moments of truth (pt 5)

Days turned to weeks and they had spent every spare moment together. Family and friends meet and knowing smiles of approval given. He spent most of his nights in happiness curled up in her bed. Their bodies fitting together as if made for each other. But something was not as it should be. She had asked to see his home. She knew he had one. He has spoken of it. But it never brought a smile to his eyes. There was a sadness in him when he mentioned it. It was always in context of his previous marriage. He would tell her that one day he would have her there. But as Christmas approached she began to wonder if he was trying to keep her at arms length or if there was some other reason he kept her way.

One day while talking to his father, a man who’s smile matched his sons, she let it slip that she had only been to the front steps of his sons home. Dad, with is knowing smile, told her in his gentle voice to be patient. His sons heart had become a fragile place in the wake of is broken marriage, and that his home had become something of a wall of protection. He had let it fall into disarray as a way to keep people at bay.
There was a piece of her heart that understood that all to well. For a time during the death of her marriage she had let parts of her own life fall apart. Time and love would heal those wounds.

But fate has a way of forcing people to act. And one afternoon a water main broke at her home, leaving her newly carpeted home a pond. She was about to go stay with friends when he pulled up at the front door and without a word took the bag from her hand, placing it in the back of his truck. She silently slid in the passenger seat. The drive wound thru the country side. A part of the world that a year ago had been charred by wild fire. The bleak and blackened trees in stark contrast to the gleaming green grass beneath. she had always loved this part of the world.

Pulling up to his home, he looked at her and said, if you want to bolt I will understand.
As she stepped into the front room, her eyes took in the once beautiful home, that was now a shattered mass of rubble. With tear filled eyes she placed her head on his shoulder and asked where to put her bag. The next few days were spent in quietness. He would ask her to sit once she had gotten done with work while he spent the next few hours picking up. Slowly returning the house to its previous gleaming self.
Often she would ask to help, but the look on his face told her that he needed to do this.
The pride in him had been broken when his ex left. She took his family. Not his children by blood, but the only ones he would ever have. A child hood trauma had left him unable to father his own. Taking his boys had left him a broken man, and his home had become as broken as his soul.

Soon the place looked like a castle. Gleaming in the mid day sun. It was clean and repairs made. But when he looked at it he could still hear the laughter of his lost children. He knew that this place would never again me home.

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