To Heal Takes Courage

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A/N: An update 2 days in a row?! Whaaaat?! Ha Ha!

I awoke the next morning to an empty, cold bed. Chris hadn't come to bed that night. I turned my alarm off and forced myself out from underneath the blankets. I walked into the kitchen to make a cup of coffee before getting ready for work and saw Chris leaning down on the island counter with a pen in his hand. He was dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, with his duffel bag at his feet. His favorite Sox hat pulled low to his brow. He looked up when he noticed me. His eyes were bloodshot with dark swollen circles underneath.

"Hey. I was just leaving you a note." His voice was raspy and faint.

"A note?" I questioned as I grabbed a coffee mug from the clean dishwasher.

"I'm going to California for a few days." He said uncomfortably.

"What?" I spun around to face him.

"Yeah, I'm staying with Scotty. I have an audition lined up. I'll be back in a few days."

"And you decided to just leave without saying goodbye? Just gonna leave me a note?" I asked sharply.

"I didn't want to wake you." He swallowed anxiously.

"Didn't want to wake me? Or didn't want to see me?" I challenged.

"Of course, I want to see you Bree." His voice softened.

"You didn't come to bed last night." I pointed out.

"Come to bed? Why so you can turn your back on me? Give me the cold shoulder?" His demeanor changed and he let out a biter laugh.

I opened my mouth but couldn't deny that that had been exactly what I had been doing.

I turned back around grabbing a K-Pod for the Keurig. "So you just decided at 5 am to fly out to California?" I asked my back still to him.

"I've had the flight lined up for a few days. I wasn't sure if I was going to go but I think it's best if I do."

"So you're leaving me?" I set the coffee mug down a little harder then I intended.

"No, I'm not leaving you. Not like that." He took a step closer to me but hesitated. "I just thought maybe a couple days in California would help the strain around here."

"Well that's what you do best. Up and leave me when things get tough."

"What the hell is that supposed to mean?" His asked through clenched teeth.

"Nothing, go off and play movie star Chris." I shook my head leaving the coffee untouched I turned to go back to the bedroom.

"Bree. I love you more than anything or anyone on this planet. And I want to be there for you. But it's killing me you pushing me away. It hurts like hell and honestly I need a break from it."

"Then I guess you need to go." I didn't turn around to face him. I walked back to the bedroom and into the on-suite bathroom where I started my shower. By the time I was done Chris was gone.

Chris texted me when he landed later that day. But that was it of the communication between us. The following day I asked Kirsten to come over when I got home from work.

"What's going on?" She asked as we sat down at my kitchen table.

I took a long sip of my iced tea. "Chris is in California."

"For work?" She asked.

"I think he has an audition lined up while he's there. But no, he left because of me."

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