Not all long lasting marriages are happy. But what do you do if divorce is not an option?
University friends, Stephanie and Nick, meet again after twenty years. But life has not been easy or simple for either of them. Will this friendship affair stand a chance against reality?
Nick sighed into the blessed silence of his backyard. It had been a long week and the emotional difficulties of Sunday were still haunting him. Added to that he had come to realise that he was in love with Annie.
Stephanie. Her name reflected the elegant and mature woman she was, but he would always think of her as the carefree Annie of their youth.
Maybe he had always been in love with her and just never realised it until now.
He swirled the whiskey around the ice cubes rapidly melting in the summer heat. Apparently they were going to get some more rain, but when he looked at the empty sky, he wondered if the weather guys saw things.
His mobile phone beeped.
He opened the message. Come tomorrow. Bring the papers with you. L
He took a sip of the whiskey and deleted the message before putting the phone back in his pocket.
He understood Stephanie's situation much better than she knew. He was raised with the idea that one never abandoned one's family, but having been on the receiving end, he understood why she couldn't let her husband go.
But he could and one day when she was ready, they could have a future.
He smiled at the cheerful face of his daughter. “Hey, yourself.”
“I am off to study group. I brought some Chinese if you feel hungry. See you later?”
He nodded. “Thanks, sweetie.”
She waved and turned to go back inside.
He called her name.
“Break a leg!”
With a shake of her head and laughter still tinkling with youthful cheer, she left him to his thoughts.
Alone in the house, he went to his study and dug out the key to a small safe hidden away in the desk. It contained but one thing and this was the first time in seventeen years that he was going to open it. He only hoped the documents were still intact.
He had to blow out some dust from the lock, making him sneeze twice, but the key still fit and the door opened on the first attempt.
Reaching inside he withdrew the envelope. He pulled a face. Judging by the smell the mothballs have done their job keeping nature away from the documents.
After closing and locking the safe, he returned the key to its hiding place and sat down behind the desk.
Giving his hands a quick wipe on his jeans, he opened the envelope and pulled out the documents.
Due to their dark and sealed storage space, the paper was still white and crisp as the day he had put them in there. Only the smell gave away their age.
Seventeen years. Sometimes it felt like yesterday. Other times it felt as if it had happened to someone else and he was only an observer to the result of that fateful day.
Whatever he had felt back then, was not relevant anymore. It was time to move on.
It was time to finally cut the ties to his wife.
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