"We agreed that it was over and now the lines have all been drawn..... I'm not supposed to love you anymore. I shouldn't care or wonder where or how you are. But I can't hide this hurt inside my broken heart. I'm fighting back emotions that I've never fought before cuz i'm not supposed to love you anymore" Bryan White 'I'm Not Supposed to Love You Anymore"
“You never smile anymore.” Benjamin stated as he and Leah sat on the back porch one afternoon. Two weeks it had been since Chase had ridden away. Two weeks since Leah had felt much of anything other than a dull numbness.
“Don’t I?” she asked as she sat her sewing in her lap. “I hadn’t realized….”
“You really love that man don’t you?” Leah stared at Benjamin’s soft face with surprise. This was the first time he had mentioned Chase since Chase had left. Leah felt that lump of emotion enter her throat and her eyes instantly went misty as she thought of her Indian.
She quickly looked away from Benjamin and breathed deep to stem off the tears.
“I love you too, Benjamin.” she replied. “You must be thirsty, I’ll go get you some lemonade.” She stood quickly and was startled when he grabbed her arm tightly in his hand to stop her exit from the porch.
“You are not going to walk away from me right now.” he stated with more authority in his voice than he had ever used before with her.
“What do you want from me, Benjamin? I gave him up didn’t I? I learned just last week that I’m not….” her voice broke. “...I’m not carrying his child. What more do I need to do for you?”
Benjamin sighed and released his hold on her arm.
“You can get me that lemonade.” he replied gently as he laid his arm back over his lap. Leah lifted her skirts and quickly walked over the threshold and into the house.
Benjamin stared off over the hills and plains. What had he done? What he had always loved the most about Leah was that she was the complete opposite of him. He was calm, grounded, unexcitable, and most would say boring. Leah was wild, temperamental, headstrong and fierce. She loved with passion and always had a spark in her eyes and the most beautiful smile in the world…. Or at least that had been Leah. That had been Leah before the accident… Before Chase had left.
Now this new Leah rarely spoke. He had yet to see her smile or to see that spark in her eyes. She didn’t argue, she didn’t voice her opinions. She simply did whatever was asked of her and kept her eyes glued to the floor. She was a shell of the Leah he loved. A ghost of her former self and Benjamin’s heart broke every single time he looked at her.
But how could he let her go? How could he tell her to leave him and find that other man? Benjamin loved her so much. She made him feel young and she made him feel alive. Benjamin shook his head because that wasn’t entirely true. At least not anymore. Nowadays he felt like a burden. As if he was simply a responsibility that lay heavy on Leah’s delicate shoulders and that was not what he wanted to be.
The only question now was what exactly he was going to do about it.
Benjamin saw Chance walking between the barns and whistled to get the mans attention. He motioned for Chance to come to him and Chance jogged across the yard to the porch steps. He pulled off his hat and swiped his shirt sleeve across his sweat slicked forehead.
“What’s going on?” he asked.
“I wanted to talk to you about something. But it’s something that your family is not going to be very open about hearing.” Benjamin replied as he rubbed his hands across the wooden arm rests of his wheelchair.
“Something tells me this has to do with Leah.” Chance replied as he sat down sideways on the steps and laid his hat across his knees.
“Yes it does.” Benjamin replied. “I don’t know if her staying here was such a good thing.”
“So you’ve noticed it too.” Chance stated as he sighed and looked at the barn.
“Yes.” Benjamin admitted sadly. “It’s as if her light….”
“Has gone out.” Chance finished. “I didn’t expect her to act this way. I knew she loved him but I thought she’d cry for a while, maybe get mad and throw tantrums with all of us and then slowly start to adjust but it’s like she’s just turned herself off.”
“Exactly. I can’t live with myself knowing that I have done that to her. Can you?”