Friday, Feb. 10, 2011 12pm
Tyler had a rough a morning - he'd lost a patient while on the operating table. And he was so relieved when his break came. He was going to take an extra hour today. Tyler pulled up into his driveway. and grabbed the flowers he'd bought on the way home. He wanted to surprise Coraline. He walked inside the house through the door that lead from the garage to the kitchen. He called out for his wife. No answer. He walked into the foyer and was about to call her again, but his voice lumped into his throat. The flowers fell to the floor. the sight before him was so shocking, so mind numbing, so, horrible. Coraline! he screamed and rushed forward. He fell to his knees in a puddle of blood, his wife's blood. His hands were shaking as he checked for a pulse. Her head was covered in blood, her hair soaked with it. And her neck, it was twisted all wrong! No no no no... he couldn't find a pulse. tears stung his eyes. He pulled out his cell phone and dialed 911.
Everything after that was such a daze to him. He couldn't think straight. There'd been so much blood. Fist he lost the patient this morning, and now... his wife. he was so glad Grayson was at school. Oh God! Grayson. How was he going to tell the six year old that his mother was dead? Tyler felt his heart breaking even more. Now he knew he had loved his wife, as more that the woman who had finally given him a son, even if the boy wasn't his blood. He just wished he'd said it more.
The coroner, police and cleaning crew were finally leaving. Tyler pulled out his cell phone and dialed the one person he felt he could rely on, could talk to. Kendall Bryant. She was off work today. He sighed wearily when he heard her voice on the other end of the line. Kendall.... she's dead. She fell and she's dead. I didn't get here in time... oh god what do I do? please.... come over... i.. i don't think i can be alone right now.... the tears could be heard in his voice, his whole body was shaking from the shock.
Tyler was still sitting on the stairs, arms wrapped around his midsection as he huddled there, staring at the blood stained floor. The clean-up crew had done the best they could, but there was still a stained area outlining where the giant pool of blood had been. Tyler jumped a bit when he heard the light knocking and the sound of Kendall's voice at the front door. He took a shaky breath and forced himself to his feet. Circumventing around the stain on the tiled floor of his foyer at the bottom of the wide marbled stairs, Tyler slowly walked to the door to let his ex in.
He opened the door and and he tensed, feeling tears stinging his eyes again. He tried to fight it but it was no use. She was going to see him cry sooner or later. Without a word he stepped out onto the front porch and pulled the woman close, hiding his face in her hair. He just needed the comfort of something solid to hold onto. i can't believe she's gone! his cry was muffled as he buried himself deeper into her embrace. This can't be real....
Tyler had just been growing to really love his wife, and now she was gone. And she'd never hear him tell her how he felt. She'd never get to see Grayson grow up. She was going to miss his soccer game tomorrow. Not that Grayson would really want to go now. Damn it! Why did this have to happen?!
Kendall had only been standing at the door for a few moments when it flew open, slightly startling the blonde standing on the doorstep, partly because the door had opened so soon after she’d drawn her hand back from knocking on the door and partly because she was so extremely on-edge from the situation in which she currently found herself. Tyler hadn’t been too specific with her on the phone (something for which she obviously couldn’t blame him, since all the specific details surely couldn’t have been at the front of Tyler’s mind when he’d called Kendall to come over; and despite how detail-oriented Kendall might have been, she understood). However, the important aspects of the call provided her with the ability to make a couple assumptions: 1) the “she” Tyler had been talking about had to have been the newlywed wife Corinne or Caitlin or whatever her name was (if she had to be completely honest, she hadn’t exactly been paying attention during her biweekly or weekly lunches with Tyler when he’d spoken about the new Mrs. Cunningham, as if trying to block out the fact that Tyler was married, despite the fact that she’d refused his proposal years ago), and 2) Tyler wasn’t over-exaggerating the situation when he said she was dead – he was a doctor, after all, and she had confidence in the fact that he’d done his job before coming to that unfortunate conclusion.
So, Kendall wasn’t exactly sure what she was walking into at the moment, but if Tyler needed someone – needed her, more specifically – now, when those two recent and immensely painful things were weighing heavily on him, she certainly wasn’t going to say no. She hadn’t spent multiple years of her life with him, in love with him, to not care about him now. Despite the fact that they were only now re-establishing their friendship after going a few years without any communication, Kendall couldn’t deny that she cared about him even now. Old habits die hard.
With her ex-boyfriend in the doorway in front of her, the surgeon looked him up and down, thoroughly taking in the neurosurgeon’s ragged appearance. Kendall wasn’t surprised by how exhausted and distressed he looked; however, she found herself a tad bit startled by the red stains she could make out on the knees of his slacks, as if he’d been kneeling in something red. Blood – it wasn’t like she wasn’t unfamiliar with the substance. Obviously, it wasn’t exactly a foreign substance for either of them, considering both surgeons saw more than their fair share of blood and tissue matter in the combination of trauma and routine surgeries that they performed daily. However, this was a far different context than the familiar, antiseptic-scented operating rooms that they regularly occupied. And while Kendall wasn’t completely thrown off – through her prolonged training she had learned how to handle herself and others in stressful situations – she had to admit that seeing the blood on his pants and the stain on the floor behind him was somewhat unsettling.
From her quick assessment, Tyler did not look to be in any suitable state of mind to be alone – even if it was just her and she wasn’t quite sure how to conduct herself at the time being, at least he had someone there. He looked worse now than he had any of their extended shifts at the hospital in Chicago over the course of their residency, even worse now than in the days after she’d rejected his proposal and they’d had a few painfully awkward run-ins at the hospital and at apartments to exchange clothing and other things left behind. And that was saying something. Kendall couldn’t possibly imagine being in his situation – just starting off a marriage and a relationship only to have something tragic befall his wife. And, wait, didn’t the wife have a son as well? That was a whole other facet to the situation if Tyler had been left the sole guardian of a little boy – he would have to deal with not only dealing with his own grief but helping another to grieve.
The blonde felt overwhelmed as she began to grasp at the full tragedy of the situation, her heart going out to him, empathizing, as she watched him standing anxiously in the doorway. She was unsure about whether or not to reach out to him, not wanting to disconcert him if he needed time to adjust to her presence, when he made the decision for her. She let her arms encircle him as they had a million times before, applying a light amount of pressure so as to not overwhelm him but to let him know that she was there. The surgeon let a few moments of silence pass between them before she spoke, quietly and gently, "Ty, what happened?"
Tyler let out a shuddering breath. His entire body was shaking from the shock of finding his wife sprawled on the floor in a puddle of her own blood. Coraline... she... she was alone. She fell down the stairs. I should have left early. I was coming home for lunch to surprise her. I... he pulled back wrapped his hand around Kendall's wrist to pull her into the house. He shut the door and let her go then stalked to the kitchen. He kept his eyes averted from the foot of the stairs where the floor was still stained. He went to the alcohol cabinet and pulled out the scotch. Instead of getting a shot glass and pouring some out he simply up-turned the bottle and took a long deep gulp of the burning liquid.
He gasped a bit as he set the bottle back down on the counter. I never told her, Kendall. That's why I was coming home for lunch today. To surprise her, to tell her i loved her. But now she will never know! He slammed his fist down on the counter as anger and grief surged through him. Why the hell did this happen? Was God punishing him for something? What did he ever do to deserve to have every woman he'd ever loved taken away from him?!
How am i going to Grayson that he will never see his mother again? Tyler felt the tears stinging his eyes again. He grabbed the glass bottle of scotch and downed another three or four mouthfuls as the tears broke free and rolled silently. He kept his back to Kendall, unable to look at her directly. What am I supposed to do? his voice broke as he asked her for help. Tyler wasn't the sort that was used to asking for help.