Chapter Nine

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When I made my decision it was based on logic and common sense. Now as I sat in my parents' living room, lonely and hollow, I wanted to go back in time and punch the former me. All I felt now was heartache. As my thoughts analysed that day – again – I remembered my decision not to leave my number. I knew I was coming back, I had told him – kind of – I didn't want him to wait for me, to give up on something else he might find instead of me. Especially when I didn't know how long I was going to be. But there was more, I was scared, terrified in fact. What happened if what we had was a lie? Something that he tried with all women, just to get them into bed? The thought was something that nagged in the back of my brain and I wasn't sure if that was because I knew it was shit, I knew I was using it as an excuse to justify my actions.

"We'll know soon enough." I told the empty room, taking one last look around.

It had been just over three months. Ninety-four days in fact, and I didn't think I could let it stretch to one hundred...not without seeing him again. I'd signed all the forms that Tony's family had wanted me to, they'd been surprised, but I'd never wanted him then, so I'd be hypocritical to want something from him now. I said my last goodbye to him, even though he had no clue. Then I cleared out my parents' house, sold, donated and dumped their possessions, except the few that I wanted to keep, which, along with all my stuff I had shipped to Australia. My neighbour Carole had kindly seen everything delivered into my home, for which she had a spare key. Mulberry Crescent was now sold, new owners were moving in tomorrow. A sweet family, with two young children, hopefully they would make beautiful memories, like the ones that I now treasured. The biggest change was in me. Since I'd met Dillon and taken steps to make my life better, fuller, happier, I also learned to let things go. Now I treasured the good and dismissed the sadness, there was no point in holding onto misery, it only served to make us bitter.

I checked my backpackfor the final time as a car horn signalled the taxi outside. It was all I hadwith me and my ticket and passport were in there. I locked up, and allowed a fewtears to fall as I said goodbye forever. I didn't look back...I couldn't.       

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