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Mr. Sunshine and I walked in silence. We arrived at the playground that we used to hang out at and sat on a bench. It was one of those picnic benches. He sat on one side and I sat on the other. His eyes fell to the ground. He was building up to say something. I could tell but I couldn't tell what he was going to say.

As he sat there, my mind went back to when I had first met him and the cocky way that he had spoken to me. I remembered the way he eyes raked over my body and they pooled with desire. He laughed as he tried to hide his desire for me behind his words. It was familiar. Masking feelings with words. Where had I seen that before?

It was no surprise that I had tethered myself to him or that he did it to me, who knows anymore. What I knew was this moment. When his eyes lifted from the floor and found mine. When his mouth opened and closed and opened again as he struggled to pull the words from his lips. When I watched him wrestle with his own thoughts and wage a battle within himself that I couldn't see.

When he finally spoke, they were words I wasn't expecting to here but had needed to hear more than I realized or would ever openly admit. "I'm sorry," he said.

I was perplexed. Shocked. Surprised. He didn't give me a chance to resolve my own feelings before he continued.

"I'm sorry for the way things ended between us. I should have done more. I should have seen you were suffering when your grandmother past away. I was so consumed with my own things I didn't...I didn't" I thought he was going to stop speaking. I was ready to tell him not to worry about it that it was in the past but I didn't get a chance.

"Think...I didn't think. I told you that I loved you and that was true. That is true. I will always love you...I know that I said I wanted to marry you one day and I don't get me wrong I am happy for you. I am not here to get in your way. I have a girlfriend now and I am happy with her. I just...I needed to tell you that I am sorry. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't wish I would have fought for you. I shouldn't have let you walk away. Not when you needed me, not when you were suffering and I knew you were in pain." His words were breaking my heart.

"Mr. Sunshine..."I started to say but he cut me off.

"Wait, please. I've been waiting a long time to say this to you. I was an ass. I let the church decide the fate of our relationship and I know that you are with the person you are meant to be with. That guy loves you. I saw it in his eyes. Maybe if I didn't, maybe we would be having a different conversation I don't know but I do know that you deserve the sun, the moon, and the stars. He will give that to you."

I was speechless. "Mr. Sunshine. Thank you. I'm glad you came."

"Me too"

"Do you think we can ever be friends?" I asked.

"I don't think so. I'm sorry for that too. I didn't like the way we ended up I am OK with how we will end it now. I gotta go pick her up for this thing we are doing but you will always have a place in my heart Cathy. Take care of yourself and congratulations. You found someone who will cherish you the way you deserve to be cherished. I am so glad I came so I can see that for myself. Goodbye." with those last words he kissed my cheek, turned to face away from me and walked away.

I watched him walk away for just a moment, it was just long enough to let it set in what had happened. I had gotten my closure. After all of the years, Mr. Sunshine gave me closure. I hadn't realized that I needed that until I had received it. It hadn't occurred to me that a part of my heart was still broken until he came to offer me healing.

As he walked away I was reminded of his gentle kisses and the way he held my hand as though he were afraid he was going to break it. I wasn't going to miss him but I was going to miss the idea of him. Actually, the more I thought about it I realized he was right. I wasn't going to miss the idea of him either because what I had found in Charlie exceeded both of those expectations.

Charlie was the guy who gave me the space I needed to talk to an ex because he trusted me. He was the guy who hung out with my friends even though he didn't like them because they made me happy. Charlie was the guy who had sweaty palms as he stood down the aisle waiting for me to marry him.

He was the guy who wore the green eyes when he saw me in my white gown and placed a gentle kiss on my lips when the permission was granted. Charlie was the guy who always made me feel like the only person in the room no matter how full the room seemed to be.

When our honeymoon was over I flew to San Diego. My pelvic pains were increasing and my mood was decreasing. My boss mocked me for marrying Charlie because 'those marriages never last'. The workplace had grown hostile and all of my attempts to resolve them were met with resistance.

Soon, my body was producing abnormal cysts and I was drinking heavily again after all of these years. The medicine that was meant to make me feel better didn't seem to work well with the liquor. The downward spiral continued. I once again felt like there was so safe space for me.

The roommate I had was a living nightmare, work was a landmine, and now my own body would cage me and fill me with pain and loneliness. I was sinking and there was no one here to patch up this ship. Within 3-years my time in the service would be over. There would be rumors about my departure. Everyone loved a good gossip story but I knew the truth.

I was and would always be...broken.


Author's Note: So tell me, did this work? There was a lot that happened here that is going to be covered in book 2 so I wanted to give you a sneak into it but not focus on it too much. Let me know if that works for you or if I should leave it out entirely. As always thank you for reading.

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