Ten years ago I fell in love with a married woman. I walked away so she could be happy, moving across the country to make sure I put space between us. We severed ties, and I promised myself I wouldn't look back.
Since then I committed to someone else, and we have a child and a life many would wish for. Except, it's never been enough for me. There's always been something missing; something I never wanted to admit.
With my own marriage failing, I'm forced to go back to my hometown to bury the man who raised me. I never expected to see her there, and nothing could prepare me for what would happen the moment my arms wrapped around hers again.
"You have every right to assume this can't be anything more than a temporary affair. I don't blame you for being cautious, but there is something I want you to know."
She turned around, finally looking right at me with those hesitant eyes. "What?"
"I still love you." I swallowed the lump in my throat as the words came out, silently praying she wouldn't force me to leave. It wasn't every day that I told someone other than my wife I loved them, but in this instance it was the truest statement I'd ever made. "I feel like I've loved you for a lifetime. It’s true. I have loved my wife, but it’s not the same. It’s always been you, Rach. You’re the only woman I know I’ll never be able to let go of. Staying away was my only option. I did it to protect both of our lives, but there’s nothing standing in the way anymore. Please don't deny us a second chance." I paused one more time. "I need you, just as much as I think you need me."
Her shoulders relaxed, and I watched her purse fall from her grip and hit the concrete ground. She shrugged while staring into my eyes. Her lips were trembling, allowing me to almost sense the connection between us. "I'm not strong enough to be with you again. I can't handle anymore heartache. Being close to you scares me, because I’m tired of the pain and suffering."
I took two steps forward, breaking the distance between us. "I'm not capable of hurting you again, Rach. If you give me this chance I promise I won't let you down. Let me be your friend again, and whatever comes with it will be determined by both of us."
She is married with two children and spends most of her time behind a keyboard, writing stories that come from her heart.