Chapter Two

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The police drove me home the night Colton died.

Trey Duhamel waited for me on the doorstep. Colton, Trey and I had been best friends since grade school, and in the foggy state of mind I was in, he was the only person I wanted to see. I'd been with Caroline for too long, her ice maiden personality and my suppressed masculine emotions made it impossible for me to show how I really felt. Trey on the other hand, was a mess. I'd seen him cry a few times, all of those times had been when we were kids. Now here he was, bottle of jack in hand, eyes red and puffy, and that's when I knew how much we'd miss him.

It'd never be the three of us ever again.

No more barbecues at his place, no fantasy football, no three way guitar hero battles. Selfishly, he wouldn't be there to help me pick up the pieces when my own sorry life got torn apart. A storm was coming and instead of heading inside, we spent the rest of the night on the doorstep, chugging from that bottle of jack, alone in our own thoughts, but together. As dawn broke, we watched the light streak across the sky, for the first time since the twins were born. Orange and yellow ribbons of light fell around us, my eyes gritty from no sleep, mouth furry from all the alcohol and a raging hunger from lack of real sustenance since some time yesterday.

I left Trey sitting there, and went inside the house I worked so hard to pay for. With five bedrooms, five bathrooms, and a hot tub out back, it was the epitome of upper middle class luxury. As soon as I walked into the hallway I knew something was wrong. There was an emptiness I couldn't put my finger on. Something had changed since I left the house yesterday. Something other than losing a man I considered a brother.

Then I saw it. A pile of neatly stacked Louis Vuitton cases against the staircase, and Caroline leaning beside them, a cup of steaming coffee cradled in her hands. She raised her eyebrows as a greeting, and I dropped my keys on the telephone table, never once leaving her gaze.

'I'm so sorry Daniel. I heard about Colton.'

She was as cold right then as she'd always been. Even after knowing her all these years, nearly fourteen to be exact, I saw no sadness in her eyes, no loss, no sympathy for the death of her husbands best friend.

A guy our children called uncle. Their godfather, to be exact.

He words were devoid of emotion. As if she was saying what was expected in a situation like this. But she didn't come towards me arms open wide, ready to hold me and tell me everything was gonna be okay. Not that I believed it ever would be. In that moment I was as numb and exhausted as I was completely bereft.

I stood there looking at her, and finally she dropped her head a little and gestured upstairs.

'The kids are at my mothers. I thought it best that they weren't here today.'

I nodded, feeling a lump in my throat, but knowing no matter what built up in me, I couldn't seem to let to.

'Thank you.' I managed, 'I thought I'd keep trying Darcy. I don't want her to hear from some soulless police officer.'

'Hmmmm.' Was all she said.

'I'm gonna grab a shower.' As I made a move for the bottom step, Caroline came to life, and grabbed a hold of my wrist. In that moment she showed more passion than she had in the last decade.

'No. Daniel. We need to talk.'

I stopped right where I was. That was when I knew why the atmosphere had changed. At the exact same moment as she passed me an envelope. I tore it open, sitting down on the bottom step.

It made me feel grounded for the briefest of moments. I can remember the ticking of the hallway clock, every stroke sending a bolt of pain to my temple. I had a headache brewing, one that no dose of Tylenol could eradicate.

It took a moment for me to realise what I was holding. I looked up, into eyes that held no warmth, at the woman who had taken the worst possible moment to present this envelope to me. Her arms were folded across her body, as inaccessible emotionally as she'd always been, except now I realized what a fool I had been.

After fourteen years together and the loss of my best friend hours before, Caroline was divorcing me.

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