Unspoken Vows, Book 1 of the Heartbeat Series

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Chapter 38. Resolutions and Reconciliations

The last couple of days were so tumultuous. In my heart, I realized that I loved Megan more than I had ever expected to at that time. In my eight years with Bianca, I never felt the deep love and connection with her that I do with Megan. If something would happen to Megan, I’d be lost without her. I’d literally question my ability to function, as she was so wrapped up in so many different facets of my life. After Brandon and Angie had gone to bed, Meg and I sat up in the living room in front of the fireplace where a small fire was still burning. She held onto me and didn’t seem interested in moving just yet.

“You told me earlier not to let you out of this,” I said, kissing her forehead.

“I know, I’m just not ready to go there yet,” she sighed.

“Why not?”

“I don’t know how I can live without ever going back again.”

“Like the closet, it’s time to shut it and move on. You are in a much better place now than you were six months ago. You’ve got to keep reminding yourself of that.”

Meg nodded. She didn’t look up at me, but just kept her head there where it was on my shoulder.

“Get the book. C’mon, Meg, burn it and be rid of all that.”

Meg picked up the cloth-covered book from the Steinway where she had left it earlier. I watched her step in front of the fireplace and let her arms droop to her sides. In her left hand, she held the journal with mildew stains on the cover. Her index finger drummed its spine as she stood there.

“You can do this.”

“I know I can.”

“Do you want me to help?”

She shook her head and sat down on the hearth, facing me with her back to the fireplace doors.

“I just . . . it’s all I have left from back then,” she said, with her eyes on the book, not me.

“You’ve got your picture and the account of the night we met.”

“I know.”

“You’ve got memories you’re fighting to escape. It’s time to let the past go. Stop dwelling, Megan. Release the pain, burn up those accounts of abuse and let it cleanse you.” Meg stared at the floor and shook her head.

“You said you didn’t want me reading it. If you keep it, I don’t want you reading it either.”

“Why?”

“It will bring you down. Just reading what you did today put you down, Megan, as it’s a constant reminder of what you were in that house--of what they did to you and who you were. You need to get up off the hearth, open the door and chuck that thing inside.”

“I can’t,” replied Meg as she began to cry.

I walked over and bent down in front of the crying woman, pulling her to me as the journal hit me in the back.

“Help me do it,” she said with her face tucked into my neck with her hot breath on my collar.

“I’ll talk you through it, but Meg, this one’s on you. You’ve got to do this.” Meg sobbed in my arms. I held her briefly, and then I braced her with my hands on her shoulders so she’d look at me.

“That needs to go. You said so yourself. Come on, Meg, you’d feel much better.”

“No, I won’t.”

“Then I’ll make you feel much better.”

“What are you going to do?”

“I’m going to give you something you’ve never had before.”

“What?”

“It’s a surprise. C’mon, the sooner you do this, the sooner we can get to your surprise.”

“Don’t bribe me, Alex.”

“Do it, Meg. Do it for you.”

“Go sit on the couch and let me do this in my own time and in my own way.”

Without arguing with her, I backed away from her and sat on the couch. She stared at her feet and held the book against her chest as silent tears fell down her face. Meg sniffed and wiped her cheeks with her hand.

I wanted to hold her, but she said to sit. Still, I relented and handed her the hanky from my pocket. Meg took it, wiped her face and clenched it in the other hand as I returned to my place on the couch. Meg opened the book and read a page, then two, and then three. She sobbed.

I let her be. I had to glue myself on that couch. Just as Ruby had said in past sessions, I was so used to comforting her when she cried that I was trained like Pavlov’s dogs to a bell. At least Meg was not making eye contact with me. Sitting there away from her made it a bit easier, but she kept her eyes on the book as her fingers began to page through it--not making me feel at all better about the situation.

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