“Bill, did you ever contemplate committing suicide?”
They are sitting on the porch bench watching a thunderstorm roll in from the west. The sky is growing increasingly darker and the air is becoming heavy with moisture. They can hear the thunder cracking in the near distance and are watching the lightning bolts dance in the clouds.
Laura turns her eyes away from the stormy savannah and looks over at Bill. The arm around her shoulders just barely stiffens, but she can tell he’s contemplating how to answer.
Lee, Layne, and River had left earlier in the day to go back to the main camp because they were meeting Cottle for dinner and since then Laura had been thinking about Dee. They had never talked about Dee’s suicide, but Laura had known when it happened that it hit Bill hard. He had lost one of his children and so she had never wanted to broach anything related to that subject. But since River had been asking about Galactica the day before, Laura had been thinking about all the people they had lost. Gently rubbing her hand across Bill’s knee, she wonders how he is going to answer and she hopes that she didn’t cross too much of a line. They’ve been married for three years and yet some things they still haven’t told each other.
Bill gruffly clears his throat and feels Laura slightly startle. He must have been quiet for a long time. “What brought that up?”
That is certainly not the answer she is expecting and it concerns her that he is actually trying to avoid answering her. Instead of admonishing him, she responds, “Well, ever since Lee and Layne left this afternoon I’ve just been wondering if things would still be the same if Dee had lived. Don’t get me wrong, I love the life that we have with the three of them and I absolutely love our granddaughter, but I was just thinking about Dee. I know to you she was a lot like what Billy was to me.” The thunder rumbles closer when Laura finishes. She shivers just barely as the breeze starts to pick up and the first raindrops begin to fall.
“I’m glad you love our life,” Bill responds, but says nothing else for a few minutes. “Yes, I did think about committing suicide.” At his statement that was devoid of all emotion, he feels Laura stiffen and look at him. “It was after we found the nuked Earth and after I found out that Dee killed herself. I was drunk and I walked into Saul’s quarters with my gun. I was trying to provoke him to shoot me. I even put the gun in his hand and pointed it at me. He knew exactly what I was doing and put a stop to it. But yes, I was serious about my decision. At the time, I wanted to die. I just couldn’t do it myself.” Once he finishes, he finally looks into Laura’s eyes.
His eyes are a dark, stormy blue, just like the sky overhead. She feels his hands barely trembling against hers. “Oh, Bill…”
“You had locked yourself in your quarters and didn’t want to accept my help. My family was disappearing on me. Dying one by one, all in their own ways. I just thought, ‘Why can’t I go too?’”
Laura takes a deep breath and slowly lets it out. “I’m so sorry. I wish I would have shown you that you weren’t alone; that you were never alone through any of that. I know I didn’t help you and I’m sorry I didn’t. I was in my own world and I just let go of everything else. I wish I hadn’t let go of you though. Maybe you wouldn’t have been feeling like that if I hadn’t. I wish I had known you were thinking that at that time. But I understand why you felt that way.” She squeezes his hand tightly to reinforce her words. The thunder cracks above them and rain starts to pour down. Taking a deep breath, she adds quietly, “If you ever feel like that again, please tell me.”
Bill leans over and gently kisses her. Their warm breath fogs his glasses and he says, “Laura, I want you to know that I haven’t once thought about suicide since we landed on this Earth. I have been the happiest I have ever been and I hope you know that. You may not have been able to give me the hope that I needed then, but you have certainly given me a lot more than that on this planet.”
Kissing him in acknowledgement of his statement, she then whispers, “I do know that.” Turning back towards the storm, she gazes out at the savannah as a lightning bolt shoots towards the ground. Slowly moving her hand up onto Bill’s lap, she grasps his hand and squeezes it tightly. She lets out a long sigh, breaking the steady rhythm of the falling rain, and admits, “After I moved to sickbay permanently and started to become more and more out of it, I could still hear you. I would always hear you when you were reading to me or when you were telling me about your day. There were a couple times when you would say something and it would stick with me so clearly that I could remember it even if I was unconscious or awake. I remember one time hearing you sit down in the chair, feeling you take my hand, and hearing you say that you wanted to die. I tried to force myself out of the fog so I could say something to you, but I kept getting pulled back down. I never wanted to ask you about it because I was afraid of losing you. I was afraid of losing the little conversations with you that I could still have.”
Bill is silent for a moment, reliving it in his head. “I remember. It was not long after you collapsed. I had been sitting on my couch and listening to the overbearing silence of my quarters. I had gotten used to your voice filling my home, and suddenly it wasn’t there anymore. I missed the woman I had been living with for so long and you were never going to come home. You were never going to be in our quarters again. So I left and I sat with you, because I couldn’t take the silence anymore. And I admitted out loud for the second time that I wanted to die.” He pauses for a moment and then continues, “You would never have lost those little conversations. They meant everything to me. To be able to still talk to you…”
The rain takes hold of the conversation and beats down steadily on the roof of their cabin. They listen to the steady stream of water off of their roof and the rain drops pattering against the porch. Bill glances over at Laura and notices that she is staring off in the distance with a smile on her face.
Laura feels Bill’s gaze on her and admits, “I never thought I’d be that woman. I never thought I’d be the woman that was missed in a home.”
Leaning over, Bill presses his lips against hers and whispers, “You are.” Lightening the kiss, he says, “Alright, let’s go make some dinner.”
The Beauty of Love by Kaitlynnlovescats96