Once the children had been put to bed, Theresa found herself restless and anxious. She didn’t want to be here anymore, but her family insisted that she stay for at least a few days. Realizing that she couldn’t just stay in bed and stare up at the ceiling, she got out of bed and got dressed so that she could take a walk.
Soon, she found herself by the wharf. She remembered that this was the place where she and Ethan first kissed. So many painful memories she didn’t want to relive. She looked out to the dark waters that had seemed so call out to her. There was a time when she would’ve jumped. She actually attempted once before, but she would never do that again because she had too much to live for now. She had her children to take care of. She had gotten her life back together, and she was not going to let anyone take that away from her.
“If things had been different…Well, I can’t think about the ‘what ifs’. I have Jane, EJ, and my career now. Ethan has no place in my life now or in my heart. I’ll be with someone who will be everything that Ethan couldn’t be.”
With a soft sigh, she turned to leave to go home only to be stopped dead in her tracks with the sight of Ethan in front of him. She rolled her eyes and tugged the free strands of hair behind her ear before looking down at the ground.
He couldn’t help but watch her as she looked into the water. He looked back to the time where they shared their first kiss. It was at that moment where he felt more than just friendship towards her. Now she was standing there looking the same as she did all those years ago, but she wasn’t the same. Neither was he. Why did the feelings he kept locked away come back?
“What is this Ethan? Are you following me around or something?”
“No, I wasn’t following you around. I just want to talk.”
“Talk. Last time I checked there was nothing for us to talk about.”
“That’s where you’re wrong, Theresa. There is a lot for us to talk about. Five years can’t change that.”
“Fine. Fine. Say what you’re just dying to say.”
“Theresa, I know that things have been tense between us, and no matter what happens we will always have feelings for each other. I think that there are things that I should know. I mean, after all you’ve been gone for five years without a word and you took my daughter with you.”
“What do you want to know, Ethan?”
“Why, Theresa. I want to know why you left.”
“This is a waste of time, Ethan. You should be able to answer that question yourself.”
“Theresa. Tell me why you left.”
“Because I was alone! I was alone and I was fed up with it. I hated being looked at with disdain and contempt. No matter what I did, I was still the woman who tried to destroy a happy marriage. Gwen looked like some innocent victim when we all know that wasn’t the case. She tried to kill me and kidnapped my child and everyone took her side. She has assaulted me and threatened my life, and everyone says that I deserve it! The worst, my god, the worst was Alistair raping me and people think that I was lying. You, Ethan! You believed him over me. Not only did you believe him, you accused me of lying just so you’d feel bad and get closer to me! That was the last straw. I couldn’t handle that. I wanted to die at that moment. Not because I felt that I had lost you, but because you believed Alistair. You had might as well had pinned me down as he forced himself on me.” She tried to force back the tears as the pain of that night replayed in her head along with Ethan’s words. Five years couldn’t make the feeling of his hands on her body go away.
“No! Get off of me! No!” Theresa cried out as she struggled to free herself from Alistair’s clutches.
“It’s time you fulfill your end of the bargain, Theresa! If you don’t pay up willingly, I’ll take it from you!”
“You’re damaged goods now, Theresa. Ethan will never want you again. Never.” Alistair chuckled as he felt Theresa give up fighting.
Theresa shut her eyes and pressed her fingers to her temple as she tried to will back those memories. She turned so that her back faced him as she whimpered softly. She counted in her head as her doctors instructed whenever those memories came back to haunt her.
“Theresa, I feel bad about…”
“You should feel more than bad, Ethan. You should feel disgusted by what you said to me. I could survive the rape, but it was your words that caused more pain.” Theresa started her slow, deliberate swaying as she did when she felt herself start to slip away again. “You know, after five years, you’d think that I would have let it go. After all, I shouldn’t have expected anything more from you. You’re always so quick to throw me to the wolves for you to save face.”
“Theresa, that’s not fair…”
Theresa sharply turned to face him with a look of rage and hurt in her eyes. “Isn’t it, Ethan? I think it’s quite fair. You’ve said that you loved me, but you were ashamed of it.”
“Theresa, I was never ashamed of my love for you.”
“Oh please, Ethan. You were. Every time you said that the reason why we couldn’t be together was because I lied too much, you were ashamed of it. After all, how could you love and want to be with a psychopathic liar and be proud of it? That’s why time and time again when I needed you, you weren’t there for me. In fact, you were so quick to berate me and assume that I was the bad person. It was more than your guilt. It was your shame. Alistair was right about one thing. You would’ve never wanted to be with someone as damaged as me. I’m too flawed for you.”
“Theresa…” He whispered as he took a step towards her.
“Don’t touch me.” She retorted as she stepped back from him, ignoring the frown that came to his face.
“Theresa, we both have made mistakes. We’ve lost our way, and maybe if the situations were different, we’d be together and we’d be happy. I truly am sorry for not believing you. The fact of the matter is that we’re different people now. You’re different from the Theresa I knew.”
“You destroyed her, Ethan. Alistair may have violated her body; you destroyed her soul.”
“Fair enough. I think that we’re at the stage of our lives where we can be at peace with each other. I think it would be best for us if we put the past behind us and be friends.”
“Friends…” Theresa couldn’t help but let out a chuckle at his proposition. He couldn’t be serious, could he? “Ethan, you’re a fool if you expect me to just accept that. I’ve lost my pride, my dignity, and my honor because of you. You can be at peace with your denial of your involvement, but I have to live with it for the rest of my life, so pardon me if I can’t just put the past behind me.”
“Fine. Fine. But remember Theresa, we have a child together. A child I haven’t seen in five years. I do have a right to spend time with her and watch her grow up.”
“Yeah? I’d say you lost that right when you took her from me. I’ve been her mother and father, and she’s just fine without you or Gwen corrupting her.”
“I love Jane! I only want what’s best for her.”
“Is that why you decided to take her away from me after Gwen tried to kill me and kidnapped her? It was a good thing I took her with me. I would’ve rather died trying to get her back than sit by and watch as Gwen corrupted my child. So don’t tell me that you only wanted what’s best for her, Ethan.”
“I want to see her. I want to know how she’s doing. I want to know how Little Ethan is doing.”
“EJ. He prefers to be called EJ. If you want to see them, fine. I can’t guarantee that they’ll be accepting of you, EJ less so. I’ll be here a couple of days, and then it’ll be like you never saw me. We can just go back to our normal lives. You can live happily ever after with Gwen. Good night, Ethan.” She replied before walking away from him.
“Theresa.” Ethan sighed as he walked over to the railing where she stood. “We can’t go back to our normal lives. Not now. Not ever. I’ve lost you once. I don’t know how I will manage without you again.”