Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Last Dance (Part 2)

The Last Dance (Part 2 of 4)
an original short story by Amber Lea Easton
(a story about what ifs, longing and regret.)  

       “Our wedding day was the happiest day of my life,” he whispered against the top of my head.  “I know I haven’t been the best husband.  I know I've screwed up with all the lying and the drinking.  I have my priorities straight now.  I know what I need to do to make your life and the kids’ lives better.”
“Marshall, I—"
“No, just listen to me.”  He held me tighter.  “I need you to listen to me.”
“I’ve heard this all before.”  Tears burned my eyes, but I fought against them.  
There had been too many tears.  
         I can’t do this anymore.
“You need to know how much I love you.  Tell me that you know how much I love you.”  
He sounded desperate.  He knew how oddly he acted on our vacation with the disappearing acts, the pacing on the beach, the refusing to dive, the sleeping all day instead of playing with the kids, the erratic moods.  
“I know you love me, Marshall.  How many chances do I give you?  How many times do we need to have the same discussion?  Nothing ever changes.  I love you, too, will always love you.”  I moved my hands over his chest.  I loved the way he felt.  Solid. Warm. “I just can’t be married to you anymore, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love you.”
He nodded and stepped away.  His blond head bent, he leaned his hip against the dryer.  
I struggled against the urge to touch his hair. I fisted my hands at my sides. 
        I can't touch him.  He breaks my heart over and over and over again.   
“Here.”  He handed me a crumpled note from the back pocket of his long shorts. “I need you to read this.  I wrote it on the plane home.”
I didn't want to read it.  I stared at it suspended from his shaking fingers.  “What is it?” 
“Just read it.  If you read that and still want me to go, then I’ll go.”
We stared at each other in the small space.  A decade worth of hurt filled the void between us.  A decade worth of love whispered in my heart.  
I took the note, but I didn't really understand what he wanted to say.  He wrote of losing his way, of being confused, of loving the kids and me with all his heart, of wanting us to have a happy life, of feeling like a failure, of knowing how the lies have destroyed my trust, of wanting to turn it around, of needing serenity, of being tired of fighting, of wondering if heaven looks like the clouds outside the plane window. He promises to do whatever it takes to make us happy.  He wrote...God, grant me the serenity
I've heard all of this before.  Maybe not these exact words, but some version of them over the course of time.  
(continued with Part 3 tomorrow)

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