First in a two part series.
Ten years. Countless miles.
I thought I had run far enough away that he’d never find me. The man who destroyed my sense of safety and introduced me to the evils of the world came back looking for forgiveness. How can I forgive him when I haven’t forgiven myself? I look at his fiancée and wonder how she could love a man so cruel. However, the closer I look at her, the more I realize that maybe she doesn’t love him after all.
What has he done to her?
I have to find out.
Many tears. Countless men.
I thought I’d found the one man who wouldn’t break my heart. Two weeks before our wedding day, he came clean with his dirty past and shattered our future. He’s asking me to still love him, but how can I love a man so cruel? I look at the woman he destroyed, and I feel compelled to do everything I can to help her. I know what it’s like to be broken by this man.
Can I help her to live life again instead of just existing?
I have to find out.
I walked into the kitchen and dumped the bottle down the sink. I started the coffee pot and made it strong. I was sure he hadn’t eaten anything, either, so I opened his fridge and started to make him something to eat. I ignored all the comments he made about my coming in as if he wanted me there, but I stopped cold at one comment.
“I used to think it was hard to compete with a ghost, but now that they are coming back in the flesh, I can’t compete with them at all, can I? All this time I’ve spent trying to save you and you were just lost, but they’ve found you now.”
I started taking out stuff for sandwiches and grabbed the bread on my way to the counter that he had his head on. I reached over and ran my fingers through his hair. “Kyle, there’s no competition for you to worry about. It’s just baggage from my past that I have to work through, but I am all yours.” I wanted it to be true, but I started to think about that kiss Johnny had given me before I left, and I was still confused. I needed to fix this with Kyle, though.
Kyle grabbed my wrist and pulled me around the counter to him. He hugged me close. “If that were only true, Livy. If that were only true.”
I hugged him back. “You haven’t called me Livy in a long time. I’ve missed it.”
He pulled back a little and looked in my eyes. “I have a confession to make.” I tilted my head and looked puzzled. “I haven’t been calling you anything. When I say Liv, it isn’t your name. After you bought those sleeping pills, I’ve been telling you to live every chance I can—especially at the more stressful or anxious times. It just worked out that it could be a play on your name.”
I looked at him as if I had never seen him before. It was as if I truly got him for the first time. I thought back to key times that he walked up to me and just said live. It had helped me, even if I thought he was just saying my name. I knew then I was completely in love with Kyle. I cupped his face and kissed him lightly on the lips. “Thank you for taking such good care of me even when I didn’t see it.” I hugged his neck tight. “I have confessions of my own to get out tonight, but I need you to sober up before we talk.” I pulled away, poured him a cup of coffee, and then started the sandwiches.
B.L. Mooney started writing when the voices and storylines in her head ran out of room. They were getting too cramped and neither B.L. nor the characters could take it anymore, so she did the only thing she could do–she made room. She always knew she wanted to write, but vowed to make time for it later. Now that she’s made time for writing, most everything else falls to the wayside. That seems to suit the characters that keep popping up just fine.
B.L. lives in the Midwest and her other talents include in-demand cookies, a very dry sense of humor, and stealth eavesdropping. Some mannerisms, attitudes, or twists come from random sentences picked up while passing by strangers. So speak up the next time you have something to gossip about. You never know, it may just end up on the pages of the next book you read.
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