I felt as if an ice cold bucket of water was dumped over my head.
Eric’s word’s echoed through my mind over and over again like a broken record.
I didn’t expect Eric’s reaction to my news to hurt so much. I was so eager and ready to get these papers signed, that now that he’s decided to do it, it really hurts. But what else could I do? A part of me still blames him for what happened that day, yet a part of me knew that blaming him wouldn’t do me any good. You can’t reverse time, no matter how much you wanted to. There was no such thing as magic or miracles.
But, maybe if I could turn back time…maybe if I had told him what had gone on in his absence, then maybe things would be different now.
I knew it was my fault for how this just turned out, but that didn’t mean that I wanted the outcome to be like this. I didn’t want to feel this pain again. I wasn’t supposed to be hurt by what he had said to me. I was supposed to be over him, I was supposed to be in love with Preston.
But here I am, realizing now that Eric can still hurt me, his words were like a sharp knife that cut through me, and the wound was deep, too deep to heal. It hurt, it hurt way too much for my liking.
He was leaving me again, like always.
This time, I felt like I wouldn’t ever see him again.
During my seven years away, I always knew that I would see Eric, be it at court or some other silly thing. A part of me knew that he was there. But this time, the thought of not having Eric in my life scared me. I never wanted him to be my enemy, we had a beautiful thing going on when we married. Granted after a while our marriage went downhill, but that never meant that I stopped loving him, and I knew he never stopped either.
He always invaded my thoughts, even if we were apart for a long time. Whether if it was because I was angry at him for not signing divorce documents, or for whatever reason, he just invaded my thoughts just like that.
I won’t lie, every time those papers came back to me unsigned, there was always a part of me that would yearn to come back to him; but I was being stubborn and tried holding my ground. Which is why when this whole year had started, I had agreed to date Preston, and a few months later he proposed.
Preston knows of my situation and he’s willing to wait for that divorce to be finalized, he knows I’m here. I didn’t want to lie to him about my relationship to Eric or why I was suddenly leaving; I had made the mistake of hiding the truth from the people I love for far too long, and it has always blown up in my face.
Like now for example.
My world is falling apart again, and I know that picking up the pieces is going to be impossible this time.
I wanted to scream and yell at him, but I found that it was no use, I couldn’t find my voice. Instead all I said was “Why now?” I said softly, hoping he wouldn’t hear me, but he did.
“Because I’m the reason you’re in that current state.” He said finally looking directly at me.
What did he mean by that?
Was he implying that I was broken woman because of what happened seven years ago? Maybe that wasn’t the reason, but it sure felt like it.
“Look at me Eric,” I raised my voice this time. “Do I look broken to you!? Is that why you suddenly want to sign the divorce? Because I’m broken?!”
“No that’s not the reason, Sookie.” He said calmly, but right now I was anything but calm.
“Then what then?” I snapped at him.
“Because no matter what I do, you probably won’t ever forgive me, I mean I wouldn’t either. I’m giving you the chance to be happy. You deserve to be happy ,so I will stay out of your way.”
No, that’s not what I wanted from him. I didn’t want that from him.
I wanted to protest, and again I felt a huge lump in my throat and I was unable to speak to him and tell him how I felt.
How could I possibly ever feel happy knowing that I would never see him again?
I came here to divorce him, and I didn’t realize that getting him to finally agree to signing these damned papers would get me to realize, that maybe after all this time I don’t think I was ready to let go yet.
Suddenly, I was confused with what to do.
I couldn’t just leave Preston, because I really, really and truly did feel something for Preston, and Preston made me happy.
But then there was Eric, and we had so much history together, albeit not some good moments but there were so many good ones behind them.
I had known Eric since we were kids. Eric was my first everything. I had my first kiss with Eric when I was ten, at the age of fifteen I lost my virginity to him and when I was old enough I married him.
And as of today, I’m still married to him.
I know she isn’t a broken woman, Sookie is strong and she’s a fighter. She put up with me, she married me. People can only take so much shit though and Sookie is a warrior for having to take so much of my shit.
I didn’t want to sign those papers, but after hearing Sookie out, I completely understood her reasoning. Maybe some part of her thought that I was the reason behind the loss of that child.
Sookie had every right to think that.
She’s in a hospital bed right now because she had some sort of anxiety or panic attack, which was stemmed from that incident. She was deprived of being able to have any children at all for the foreseeable future.
A drunk driver may have done this to her, but I was no better. I was also at fault for this.
If I had been around at the time, maybe things would have turned out differently.
Even if the tragic incident had happened, maybe if I would have been there anyways, I would be giving her my shoulder, holding her and letting her cry on my chest.
I loved Sookie with every fibre of my being and I still do.
But Sookie needs someone in her life that will hold her when she needs it, that will let her cry on their chest when she needs to, and arms that will make her feel safe.
I yearn to be all of that for her.
Suddenly, that ridiculous idea I just had of signing those documents had been discarded.
Hadn’t I told Sookie that I still loved her? I was stubborn enough not to sign any divorce documents because she was my wife and I still loved my wife.
I had promised myself that I would fight for her and win her back, so what just happened? Why am I suddenly giving up on this?
“You’re not a broken woman, Sookie. I would never think that of you. You’ve carried this burden for such a long time, and you’ve put up with my shit for a long time too, you’re a fighter. Maybe you’re a little bruised, but not broken. You need someone to be your equal.”
“As cute and entertaining the two of you are, I think it’s time we cut the bullshit now, don’t you think?” I heard Pam say, and both Sookie and I directed our attention towards the doorway.
“Pamela!” It was Sookie’s grandmother and she looked like she was ready to swat Pam over the head for her use of foul language.
“Sookie dear, you told me you would continue on to therapy when you went to live with Niall, according to him you never even once attempted to even ask him for help in finding a good therapist. “ Her Gran chipped in.
“I thought I didn’t need it.” She answered softly. “I still think I don’t need it, Gran I’m not—“ Before she could continue that sentence, Sookie’s Gran shot her a glare which made Sookie stay silent.
“Do not tell me ‘I’m not a broken woman’ Susannah.” I saw Sookie flinch at the use of her full name. I knew that whenever a parental figure used a full name it meant one was in trouble and Sookie knew that she needed to stay silent, and the same could be said for me.
“Now listen here, Susannah and you listen real good—taking counseling or therapy does not mean you are broken. It means you need time to heal those open wounds. Not because you are broken, but because you need to get stronger.”
“Gran, I’m strong I can do this on my own.”
“Do not come with at me with that excuse, Susannah. You ran away from your life here because you felt it was your way of moving on. I said nothing because you were a grown woman, and I always said children need to grow and learn from their mistakes. You should have never left, both you and Eric could have worked out a compromise and you could have talked to him. If he didn’t want to talk you should have asked Pam for help.”
Sookie was as stubborn as ever. But Gran was right, I would have compromised once I’d heard of the accident, and her health. I know I didn’t earn her trust, but that didn’t mean I didn’t love her, I would have done something about it.
“Gran, you were so supportive yesterday when I told you my current situation, what happened?”
“I try to be supportive, Sookie. But that doesn’t mean I agree with it. You two made a huge mistake then, and you’re committing more mistakes even now.” She said, and finally Pam got to say her part.
“As much as I get entertained by the two of you, Gran is right. Therefore, before coming here the two of us made a few calls. We called Niall, told him the situation. The two of you are headed out to Bali until further notice. There you will meet with Claudine, she’s an excellent therapist and councilor.”
“WHAT?!” The two of us were shocked and angry.
“You heard me. Bali—frankly I’m very jelly, but anyways, it’s a nice relaxing place where the two of you will meet with Claudine, she will meet the two of you separately, and once she figures on what the hell is going on with you idiots then she will evaluate the two of you together. You know talk about feelings and what not I guess.”
“Gran, you can’t do this!” Sookie said raising her voice.
“Pam, you need to mind your own damn business!” I growled
“Tough luck.” Gran responded. “Your grandfather, Niall has agreed to this, and the rest of us have too. This whole thing between the two of you is ridiculous and you know it. It may not work, but at least the two of you will work out your differences. –Oh and your flight leaves in a few hours, Pam has had both of your clothes ready and packed to go. Doctor Ludwig has given the okay for you to leave, Sookie. Happy travels to the two of you.”
Gran hugged Sookie and said something to her, which made Sookie tear up again. I just sent Pam a glare. Where the hell did she learn to be so highhanded? Not to mention, she got Gran in on it—and Niall!? Fucking Niall.
In that moment, the tiny troll, Doctor Ludwig decided to come in and check up on Sookie. She took off the IV’s and that other messy stuff attached to Sookie and gave her the okay to leave. I asked Sookie if she was okay walking on her own and she nodded her head. She was being silent with me and I could see why.
This situation our families had gotten us into was very hard to digest, and I know Sookie wanted to storm off but both Gran and Niall would tie her up and ship her off to Bali if they had too. She had no other choice.
As for me, I wouldn’t put it past Pam to do the same.
My thoughts ran to my bar and then I realized that Pam probably had it all planned out, and she knew how things worked anyways, she was my partner in the bar and she was a damn good business owner. She was better than me even.
“Anyways, there’s a car waiting for you guys with all of your luggage. Also…” Pam trailed off and walked up to me. There was that glint in her eyes that made me shiver. She was up to something.
But before I could react, Pam had dug into my pocket and pulled out my cellphone.
“You won’t be needing these.” She said grabbing Sookie’s phone from the little bin where the nurse had placed her personal belongings.
“Pam!” Both Sookie and I yelled at the same time.
“Relaxation time means no cellphones. But, I did get the two of you a nice Nikon Coolpix cam, for the memories and all. Claudine will be handing that to you when you arrive.”
Once Sookie was ready, we all headed down to the parking lot, where our car was waiting for us. They bid us farewell, and after that we headed down towards the airport.
I remember Pam saying that we would be in Bali until Claudine let us go, and god knows how long that would be.
Then again, I don’t mind at all. I get to spend time with Sookie and this might be my chance to win her back. I should thank Pam when I get back, and by thanking I mean handing her my credit card, I’m sure she’ll really appreciate that.