September 2018

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Waking up in Scott's arms was the strangest, but loveliest, feeling in the world. It was so unexpected, not at all how I thought the reunion would go. I stirred from my peaceful night of sleep trying to adjust to where I found myself. A tiny voice at the back of my brain wanted to worry, to find all the things wrong with this situation, however nice it felt. On the one hand, maybe it'd lead to something amazing. We were both older now, supposedly more mature, able to accept our feelings better. But on the other—much more terrifying—hand maybe we'd mess things up all over again.

A second chance was one thing. I didn't think we'd get a third. This truly was it. I couldn't defy all my instincts and go backward again.

"Good morning," Scott murmured in a light-hearted tone, not plagued like me.

"Yeah, morning."

I turned onto my side and flickered my gaze towards him. The moment our eyes connected a jolt tore through my body. All my organs burst back to life as if they'd lay dormant just waiting for the moment I could be back in his arms again.

Five long years I'd waited, and by the sound of it so had he.

"So, this is crazy, isn't it?"

"Yep." I nodded tentatively. "It sure is."

"I guess we have a lot to talk about, don't we? I mean really talk. Don't you think?"

"We have more to say?" I let out a strangled laugh. "Didn't we cover most things last night?"

Scott propped himself onto his elbow and stared down on me. "Are you serious? I barely know anything about your life now. We can't pretend it's five years ago, can we?"

"No...I suppose not."

"I can make us something to eat if helps?" I had to admit it would, food always did. "Why don't you jump in the shower and I'll get something sorted."

I swallowed down, trying to keep my composure. I didn't want Scott to see the sudden tremble encasing my entire body.

"Yep, sure."

I watched him leave, my pulse racing at a million miles an hour. With therapy, I guess I'd learned to be a little more open, but the idea of being so raw and vulnerable with Scott terrified me. I'd told him some things, I'd exposed myself a little, but it wasn't enough. He needed more. He wanted all of me. It should've been flattering, but I feared it.

Last time I tried to be open with Scott, I ran. I took off and ended things. That was something I'd regretted ever since. This time, if I wanted things to be different, I needed to plant my feet firmly in the ground and remain still. I had to give him everything he wanted. I had to be strong.

I jumped up and raced towards the bathroom, needing the steaming hot jets of water to calm me down. If I went into this conversation with this uncomfortable snake of emotion coiling through my stomach, I wouldn't survive it.

"You can do this," I tried to convince myself as I stepped into the shower. "The hard part is over now. This should be easy."

I stared at the droplets of water running down my leg over the scar the car crash had left behind. The only reminder I needed. I couldn't have any more regrets. I didn't want to be that close to death again knowing I'd done things wrong. I had to try.

***

I perched on the edge of my chair, chewing the pancakes slowly and purposefully. Every so often my eyes would dart up towards Scott while I waited for him to finally start this conversation, but so far, no luck.

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