• joellecornett

Those Three Words

It started as a sweet and simple gesture. Something to show him how much she cared for him. His hours had been long lately, and their time together cut short. She worried they were drifting apart as it tends to happen once the honeymoon period fades away. She delicately folded his clothes and that’s when it happened: a letter, postmarked just a few days ago, fell from his pocket. Curiously, she picked it up. The handwriting was feminine and sweet – not his own. She couldn’t help herself and began to read. The words remember, love, and passion floated into her vision, clouded it and sharpening it at the same time. Her hands began to shake. It was a letter from a former love one. Someone he never mentioned before. Jane. A generic name. A name that would’ve never sparked her attention. Remember when you said you’d love me forever? Who was this person and why was she speaking in such an intimate way? She could feel her world crumble with each passing sentence. I still think of you from time to time. Had he? Had this mysterious woman floated into his brain? Had he wished that she were her? You were so kind to me, in ways I hardly deserved. Whenever you said something sweet, I fled. What kinds of things did he say? Had he repeated them with her? She certainly wouldn’t have fled. She hadn’t. You one time told me you wanted to make passionate love to me all day… Had they? Hadn’t she said something like that to him and he replied with a non-committal hmm? Hadn’t he been the one to tell her he wasn’t a particularly sexual person? And yet… something so passionate and sexual had been uttered. Just not to her. And when you told me you could see our unborn children in my eyes, I didn’t know how to react… She read the sentence again. And again. The tears were beginning to well. He had never told her he could see their unborn children. He had said he had never thought about children and wasn’t sure he was capable. It broke her heart then, and it tore it open now. He had said he had thought about it. Just not with her. She shakily put the letter down then returned the clothes to their unkempt condition. Her whole world had changed. The man she loved, the man she would do anything for, was the same man that told her he had a hard time opening up and didn’t. She sat in the silence for months, hoping some day he would say the things that could make her heart flutter. And several years into their love affair, that day still didn’t come. She tried to convince herself that it was merely just the way he was. He wasn’t capable. But, just as plain as the black and white those words were etched, he was. Just not with her. The door opened and she greeted him with a meek smile. She wondered if he could sense their relationship had just cracked. He set down his things then crossed over to her. He hadn’t sensed it. Maybe he had never sensed her. He wrapped his arms around her and kissed her softly on the cheek. “I love you,” he whispered into her ear. The veil of pain lifted and she wondered if it would be enough. If those three words alone could ever be enough…

#shortstory #fiction #love

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