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I woke up early and forced myself to get out of bed right away. I went to my kitchen and made myself a coffee. I also ate a bowl of cold cereal because I knew my mom would text me to see if I'd eaten.

Curled up on my couch, I just stared at my phone.

In an attempt to delay the inevitable, I texted Bridget and Morgan first.

Me: I know the letter was fake. I know I fucked up.

Me: I'm miserable right now.

Me: Please try to understand.

Me: I need you guys.

It was early, so I didn't expect a reply right away. Bridget was apparently up, though.

Bridget: You know I will always love you.

Me: I have to talk to Shawn.

Bridget: He's actually here. He's been staying in our guest room.

I'd wondered where he'd gone. Pickering was close enough that I figured he'd just move home temporarily.

Me: I'm going to see if he will meet up.

Bridget: Josie, I'm not going to lie to you. He is really fucked up over this.

I knew he had every right to be, but her words hurt.

I finished my coffee and got up the courage to text him.

Me: Hi. Can we talk?

As I waited for a response, it crossed my mind that he might not want to talk to me.

I saw the little dots and knew he was replying.

Shawn: When? Where?

Me: As soon as possible. The apartment?

Shawn: K

I told myself it was good he was coming over and that I shouldn't read too much into his curt responses.

I took a shower and threw on some comfortable clothes. I put a little make-up on and put my hair in a loose bun.

There was a knock at the door. I felt a pang in my heart that he didn't just unlock the door and come in. This had been his home just over a week ago.

I answered the door and stared at him. He looked like I felt, although I know I looked just as bad, if not worse. As I gazed upon the dark circles under his eyes and the sad expression, I felt tears forming in my eyes.

"Come in," I said, choking back a sob.

We sat down. Not next to each other. No, there was a distance between us both emotionally and physically.

"Are you okay?" he asked. "Your mom texted me yesterday from the hospital."

So he knew I was taken to the hospital but he didn't come? My heart broke at this fact.

"I'm fine. I just need to take care of myself."

He nodded.

I took a few seconds to gather my composure; I was on the brink of breaking into hysterics.

"Detective Miller told me everything."

Again he just nodded.

"I know you weren't the driver and that the whole letter was a cruel plan to get back at you."

Shawn clenched his jaw but said nothing.

"I'm- I'm sorry," I said, and then the crying started. I buried my face in my hands and sobbed.

Shawn stood up and walked to the window, his back to me. I wanted him to hold me and tell me everything would be alright.

"If you'd just shown me the letter at the wedding, I would have told you it wasn't true."

I got up and went to the bathroom for a box of tissues. I blew my nose and took several deep cleansing breaths to stop the crying after sitting back down.

"I read the letter and panicked. I wasn't thinking straight. I wasn't rational. I know now how horrible it was to leave you at the altar, but in the moment, running was the only option."

Shawn looked at me for a long moment. He then sat back down across from me and leaned his forearms onto his thighs, his gaze intense as his eyes locked with mine.

Finally he spoke. "The worst part of this is not that you left me at the altar. I mean, that was terrible, obviously. It was embarrassing. It was awkward. But I can get past all that."

He started wringing his hands. I sensed that he was fighting to hold himself together.

"The worst part is that this proved that you don't trust me. We were about to get married, but our relationship was broken. It always was, I guess."

I started to cry again. "That's not true! I do trust you. I love you! I was just totally blinded by that letter. It made me crazy! Oh my god, Shawn, I swear to you that I trust you."

He gave me a look that I could only describe as cold. "If you trusted me, then why wouldn't you talk to me after the panic had subsided? Why wouldn't you give me the chance to explain myself? The chance to tell you that none of that fucking letter was true!"

He was yelling at me, which caused me to fall apart even more. I started shaking.

He stood up and paced the room. "I had to go to Detective Miller knowing I'd have to prove to you that it was a hoax. All this week, before Miller had the answers, I kept waiting for you to reach out to me. If you had just come to me before you knew the truth, things would be different. But no! You could not talk to me until the truth smacked you in the face. You never even considered that I hadn't driven that car into you! You thought I was capable of doing something like that and then hiding it from you! Think about that! Think about what that says about your opinion of me!"

I stood up and went to him, grabbing onto his arms. "I'm so sorry, Shawn! I love you so much. Please try to understand my side of it!" I pleaded.

His expression softened somewhat. "I love you, too, Josie. You have no idea how much. But we can't be together. I can't be with someone who has no faith in me." He paused. "We're done."

I fell to my knees in front of him, my body heaving. My face red and wet with tears and snot.

"N-no!" I sobbed, "We can work through this! We just need to go back to counseling. Or maybe I need to go alone. I promise I will work on it! Please!"

Shawn knelt in front of me. He brushed the hair away that was stuck to my damp face. "I'm sorry this hurts you so much. Just know, how you feel right now is how I have felt for the last eight days."

He took me by my arms and helped me up. Gently, he lead me to the couch. He took a tissue and wiped my face. He then sat down next to me and put an arm around me. I fell into his chest and continued to cry.

When I could, I pulled my head back and looked at him. I saw the silent tears streaming down his face. When he looked at me, his shoulders started to shake. We wrapped our arms around each other and cried until our eyes were dry.

"Please, Shawn," I asked, my voice hoarse and cracking, "please try to forgive me."

"I will eventually forgive you, Josie. I just can't spend the rest of my life with someone who doesn't trust me."

"I don't think I can live without you," I whispered.

"You can and you will. It will be hard at first, though. Bridget is headed here. I told her to give us an hour and to then come over. I can't leave you alone like this."

"I don't need a babysitter," I said.

"Yeah, you do. And I need to stay with Jake so that someone is there for me. It's okay to need your friends."

We were still holding each other when Bridget knocked on the door. Shawn stood up and opened the door. As Bridget walked in, rushing over to me, he walked out without saying a word.

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