As I enter her house I see that it is very Ophelia. There are huge bookcases that are overflowing with books. She has it decorated in a very classic way that reflects her personality. I notice her looking at me as I take in her home.
“Everyone has a seat.” Emily and Alexander sit down on a love seat together so that leaves me and Christopher sitting on the sofa with Ophelia in an armchair. “I grew up in a home that was very one-sided in the giving of love. It all went to my younger sister Katherine. I never really had a clue as to why it just was.” Ophelia looks around and then her eyes land on Christopher. He gives her a soft smile and then nods his head as if he is encouraging her to continue.
“Right before we moved to the town where I met Cole, I finally found a boy I liked. The day we were to go out on our first date I came home from school to find him having sex with my sister on my bed. Once we moved I made friends with Cole and some of the guys in the school. Little did I know that the guys in that school played a little game they like to call “Claimed”? Each new girl is claimed by one of the guys to be the first to have sex with her. After that then the girl is a free game for anyone.” I watch as Christopher gets angrier and I am almost expecting him to attack me.
“Please tell me you’re joking. That this is a prank to get back at us for something.” Emily says as she cries silent tears.
“No, it’s not. She is telling you the truth. I was the one that claimed her. I not only didn’t tell her but I slept with her sister two times and finally snapped at her because I couldn’t control my feelings for her anymore. I fell in love with her hard but was too much of a coward to do anything about it until it was too late. Watch this.” I hand my phone over to them and they watch in horror as I berate her on the screen.
“And to add some clarity to your family situation, I went to your house looking for you and spoke to your parents. It was Katherine that made them that way toward you. I don’t know what she told them but just know that it was all her and nothing that you actually did. Can I talk to you and tell you what I have to say?” She looks at me with a look that says she has a feeling of what I’m going to say.
“Yes but you have to do it here with everyone. This is my family now and I want them to finally know everything about me. I am tired of pretending to be Megan. I want to be Ophelia again.” I swallow deeply knowing that this is the moment I have been waiting for.
I sit back and watch as I see a very nervous Cole preparing to lay his heart at my feet. I know that he has to do this if he wants to have any hope of moving on one day. As much as I want to hate him for it all I know that I can’t. I think that he has learned his lesson and that is enough for me.
“First I have to say that there are not enough words for me to begin to tell you how sorry I am. There is nothing that I can say that will justify what I did and said but just know that I didn’t mean any of it. The truth is that I love you with every ounce of my being. I see now that there isn’t any hope of us ever being together, but I take comfort in knowing that there is a man here who loves you just as much as I do and he will treat you right.” He sighs and continues. “It all boils down to my pride as I am sure you have already figured out. I just couldn’t admit that Cole Henson fell in love. I thought that it was the popular thing to do by sleeping around and I never thought about how it would make anyone feel. You were right. I was a dumb clueless kid just like everyone else at that school. None of us thought about the consequences of what we were doing.” He chuckles and looks into my eyes.
“I had this whole speech of how I was going to steal you away and show you how much of a queen you really are. I was going to tell you how I would show you what real love was and spend the rest of my life doing so. But I think that there is someone here who is better suited to do that. I am so sorry and I do love you more than anything and that is why I am going to leave you alone. You deserve the best and I know that for you that is not me. Just do me a favor and call Maggie. She loves you and misses you so much. She was only doing what she thought was right at the time.”
I look at Cole and I see that he has changed. He has grown into a man that could be honorable if he wants. He has learned from his mistakes and I hope that he will continue to do so in his future. I look at Christopher and see that he is tense. I think a combination of fear of me choosing Cole and wanting to kill him are battling him for control.
“Thank you for that Cole. I forgive you and now you need to forgive yourself. There is someone out there for you but that someone is not me. I have closure now and I hope that you will as well and move forward with your life.” I smile at him knowing that even though he said he knew there wasn’t a chance, it still hurt him to hear me say that. I walk forward and give him a hug letting him know that it really is ok. As we break apart he smiles and I know that he will make it through this in time.
“Give Maggie this number and tell her to call when she is ready.” I hand him my number and hope she will call.
“Well, I better get going. I have interrupted your night enough. Christopher take care of her because if you don’t I will know and I’ll come for you.” He says as he walks by and pats Christopher’s shoulder.