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Broken Love Story (Love 3) Natasha Madison 2022/8/3 13:53:44

“It’s just that they don’t feel welcome anymore.”

“Well, that’s on them, not on me. I painted the house, for Christ’s sake. I didn’t change the locks.”

“I know, but it’s just a big change for everyone.”

“Yeah, don’t I know it. We used to have dinner with you guys four times a week, and now you go days without calling me. Your mother and I used to go do mani and pedis every single Thursday, and now I’m sitting waiting to see if she will call.”

I don’t get to finish because we finally get home, and the kids start to run inside. “Come say goodbye to Uncle Elliot,” I tell them.

We make our way upstairs, and Lizzie takes a shower while Daisy takes a bath, and by eight thirty, they are both snoring.

I collapse in bed, also calling Blake, and it goes to voicemail. I wait an hour and then call him back, and I figure he’s on a call, so I send him a text.

The next morning, I start my routine by walking the kids to the bus stop. Today my goal is to clean out Eric’s closet. It’s random and spur of the moment, but I think I’m up for it; I think my heart can handle it. I open the closet, and his woodsy smell hits me right away. It’s almost as if I’m letting him out. I can’t explain it. His smell is all around me; I feel him all around me. I don’t think I can do this after all, but my hand moves without me realizing what is going on. My fingers going to his shirt, a shirt I washed and ironed for him. I flick it off the hanger and fold it, putting it on the bed, and I go to the next one, and by the time I look around, all his clothes are folded on my bed. I get two plastic bins out and stack the clothes in them, putting them in the corner to be carried downstairs.

I grab a stool and grab some of his shoe boxes from on top of his shelf. When I take down four, I step off and put them on the bed. Opening them, I see the shoes are almost brand new. “I don’t know why he bought so many fucking shoes when all he wore were his Nikes and his steel toe boots.”

I get back up and pull the next stack down, finding a brown plastic bag on top. I open it up and see pictures of the kids along with a woman’s watch. The card is with it. Happy Mother’s Day to the best mom ever, he wrote, and a tear comes down my cheek. It’s two months away, yet he knew what he was getting me.

My finger traces his writing, and I bring it to my chest.

I get back up and take the remaining shoe boxes out. A brown envelope in the corner under the boxes slips off the shelf with the boxes. It lands on its back, and I bend down to pick it up. My name is written on top, so I flip the flap open and pull out two folded white pieces of paper. I open and see it’s a letter from Eric, and my legs give out. I fall with my back against my bed as I read his letter.

I don’t know where to begin, so I guess I’ll start at the beginning. When I first saw you waiting tables while I studied for my final, something inside me shifted or clicked into place; I can’t really explain it. All I knew was that I was mesmerized, and then you spoke to me and you literally sounded like an angel. Then when I asked you out, and you said yes, I thought I had won the jackpot, and in a lot of ways, I did.

When I watched you walk down the aisle, I knew I would never love anyone as much as I loved you. I promised to love, honor, and cherish you for all the days of my life.

I lied, and there is no easy way for me to say this. But somewhere between pledging my love for you and creating our two beautiful girls, I lost myself, or so I thought. I was going through the motions. Work, home, kids, repeat. It was as if the movie was just looping through, and I started to feel lost.

Then one day, I ran into someone, and the spark returned. I know this is a fucked-up way to find out, and if you’re reading this, then something really bad must have happened to me.

But I married someone else. I honestly just thought it was an affair until I realized I couldn’t let her go. I couldn’t picture my life without her, but then I couldn’t let you go either.