Lost & Found

By: Kelly Jamieson

Chapter One

“There must be a mistake.” Krissa’s husband’s voice broke the ponderous silence in the doctor’s office. “You’ve made a mistake.”

“I’m sorry,” Dr. Edgar repeated. Did he really think saying that would make them feel any better? “The tests were repeated and the results were the same.”

“Bullshit,” Derek said. “You…”

“Derek.” Krissa murmured his name and he stopped.

Krissa reached for Derek’s hand and his fingers tightened around hers. She drew in a long, quivery breath. She glanced at him, his face hard, lips pressed together, eyes staring across the doctor’s office, apparently at the framed certificates on the bland beige wall. Hot tears stung her eyes, but she blinked them back.

“So what do we do now?” Derek’s voice was thick, unfamiliar.

“Well, at this point there are a few options,” Dr. Edgar said.

Krissa’s throat tightened. They’d talked about the “options” already. Over the last two years, they’d talked about every conceivable option.

Now they knew for sure where their problem lay, their options were reduced. But they still had options.

She squeezed Derek’s hand reassuringly.

“Yeah, we know the options.” Derek gave a jerky nod, rose from his chair and walked abruptly out of the office

“Thank you, Dr. Edgar.” Krissa stood too, and followed Derek with an apologetic glance over her shoulder at the doctor.

Derek strode down the hall, and she focused on his broad back as she tried to keep up with him, followed him out of the clinic and into the parking lot.

The sun burned her already-stinging eyes as she stepped outside. She swallowed past the obstruction in her throat and dug for her sunglasses in her purse.

Derek’s long legs and obvious agitation carried him faster than Krissa could walk in her narrow skirt and heels, and she scurried across the parking lot toward him.

“Derek, wait.”

They’d come in two cars, Derek from his office and her from home, so she could go to her client meeting after their appointment with Dr. Edgar. She panted, paused with her hand on his arm while he unlocked the vehicle.

“What?” He yanked open his door and slid his long body into the driver’s seat.

Krissa’s chest squeezed painfully and she tried to take a deep breath. She hurt everywhere…hurt for Derek. And for herself, too.

She stood there beside the open door of the car. Derek looked straight ahead, held the keys in his hand. The summer sun had heated the interior of the car to sauna temperature, and sweat glistened on his forehead. He ran a finger inside his collar, his tie snug against his throat.

“Wait,” she said again, softly, putting her hand on his shoulder. The fabric of his suit was warm, soft, lightly padded over the muscle and bone of his broad shoulder. “Are you okay?”

He stared straight ahead. “Of course I’m okay. I’m fine.”

Her throat ached. He must be feeling so crappy, now that he knew what was wrong.

“It’s okay,” she whispered. “It’s okay, sweetheart.” She tightened her fingers on his shoulder.

She watched his Adam’s apple bob.

“It’s not okay,” he growled. His head dipped. “It’ll never be okay. Don’t even say it’s okay.”

Breath seeped out of her, leaving her hollow and aching. What could she say? What could she possibly say to make him feel better?

“I love you, Derek.”

He nodded, still didn’t look at her. “Love you too, baby.”

“We’ll talk later. At home.”

“Yeah.” He started the car, turned up the air. She felt the hot gust even outside the car.

“Okay.” She stepped back and let him close the door. He reversed out of the parking spot and sped away.

Krissa pressed her hand to her mouth and watched his car pull out of the parking lot onto Ocean Drive. Should he be driving right now?

A mother carried a baby in a car seat past Krissa and into the clinic. Did that mother even know how lucky she was?

A man walked out of the building, studying a prescription. Probably something that would make him better, whatever his problem was.

Nothing would fix this problem.