“Forget you!” She shouted as she slammed the front door behind her. She flinched as a nail snagged on the door and she stumbled down the font step.


Clothes spilled from the duffel bag on her shoulder. Littering the path away from the house. Her slender frame dipped to pick up the items as quick as she could. Her hair, a mess of strawberry curls, fell in front of her face. Obscuring her features from view.


“Stay strong,” she whispers. A tear slipping down the tip of her nose. Landing on her hand. “Don’t turn back.” Taking deep breaths she steadies herself. Squaring her shoulders.


Stuffing her things back into the overflowing bag she stomped over to her Sky blue SUV, flinging open the door and throwing everything onto the backseat.


She paused. Hand on the door frame. The hair on the back of her neck standing up. A shiver dancing up her spine.


“Don’t turn around.” She tells herself. “Don’t look back.”


She felt the invisible pull. Curiosity? She wasn’t sure. But, the feeling was all too familiar.


“Please.” The whisper came with the wind. Lifting the hair from her shoulder. Kissed her shoulder. “Please, stay. Don’t leave me.”


She turned. Her mascara stained eyes searching the empty space behind her. A sob tore from her chest.


A chill spread up her arms. So cold it burned her to the bone. She felt trapped in place. Transfixed by the house before her. The house that was once her home.


“Please…”


“I can’t.” Her voice shakes.


She took in the sight of the house. Bathed in the warm summer sun. Looking every bit as welcoming as the day she had walked in the front door with him.


“Jackson.” His name fell like a prayer from her lips.


“Stay…” His voice echoes in her ears. Laced with pain.


She closed her eyes. Gritted her teeth.


“I can’t.” She hissed. “I can’t”


“Why?” He begged. “Why?” He shouted.


She flinched at the sound of crunching glass, and rage exploding from within the house.
Fear gripped her heart. She jumped into her SUV, slammed it into reverse, and sped out of the drive.


Miles flew by. She didn’t know how far she had come till she saw the iron gates before her.


Numb, she parked the car and stumbled through the monuments. Exhausted she collapsed to the ground. Curled up into a ball. Her hand outstretched to the grave stone. Her finger tracing the name.


“Jackson, my Jackson.”

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