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?
“You love me?”
The absolute amazement on her face almost made him laugh. Almost. In fact, it would have been funny if it wasn't for the fact that her eyes were unnaturally bright and got wider by the second.
They were standing in her living room. Ever since they had left the restaurant, she had been silent, and those were the first words out of her mouth.
He stepped closer and took both her hands in his.
“I do. I don't know why our lives had turned out the way they had or why we hadn't pursued a relationship when we were young, but right now the past makes no difference to what I feel for you.”
Stephanie slowly backed away to sit on the couch.
He never understood why anyone wanted white furniture, then he remembered that she had no children to worry about. He joined her. He moved a little closer but didn't reach for her much as he wanted to.
She blinked and looked at him with even wider eyes. “You really love me?”
He smiled and took her hand despite his inner voice telling him to give her some space.
“Without an ounce of doubt.”
Her silence was a trifle disconcerting. “Talk to me, sweetheart. What are you thinking?”
Stephanie blinked, and two tears slowly rolled down her cheeks. She didn't look away from him. In fact, something changed in her expression to make him hold his breath.
“I love you too,” she whispered and then looked down. Slowly she folded her hands over his.
“But I cannot offer you anything beyond an affair. I cannot divorce Frederick. I am sorry.”
Nick quickly reversed their hands when she made to get up.
“Oh no, you are not giving up on us. I don't believe that you have to remain married to ensure his care, there must be other options.”
He pressed two fingers to her lips when she wanted to protest. “If it turns out that there is no other way, then so be it. We can define our relationship. We are not young anymore, Annie. I don't want to be without you for however many years I still have left in this life.”
“What about your children?”
“Don't worry about my kids; they are mature enough to understand. Besides, you make me happy, and that is all they want for me anyway.”
He lifted her hands and pressed a kiss to each of her palms. “So what do you say?”
Stephanie began smiling, and his heart jumped at the love he saw when her eyes lit up. “I say, yes!”
He grinned and leaned forward to kiss the woman he knew was going to make the rest of his life one happy affair.
~ The End ~
The story is also available on Wattpad