Danny crouched over on the dusty motel room floor, crying as her world fell apart around her. He was kneeling down right beside her and yet it still felt like he was light-years away. “Max, please don’t…” The words came out as hiccups through her sobs. “Please don’t leave. It doesn’t have to end this way. It doesn’t have to end at all.”
He ignored her begging, reached into his pocket, and took out a small, blue suede box. “This was for you. I have no use for it now.” His hand wove into her short, dark hair and he pulled her closer to place a long kiss on the side of her head. Dropping the box in front of her, he stood up and headed for the door. He picked up his other bag before he slowly turned to face her again. “Maybe you want to remember, Danny…but I’m trying to forget.”
“Max!” she called out, but he was already gone.
It couldn’t be over. Seven years. How could it be over?
She slowly reached for the suede box and when she opened it, fresh tears spilled out of her. Removing the exquisite diamond ring from the casing, she clutched it to her chest. He was going to propose and now it was over. It was her fault. He had played a part but mostly it was her fault. From a blazing fire to dead ashes, that was what their relationship had become.
How could two people who loved each other so much, destroy something beyond repair? She felt like someone had wrapped both hands around her heart and was squeezing it so tight she couldn’t breathe.
Memories of the years they had spent together flashed through her mind and she still could not believe that it had ended. It baffled her. She couldn’t understand it.
Sometimes the only way to understand why a relationship came to an end, is to go back to the beginning…
The beginning of the current year.