Edie had spent her whole life planning her future, imagining her husband, her kids, and even which minivan she’d drive. Lucky for her, she didn’t have to wait long, marrying her high school sweetheart right after graduation.
All of Edie’s dreams had come true, until they were no longer her dreams. Unable to deal with the lingering depression caused by having children, she left her whole life behind, walking away from the one thing she'd always wanted.
Donovan Leery loved his wife with everything he had and could never imagine life without her. Until he came home from work one day and found a letter from Edie, explaining she needed a break. Not only leaving him to live his life without her, but alone to raise their three small children.
But what happens when Edie is ready to come home? When she’s ready to fight for it all back? She knew it wouldn’t be easy. But she didn’t care. After spending years getting her life back together, she was ready to fight for her family. And a fight is what Donovan would give her.
She'd fight to make up for her Biggest Mistake.
We slipped through the spaces between the logs like we had done so many times so many years ago. It was harder than what I remembered, but still not difficult. Once I took in the sight in front of me, I gasped, trying to catch my breath.
The sand was gone. The random pine trees from before had multiplied and filled in the entire area with more pine trees. The ground was covered in pine needles and pods. It was as though our secret place had never existed and it filled me with sadness.
Once I took everything in, I turned to him, silently asking for answers.
He didn’t answer me; instead, he walked further between the trees. He stopped a little ways in and looked around. “We carved our names into a tree one time,” he started without looking at me. “We laid out a blanket somewhere over there, next to our tree, and we gave ourselves to each other for the first time. This was our place. I came here once after you left; I guess I needed to feel a connection to you. I needed to feel the sense of security this place used to bring me. So I came here, looking for peace. Instead, I found this. It was like God was trying to tell me something.
“We see things in our heads, making them what we want them to be. We see the perfectness of the past and avoid looking at the messiness of the present. I came here, expecting to find it exactly how it was when we were young and happy with a bright future ahead of us. That’s not what I found. I found land that has been overgrown with trees, making it impossible to find the single tree with our names carved in it. Just like in my head, you were perfect. But when I went searching for you in my memories, all I found was a shell of the woman I had fallen in love with, making it difficult to see the place in your heart where I had carved my name.” His words were so full of pain and despair as they echoed around me.
I reached out to touch his arm but he pulled away, looking right into my eyes.
“You destroyed me, Edie. You’re still destroying me.”
What the hell was I supposed to say to that? “What do you want me to do?” I asked in a pleading voice, needing him to tell me, direct me. I didn’t have answers or any clue as to what I needed to do. I just knew I wanted to make things right.
“I want you to have never left me.” His voice was broken, sounding the way one does just before breaking down into tears. It made my eyes flood with warm saltwater. I blinked them away as he cleared his throat and looked to the sky. “I want you to have talked to me instead of running. But you can’t change that now. Now…there’s nothing for you to do.”
“If you want me to leave—”
“NO!” he yelled, interrupting me. “I don’t want you to leave. Don’t you get it? I never wanted you to leave. I never wanted to live my life without you in it. I still don’t want to live without you, but I can’t live with you. I’m stuck in this endless space of purgatory because of you. I’m unhappy either way. You can’t make that right. You can’t make it go away.”
“Why did you bring me here?” My question came out in a whisper, barely heard above the rustling of the trees around us. His pain cut through me like a knife, killing anything left alive inside of me, and I wished for something that I could do to take it all away. This was the man I loved with my whole entire being. I had never loved anyone else. He was it for me.
He shook his head as if he needed to clear his mind before answering. “Because I need you to see that it’s over. Until you realize it, I can’t move on. You’re holding on to me, keeping me in this dark place. I can’t go back. I can’t give you what you want, but I can’t move forward, either. I’m physically stuck here until you let me go. That’s what I need from you, Edie. I need you to let me go.”
About The Author
Leddy Harper had to use her imagination often as a child. She grew up the only girl in a house full of boys. At the age of fourteen, she decided to use that imagination and wrote her first book, and never stopped. She often calls writing her therapy, using it as a way to deal with issues through the eyes of her characters.
She is now a mother of three girls, leaving her husband as the only man in a house full of females. The decision to publish her first book was made as a way of showing her children to go after whatever it is they want to. Love what you do and do it well. And to teach them what it means to overcome their fears.