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Descending the steps, I stepped right in front of Bryson. I was so close to him, I could feel his breath on my face. My insides were eating me up as I spoke. “Bryson, why should I give you the time of day? What could you possibly have to say to me?”
Steven stepped up beside me. “Bryson, she just got here. Go home.”
He stepped back and turned to leave, but not before he got the words, “I still love you. My life isn’t complete without you.”
I couldn’t watch him leave. I ran up the stairs taking two at a time with tears rolling down my face. I heard someone coming up behind me. I turned and saw it was mom.
She followed me into the bedroom and sat on the bed with me. “I know he loves you and you love him. I don’t know if he’s changed, but it’s your choice what you do. If you choose to take him back, we will support you.”
“Mom, I do love him, but I don’t trust him. I don’t want to spend my life wondering every time he’s on his phone if he’s talking to another woman about getting together or if he’s on a personal ad. I love him. I never stopped loving him.”
“You have to decide what you can and can’t handle. He's leaving. Steven walked him out to his truck. I think he’s still out there because I haven’t heard the door open again.”
“I’m not sure I should open that door for Bryson.”
Mom situated herself on my bed so she could look directly at me. “The heart wants what the heart wants. Be true to yourself and your heart.”
My mom always made decisions by what her heart told her. She used to tell me that my heart would never lead me wrong, but I felt it did with Bryson. I know people can change, but there is also the old saying of ‘Once a cheater, always a cheater.’ Just hearing the words that he still loved me, made me melt. I also prayed the last two years were miserable for him and that Karma gave him a good whooping.
Mom went downstairs when she heard the door open. “Go up there Steven and talk to her. She needs you.”
I listened as Steven replied, “Mom, there isn’t anything I can say. He wants her back and I’m sure this just confused things for her. She’s moved on and he needs to move on. He made the mess.”
“Do you think that he’s changed?” I heard mom ask.
“I don’t know. Rumors fly around town and who knows if they’re true or not. He says there hasn’t been anyone else since the divorce. He says he’s learned his lesson and won’t hurt her again.”
I walked down the stairs. “Steven, do you believe him?”
“Honestly Sharon, I don’t know. Do what you want, but if you take him back, do it with caution.”
Steven and Beth left. I looked at my niece and nephew sleeping in the living room. I could have had children by now if I had stayed with Bryson. Now my work consumed me. Helping others made me feel good the last two years. It took my mind off my mess of a personal life.
“Mom, I’m going to sleep in the recliner tonight to be out here with Krinlin and Taylor.”
“Good night sweetheart. Get a good sleep and see how you feel in the morning,” mom said and kissed me on the cheek. Dad gave me a hug and both went upstairs to go to bed.
I flopped into the recliner and slumped down. I looked from the kids to the black television screen. Part of me wanted to turn it on and watch something, and part of me wanted to leave and go back to work. I knew running wasn’t the answer. I needed to face Bryson and face my own feelings. I had run from them for two years. It was time to confront it all.
I got up and picked up a blanket from the back of the couch. Returning to the recliner, I laid back and continued to stare at the black screen of the television. A million thoughts ran through my head. I couldn’t shut them off.
Should I give Bryson another chance? I had changed a lot in the last two years. I found a peace within myself working at the hospital in the Intensive Care Unit. I enjoyed it. It was stressful but meaningful. I loved spending my time helping others. Maybe there just wasn’t room in my life for him anymore.
I rolled onto my side and snuggled deeper into the blanket. The light from the yard light reflected off the snow. Flurries were falling from the sky. Watching it enveloped me with a peaceful feeling.
At some point, I dozed off because I woke up to Krinlin tickling my nose with a feather. When I was alert enough to realize what was happening, I picked her up and pulled her onto my lap and tickled her. We giggled and squirmed in the chair.
Mom walked in and handed me a cup of coffee. “Good to see you laughing. Bacon and eggs are ready, go eat.”
“Yum! I haven’t had bacon and eggs for breakfast in over two years! I’m hungry! Come on Krinlin.”
“Aunt Sharon, I ate. We all ate. Grandma told us not to wake you up, but I wanted to. We have to bake cookies today. Santa comes tonight. I don’t want him to go hungry.”
“All right. We can do that after I eat and take a shower.”
I got up and went into the kitchen to eat. Steven was sitting at the table. “You still snore so loud it sounded like a freight train was coming through the house.”
“I don’t either. I didn’t anything, therefore, I don’t snore.”
He and dad laughed. “Good to see you smiling this morning baby girl. Come help me feed the horses when you’re done. I know Jigger will be glad to see you.”
I inhaled my food so I could get out to my horse. I missed him. When I approached him, I could tell he missed me also. He put his head over my shoulder and nuzzled my head. “I know I’ve been gone a long time boy. I’m sorry.”
Wrapping my arms around his neck, I inhaled his scent. I always loved the smell of horses. I grabbed his mane and pulled myself up. He walked around dad with me. It felt good to be riding him. It felt right.
“You know, this is the first time I’ve seen him perked up since you moved away. This horse is attached to you.”
“I’m attached to him also. If I had a place for him, I’d take him back with me. I refuse to board him. He needs the pasture to exercise. He’s such a free spirit.”
“Your mom comes out and rides him a few times a week to make sure he gets exercise. He’s taken to her, but he doesn’t love her like he does you. We’ve done our best caring for him.”
I hopped down off Jigger, “I know dad. Thank you. I’m sorry I left.”
“Don’t be sorry. You did what you had to do. I think it was the best thing for you, but maybe it’s time to come home. Think about it.”
“I don’t know dad. It’s complicated.”
“There is nothing complicated about it. Home is home. You’ll never belong anywhere but home.”
“Isn’t home where you make it?”
“Not for you. Your spirit and your heart are here. I can see it. It’s in your eyes, your movements, and your smile. Think about that.”
“What about Bryson?”
“Like your mother said, that’s your decision. We’ll support your decision, but you can’t run from things that make you uncomfortable. Running doesn’t do you any good because things always catch up to you. You may as well face them head on and get it over with.”
As dad and I were cutting the wire on the bale of hay, we heard a truck coming up the driveway. I prayed it was Beth, but it wasn’t, it was Bryson. He stopped when he saw us feeding Jigger, he got out and walked over to the gate.
“Do you need any help?”
Dad looked up and responded, “No, Bryson, I think we got it. I just need to open the open at the back of the lot so the other horses can come eat.”
“Sharon, do you think we talk today?”
I looked at dad. He looked back at me and his eyes said, “Face it head-on.”
I didn’t respond. I continued to help dad with the bale of hay. When we were done, I walked over to open the gate for the other horses. Bryson leaned against the gate watching me. I knew it was time to talk to him. I knew it was time to bring to the surface everything I had been feeling for two years. I took a deep breath as I walked towards him. I looked at dad as he watched me walk to greet Bryson and he was smiling and nodding his head.
Stay tuned. What will Sharon say to Bryson? Will she reconcile with him? Can she forgive him?