“Did you hear from Kevin today?” I asked Jake over dinner.
I’d picked up a couple of bottles of Singha beer to go with the takeout from Saladang Song, our favorite Thai place. Jake swallowed a mouthful of beer, put down his mug. He speared a bite of shrimp Pad Thai. “No.”
“Me neither. I expected to.”
My heart skipped, and I looked at him in surprise. He stared back, and for a moment his face looked like a stranger’s. Hard. Unfriendly. Come to think of it, not the face of a stranger at all. He looked like the old Jake.
As the thought crystallized, his expression changed, twisted into apology. “Sorry. That was a stupid thing to say.”
“Why did you say it?”
I thought he wasn’t going to answer. Then his mouth tightened as though he was in pain.
“Maybe because somewhere in the back of my brain is the fear that there are some things you can’t put right. That I had my chance and I blew it. And that all this”—he nodded at the dining room where we sat—“is just a way station on the road to wherever I’m going to eventually wind up.”
It was so unexpected, and hurt so much—for so many reasons—that I felt for a second like I couldn’t get my breath. Kind of like the bad old days when my heart had leaked and floundered like a sinking ship.
“Are you saying after everything we’ve been through, you think this is temporary?”
I thought I sounded steady enough, but his eyes turned dark with fierce, unreadable emotion. His chair scraped back, and he came around to me, folding me in his arms. “Don’t look like that, baby,” he said softly.
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