctor, helping to keep her leg spread apart, telling her she could see it, that it was almost there and how good she was doing. Justine had broke the news of the pregnancy shortly after telling Kayecee. She was terrified at first, on the verge the entire time of blurting out the real truth of what had happened. Instead, his father reached forward, gently taking hold of her hands and rubbed them.
She asked if he was disappointed, and he shook his head saying of course not. After everything she had been through, he was just grateful she was alive. Looking at her nervous wide green eyes, he sighed before asking if it was one of the students who died in the crash?
Justine nodded before breaking down crying. In the months following, Justine was thankful for how understanding her father had been. He sat her down shortly after she broke the news of the pregnancy, and spoke with her over what exactly she wanted to do. Justine knew deep down inside she wasn't ready to be a mother. That she wasn't even thinking of her future, or what sort of mother she could be. Instead she knew that for the rest of her life she would look at this innocent little baby and remember the complete Hell her and Lars went through. That horrible secret she had to live with, and how it was conceived.
This baby was never meant to exist, and deserved better. So they got in touch with Lars' mother. The afternoon they met with her and Justine told her about the pregnancy as well as the fact that her son, her only child was the father she stared at them with big tear filled eyes. Standing up without so much as saying another word, she grabbed onto Justine and hugged her tightly. In the end, after many hours Justine told her that she wanted to give the baby up for adoption. After what happened, she knew deep in her heart she wouldn't be a fit mother, and wanted her to raise the baby. Justine's father, and Lars' mother told her this was a huge choice and she had plenty of time to decide, she could still even be part of the baby's life if she wanted to. Instead, Justine shook her head and said the baby deserved a good life...one she knew she couldn't give.
The pregnancy had been long and hard. Justine took online classes for the remainder of it, and was currently still living up at her father's. Kayecee visited often, and Justine spent the remaining months watching her body grow bigger as the nightmares continued to haunt her. Over and over again she dreamt of Lars pushing her against the wall of their cage, whispering to her that it was just the two of them. Lars' mother visited often, so sweet and so grateful. Over and over again she would touch her stomach, feeling the baby kick and remark over what a blessing this was. Finally, yesterday morning her water broke, and after ten hours of labor here she was. As she screamed, baring down, pushing with all her might, she wished more than anything that Lars was here with her right now. That's when the pain stopped, and the pressure lifted. She felt it slide out of her as she cried out with relief. Instantly, she cried as she watched the squirming infant slide out into the doctor's gloved hands. Laying back, Justine gasped for breath as the doctor smiled holding up the screaming baby.
"It's a boy!"
Moments later, the baby was placed in her arms, wrapped in a blanket. Lars' mother was crying, saying how beautiful he was. Justine laid there, staring at the baby in complete wonder.
Justine laid asleep in her hospital bed. The baby was asleep beside her. The nurse had wheeled him over and said if he started to cry to just ring them and they would take him down to the nursery. Justine's mother would be taking him in the morning and had promised to say in touch through photographs and letters. As hard as this was, Justine knew this was the right choice. They had decided to name him Samuel, Sam for short. All ready, Justine could tell he was going to look exactly like Lars. Exhausted, and on fluids, Justine laid there in the darkness when she heard her name.
"Justine..." Justine stirred awake, before she looked and froze as her eyes widened.
Standing over her baby was Alejandro was standing in the shadows, his eyes wild, his body entirely completely covered in mud. He stood there grinning, reaching down to touch the baby. Justine shot up screaming...
That's when she awoke. It had just been a dream. Heart pounding, Justine sat up, clutching her chest before she heard the baby begin to thinly cry. For a second she was tempted to reach and grab the call button. Instead, she bit down on her bottom lip and knew after tomorrow she would never see him again. Carefully, she slid over, reaching down and scooped the baby up. Holding him, she sat up and stared down. Smiling, she touched his tiny soft little face.
"Shhhhh, there there..."
The baby settled down nearly at once. Feeling her heart heavy, she sat there thinking of Lars. Looking up at the thin moonlight, she knew even if she wasn't in his life, she would protect him just as Lars had died protecting her...