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By Friday I had the courage to go back to our apartment to see if Shawn was gone. I'd left my job early, knowing he'd probably be at work. I unlocked the door and stepped inside. It felt empty, like it was no longer a home. I know part of this was in my head, but it felt cold and sterile.

I walked to the closet and opened it. His half was empty. I saw my wedding dress hanging where his clothing had been. There were deep wrinkles in the fabric because I'd left it on the floor. I wanted to grab it and throw it in the trash, since it was a reminder of that horrible day, but I couldn't bring myself to touch it.

I almost laughed at the realization that the day I was hit and left in a gutter was no longer the worst day of my life. Who would have thought anything could top that?

I unpacked my suitcase and stored it in the closet. I sat on the couch and just stared out the window. This was the darkest I'd ever been; I felt like I was drowning. Letting myself fall into a trance of sorts, I watched the world outside and tried to push away my misery.

Suddenly, I was jolted out of my semi-conscious state by a knock at the door.

I hoped to god it was not him.

I got up and looked out the peephole. It was Detective Miller. I undid the chain and deadbolt and opened the door.

"Hello, Josie," she said.

What ran through my brain was that Shawn had been arrested for running me over and that she needed to talk to me about it. Maybe someone who saw the letter turned him in. Maybe he turned himself in.

"Can I come in?" she asked.

I stepped aside so that she could enter. "Can I get you something? Coffee? Water?" I asked.

"No, thanks. Let's sit."

I walked her over to the living area. She sat on the couch, and I sat on one of the plush chairs opposite her.

"Is this about Shawn?"

She nodded. "I need to talk to you about the envelope you received."

"Is Shawn going to be arrested?" I asked, my heart racing at the thought. I felt dizzy.

She gave me a strange look. "Joslyn, are you alright? You do not look well."

I had not eaten much in the last week. I went to work and I slept. That was about it. I felt weak and queasy, but I didn't care. My physical discomfort was nothing compared to my mental anguish.

"I'm fine."

"I am here on Shawn's behalf."

This was not what I expected to hear. Why would she be on Shawn's side?

"He brought me the envelope you received on your wedding day on Monday. I've been investigating it since it was clearly an act of harassment."

I shook my head. "I don't understand."

"Someone sent you that envelope to upset you and to prevent you from marrying Shawn. None of it is true."

And that was when I fainted.

I woke up several hours later in a hospital bed hooked up to an IV. My mother was standing in the room. Detective Miller was there, too. For a second I thought I'd gone back in time to when I had been hit by the car, and everything else was a dream. Reality hit me quickly, though, as I remembered Detective Miller's words.

None of the letter was true.

"I want to hear what else you had to say," I said hoarsely as I sat up in the bed.

"We can wait until you are feeling better," Detective Miller said kindly.

I looked at my mom. "What's wrong with me?"

My mom walked over to the side of the bed and took my hand in hers. "You fainted, and Judy called an ambulance. You were dehydrated and the doctors think you have not been eating. I wish you'd told me you were not okay," she said as she started to cry.

"What else did you have to tell me?" I asked Detective Miller again. I know I should have talked to my mom, but I had to hear the rest of what Miller had to say.

She pulled up a chair and sat on the side opposite my mom.

"I was able to find out which courier company delivered the package based on descriptions your mom and friends gave of his uniform. From there I tracked down the office it was dropped off at. The person who worked the front desk gave me a description of the person who sent the letter. Unfortunately, he did not use a credit card, so we were not sure who it was."

"But how does that prove it was a lie?"

She ignored my question and continued. "I contacted the people who wrote the supposed testimonies. The friend said Adam had never talked about the hit and run. His girlfriend was hesitant to talk, but eventually told us that Adam had admitted to her that he had run you over. He was definitely the driver."

Oh god. What did I do?

"My gut told me that the person who sent the letter to you wanted to hurt Shawn. He was the target, not you. You were collateral damage. I asked myself who would most likely be angry at Shawn with regards to the incident. It clicked. I visited Adam's family, who I'd met with after Shawn confessed, and the culprit was revealed. Adam's parents had suspected that he was struggling with the situation, though they never thought he would do something so diabolical."


"Adam had a younger brother who idolized him. He had been angry that Adam's name was dragged through the mud when Shawn came forward. He confessed that he'd seen your engagement announcement in the paper and planned the whole thing."

I wished I could faint again just to escape the horror that sunk in as I realized what this meant.

Shawn was not the driver.

He had never lied to me.

I left him at the altar.

I broke his heart.

I refused to listen to him.

I kicked him out of our home.

All because of what was essentially a cruel joke.

I'd made a huge mistake.


My mom drove me to my apartment after the doctors felt I was fit to leave. She stopped and got us fast food on the drive home. I knew she'd be hounding me about eating for the next month.

"What are you going to do now?" she asked as we ate our burgers at my kitchen island.

"I need to talk to Shawn."

"He's extremely hurt, Josie. I don't think you understand what this did to him."

I knew I didn't. I didn't want to know how much I had hurt him, but I owed it to him to tell me. I could not truly apologize until I understood.

We finished eating and I picked up our trash and threw it out.

"It's really late," I said. "I can't call him tonight. I will do it first thing tomorrow."

"Would you like me to stay the night?" my mom asked.

I shook my head. "I'll be okay."

I gave my mom a kiss on the cheek and sent her home.

I felt better now knowing he wasn't the driver. He wasn't a monster after all. At the same time I felt worse because of what I had done.

I crawled into bed and pulled the covers around me. I missed having Shawn next to me. Nothing was right with him gone. I was tempted to call him and ask him to come home right now. I was scared, though.

Surely Shawn understood why I panicked after getting the letter, right? We loved each other and could work anything out.

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