Begging For A Second Chance
“I should put these in some water,” Joellen said, not knowing what else to say or where to go from here. Not weakening in her resolve, but unsure how to make demands when she had thought this would all happen through lawyers. Then she realized that was his game. By circumventing the lawyers he could save money and get what he wanted directly from her. A double win in his column.
“If I let you come in the house, it’s only for two minutes and then you have to go,” she said. “And just so you know, I realize what you’re doing. Trying to cut out the lawyers. But it won’t work. I’ve made up my mind.”
He followed her and closed the door behind them. At the same moment Joellen turned to face him and smiled, a little knowing smile now that she had figured out his scheme. This was all new to her but she felt she was picking it up fairly quickly. A slight feeling of euphoria enveloped her momentarily, making her feel powerful, almost invincible.
“Exactly what do you want? I mean specifically,” she said.
He leaned against the front door, sizing her up, until he heard the latch click as the front door closed from the pressure of his weight. This was a new Joellen and he wasn’t quite sure how to approach her. Or perhaps he was stalling for time to adjust to the new circumstances. He smiled back at her, mirroring what he saw in her, trying to relax the atmosphere.
“I feel like kissing you,” he said.
Joellen laughed at that.
“You think it’s that easy, huh?” she asked.
“No,” he said softly now, “but you wanted to know what I want. I want you,” he said. “I want us to be the way we were. I want us to be together and be a family. I want to show you how important you are to me, how much I care about you and about our family. How can I do that? What will it take?” He reached out, touching her cheek with one finger, stroking it a little.
She pulled back and tossed her head as if to cast off his attempt at a caress.
“This should all be taking place at my lawyer’s office,” Joellen muttered as much to herself as to him. “But if you want to know what it would take for you to come back, I suspect it’s more than you can or would be willing to give.”
“Try me,” he said.
“I did try you. For twelve years I tried you. And when I found that damned note I realized you had been using me the whole time. How many others were there on your business trips, huh? How many? Dozens? Maybe more than that. I’d never be able to trust you again,” she said, almost losing her temper but managing to keep it just under the surface. Still, little tears pricked at her eyes making her afraid she would show weakness, lose her focus. The euphoric feeling had faded quickly, replaced by an anger that frightened her. The last thing she wanted was to lose control.
He stepped closer and took her face in his hands, lifting it towards his.
“I understand how hurt you are,” he said. “Really I do. And I’m so so sorry. There weren’t dozens. It was only that one time. And it meant nothing. I get really lonely on the road. I get lost and lonely and sometimes it feels like too much and I forget who I am and what I have. And that one time, it was not really my fault . . . ”
“Stop it.” She tried to pull away but he held her still, moving his hands to her shoulders, encircling her, pulling her towards him.
“Please, Jo,” he begged. “I need you.”