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When Your Gone

“YOU KNOW WHAT ED? You can kiss my ass because I don’t care anymore!” Winry screamed at her husband and slammed their bedroom door shut. A light kick and a few swear words echoed down the hall. Winry turned to open the door to yell at him more, but she only sighed and sank to the floor, drawing her knees up to her chest as best as she could. It was a quite a feat considering she was nearly eight months pregnant.

It had been going on for weeks now. The yelling and the screaming. Anybody who’d tried to mediate their quarrels had given up ages ago. Even Al, who could solve the most complex arguments between the two, gave up with this one. The worst part about it? it was always the same. The sting of yelling went something like this:

Winry’d be cooking supper or doing some other activity, and always found something she couldn’t reach, or couldn’t quite get to. So, she’d enlist Edward to help:

“Ed will you please get this for me, I can’t reach. Or, Ed can you help me?” then Ed be reading or doing some other sort of activity. (The ceiling fan in the living room had broken and Ed had been trying to repair it for the last three weeks.) And his reply would typically go on like this:

“Your perfectly capable, can’t you reach it? Or why can’t you get it?” then, Winry’d respond with a healthy dose of ‘tone’:

“If you can’t see, I’m pregnant! I’m not the most mobile thing around!”

“And whose fault is that!”

“Oh, so now your being a hypocrite! Really nice Ed!”

And so on and so forth. They’d always end up in each other’s faces, screaming about the other. Winry tried not to let the pain of the words show when she was around Ed, but when she was alone- which was most of the time- She truly felt the hurt. She’d be folding the clothes, or some other chore and wonder to herself: Is that what he thinks of me? Does he mean it when he says it?

The thoughts would their way inside of her, planting the seeds of doubt. After weeks of going on and on and hearing those words, she’d come to accept them as the truth. But, there was still that nagging little part of her mind always whispering to her: he doesn’t mean those things; he loves you too much for those words to be true. Winry often wondered which ones spoke the truth.

Shaking her throbbing head, she carefully stood. Freshly laundered clothes lay on Ed’s side of the bed, folded into neat piles by pants and shirts, color by color. She knew he’d never put them away himself. So every night she’d open the closet door and put them into the dresser. And every night, she’d see it. The red coat, hanging limply like a wet sheet. Once or twice, she’d taken it in her hand and felt the soft cotton and smelled the worn fabric. The smell of smoke and traveling mixed with the natural aroma’s of the wearer. Winry’d asked him why he’d kept it one, but he simply shrugged and walked away. For some odd reason, the little coat always brought a smile to her face. Maybe it was the fact that she’d first fallen in love with him when he wore this bright red coat. It had been years and years ago, back before Al got his body back.

Even though it was a short period in their lives- only four years- but it bay far had made the biggest impact. Pictures from that time still sat in their frames, the cold; armor of Al’s face was something none of them could forget. Besides, it be a fun story to tell the kids one day. Kids. Winry thought, placing a hand on her rounding tummy. She’d felt the child inside kick once or twice in the past weeks, but these are moments she kept to herself.

She sighed again, and dropped her hand from her stomach. She sat down on Ed’s side of the bed, still unused from the night before, and the night before that and before that… Winry counted up the days, tears brimming in her eyes. Dragging her eyes over to the vanity, there sat their wedding photos. Happy and smiling, the memories stuck out like a sore thumb. Now, instead of being close enough to touch, to hold, there was a wall between them. It stretched miles into the sky and miles out in each direction. Winry imagined what the pictures would look like now:

There’d be an endless wall, separating them from each other. One of her hand would be stroking her burgeoning belly, while the other pressed up to the wall. A broken heart would glimmer faintly above her chest and tears would glisten in her eyes. Ed… Ed would be faced away, back towards the wall. But, maybe… just maybe, his palms would be pressed up against the wall too. But his face would be blank…

Winry picked up one of the shirts, a red one, and held it to her nose. The faint smell of wind and trees drifted and lingered, but one smell… it smelled exactly like Ed. The tears overflowed as she softly sobbed, holding the shirt with one hand, drying tears with another.

Her heart had been smashed as Ed was walking away from her. She’d fallen to her knees, starring at her shattered heart. Bright Azure that glimmered looked back at her. She counted the steps as he walked away. 1-2-3-4-5…

“Don’t go.” She whispered. 6-7-8-9… “Please Ed, I’m sorry…” 10-11-12-12, Stop. Jerked back to reality by creaking steps and a creaking door. She turned and Ed stood at the doorway. Indignantly with tears in her eyes, she glared at him. He sighed and scratched his head, walking towards her. He sat down beside her.

“Winry,” He began, touching her hand. She flinched away from his touch. He sighed again, looking her in the eyes, “I’m sorry.” He whispered, gently touching his lips to hers. Tears overflowed in her eyes again as she grabbed Ed, holding him close. He gripped her shoulders tightly, but not so much as it hurt. “I’m sorry Winry. I-I never meant any of those things I said! Will you forgive me?” He admonished into her hair.

“Yes, I’ll forgive you Ed.” She whispered back, separating with a long kiss. They smiled at each other. Suddenly, a fluttering came from Winry’s bulging stomach. Gasping, she grabbed Ed’s hand and placed it upon her stomach. Ed gasped and smiled, feeling his unborn child kicking at him.

“See?” Winry laughed, “He likes you! He won’t stop kicking!” Ed laughed. His smiled wouldn’t fad from his lips. Suddenly a single tear slipped down his face. “Ed? What’s wrong?” Winry asked, leaning closer to him. He reached out with both hands and gripped her face.

“We’re going to be parents Winry!” He grinned from ear to ear. He looked so silly with tears on his cheeks and a silly smile plastered to his face. Winry smiled and placed a hand on his.

“Yes, we’re going to be parents Ed.” She closed her eyes, massaging her belly. Parents… Such a beautiful word, but i guess, baby is an even more beautiful word than that. Through the thick and thin, Winry knew she’d always stay with Ed and stay with her children. Till the very end. Children… Baby…Happiness…She could never ask for more.



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