Don grabbed Cassie by the waist and hoisted her up onto the kitchen counter. She squirmed in his grasp and whimpered as his mouth went to her throat. She looked up at the ceiling and her eyes rolled back in her head as he ripped her blouse open and his lips traveled sensuously down her bare flesh. She thought of Tom and tears stung her eyes.
“No, Donnie, we can't do this here... not now.” She pushed him away and pulled her blouse tightly around to cover her nakedness. She folded her arms defensively across her chest unsure of what to do next. She was confused and hurt, the passion he'd always stirred within her brought out long repressed feelings of guilt and shame. She had truly loved her husband.
Don stood temporarily dumb struck in front of her, his face flushed, his dark blond hair tousled and his green eyes wild with lust and frustration.
Cassie shook her head, “I'm sorry.... it's Tom. I just can't. Not... not yet.”
Don took her face in his hands, “Cassie, come on. It's been six months.. nobody expects you to become a nun.”
Hot tears rolled down her cheeks. “I know that. I just... I'm sorry.”
She hopped down from the counter and ran out the back door, never stopping until she reached the open field behind the farm. Their farm. The place Tom's parents had helped them buy. The place the two of them were gonna grow old together; the place they were gonna raise kids. Lots of 'em. Tom had wanted a big family, as he'd been an only child.
Cassie fell to her knees on the muddy ground and cried until she threw up. She lay on the ground looking up at the early evening sky as tears continued to flow. She couldn't stop herself from pleading with God again... 'Why? why?".
All of her dreams had died on June 7th in car accident on Route 10... he had been two miles from home. Two miles. She'd never understand. If only... the question burned in her mind. If only she'd taken him to work that day. But he'd wanted to drive his truck, said he was gonna pick up a load of gravel on his way home. She'd been after him for weeks to fix the walk from the house out to the detached garage. A long weekend was coming up and they could work on it together. Fill in all the empty spots and sparsely filled areas.
She'd smiled and kissed him on the cheek. The last time she ever saw him. She heard the sirens, the police and the ambulance. It was a quarter past seven, the phone rang. It was Don. He said he'd come get her and drive her to the hospital; there had been an accident. She knew.
It all seemed like a dream... a nightmare. She could barely remember any of it now. She'd almost lost her mind. The only reason she'd made it this far was because of Don. He'd been her best friend since she was five years old. He had always loved her, even when she didn't love him back. Even when she fell in love with his best friend Tom. Even when he'd kissed her on her wedding day and she'd slapped him. And now.... she was confused and hurting and frustrated as hell. She wanted to die, she wanted to love him back, she wanted to disappear inside herself and never feel anything again. She wanted Tom back. She was going to lie in the mud forever.
She heard footsteps crunching leaves.
"You gonna lay there all night? Want me to get you a blanket? Gonna get pretty chilly out here all by your lonesome. 'Less you want some company? I'll lay out here with you and we can stare up at the stars forever." Don had a way of saying the most insane things in a way that they made sense.
Cassie sat up and looked up into Don's kind face. Deep inside, a part of her did love him, maybe a part of her always had. But she couldn't get past her guilt. She wasn't sure she'd ever be able to.
"Nah, give me a hand. I'm gonna go take a shower." She held her hand out to him and Don helped her to her feet. He wanted to kiss her again but settled for pulling her in close and holding her for as long as she let him.
"I love you Cassie. I will always be here for you."
Cassie nodded her head and relaxed into his chest. She needed to be loved almost as much as Don needed her to love him. Maybe one day she would.
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