I’ve started this letter so many times–almost as many times as I’ve picked up the phone and dialed your number or turned my car around before I got to your house. There’s so much I want to say to you–so many things you deserve to know. This is the only way I can do this and I’m sorry for that. I’m sorry I’m too much of a coward to say these things to your face. It’s not because I don’t care–it’s because I care too much.
All these months, the times we spent together, I couldn’t let myself be honest about what I was feeling. I was so guilty about lying to Jack, about hurting him the way I did, that I overlooked how much I was lying to myself, how much I was lying to you, how much pain I was causing us.
The truth is I’ve loved you from the beginning, before we ever ended up in bed together, maybe even before we kissed the night of the storm. You cared about my thoughts and my feelings when I didn’t think anyone else did. You kept me from falling apart. You saved me when I didn’t think I could be saved–when I wasn’t even sure I wanted to be.
You risked everything for me and because you loved me, because you wanted a life with me, you lost everything. Your brother turned his back on you. Victoria is furious with you–she’s making it difficult for you to see your kids. Your mother is taking over your company, your house, she’s trying to take over your life. You’re suffering so much and it’s all because of me.
I wish it could be different. I wish I could come to you and tell you the truth, tell you everything, but I can’t look in your eyes and say the words. When I look in your eyes I believe everything will be ok. When you tell me we can get through anything together, you can make me believe it too, but this isn’t just about us anymore. It’s about your family, my family, our family.
I’m pregnant, Billy. I’m going to have a baby, our baby and I wish more than anything, more than you know, that I could stay here and share this with you, but it can’t work…not here…not with us.
You deserve to know this. You deserve to know how I feel. You deserve to know you’re going to be a father. You deserve the chance to be a part of this baby’s life, but I have to protect our baby now. I can’t stay here now–not when this child will be seen as a living, breathing reminder of the lie we told. Our baby doesn’t deserve that. We don’t deserve that.
I’ll be in touch as soon as I’m settled. Please know that I’m not trying to cut you out. I’m doing this for you–so that you can have your life here, so that you can get your family back. You deserve that and I want to give that to you after all you gave me, after the way you loved me.
Love you now and forever,
Billy stood, staring down at the letter, the tears in his eyes blurred his vision. There was so much information to process. Slowly he walked into the kitchen, filling a kettle with water and placing it on the stove. He grabbed two mugs and dropped tea bags into them as he shuffled back into the living room, his mind still foggy, his head still full of thoughts and questions. His eyes fell on her. She was still, her eyes closed, her breathing slow and peaceful. One hand now crept from under the quilt. It rested on her stomach. Thoughts flooded his mind, but one priority suddenly became clear.
He knelt beside her, his hands cupping her face. “Phyllis,” he whispered. “Hey, look at me.” The warmth in her cheeks brought him some comfort. She was no longer shivering and the color had returned to her cheeks. He had to believe she was ok–that they were both ok.
Her eyes fluttered open. “Billy.” She was quiet for a few seconds, sensing the concern in his face. “What is it?”
The letter was still clenched in his hand and he lifted it up for her to see. He still couldn’t quite get his mouth to form the words, his mind still spinning.
“The letter…you found it…”
“We need to get you to the hospital,” Billy said quickly, standing suddenly, his body spurring his mind into action.
She grabbed his hand, pulling him back down, her eyes gentle and slightly embarrassed. “I’m fine, Billy. I promise.”
“But just to be sure…I mean with the…” His voice broke, the magnitude of the moment finally settling in, “with the baby…maybe we should…”
She smiled, the softness in his eyes bringing tears to hers. “The baby’s fine…I’m fine. You made sure…like always.”
“Can you just stay here…with me? For a while?” Phyllis looked at him, almost afraid of his answer. He’d just read the letter she’d written where she told him she was leaving him, that she was walking away and now she was asking him to stay with her.
She started to speak as he stood without saying a word, but stopped herself. What did she expect. She flinched as she felt his hand on her shoulder and she smiled at him as he handed her the cup of tea.
“Chamomile,” he said softly, as he took a seat beside her, placing his own mug beside him on the floor. He put his arm around her, pulling her close to him, his heart beating faster as he felt her head fall to his shoulder.
“About the letter,” she began.
Billy looked down at her, the glow from the fireplace reminding him of the first time been here–on a night a lot like this. “You know I’m not gonna let you go,” he whispered.
Phyllis sighed. “Billy, it’s not fair to you, to your family, to your kids, to our baby.” A tear fell down her cheek as she looked at him.
“What about you? What’s fair to you? Being pregnant and alone in a new place? What if you need help? What if something happens?”
“I’ll call you–I told you that. I promised I’d keep in touch.”
“If we were together, you wouldn’t need to call me. I’d already be there.
“I could never ask you leave your kids, your family…”
“So don’t,” he said, staring into her eyes. “Stay here…with me.”