The Sunday Serial

The Retreat

Tom did what all men do when faced with a decision that was both life changing and scary as hell.

He ran.

Not literally of course, but he suddenly felt as though he couldn’t breath; like he was being smothered by a pillow and he knew that he couldn’t stay. He needed to get out of there as fast as he could.

Without even looking at Jennie and without answering her question, he turned and walked away. He sat in his car breathing hard and groaned out loud to himself.

What the fuck?! he thought to himself. You had one chance you and completely blew it. You left her standing there. She asked you a question and it was A. one that scared you more than anything you’ve ever faced before and B. one you didn’t want to answer because you know deep down that this is it. She’s the one and you don’t know what to do.

So you avoid answering difficult questions do you?

Fuck. The voice was back with a vengeance.

“No, I don’t usually,” he said out loud. “I just don’t know what to do about this one.”

Well you were the one who started it, the voice reminded him.

Shit, now it was actually responding. Tom had officially lost his marbles; gone over the edge.

Yes, I was the one who started it, he thought to himself. I love that girl… woman. Jennie was a woman, not a girl. Yes, she was a lot younger than him, but age didn’t matter when you were in love did it?

It doesn’t matter now anyway, the voice said to him. You left her standing there. She’s hardly going to want to see you again after you did that.

It was right. He knew it was right.

Tom felt an intense loathing for himself that he’d never experienced before. What kind of man told a woman he loved her and then left? He’d expected more from himself and he’d let himself down.

But worse than that, he’d let Jennie down.


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