I had the nightmare again. They are always different yet the same. In some way Emma is hurt or sick and I just can't seem to save her, there is nothing I can do to help. Like every other time I awoke crying and covered in sweat. Instinctively I reached my arm out to Emma's side of the bed, forgetting for a moment. The only feeling under my hand is the cold material of the blankets. I miss her warmth. All my life I slept alone, loving the feeling of being able to take up all the room I wanted and not having to share. Now? Now I miss the way her legs entangled with my own, and the way she can't seem to stay on her own pillow but has to share mine. Every night without her I sleep on the edge of my pillow, imagining her being there with me. Some nights I let Henry sleep in the bed with me, not being able to stand the loneliness. He breathes heavy; just like Emma… it's comforting.
I sigh and look at the clock on my bedside table; 6:12am. I snuggle back into the blankets, hoping to get a little more sleep before the alarm goes off.
"Mama?" I hear Henry whisper not a minute later. So much for actually sleeping until the alarm this morning. I open my eyes and see a chubby little face not inches away from my own. "Morning Mama." He smiles upon seeing me awake and quickly crawls into my bed, dragging along his blanket behind him. The thing was tattered and needed stitching up again, and the blue ribbon wasn't as bright as it used to be, but he loved the thing. I think a big part of it was the fact it was the same as his Mommy's.
"Good morning little man." I smile wrapping my arms around him tightly. He snuggles up into my chest, softly playing with my hair. I love mornings like this. As he's getting older he doesn't do this so often, instead plays in his room until I get up, but on those rare mornings he comes into my room and climbs into bed with me. It's one of my favourite things in the whole world, holding him in my arms.
Eventually the alarm goes off, startling us both. Sighing we both hop out of bed and head downstairs for breakfast. Henry chatters the whole way to the kitchen, telling me every detail about his dream he had.
"And and I was the Prince! And and I had to save the Princess cause a dragon was keeping her in a cave! And I had a sword and I was like .." Henry exclaimed excitedly showing me how he fought the dragon by hitting the air fiercely. He swung a little too fast and managed to knock himself off balance and fall to the floor with nothing but an "oops" before getting back up and running to the kitchen.
"You are clumsy aren't you Henry?" I laugh, following him into the kitchen. "Just like your mom. The first time I met her she was bumping into a waiter and spilling drinks everywhere!" Henry laughs at this.
"Silly Mommy." He smiles, taking a seat at the kitchen bench.
"Yes, silly Mommy."
"Come on little man! No more TV, big day remember?" I call out to Henry. Standing at the bottom of the stairs I hear the TV turn off before the sound of tiny feet running through the house towards me. He races past me and up the stairs with me following trying to catch him. His giggling is music to my ears. I find him in his bedroom, already rummaging through his clothes.
"I wanna pick!" he says firmly. Out of all the days to decide he wants to choose his own outfit, today had to be that day. His brow was furrowed and his lip was pouting as he stared me down. How could I resist that face?
"Fine, but remember you need to wear fancy clothes today. So a nice shirt and dress pants." I surrender, hoping that he will choose something appropriate.
"Go away! I can do it! You get dressed too!" he says to me, hands on his hips, waiting for me to leave his bedroom. Sighing, I leave the room. So his stubbornness is not my fault, that's all Emma. I hope.
I leave him to himself and head to my own room to get ready. I quickly shower before doing my hair and makeup and put on my dress, before making my way back to Henry's room. I didn't hear him call out to me for help, so I'm assuming that he managed to get dressed himself. Into what was another question.
Opening the door I am shocked at the sight that is before me. Henry is sat on his bed, looking at a photograph, dressed in dress shirt and pants, along with shoes to match. It is the exact outfit I would have chosen for him. His style, now he gets that all from me. Noticing my presence he puts the photo back on his bedside table and stands. I recognise the photo immediately. A nurse had taken it in the hospital. Emma and I were sitting on the hospital bed, she was laughing as I kissed her cheek. It was the last photo that had been taken before Henry was born.
"Look at you handsome boy! When did you get so big?" I ask, gesturing him to give me a little spin. He does so, blushing slightly at my comment, before he gestures for me to do the same thing.
"You look real pretty Mama." He smiles before taking my hand and leading us downstairs.
I can't believe it has been four years. Four years to this day to be exact. It has all gone so fast, and so much has changed.
The car stopped as we arrived at the church grounds, shaking me from my thoughts. I wipe away a couple of tears that have fallen down my cheeks. Before turning to unbuckle Henry.
"Mama? Why are you crying?" he asks, reaching up and wiping my cheeks. "Are you sad?" he asks confused?
"No, happy tears sweetheart." I respond smiling at him and helping him out of the car. He smiles back understandingly.
"We are going to see Mommy now?" he asks, taking in our new surroundings. I smile and nod, suddenly at a loss for words as I reach back into the car to grab the bouquet of flowers. We begin to walk, Henry skipping alongside me as I try to breathe.
A small group of people is already there, waiting for me. A few turn their heads and look at me. By the time we get to the end of the path everyone is looking in my direction. I'm shaking, I feel sick. I feel a small tug on my hand and look down to see Henry reaching up and entwining his fingers with mine. He smiles at me, and begins to lead me forward. I can hear everyone whispering as I walk past them, but I ignore them, concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other. Slowly I raise my eyes from the ground and I find her; dressed in white and standing at the end of the aisle. She stares at me adoringly, and we both have tears in our eyes. I have to admit she looks good in a suit. She didn't want to wear a dress. I had to agree, after all, this was her day too. When we get to the end of the aisle Henry places my hand in Emma's before taking my bouquet and running off to take a seat next to Aunty Belle and Aunt Ruby.
"You look gorgeous my love." I smile, entwining both of our hands.
"You look beautiful." She replies, taking in my outfit once again. "I missed you last night, Ruby's couch isn't very comfortable."
"I missed you. No more nights at Ruby's or night shifts at the station once we are married. I can't sleep without you next to me."
The minister begins his speech and the crowd goes silent. Honestly I'm not listening to much of what he says, I can't take my eyes off her. The minister instructs us to say our vows.
"Regina," Emma begins first, "All my life I wanted someone to love me. I grew up in and out of foster homes, never really belonging anywhere, until I met you. The first day I saw you in 'Once Upon A Coffee' I knew that I wanted you. I've never been sure of anything in my life, but my love for you I've never questioned. You took me in when I had no one, you barely knew me yet you showed me more compassion than I've ever known, and most of all you loved me like no one ever has. You have shown me what true love is Regina, and I am going to spend the rest of my life showing you just how strong our love is." I try to hold back my tears at her words, knowing that if I cry we will both end up crying and ruin our makeup. She lifts a trembling hand and gently pushes the ring onto my finger.
"Emma. Before you I never really cared about anyone else. I was fairly selfish at times I will admit, until that day four years ago when you literally stumbled into my life. From the first time I met you I had this urge to protect you. I didn't understand it at the time, but those feelings only grew every time I saw you, and eventually I realised that I was falling in love with you. You changed my life. You showed me how to love and what it felt like to be loved. You gave me a son, a family, you gave me you." My voice breaks slightly at the end as I watch Emma try not to cry. "I will spend the rest of my days loving you, Emma Swan, my true love… my happily ever after."
Thankyou so much to everyone who has followed this story and for all your reviews! I really appreciate it. I hope you enjoyed reading this just as much as I enjoyed writing it! Thankyou.