If Stella had to describe her life using only one word then that word would have to be: perfect.
Stella’s life was perfect. She was married to the most perfect man. Brandon is sweet, kind, and makes Stella want to be the best person that she could be. And their wedding was the perfect event of the century.
Stella and Brandon had the most perfect honeymoon in Sunlit Tides. They rented a small bungalow overlooking the beautiful blue ocean. They spent the week surfing, relaxing at the spa, and enjoying other honeymoon type activities (wink, wink).
The perfect part of the honeymoon was going to bed every night curled up next to Brandon and waking up every morning to his smiling face.
The cherry on Stella’s perfect sundae was her job. She passed her Final Exam with The Board and is now a pediatrician working at the Twinbrook Pidgin Foundation Hospital. The same hospital where she went to school, and the same hospital where her best friend Sarah also works. Yup, things couldn’t be any more perfect.
Brandon couldn’t help but smile as he watched Stella sleep. He knew that he should go running before he had to report to work. His Physical Therapist Collin had suggested running every day to get his cardio strength back up to where it was before the accident. Brandon was usually pretty good as following his doctor’s orders, but today Brandon couldn’t seem to leave his wife’s side. Finally, he forced himself to get up and get going.
Fall was transitioning into a chilly winter, and Brandon felt it in his body as he jogged along the river. His knees ached and his left shoulder, which took the most shrapnel from the ammo explosion, was starting to burn. To try to forget about the pain Brandon tried to focus on the positive and how lucky he was.
He was madly in love with Stella, and he thanked the heavens above that she loved him back. They have been married for over a year now, but Brandon felt like he was still on his honeymoon.
The only rain cloud, all be it a very small cloud, would be Brandon’s current position at his job. It has been almost five years since the accident at the military base, and Brandon’s doctors weren’t sure if his injuries would ever fully heal. That meant that Brandon would be stuck behind his desk pushing paperwork indefinitely.
That doesn’t mean that Brandon had any wish for things to be different. Brandon doesn’t have an ounce of regret for what he did. His acts of bravery saved the lives of his fellow soldiers. The pain he sometimes felt in his back was nothing compared to the pain you feel when you lose someone you love. Of course, that didn’t stop him from wishing that he could be out with his old squad.
As Brandon jogged down the hill his home came into view and all he could think about was the beautiful woman who was inside of it.
Stella has always been a heavy sleeper, so Brandon expected her to still be fast asleep when he got home from his run. He did not expect to see her curled up on the couch watching TV. Brandon greeted his wife with a good morning kiss, and noticed that Stella didn’t look well. Her eyes were baggy and her skin was pale.
“I’ll make some fruit parfait for breakfast.” Brandon smiled hoping that Stella’s favorite meal might make her feel better.
Brandon has been making Stella breakfast since the first morning she let him sleep on her couch. Cooking for her has always been Brandon’s way of saying, “I love you.“
Usually Stella was all for Brandon’s cooking, but she wasn’t feeling good this morning. “No thank you,“ Stella said as she sipped at her tea.
“You should try to at least eat something.” Brandon felt Stella’s forehead. At least she didn’t have a fever. “Let me make you some toast.”
Brandon fixed toast with Aunt May’s Homemade Grape Jelly, but Stella wasn’t hungry. She put her head on his lap as they watched the Food Network Platinum Chef Competition. Brandon would have stayed on that couch all day to make sure Stella was okay, but Stella was never the type of person to be fussed over. Reluctantly Brandon went to work with the promise that Stella would go see a doctor as soon as she was feeling up to it.
Brandon spent the whole day thinking about Stella. She isn’t the type of person to get very sick often, so when she does it is always pretty major. On the way home he stopped by the grocery store to pick up some flowers and some chicken soup. When Brandon came home he found Stella outside. She was sitting on the patio lost in her own thoughts.
“How are you feeling?” it was still chilly outside and Brandon was concerned that Stella was outside.
“I went to the hospital today, and I had Sarah run some tests. We found out why I haven’t been feeling well.” Stella got up from where she was sitting so she could look Brandon in the eyes. “”We found out that I’m pregnant!”
It took a few moments for the words to sink in. Then it all hit Brandon like a tidal wave. I’m going to be a father! Holy crap, I’m going to be a father!!
“We’re going to be having a baby?!” Brandon asked, just to make sure that he wasn’t dreaming. When Stella nodded yes Brandon lifted Stella into his arms and exclaimed, loudly for all of Twinbrook to hear, “Holy crap, I’m going to be a father!”