This was the moment. The apex of
our relationship. The point I knew would come, but hoped to avoid. I
imagined spreading my arms wide and letting myself fall. After I said
the words, there would be no taking them back.
“Gavin.” Those two endearing
syllables rolled off my tongue. I allowed them to linger in place,
letting the flavor melt on my taste buds like the last few bites of a
decadent cheese cake.
He tossed his delighted niece
into the air. Lily’s golden curls flashed like sunbeams against the
backdrop of azure sky. She dissolved into a fit of outrageous giggles.
The kind I would have joined if my throat hadn’t squeezed together.
Did it have to be now? On the
cusp of summer? With the sun shining like a glorious ball of fire
amidst a smattering of puffy white clouds? Couldn’t I just wait until
Mr. Sun wasn’t so eager to play?
I shook my head and dismissed
the idea. Things were getting too serious. I had no more excuses for
putting this off. No more excuses to prolong the unavoidable. I cleared
“Gavin,” I said, a little
louder this time, cherishing the unexpected gift in the midst of my
torment. His distraction had given me the excuse to say his name a
He set Lily down and gave her
rear a pat before she tore off toward the slide. The really high
big-girl slide. The one she’d just learned to slide down two weeks ago.
Gavin stood up and smiled over at me, his handsome features sending
ripples of agony through the cavern in my chest. I had his attention.
There would be no need to repeat his name again.