Both their eyes popped open at the same time. There were no more flames, no more pain. Still embraced and kneeling, they realized they were within the safety of their bedroom.

Emily pushed James back a bit and gazed into his eyes, then hugged him even tighter as tears streamed down her ashen face. He cradled her head and whispered in her ear, “I love you. You’re safe now.”

They laid side by side on the dark brown carpet and Emily raised up both her arms as James and her saw the messy slicings that were once her perfect arms. She touched her left inner forearm, tracing gently the fresh purple scars.

James, on an elbow, looked Emily in the eyes. “Baby, I am so sorry I let it get this far. I can’t believe you’re here, in my arms! It’s a second chance that we shouldn’t have gotten. I vow, moving forward, to adore you through every step of our life-long journey together. I will neither take you for granted nor will I wall you out nor will I react in hurt. No more. I love you too much to ever hurt you, my love.”

Her tears intensified, flowing down the sides of her head. She sat herself up and held her face to the ground, the hot liquid dripping from her eyes to the floor. James wiped her tears then kissed her forehead. He held her face that he loved so much in his hands. “Emily, I have literally given everything to be with you and to have you be with me. Now is our time!”

She slowly got to her feet with help from James. She walked toward the big bay window and quietly gazed out. James followed her and put his hand on her shoulder, waiting for her to say something. Anything. “Em?”

She looked at the floor. “We can’t go on. We were never supposed to be together. It was all wrong. This will continue to deteriorate. I can’t do that to you or live like it myself. I’m sorry.”

“No, no, no. That’s not true, baby! Our love will get us through, look how it’s rescued you! Can’t you see?” James was panicked and bewildered. “Everything can be okay now. I am here.”

Emily, without any eye contact, turned and as she walked towards the door, she said, “I’m sorry. It’s done. Please let me go.” She slipped out into the night as the door closed quickly behind her.

In total and complete disbelief, James fell to the floor and wept. Deep, loud sobs and screams of loss and anger escaped him as he wallowed in a festering sea of terrible anguish…

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