"Breathe, baby...breathe for Tata." Even as he tried to coax one more breath from his daughter he knew his efforts were futile, she was gone, like her mother and her brother before her...they were all gone. He held his eldest in his arms, burying his face in her sweater as his grief overtook him.
It took several minutes before he could let her go and then it was only so he could lift her up and place her in her mothers arms. As if somehow in death she could offer the protection they couldn't give her in life.
He was exhausted, the hours he'd spent struggling to save his young daughter's life had taken their toll, but he couldn't yet rest, not while Marko was separated from them. Forcing himself to his feet he climbed over the piles of rubble that had been their home, until he saw the railings of his young son's crib. The crib that had become the toddler's tomb.
Dropping to his knees he touched the boy's fingers, the only part of him that was visible. How long had he held out hope that someone might see him and come to his rescue? Carefully he began lifting the debris off of him, as if he moved too suddenly it might somehow cause him more pain then he had already felt.
"Marko..." He whispered the small boy's name as he finally freed his bruised body.
"I'm so sorry." As he picked him up he cradled him to his chest, unable to hold back his tears any longer.
"Such a brave boy..." He whispered the words to him as he stood, then grew silent as he carried him over and laid him in his mother's arms, next to his sister.
How could he leave them here? Even as he asked the question of himself he knew he couldn't and it seemed only right that he take his place beside them. Maybe, fate would intervene, realize it's mistake and come to claim him too. As he stretched out alongside them and wrapped his arms around Danijela and his children he knew how much that was to ask for, but he had to try...he had to try...