He wouldn’t sign the papers.
He wouldn’t give up on you. Not without a fight.
No, he wouldn’t give up on you at all.
He wouldn’t let you walk out of his life, just like that.
He forgets that he did the exact same to you, so many times before.
Luke tells you he wants to talk to you first.
Just sign the papers, Luke.
He refuses stubbornly, insisting on seeing you to discuss it.
I just want to talk.
You laugh humorlessly, though you’re careful not to wake your sleeping daughter in the next room.
Six months and suddenly you want to talk to me? Is this what it takes?
Your humor is twisted and you suspect you’re not quite right. You’re not sure if it’s because of Luke’s absence or his sudden reappearance; if he’s your problem or your solution.
Look, just have lunch with me tomorrow. We’ll settle everything then.
You’re quiet for a moment, contemplating your choices. You wanted this to be quick, clean, and painless - you didn’t want your resolve to crack and you didn’t want to be the weak one anymore.
The word comes out short, clipped, and you want it to scratch him like broken glass.
You tell yourself this is the last time you’re giving in to Luke.
You vow to yourself you wouldn’t forget.
You wouldn’t forget every lonely night, every empty morning. You wouldn’t forget the silence that echoed too loudly or the nights when you collapsed with no one to catch you. You wouldn’t forget long days and sleepless nights of trying to raise a child by yourself, of trying to raise yourself. You wouldn’t forget the hopeless waiting, the stupid yearning, the foolish hoping.
You wouldn’t forget what Luke had done to you - or rather, what he didn’t do.
You wouldn’t let yourself forget your daughter asking you where’s daddy or coming back home crying because her friend’s dad picked her up and her daddy never came to see her at school and you wouldn’t forget the messy crayon drawings of Luke and your family that your daughter buried in her notebooks for him to see but never would, or the memories of her sitting next to the phone every night, waiting for it to ring.
You steeled yourself with these memories and you let them make you stronger instead of break you down.
You wouldn’t let him break you.
Not when he already has.
He’s already there, waiting for you.
You come ten minutes late, just to spite him. Just so he knows what it’s like to wait, to wonder where you are, to feel that flicker of doubt that you had for six months.
He smiles faintly at you, but you are steel and you refuse to bend.
But you can’t help but to notice how his hair is a little longer, a little messier; how his eyes have faint shadows underneath them, how there’s a stubble on his chin - he never did shave until you reminded him - and you notice how there’s something off about him.
YOU ARE READING
I write about these four Australian dorks a little too much. These imagines were originally posted on my Tumblr account [5secondsofimagines.tumblr.com] until some lovely followers suggested the wonderful idea of sharing the stories on Wattpad as we...