Opening my eyes, I find what I knew I would. My life’s happiness coming to full circle. All the memories of us together push forward. All the laughter, intimacy, and peace emerge. Everything we had, everything I never expected to end. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye.
I don’t think I ever truly did.
“Be with me,” I whisper.
“I’m not sure I can do that,” he returns with reverence.
“Be with me,” I say again.
Mason drops his head, staring to the ground at our feet.
“We do this, it’ll change you, Katie,” he tells me. “It’ll cut deep.”
Mason doesn’t know about Thomas and his life outside our marriage. He doesn’t understand how long my days have been or the grief each is filled with. He couldn’t fathom my reasons for staying in a marriage because I’ve promised my daughters the life they deserve. An oath not unlike the one Thomas gave me on our wedding day, but one stronger and more protective, as only a maternal promise could be.
Grabbing his hand that now cups my cheek, I lace my fingers with his.
A subtle sob breaks through my words but manage, “Mason, being with you again won’t cut me.”
“It will,” he assures.
“It doesn’t matter if it does,” I reply.
“Of course it fucking matters.”
“No,” I assert, shaking my head. “My heart is already bleeding.”