G I V E A W A Y E N D E D
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I left at dawn on a rainy day.
I left as he slept, believing that he’d still find me in his arms when he woke up. I left, taking
everything I’d promised him. I took it all, and neither of us would ever have it again.
I left, turning my back on everything I knew, believing I could never be part of it.
I left the man who loved me, the family who raised me. I left my home, my roots, my dreams. I left my whole life behind in search of a past that was never mine. I hurt everyone who loved me, and broke him into so many pieces that I know I’ll never deserve his forgiveness.
But I’m here, now, trying to rebuild everything I’ve destroyed. I’m trying to find what I thought I’d
lost. And although he says that he’ll never be the same, though he says that there’s nothing left
of him, I can’t abandon him again. I can’t say goodbye to us.
They say that you always find your way back to happiness, but I’ve found my way back to the
only place I’ve ever felt at home.
I’ve found my way back to him.
“What are you watching?”
Noel turns his head slowly. I’m glad I thought to bring a set of keys out with me – he
wouldn’t have heard me knocking, didn’t even hear me come into the room.
I walk over to him and sit beside him. “Of course I came back. Did you think I wouldn’t?”
He shakes his head a little, his eyes roaming back to the TV.
“Have you eaten?”
“I can’t remember… I think so…”
I force myself to smile, stroking his beard.
“Do you want me to make you something?”
“You don’t need to do that.”
“How about tea and biscuits? I’m going to make some for myself.”
He looks at me and flashes me a weak smile, which feels a little like hope; like the sun
peeking through thick cloud.
“There are still some shortbread biscuits in the tin on the counter. I made them this
“You sure know how to make a woman happy,” I say, pressing my lips lightly against his
before heading through to the kitchen to make us both some tea.
When I come back into the living room, I place the tray of tea and biscuits down on the
coffee table and sink onto the sofa beside Noel. I drape the blanket over us both and squeeze
him, my hand on his arm and my head on his shoulder.
You can’t abandon someone you love just because they’re not the same person you met a
long time ago.
You can’t abandon someone you love just because they can’t find the way back home.
You can’t abandon someone you love just because they no longer love themselves.
“You have no idea how glad I am that you’re here,” he whispers, his voice uncertain,
emotion caught up in his words, his breath.
“I’m home, Noel. With you.”
He lifts his arm and wraps it around me; I snuggle against his body and inhale his familiar
scent. It reminds me that, in spite of everything, he’s still here, with me.
Niamh and I are alone again, with so much love between us and an intense fear to work through.
“What’s wrong?” Niamh asks me, curiosity splashed across her features.
“I lost myself.”
She tilts her head, her eyes questioning mine.
“I lost myself for a while.”
She smiles at me. “Thank God I’m here, then.”
Her fingers slip delicately between mine.
“Do you need help finding the way back home?”
I nod, breathless. I never want to take another breath again if it doesn’t taste like her.
“Home,” I echo. “Where is home for you?”
Niamh squeezes my hand; there’s an emotion in that gesture that I never want to give up. It trembles along my arm
and into my chest, exploding with light and life.
“This. This is home for me, now.”
A. S. Kelly writes Rom-Com, Romantic Fiction and Family Saga.
Avid reader, hopeless romantic, lover of yoga, knitting and home baking.
She was born in Italy but lives in Ireland with her husband, two children and a cat named