writing

Back to Nature – Part Four

The sun was not up yet, but Suzy was. She heated up some water and began brewing a warm cup of tea for herself. She slipped back into the bedroom and changed from her nightgown into some workout pants and a long sleeved shirt.

She heard the timer go off from the kitchenette, completed making her tea and checked in on Rich. He still laid in the bed, sleeping. She went back into the living area of the cabin and curled up on the sofa, flipping through her phone to catch up on news and a few emails.

A soft knock came from the door and startled her. She plodded her still-sleepy self over to the door and looked out. Steve was standing there. She smiled, then opened the door and looked out. “Hey, what are you doing here, especially so early?”

He looked down and fidgeted his hands nervously, then looked up. He slid his hands into his pockets. “Can we talk a minute?”

She wasn’t sure what to expect, but she didn’t want to wake Rich either. “Hold on, let me slip on some shoes.”

Suzy found Steve pacing on the front porch, much like she had done a few days earlier, when she stepped outside. There was a chill in the air, but it wasn’t too cold for just long sleeves. “Want to sit, or walk?” she asked, seeing him pace.

He led the way down the stairs and they headed down the parking area and over to the fire pit. He took a seat on the edge of the pit while Suzy sat opposite him. Suddenly Suzy felt uncomfortable.

“Suzy, you told me you’d be here this week. Do you remember?”

She looked at him. She remembered their email exchange and did say she’d be out here, but not where they were staying. She blinked and looked at him confusedly.

“I took a chance,” his eyes locked with hers, then took a long pause before continuing, “I don’t know what I’m doing.”

She smiled a sad smile and extended her hand, touching his lightly. “I’m glad you did. I’m happy we were able to reconnect in person.” Then Suzy hesitated and stumbled over her words a moment before continuing, “Do you know how many times I wished I had the courage to drop everything, walk away, to take a chance.” A tear rolled down her face. “But I didn’t. Not only was I not certain, but I also knew I couldn’t interfere. I just pulled back and hoped with all my heart that you were happy with her, happy being a father to those two beautiful girls of yours.”

He looked up, his eyes red. She’d seen that look before in his face in their past.

“But, then I had to find a way to move forward. I grew so lonely. He is good to me. It isn’t all that I dreamt of but….” She nodded her head towards the cabin. “Well, I’ve never been the one to call things off, to walk away, to end things. It’s my weak spot.” At this point, both of their eyes were filled with tears.

Steve shook his head, “I know. I think its why….” his voice trailed off and he tried to look away.

They both just sat there, saying so much without saying a word, for several minutes. Finally he stood up as the sun started to glow in the early dawn. “We’re heading home today. I wanted to see you before we left at least.”

She stood up across from him and they embraced in a hug.

Softly he whispered, “Still do.”

She whispered back, “Always will.”

With that, they stepped back from each other, and walked back to their respective cabins, both fighting the desire to turn around, knowing if they looked back, the moment would be even harder.


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