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| five: separation |

After brushing Adelaide's teeth and fixing her hair into a ponytail, I put a pair of Converse on her little feet and we make our way outside. She has her pink book bag strapped to her shoulders and we wait on the curb for her pre-school bus to arrive. Thankfully it does soon after, and I wish her a good day, bidding her goodbye with a kiss on the cheek. I make my way back inside the house and pour myself another cup of coffee. After taking a sip, I decide to go upstairs and change from my pajamas into a pair of black tights and a sweater. I check my phone, seeing that I got a text from a random number.

I'm on my way. Texting from here because I forgot my phone. See you soon. - Drew

I sigh as I'm reminded that we need to talk about his apparent cheating. The message was delivered ten minutes ago and I don't know where he stayed so I don't know how long it will take for him to arrive. I walk back downstairs, retrieving my cup of coffee. I make my way outside and sit on the porch, watching as cars and people pass by.

Ten minutes go by and Drew's familiar car pulls into the driveway. He gets out but I make no move to greet him. We're both silent as he comes and sits next to me. A few moments of silence pass, when I finally break it.

"I need an explanation." I get straight to the point. "I deserve one. I need to know what's been happening.

Drew sighs and leans his elbows on his thighs. "There's not much to it. I met her and feelings began to develop."

"Well, that's vague." I roll my eyes.

"I don't know what you want from me, Ash." He scoffs. "I cheated and was caught, what else do you want?!"

"I want to know why." I demand. "We've been together for five years, Drew, and out of nowhere you start cheating?" Tears begin to weld up. "I want to know if I did something wrong, if it's because I'm not good enough for you." I take a deep breath. "We have a little girl."

I take a look at Drew to see he's crying also. "How could you do that to her?" He rubs his hands over his face. "I know I don't deserve this, she doesn't deserve this. I've been so good to you, loyal, caring, loving. What went wrong?"

"I told you nothing went wrong." He says in a deep voice. "She was new at the café I always go to in the morning and one day we spiked up a conversation. Eventually we started catching feelings for each other and one thing led to another."

"Does she know you have a wife and daughter?"

"No." I look at him in disbelief. "I never told her about you or Adelaide."

"Glad to know I'm not the only one you're lying to." I scoff.

"Ashlyn you need to know I never meant to hurt you." He says in a stern voice and looks at me in the eye. "I love you with everything I have. You need to know I'm sorry." He cries.

"I don't think I can forgive you." More tears fall from my eyes onto my cheeks and I sniff. "Not now at least. I want to be separated."

"I understand." Drew nods. "I'll give you all the time you need." I don't reply.

Drew shuffles closer to me and hesitantly pulls me into a hug. I don't deny it and wrap my arms around him also. We both cry in each other's embrace.

I sigh into Drew's shoulder. "I love you, too."

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