Estranged Trust

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Breaking Point

Brandt

Ami had been my last hope since she helped her through her last miscarriage, and I thought she would be able to help with this one too. Although they shared a strong bond, it didn’t seem to make a difference. Ami told me she would try to make it back, but I knew it wouldn’t help. Nothing short of a miracle would work and I didn’t want to drag Ami along with me, so I told her to not worry. To alleviate her guilt I told her I would think of something, but I had no idea what to do.

Now almost a week later, I still had no clue. Maybe we were both too far gone that no one could help. It caused a myriad of emotions to surge through me but the one that kept showing its merit was anger. Anger that I caused this. Anger over not being good enough to reach her. And anger that each effort I took blew up in my face, namely Dr. Kellen, who I was still talking to for God knows what reason.

Dr. Kellen looked up from her notepad in front of me, waiting for me to tell her why I was so upset. I wasn’t planning to come back to her; I was a little surprised myself of where I ended up right now. Dr. Kellen couldn’t help us.

When I stormed into her office earlier, angry and upset, she didn’t even look startled. She dealt with insane patients every day. I should have known she would excel in handling me now as I sat down on her couch with her full attention. I didn’t understand why I was here and what I was going to say, still craving a way to put my fist in her wall and alleviate my powerlessness.

“Now, tell me. Why are you so upset?” Feeling as though I was on a hair-trigger, I kept clenching and unclenching my fists, fighting the urge to throw her stuffed office chair through the window. Yelling at her would gain me nothing, but she was my last hope, and I felt Chelsea slipping away and her unconcerned mannerism pissed me off.

“She isn’t any better. You said that you could help. I keep coming back here, and Chelsea keeps drifting further from me.” She looked up from her notepad after jotting down something fast.

“You coming here won’t help Chelsea. It will only help you.”

“I don’t need the help!”

“Are you so sure?” What the hell was that supposed to mean? “Your girlfriend won’t come back and see me but at least you will. I can help you until she wants to return.”

I shook my head. “She won’t even take the pills. I had to get rid of them. I found her stockpiling them under the couch.”

That made her take notice, “Do you think she wants to harm herself?”

Dr. Kellen came to the same conclusion that Amilyn did. “I don’t think so. I don’t know. Oh hell, I would hope not but that child meant everything to her.” And I fucked it up for her. Although I would never tell it to Dr. Kellen. She wouldn’t understand making it my own cross to bear.

“Look, you can’t help us. I am afraid that no one can.” We were doomed. Our relationship wasn’t strong enough to last through this, and she would leave me.

“Have you thought about talking to her about this? Bringing it up with her?”

No. I shook my head feverishly. That was part of my fear. If I discussed this with her, she would get upset and use it as a reason to leave me. It almost felt better not to bring it up. Then she had to stay with me.

“I don’t want to push her.” Dr. Kellen uncrossed her legs and crossed them again, my telltale sign she had something difficult to bring up.

“You have told me that before. The part about not wanting to push her. You pushed her in the past, and it worked out though.” No, it didn’t. I pushed her once to let me give her oral sex when she didn’t want me to and it almost killed her. Yes, I pushed her since on different issues but this wasn’t a different sex position to try, this was my whole life in one fell swoop. No, I couldn’t push her this time.

“They didn’t always work out. No, I won’t do it again.” I hung my head down, knowing the anger had morphed into self-pity and surrender, and I hated it.

“So, nothing will change. Are you willing to accept this?” Her question popped in my head more and more lately. Was what we had now worth fighting for?

Leaving Dr. Kellen’s office, I was in a melancholy mood. The weight of the world rested on my shoulders. Could I let us go on like this anymore? Everything was suffering. My music, my health. I couldn’t even get my blood sugar to regulate anymore. We avoided each other. She hated me for what I did, I could feel it.

If you loved someone, you let them go. The old adage ran havoc in my brain. Chelsea was better off without me. With someone she felt safe with. Someone that would love her and be with her all the time. So why did I torture her by keeping her with me?
Because I couldn’t see my life without her.

But this wasn’t a life. Not for her and not for me. When I returned home, she didn’t even acknowledge me as usual. It was so infuriating that she had turned into a vegetable in front of that stupid TV, watching those home improvement shows. The life and vitality had been zapped from her. And it was somehow worse knowing I did it to her.

I fought the urge to lock myself in my studio instead of going into the home office, concentrating on fumbling through the bills. Chelsea was the one to do these over the past year, and I didn’t even know where to start. Mortgage? Doctor bills? Hell, even if I had questions, I doubted asking Chelsea for help would do me any good.

Push her.

The thought went round and round in my head as I paced the floor of the office. It was a gamble, and I wouldn’t do it. I would lose her, I knew it. But what did we really have? This was not a relationship. This was hell. I avoided coming home just so I couldn’t watch her deteriorate in front of my eyes.

If you love her, let her go.

I loved her. I loved her too much to watch her die. She wasn’t happy with me and I realized she would be better off without me.

Before I chickened out, I went into the family room where she lay on the couch. The setting sun threw shadows into the room, and it made her look even more haggard. It was hot out, and I had kept the air conditioning low, but even that didn’t stop her from huddling in a blanket night and day.

She seemed so small, and I knew what I should do. I had to save her. “Chelsea, we need to talk.” She didn’t even look up at me. Avoiding talking to me or even looking at me hurt worse. She was my everything, and I disappointed her beyond all knowing.

When she didn’t acknowledge me, I continued, “Chelsea?” This time I got between her and that stupid TV, by sitting on the coffee table in front of her. Nervously, I felt the sweat making the back of my neck stick to my shirt. My hands were sweating and my heart was pounding. I looked down at the sheen on my palms and wiped them on my jeans, unable to talk. What was I going to say? What did I want to say?

Thinking of this afternoon's session with Dr. Kellen I started. “Chelsea, what is going on with us? We don’t talk anymore, we don’t...” Touch. I wanted to say touch, but I could not.

Clearing my throat, I continued, “I found your pills under the couch. You never started taking them, did you?” I was pushing her, but I needed to know. Did she ever want to make her way back to me?

Finally, she answered, “I didn’t want to take them. They made me feel... different.”

Better she meant. She didn’t want to make her way back to me. She didn’t want to try. I couldn’t blame her. I cost her too much. Her child. The one she wanted more than anything. Let her go, Brandt.

Bowing my head, I looked at my pants, willing the slight tremble in my knees to stop as I got up the courage to do what had to be done. Playing in a packed arena for thousands of fans was nothing compared to discussing the subject that may cause my Angel to walk out of my life. Swallowing hard, I looked back up at her. “Chelsea, I can’t keep going on like this. We can’t keep going on like this. I want us to...”

Unable to spit out the words, I diverted my eyes ashamed at my spinelessness. I couldn’t end it. It was killing me but I couldn’t. Shaking my head, I backed down. This wasn’t a life for either of us, but I didn’t want to give up hope. Maybe we just needed more time? Hope was a motherfucker.

Standing up, I at least tried to leave with some fucked up notion she cared, but she sat there with a blank expression on her face. “I can’t keep going on like this.” The hope was there, but it was also killing me. Turning, I walked down the hall and left the house. Getting in my car, I drove without a destination, letting the top down and the warmer summer wind whip around me, wondering if I said too much.

It felt as if I was hiding from Chelsea instead of facing what I needed to do. I stopped the car in a little town by the ocean, gazing down on a small beach area by the cliffs, and pondered my next steps. Sitting with my back to a large rock, I stared at the waves crashing on the shore but it only reminded me of the view from our house. My house actually, as Chelsea had never fully accepted living with me. She still called it my house. Did she always know it wouldn’t work between us? I knew this child meant so much to her but was she secretly relieved? Relieved she had no more connections with me and could come and go if she chose?

My whole life was a sham. What I thought was important, my music, my fame, my status, all seemed worthless compared to my life with Chelsea. She was always my life, and my fears had come true. The other shoe had dropped so to speak. I had been waiting for it my whole life. I wished this on myself, really. My life was going great, wonderful, fantastic even, and it couldn’t last. I doomed us both. It was all my fault. I killed our child, me and my fate.


Chelsea

Amilyn circled my mind more and more lately. The thought of how we ended our last visit together gnawed at me. I was rude to her. I couldn’t talk to her like I did in the past, knowing she would try to make me feel better. Try to talk to me about what happened and try to get me to persevere. I didn’t want to. I still enjoyed wallowing in self-pity, knowing I deserved it.

My mind kept going to her last night here. When I saw her and Brandt in their embrace, it left an ache in my chest. They looked good together. They were better suited for each other than we were. Brandt was boisterous, where I was more timid. He craved the limelight while I sat comfortably in the shadows. They seemed to have the same adventurous spirit and the same sexual propensity. They were both good people. Maybe they should have ended up together instead of the two of us? I wouldn’t have hurt Brandt then.

I should cut the ties with Brandt. He deserved a better person. Why was he still keeping me here knowing I didn’t belong in his world? I never did. I was his opposite, and he should have all the fame and fortune coming to him he deserved without me as an albatross around his neck, weighing him down. I was a disappointment, but instead of kicking me out, he kept me here out of some fucked up nobility.

Maybe I should have just left? I couldn’t fathom it though. Every time I thought of leaving, I couldn’t make myself do it. My heart couldn’t give up hope. I would always love him but didn’t he deserve better? He was my Superman. My knight in shining armor. He rescued me from the evil villain, and I let him down. Killed his child and became a thorn in his side, not worthy of his love.

Lying on my spot on the couch I found myself unable to pay attention to the bullshit home improvement show currently on the TV. This one dealt with garage renovations. The ridiculous upgrades they used didn’t make any sense. Even Brandt with all of his money didn’t have a gold- plated sink in his garage with his classic cars.

The sun shone low in the sky, but the time of day seemed irrelevant to me. Brandt sequestered himself away in the office. He must have had some issues with the new album or the tour arrangements as he usually never occupied the same floor as me for long.

When Brandt came into the family room, he startled me. “Chelsea, we need to talk.” The words put a chill in my spine. We need to talk. It sounded so portentous. I looked up from my place of leisure, curled up on the couch in a blanket.

Brandt dressed in jeans and a black T-shirt with a malicious looking monkey on it and the name of a band I had yet to meet. The incessant workouts he had been doing to avoid me had been paying off. His muscles were more defined than I had ever seen him. Like he had been working out strenuously for years.

“Chelsea?” Unable to gauge his expression, I nervously looked away. I should say something, but I was frozen. I worked my way into a sitting position, staring at his eyes. He positioned himself on the coffee table in front of me. His brow furrowed as he wiped his hands on his pants, leaving a darkened tint in its wake. A cold shiver worked its way through me in anticipation.

“Chelsea, what is going on with us? We don’t talk anymore, we don’t...” He looked down in his lap but I knew meant to say that we don’t touch anymore.

Clearing his throat, he continued, “I found your pills under the couch. You never started taking them, did you?”

Swallowing deeply, I found my voice, “I didn’t want to take them. They made me feel... different.” He bowed his head to look at the floor. He nodded sadly and looked back up at me with a determination I didn’t want there.

“Chelsea, I can’t keep going on like this. We can’t keep going on like this. I want us to...” He was having a hard time kicking me out and I felt sorry for him. This was his house, and I had overstayed my welcome.

The intensity of the situation sparked little twinges of tears to start, but I quickly willed them away. Brandt always hated it when I cried, and I couldn’t make this any harder on him. I wouldn’t.

He looked at me and shook his head, unable to find the words to destroy me. And here I was, still frozen to the spot, unable to help him. Not really wanting to help him.

Standing up, he glanced down at me one last time. “I can’t keep going on like this.” He turned and walked down the hall. I heard his car keys rattle as he left the house. Still frozen to my spot, I heard his car drive away, and I realized the best thing in my life left and I sat back and did nothing.

Well, now was the time to make it easier on him. Where should I go? Back home, I guessed, to my family. Weren’t they just waiting for it anyway? I couldn’t go back to Amilyn’s house after what I’d said to her.

Hailey was still on location and Austin’s summer tour still played in Europe. I would never go to Austin’s anyway. I almost ruined their friendship once, and I would never do it again. No, I would pack my bags and go to a hotel for tonight. Then get my bearings and head back to Wisconsin tomorrow.

I stood up and felt a little dizzy but it had been common lately. Waiting for the fog to clear, I headed upstairs to the bedroom. The soft light of the setting sun came in through the French doors and I stopped in the doorway and looked over the room one last time. How long had it been since I stepped foot in here? It was always beautiful this time of day, and I could see our ocean view when I walked over to the small Juliet balcony. It looked so tranquil. Our room seemed just as inviting as I remembered it. This room that we put together. From the paint on the walls to the white bedroom set. It was our sanctuary. Nothing could touch us when we were in here laying in each other’s arms.

Pausing to open the French doors, I hesitated only when I remembered the security alarm. Were these doors hooked up? The security keypad to the left told me it had been turned off and the house wasn’t armed. How long had it been off? Realization dawned on me that I felt okay about it. It didn’t fill me with fear like it once did. Turning to the doors, I opened them and felt the last heat of the day rushing in past me. It warmed me, and I smelled the ocean. Walking out on the balcony, I looked down at the tide rolling in, crashing on shore with its white caps leaving bubbles behind in on the sand. When was the last time I really sat back and looked at it?

My eyes traveled to the cliff to the right. The one with the walking path up to the historical lookout site. Even that didn’t look so threatening. It was just what it was: a walking path.

Why hadn’t I faced these things before? Why now when it was too late? Brandt wanted me out. He didn’t want me here anymore, taking up space in his house and in his life.

Bowing my head, I worked my way back into the bedroom, going into the closet. I grabbed my large suitcase and opened it on my reading chair. Ironically the same suitcase I used just over a year ago to make my way to California, would now take me away from him.

Reluctantly, I went back and forth from the walk-in closet to the suitcase recognizing only a few items I wanted to take back with me. The clothes were easy to leave, but when I saw the picture of the two of us on my nightstand, I picked it up and stared at it with tears running down my cheeks.

I didn’t want to leave but what was I to do? Beg? That would look so pathetic. He still loved me. I never doubted it but what did I have to offer him anymore? Every time he looked at me, he must see how I disappointed him.

I wasn’t the same person I was in the picture. The person in the picture was his best friend, his lover, and me? I couldn’t even shower regularly. Oh, but I wanted to be her. I wanted my confidence back. I wanted my best friend back, and I felt now I gave up too easily.

Putting the picture down, I walked over to the bathroom and watched myself enter through the mirror on the other side, not recognizing the person in the reflection. No. I wasn’t someone Brandt would be proud to have on his arm anymore. I’d let myself go. The person in front of me looked hideous, old, and pitiful. The person staring back at me in the mirror frightened me.

My hair was stringy and dull. Mussed and knotted with a sheen of oil. My eyes were sunk in and had dark circles around them. My face was gaunt, and overall I looked fragile.

How did I never even notice what I looked like anymore? I avoided the bathroom mirror, not wanting to see myself for the failure I was, so I ignored it completely. No wonder Brandt wanted me out. Besides being a total disappointment, I looked sickening.

Even with it looming above me, I kept thinking maybe I could try one more time? Didn’t I owe it to myself? Should I just walk away from the best thing in my life knowing it would be easier on Brandt? I didn’t want to hurt him any more than I already had, but I couldn’t just walk away without a fight.

And I wanted to fight. For the first time in forever, I had a fight within me. I didn’t want to give him up. I didn’t want to give up on us. We were so good together once upon a time. No, I can’t just give in. One last try and I promised I would leave. I didn’t want to make it hard on him, but I needed to know I had at least tried.

Removing my clothes, I stared at my revolting frame in the mirror. My once ‘athletic’ build looked emaciated and skeletal. How was I supposed to seduce back my boyfriend like this? Well, I worked on enough low budget film sets to know how to fake it until you made it.

Turning around, I headed back into my closet. Grabbing my full-length sheer nightgown and bathrobe, I returned to the bathroom. It was sheer white, hinting to the fact he always called me his angel. Strange how I hoped it would hide my body now rather than work up what used to be my assets.

Running a bath, I only hoped I had enough time to get everything done. I had neglected myself for so long the task seemed insurmountable. Once I removed all the hair that I needed to from my body, I worked on the hair that I was keeping. Draining the tub looked like I groomed a poodle but I would have to deal with that later. It bugged me I couldn’t clean it up right away, but if it all worked out, I would get to it early tomorrow after enticing him back to me.

Brandt didn’t like a lot of makeup on me, but I needed to address the dark circles under my eyes. Just a little bit of foundation and some mascara. Working on the finishing touches, I didn’t even notice he had returned home until I heard him call my name.

Rushing into the bedroom he came to a halt by my reading chair with my open suitcase still on it. I hesitated by the bathroom door unable to move or speak. Was he looking at the suitcase, relieved I was going? Maybe this was all for nothing and it would hurt even more when he rejected me after my last effort?

Confidence. Brandt always said it made a woman sexy. Well, no time like the present.


Brandt

The sun buried itself beyond the borders of the horizon, blanketing the earth with darkness. A full moon rose in the sky and lent some light, but I realized I had been hiding way too long. It was time I gathered some courage and finished what I started.

Making my way up to my car, my mind settled on what I needed to do. By the time I made the last road to the house, I realized I left so fast I didn’t set the alarm. Fear coursed through my body at my blunder. How stupid of me. I never turned it on when I stayed at the house but I always set it when I left. What if something happened to her? Why did I keep fucking up?

Speeding now, I kept thinking of the time just a couple of months prior as I went down my road and saw the squad cars. This time there were no other cars in the driveway, but the house seemed eerily quiet. The first thing I noticed when I walked in was the silent television. It gave me a chill.

Running up the stairs, I called out her name. I sensed a change in the house, and it frightened me.

Bursting in the bedroom, I saw the French doors open and my chest squeezed tight. Chelsea never spent time in the bedroom anymore and would never open the doors. I went to look at the alarm, and when I rounded the bed on her side, I saw it. Her suitcase open with her clothes in it. She was packing to leave me.

I deserved it. I pushed her. Why couldn’t I have kept my mouth shut? My hands fell to my side, and I bowed my head in defeat. Pain as deep as my hollow body could receive crept inside me and took up residence. Tears stung my eyes, and I loathed myself.

Her familiar lavender scent tickled my nose as if in a dream. The fragrance reminded me of the showers we took together. The nights where I held her tight and breathed in her flowery essence and I noticed it before I felt her arms on my shoulders.

When she brought her arms through mine from behind me, I grabbed hold of her tight and sighed. When was the last time she touched me? Her body was close to mine, and I had to wonder if this was how she planned to tell me goodbye?

Looking back down at the suitcase, I wanted to ask if this was her farewell, but I was reluctant. I didn’t want to know, not when the truth could hurt me. Slowly I turned still holding onto her arms around me not wanting to break the connection. I needed the contact as much as I needed air to breathe. When I turned in her direction, I kept hold of her arms by the elbows, securing her to me at least for a little while more, pleased that she didn’t even try to pull them away.

She looked beautiful, wearing a white nightgown and bathrobe, and it made her look celestial. Soft and flowing hair surrounded her, and she had on makeup. Just a little and the thought gave me hope. Was she trying?

Looking into her bright blue eyes, I asked the question on my lips, “Are you leaving me?”

She took her time responding making my throat dry. “I wanted to make it easy on you, but I can’t even do that.” Pain like a vise grip seized my chest, knowing now I pushed her too far again but something in her wording made me confused.

“Why would you...? Do you not want to stay?”

She gave me her own look of confusion. “You said that you couldn’t go on like this anymore.” Did I make her think I didn’t want her? Tears started to fall down her cheeks, ruining the mascara she had on.

Her next sentence stunned me, “Brandt, I couldn’t let you get rid of me without trying one last time. I am sorry.”

Me, get rid of her? “I don’t want to get rid of you. I don’t want you to leave. Why would you even think it?”

How could things have gotten so lost between the both of us? We weren’t even on the same page, or even the same book. She thought I was trying to get rid of her? My life revolved around her. I could never let her go, and as I started telling her this we both talked at once. I didn’t hear her, and she didn’t hear me through my rambling as we both wanted to get our point across at the same time.

There was one sentence that stopped me in my tracks though. “Brandt, I know I disappoint you. I am so sorry for failing you. For...” Disappointed me? I couldn’t fathom what had her so concerned. She weakened in my arms, and I had to tighten my grip on her to keep her upright.

When her knees gave out, I carefully helped her down as best I could, hoping not to hurt her. She continued to talk, giving me a loss for words. “Please give me one more chance. I am so sorry, I couldn’t do it. I should have, I know. I could have saved her.” She let herself drop further as I watched her unravel in front of me, and try as I could, I was unable to make sense of what she said.

“I killed her. I killed our daughter. If I had just let him take me, she would be alive right now...” Confounded, I viewed her sobbing uncontrollably, when it finally hit me hard. When I spoke next there was anger in my voice.

“No!” I forced her head upright to look me in the eyes, needing her to see my sincerity. “No, Chelsea!” Shaking her tiny frame, I implored her to look at me. When she did, I brought myself down to her side on the floor, unable to even begin to understand what led her to her thinking. How could she ever consider giving herself to him as an option?

“My God, is that what you have been thinking all this time?” Her body shook with each sob she let go. She was attacked and almost raped by that monster, and she felt if she had just let him have his way with her, it would have changed the outcome? She would have sacrificed herself and let him rape her for her child, and it brought tears to my eyes. No. She needed to understand it would never be something I would expect or want of her.

“You survived! You fought him, and I am glad. I wanted you to fight him. You didn’t kill our daughter. He killed our daughter.” Once the words came out of my mouth, it was a revelation for me as well. Here we were, blaming ourselves, and the real person to blame wasn’t even on the same planet anymore.

Chelsea stopped crying and looked up at me with puffy red eyes and a look of astonishment on her face. She didn’t realize this either. Unable to stand the tears staining her cheeks any longer, I took the time to wipe them away softly with my hand.

She didn’t know the whole story. I didn’t want her to know. I thought if we never talked about it again that we could bury it in our past and be able to move on. How stupid was I, sabotaging us like I did.

“He had dug a hole in the woods behind the cabin. He planned to kill you all along. If you hadn’t resisted, I would have lost a daughter and you. I am so glad you fought him.” Her eyes widened at the thought. She would have died that night, long before I found her. She fought and saved herself, and I couldn’t be happier.

What a mistake it was the last several months not talking to one another. “Here I thought you stayed away from me because you hated me.”

She looked up at me with bewilderment. “Brandt, no. Why would you ever think I could hate you?”

“I didn’t keep you safe. I led Dan right to you. Dragging you into the spotlight with me whenever I could, even though you didn’t want to.” Looking down at my hands on hers, I still felt the connection, but this time it wasn’t just physical. She came back to me. She was here all along, and I just hoped my recent proclamation didn’t disturb that.

“Brandt, you saved me. You found me.”

She didn’t understand what I was getting at. Without me in the picture, this would never have happened to her. I just shook my head. “If it weren’t for me, he would have never found you in the first place. You would have been better off without me.”

Chelsea moved her arms out of mine, and I felt her slipping away. Instead of leaving me though, she took my face in her hands and forced me to look into her beautiful ocean blue eyes, filling her voice with conviction. “Don’t you see, you made it harder for him. He would have come after me regardless, and if I were still back in Wisconsin living with Amilyn, I would be dead. Green Bay isn’t as big a town as you think. All he would have to do is talk to one of his old high school buddies, and he would have found me and killed me. Ami is gone all the time. No one would have looked for me until it was too late. You... you looked for me. You found me and almost died trying to save me.” She touched the scar on my upper arm, and comprehension flooded me.

Could she be right? He would have killed her, regardless. I let out a long labored sigh. How the hell did she keep doing this? No matter what shitty things were going on in our lives, she always made me out as some type of hero.

But really, no one was to blame. Strike that. We had been uselessly blaming ourselves and not the real person. “Neither one of us killed her. He killed her.” She shook her head but not in denial. It was in understanding and a better sense of peace.

I knew what needed to happen now. What should have happened months ago. I got to my feet. “Come.” Reaching out, I offered her my hand. She took it, and I helped her to stand up.

Going over to the lamp on the nightstand, the only light on in the room, I turned it off. I let my eyes adjust to the moonlight dimly illuminating the room, and led her to our bed.

Pulling back the covers, I laid Chelsea down. She looked so beautiful in the moonlight all in white. I needed to hold her, and that was exactly what I did. Bringing myself down behind her, I wrapped my arms around her. A shiver went through her body as she relaxed into me. It felt so good to have her in my arms where she should be. Pressed up in front of my body. I smelled her hair and felt her warmth calming my inner turmoil.

She had changed mentally as well as physically. She was lithe and fragile in my arms. I felt every bony protrusion but hugged her to me just as tightly as I normally would.

She started crying again, but I could feel the tension draining from her. This was what she needed. Not only her but me. Why didn’t we do this sooner? Why didn’t we grieve together instead of pushing each other away? I wanted her to know we were going to make it. We would be all right.

Leaning down into her soft hair, I whispered into her ear, “Shh... let it go.” The small stream of tears turned into painful weeping. The sorrow wretched her body but I felt her torment and uneasiness leaving.

We were stronger than this. Finally, I saw it, and the relief was enormous. My own tears streamed down my face and fell onto hers as we mourned together. Mourned the loss of an unborn child as well as rejoiced in the fact that we were bent but not broken.

I held her until the crying stopped. The moonlight outside of the French doors caused glittered light to dance upon the ceiling. As her tears dried, we once again fell asleep to the sound of our ocean playing out a soothing lullaby only we could hear.

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