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The Long Way Home

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She missed him so much, she missed his smell, the way he looked at her, touching his skin, hearing his voice, his moans, his whispers...everything he was. She always knew that he was her big love, the love of her life, to use a phrase that she laughed at before she met him. There were so many times that she almost gave in and called him and a lot of other times when she called without talking, she just wanted to hear his voice, even for a second, without him knowing that it was her, that he needed him. She wanted to punish him. It was strange how she hated him and loved him more than anything in the same time. Her thoughts were interrupted by his hand, finding his way under her skirt. She felt her skin responding to his touch, she wanted more and in the same she hated herself for it. She kissed him deeper and brought him closer to her, the feeling of his body heat and the cold wall that she was leaning to was maddening.
He suddenly stopped and looked into her eyes as if he was asking permission to take his next step and in the next second she lifted her in his arms, walking to the stairs. She knew that there was no turning back, she was so afraid to let him in her bedroom, the one that used to be theirs, in the bed that she spent so many nights crying alone, in her house, in her life again. She knew that she wasn’t ready yet. Yet she tried shifting the way she saw this, she decided that this was going to be a night of sex and nothing more, that with the morning the sorrow and the pain will take over her again and she will push him away.
He placed her on the bed and came on top on her, he looked into her eyes as if he was trying to make her see that everything he was feeling was real, that there will be no more lies, that what he did was the biggest mistake of his life, for which he was paying for the last year. He had so many sleepless nights that he couldn’t even count, crying himself to sleep. He was sure she did too. But this, this right now gave him hope, there was a time when he thought that there was no turning back, that he will never touch her, hold her in his arms, feel her breath on his face, feel the way that she wanted him. She was so different than all the other women he knew, she had a hold on him that he never knew how to explain.
The moment they got rid of their clothes and their skin finally touched was a feeling that brought tears in their eyes. It was unbelievable how, even for this second, this last year never happened, what he did never happened, all the sadness, the pain, nothing happened. He let his hand touch her body, searching for the places he loved, searching for the places she liked to be touched, her body was like a map and they were both wondering how he still knew all the roads on it.
She closed her eyes, trying to make the tears not to fall, she went along with this, now she had to be strong, she didn’t want him to see the amplitude of her vulnerability. It was almost like a sad game, that they played so many times, hiding from each other.
He was still unsure and although they got to this point, he was almost afraid to go any further, he was afraid that all this could end any second.
She opened her eyes and in the dark, she tried looking in to his.
-Kurt, I think i want this, she whispered with trembling voice. It was all she could say for now, she couldn't tell him yet that she missed him like crazy, that she thought about him constantly, that she will never feel the same thing for another man.
They were so unsure, that they both felt like they were two teenagers, having sex for the first time. He wasn’t sure that she really wanted this, expecting her to reject him and she was unsure if this was the best thing right now. She knew that she was vulnerable, that she just lost all her money, her job, maybe her house, and in the middle of all her desperation and depression, she found him waiting for her on her doorsteps, more handsome than ever, his hair was longer and looked really well with his beard. Her heart sank the moment she saw him.
And with all that on her plate, she had to divorce him. She was glad she wasn’t the one who had to make that choice, she put that in his lap and let him decide.
And it wasn’t enough that she was in the lowest point of her life, he had to show up, looking so good and open old wounds, wounds that will probably never heal.
His words echoed through her mind “ I didn’t leave you! “. Was that ironic or what?
When he pushed inside of her all the voices in her head were silenced. For a moment everything was like a silent movie, the only thing she was feeling was the sensation in her, her high walls crumbling a little bit. He stopped for a moment, just looking at her, and in the light of the moon she could see a tear dropping on his cheek. The way he looked at her, with such love and desire, like nothing happened, the way he moved inside of her, for a few seconds she saw a glimpse of her husband, the one from before, the one that was true and sincere, or so she thought. She felt his hands tremble and she could tell that this was a big thing for him too. And then another thought hit her with full force…was this the way he looked at her, was that the way he moved inside of her, too? She closed her eyes trying to push the thought away along with the tears that were threatening to burst out. But closing her eyes only made her imagine everything better, flashes were coming before her eyes, things she had imagined a thousand times, in a sort of masochistic ritual. How his hand caressed the other woman’s skin, how they laughed together, how he touched her lips with his own, how he forget completely about her existence in the other woman company and the way she was waiting for him to come home to her, thinking that he was the most honest man in the world, the way she slept with his t-shirt every night that he was away with work. She was so stupid. She hated the fact that he made a fool of herself and that he didn’t even had the courage to tell her before she found out in front of a court full of people, she hated herself for being so in love and naive that she trusted him with all her being and never once doubt him. And not least, she hated the way he robed her of the most beautiful thing that ever happen to her.
She couldn’t stop the tears anymore, she knew from the beginning that it was a mistake, that she shouldn’t have done this. A sob came out of her, and for a moment she got scared of her own sounds, and then she covered her face and started crying without any kind of control. She was so tired of feeling sorry for herself, she was so tired of the fact that she lost the husband that she trusted and loved, forever.
He looked at her, at first unsure of what was happening…but then her sobs and cries felt like a punch. He was frozen, he didn’t knew what to do. He wanted to hold her in his arms tight and never let go, but he was so afraid she will reject him.
-Diane, he whispered. Diane, please look at me, please…he started to kiss her face, her neck, desperately, all of a sudden knowing that this wasn’t just because of losing her money, or job. He got off of her, and took her in his arms, trying to give her some comfort, he wished he could take all her pain away, he wished he could feel her pain, instead of her.
She couldn’t shake the feeling that took hold of her, and the way he tried to caress her, and comfort her almost made her mad. She was so torn between all her feelings, why did he had to do that, why did he had to destroy it all?
- Diane, Diane, Diane, he whispered. I am sorry, I am sorry, I am so sorry, I can’t take back what I did , I can’t reverse time, I wish I could…
- Well you should! Because I think this would be the only way to take all this pain away, and since that is impossible, please ... leave, please Kurt, leave, leave. I thought I could to this, I thought … every time I see you, I see you two together. I can’t stop…every time you touch me, I wonder if you touched her the same way, if it felt better with her, she is younger, she is beautiful. I don’t know if i will ever get over this.
- Diane, you are the most beautiful woman that I’ve ever seen, you are…
- And yet it wasn’t enough, she cut him off.

She covered herself with the sheet, suddenly feeling ashamed of her body, of her age, feeling ashamed in front of him and she was starting to see him as a stranger again, because apparently she didn’t really knew him, if he could keep such a secret and she was the idiot that didn’t noticed a thing for three years.
- Diane…I’m sorry. I don’t know if you will ever believe me but I want you to know that I love you and I will be waiting for you as long as it takes. As he spoke, his tears started to quietly fall on his checks and on to her hand. When she felt the drops she looked up in his eyes. At some level she knew that he was suffering too, and that hurt her even more, but it was all his doing.
They were both looking into each other eyes, crying silently and they realised that there were no more words left. Neither of them knew what to say, they had this conversation so many times, but the fact remained – he cheated on her and unfortunately there was no way to undo what was done.
He took her hand and kissed it, then looked into her eyes, and with his thumb whipped a tear falling on her cheek. He turned, but then stopped for a few seconds and turned around to her again.
- I won’t divorce you..i can’t. They can take all my money, i don't care, I just can’t.
Then he took his clothes and for now he walked out of her bedroom, out of her house, out of her life.

Chapter Text

Chapter 1

She never imagined that she could suffer like this, at some level she understood the danger of falling in love with him, she understood that if she fell for him, it would have been like nothing she’s ever lived, she understood that loving him like that also meant exposing herself like never in her life, becoming more vulnerable than she ever been. That is why she always tried to run away in the beginning, she understood the danger of losing herself completely meant.
Yet she couldn’t escape him, as much as she wanted, he had this power over her, he was everywhere, surrounding her and there was no way out. She felt trapped and she knew from the beginning, as much as she wanted to fight against this feeling that there was no way out, she knew from the moment she lay eyes on him that every time she looked in to his eyes she lost herself completely.
And here she was, she felt the chill of losing him, like the chill of death. There was nothing, not one thing more frightening and painful than this. She was always trying to push that thought away, but she knew it, she sensed it like only she could feel that something is wrong, that something is going on with him, that he is only half present. She involved herself in work as much as she could, but that feeling was always there, making her heart tremble.
The day he tried to speak to her she saw something in his eyes that wasn’t there before, something that only she could recognize, something that scared her like nothing ever did.
In the past weeks, he showered her with affection, it was like they just have met, their hands were always on each other.
But in the same time she sensed desperation in their grip, their hands were holding one another rough, painful, their love making was always intense, like it was the last time, like there was no tomorrow. And this came from him, too, it wasn’t just her. She pretended that was all good, that they just love each other that much and that’s how people in love act.

 

Her head was spinning and she just knew that she had to get out of there, anywhere. All those eyes, looking at her, all the pain that she was feeling…she felt like she was slowly drawing and dying right there, in front of everyone. She didn’t want to hear it, she didn’t want to be there when he will say those horrible words, that horrible truth, she couldn’t stand hearing it, much less in a room full of judgmental and pitiful looks. She didn’t even realize when she stood up, it was almost as if her body had a mind of his one, she only heard the sound of her heals in the deep silence that surrounded her, feeling her legs trembling while she walked.
She didn’t even knew where she was going, she wanted to run away, as fast and as far from him as she could. As soon as she got out of the room, she realized she didn’t even had her car keys, her purse, nothing and she couldn’t hold back the sobs that threaten to rip her chest. Her tears were already starting to fall and she had to find a place to hide from the rest of the world. She looked around her and she started to walk to the restroom when suddenly she remembered that she was standing near the personnel room, where he once…He once…
She couldn’t continue the thought, she closed the door behind her, leaned against it, covered her mouth, the tears rolling down her face.
A first sob found its way out, and that was it, she was crying uncontrollably, feeling like she was going to die alone, in the middle of that room, that room in which in other times he was hers and hers alone.
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He exited the court room, looking in every direction with the desperation of a mad man. He wished he could turn back time and make all this nightmare disappear. He knew it was the biggest mistake of his life and still he did it. He hoped until the last minute that maybe if she didn’t knew about it, they could continue their life as nothing ever happened. He tried to tell her, he imagined a thousand times in his head how would it go and every time the thought of losing her felt like a punch, made his whole world crumble to the ground, knowing how much he would hurt her. When he finally did gather the strength to do it, after just a simple “Let’s talk!”, seeing her fear, seeing her react like that, already hurt at the thought that something might be wrong. So he decided right there that he would bury all this inside of him, that he will take this secret into the grave with him. In a way, he thought telling her was an act of selfishness, he would be liberated, come what may, and she will be destroyed. He didn’t even knew what was the right thing to do, until today, until he seen her in agony in front of all those people, people she knew, who respected her, who thought of her as an impeccable professional. Only then he realized that he should have told her. He cached her eye just after she stood, and he never felt more pain that in that moment, when he finally saw the consequences of his stupid act.
He started walking down the hall, not knowing where to find her, he didn’t have her purse, the keys, anything. It was almost evening and the hall was almost deserted now and suddenly he felt his heart sunk. He heard her, heard her desperate cries and he started to walk towards the sound. He stood there, in front of the door, tears rolling down his face. He touched the door gently, letting his hand slide down the wood. He finally gathered the strength to call her name.
“Diane, Diane…please talk to me, Diane” . He didn’t receive any answer, but the crying calmed down and he knew that she heard him and that she was preparing to confront him.
He finally pulled the door open, and there she was, leaning against the desk, with her head between her shoulders.
“Diane” he tried again.
She looked straight ahead, gathering her strength to manage to get the words out. She looked in his direction, but not in his eyes, as though he was a ghost.
“Is it true?” she said, almost whispering. Then she was also the one who responded “ Of course is true, I don’t know why I even ask, I saw it in your eyes in there”
“Diane, I don’t know how to begin…”, he said trying to find her eyes.
She didn’t say a word, she almost run to the door, trying to pass him.
“Diane, don’t go, please”, he said catching her writs gently, just in an attempt to keep her there, forever if he could. He knew that only a miracle could save him, save them.
She lifted her eyes, looking into his, and he was almost afraid of what he saw there.
“Let me pass” she said firmly, with an almost threatening tone, making a pause after every word.
And then she suddenly stopped, looked into his eyes, her own eyes feeling with tears again.
“How could you, Kurt?” Even saying his name was painful.” How could you hurt me like this, how could you throw away everything we had? Wait, she said putting a bitter smile on her face “I keep forgetting that maybe this was just one sided, just from my part. I don’t know who you are anymore” her voice was starting to raise and the sorrow transformed in anger. “Did you ever felt something for me Kurt? What was I to you? Why the hell did you want me? Why the hell din you married me? You had all this young girls everywhere around you, anyway. You students.. You wanted what, just to make a fool out of me? It was fun for you hurting me like this?” a sob came out saying the last phrase, that she couldn’t stop.
He seemed to be shocked by her words. After a few second he shook it off, knowing that the worst thing right now is for him to be silent. Every word she said hurt him in ways that he didn’t even knew he could be hurt.
“Diane, please, don’t say that.” His own eyes feeling with tears again. “ How could you say that? How could you think that? I love you, I always loved you and I always will. “
She looked at him, at through the tears started to laugh.
“And because you loved me so much, you felt the need to fuck her, or love her, who the hell knows, her or who knows how many others?”
“Diane, please, I know I deserve this, but please, please don’t doubt my feelings for you.”
“Do you hear yourself, do you hear how ridiculous it all sounds?” she closed her eyes for a second, trying to compose herself.
“Kurt, let me pass. I can’t do this right now, I don’t want to know, you will start to explain and I don’t want to hear it, I can’t hear it now”
“Diane, just let me..” he tried again.
“NO” She yelled, “ I get to decide if I want to hear anything you have to say. Now let me pass” As he walked past him, she stopped and said in a low voice “Don’t come home tonight”
Then she opened the door, leaving him behind, just standing there frozen, not knowing what to do, what to say or where to go.

Chapter Text

She stumbled, fighting to unlock the door. The keys fell from her shaking hand a few times before she could turn the lock. She was finally home, she was safe, nobody could see her here, she could cry and mourn the loss of her husband, of her love, of her life…
She closed the door and started to walk slowly not knowing what to do next. She cried all the way home, in the taxi. She didn’t care what the poor driver thought. She could have drived, but her whole body was trembling so she thought that this was safer. She leaned against the wall behind her, closing her eyes, asking herself again what will she do, how she will survive this. She couldn’t escape the feeling that she was living her worst nightmare and she couldn’t wake up. She slowly opened her eyes, tears rolling down her face again and the first thing that her eyes focused on was the framed photo from the day they got married. They seemed so happy, she knew that she was so happy that day…and then a snaky thought started to insinuate – was he with her then? Or maybe there was another one? And then she remembered his three female friends. She was so stupid, she should have known right there and then, but instead she tried to put that aside as something not important enough to ruin their chance of happiness. What kind of man, at his age has that kind of best buddies? Was this all a lie? And then flashes of his touches, and his whispers and the way he looked at her crossed her mind. And then she felt the rage and the anger and the hurt growing inside of her. She looked again at that photo, at their stupid smiling faces, mocking her from the frame. She took a few fast steps and with a howl she threw the photo, with the beautiful frame that she so proudly picked from her favorite store, to the wall. The glasses scattered all over the place and she fell to her knees, with her hands covering her face and cried. An hour later she was crouched on the floor still crying but feeling that she needs something to take away the pain. She didn’t even knew what to take, a sedative or a glass of whisky. She decided that she needed both, not caring about the result of mixing them together.

It was raining for some time now and he just sat there, outside the house, looking at his shoes, trying to gather the strength and the courage to face her. She told him she doesn’t want to see him today, but he couldn’t stay away, knowing that she is suffering that way and knowing that he is the cause for it. He needed her to scream at him, hit him, whatever she needed, hoping that in the end she will forgive him. He needed her forgiveness, so he can forgive himself. He just sat there and watched his tears fall down mixing with the drops of rain. He was disgusted with himself, he didn’t knew how will he live with himself if he would lose her. But right now, all he wanted was to take her pain away. The expression of pain from her face, when she realized what is about to happen in that court haunted him, playing in his mind over and over and over again. And the fact that he will have to live the rest of his life with that image in his mind scared him to death. Why the hell did he slept with that woman, he wasn’t even interested in her, he was just a little drunk, angry that Diane chose her work over him again and just missing her like crazy. And when Holly came in the bar, trying to seduce him, he finally gave in. Maybe he needed something easier, just sex, nothing heavy, nothing to constantly fight for, maybe it was the need to see someone crazy for him and showing it, without complications, without the postponing, and the “I want to, but I can’t”. That has always been a constant in their relationship…i want to, but I can’t. She said it from their first date and in a way or another that just kept happening…I want for us to go away, but I can’t, I want to spend the weekend at your cabin, but I can’t, I want to have dinner, or breakfast or whatever with you, but I can’t, because…work, work, work. How many times he waited for her, with dinner ready, but he finally fell asleep or with breakfast, but she just took something to eat on her way. Work has been the most important thing in her life, not him. He always felt that, from the beginning, that’s why he hesitated when she talked about marriage. How awful it is, to love someone and deep down in your heart know that at any given moment, that someone will choose something else over you. He was even afraid to push it more, to ask her to take it easier, to spend more time with him, to come home earlier. He was afraid that she would choose her work over him again. She has always put him on the second place and he was always forced to be happy with what time was left for him, with the remains of the day. He was trying to justify himself in his mind, because he himself needed an explication for what he did, but most importantly needed something, anything to stop him from hating himself to the self – destruction point.
He finally raised his shaking hand and knocked on the door. Once, twice…nothing. He then rang the bell, once, twice…nothing. He started to get worried. He just tried to open the door and the door opened, it wasn’t even locked. So he started to walk inside the room, afraid of what will happen next.

Chapter Text

Chapter 3

The water was hot, as hot as she could stand, she needed it this way, because it made her feel good. It made her feel like this water could wash away all the mess that her life was. She was calmer now, but she couldn’t stop crying. She stopped for brief moments and then she remembered something else about him and the tears were starting to fall again.
A thousand questions were swirling through her mind, questions she didn’t have answers for and was not even sure that she wanted to have. She never in her life felt so unloved, so undesirable, so old. She was so young, so pretty, she imagined there wasn’t a man who wouldn’t desire her. She touched her own neck and her face, the wrinkles there reminding her again that she couldn’t compete with that woman. Time is cruel and no matter how many beautiful clothes and jewels and make up she could put on, she will never look like that again. Is this what he wanted, her youth, her beauty, what? Why? She wondered again if he ever loved her and what she represented to him and why did he wanted this marriage. At this thought, she felt sick to her stomach. She proposed, he hesitated, maybe he didn’t want it to begin with. Her tears started to fall again. She took a sip from the glass of whiskey that she took with her in the tub. She imagined him with the other woman too many times already and it have only passed a few hours. It will drive her crazy, she felt like she was on the verge of a breakdown. She imagined her life without him from now on, the sorrow, and the pain. He brought joy in her life, he was her anchor, the thing that kept her grounded, made her happy and gave her the comfort, the courage and the love she needed. How would her life be from now on? The loneliness would be the only thing that would surround her.

 

He entered the house and looked around, but there was no sign of her. The light was torn off, so it was almost dark, outside and inside the house. Through the shadows he saw the broken glass on the floor and then their photo. He felt his heart stopped for a few seconds, he started to prepare mentally for the worst. She could do anything she wanted and he wouldn’t mutter a single word. Why the fuck did he had to do that, why? He was desperate, because he couldn’t see a solution to this, he didn’t have any excuse and he knew Diane well enough to know that she was a proud woman.
He climbed the stairs with heavy steps, like he was sentenced to death. What could he say, it was stupid, there is no excuse in this world for something like this, for betraying her like this.
He finally heard the water running and he imagined she was in the bathroom. Without thinking, he opened the door, finding her crying in the tub. He never seen so much sadness in a person before and it broke his heart. She looked defeated and lost.
She knocked on the door, to make her look at him.
She jumped, spilling some of the liquid from her glass. She just stared at him for a long time, looking like she was trying to understand all this, like she was looking for the answers to all her questions in his eyes. She didn’t even knew why she did that, those were the eyes that lied to her over and over, in their house, outside their house, in their bed, outside their bed, in every little thing they did. Those eyes looked at her day and night and she never saw a hint of what was going on. Almost until the end she never thought he was hiding something from her. Maybe it would have been better if she would have had some signs, anything to prepare her for this, if she would have expected it, maybe it wouldn’t hurt this bad. . But almost until the end, until she met that horrible woman and immediately felt a chill down her spine, like a warning sign, she thought he was this honest man, that she wanted to believe he is. She thought it was a non sense, their sex life was amazing, he seemed in love with her, she was crazy about him and finally they stopped running away from each other. But none of that mattered, all of that disappeared with a question and a look in his eyes in that courtroom. And again she felt like a fool, like all her life was a big lie.
"What are you doing here?" She asked, steadying her voice, making it sound more sure, trying hard to make it look like she was not broken to pieces, that no one ever, would put together again."I’ve told you not to come".
"Diane, I couldn’t stay away, not after this. I needed to know you were ok, I…"
"Why the hell do you care if I am ok or not? Why didn’t you asked yourself this question when you were fucking another woman. It’s too late now, don’t you think?"
"Diane, I …"he said, his voice trembling, not knowing what to say anyway. It was the hardest thing in the world, trying to bring comfort, knowing that you are the person that caused all the pain.
"Get out!", she said looking down, in her glass.
"But Diane..", Kurt began, but he was cut off, by her desperate voice that resonated between the bathroom walls.
"I said get out", she said almost screaming at him. She didn’t have to be nice, she had all the right in the world to be furious, today she wasn’t the diplomatic attorney, today she was just a woman, cheated and hurt by her husband. What a fucking cliché. It was unbelievable what was happening to her, again she felt like this was bad dream.

 

He was sitting on the margin of the bed when she came out the bathroom, wearing her robe. Their eyes locked and the tears started to appear in her eyes and then he followed, his eyes filling with tears, that rolled down his cheeks. That was the moment that he knew, he knew that there was no turning back, at least for now, he already lost her, he couldn’t do anything more.
"Kurt, please leave, i can’t talk to you right now, everything is too raw, i can't even look at you."
"Diane, i..just please know that I love you, ok? I love you so much!"
She looked at him astonished.
"What? What did you say?" Her tone was like a sharp blade.
"I love you", he tried again, trying to make all his feelings show in his eyes.
"Stop saying that to me. Why do you keep lying to me? Why the hell are you doing this?"
"Because it’s true", his voice suddenly gaining a little power.
She came closer, until they were face to face. She couldn’t control it, her whole body was shaking, of hurt, of rage, of shame and the man in front of her, the man she loved caused her all this. Without thinking too much, she raised her hand and she slapped him hard over his face. He stoically received it, as he did with everything else in his life. If this will help her, then she could hit him over and over.
Then her look fell on his hand, on the ring that she put there, with all the love and the hope for a wonderful life, with the man she loved and loved her back, the man she found so late in life. Then she looked at her hand, at her wedding ring, suddenly feeling like the ring was burning her finger. Tears started to fall from her eyes again and with anger and rage took the ring off and throw it at him.
"How could you? How could you do that to me? I trusted you, I loved you, I gave myself entirely to you and you did that. How could you break my heart like that? Take your fucking ring, I don’t need anything from you, take all of your things and leave. I want you out of my bed, of my house, of my life, of my mind." She was breaking down in front of him and she couldn’t stop it. She felt like her life was shuttered to pieces, even breathing was painful. “But give me my life back, give me back all the years i wasted on you”. She didn’t really meant that and if she would have to choose, knowing that this would happen, she would still choose him. But she wanted to hurt him, physically, mentally, she wanted to see him suffer, like she did.
She heard a few sobs coming from him, but she didn’t care anymore. This man who was standing in front of her was a stranger, she did not knew who he was or what he felt, but if he was really suffering, he deserved it.
He took the ring from the floor and raised his hand, imploring her with his eyes to take it back.
"Diane, please take the ring back, please. Believe me when I say that I really love you, that I am sorry, and that I have never suffered more in my life."
"You suffered? Kurt, you did this, not me. At least you had a choice, I didn’t. You chose this for us. I just wanted to love you and trust you and make a life with you. When you got in bed with her, you must have known what you were throwing away. You knew me, Kurt, you knew that I won’t take you back after this, you knew that if I found out, it will be finished between us. And you did it anyway. Sleeping with her was more important than me, than your love for me, than me being hurt. So don’t fucking tell me you love me."
He kept his eyes to the ground as she turned around to exit the room. But suddenly she turned around and asked the questions that she feared most, but she needed to know either way.
"How many women were beside her, Kurt?" She said, tears rolling down her cheek.
"What? What are you saying? It was just her, I swear."
"And why should I trust you, because you’re honest? Oh my god, how many times I said that about you to all the people I know...if I only knew. I was such an idiot." she looked up, then asked the next dreadful question."How long was this going?"
"Diane, the details of my stupid mistake are not important. Please, what difference does it make.." he was cut off again by her angry question.
" How long Kurt? It’s my right to ask. You slept with another woman and i don't even have the right to know what happened? Just answer me"
" I had a brief affair with her years ago, when you and I were running away from each other. And then, I slept with her once, after drinking too much.
"Only once?"
"We saw each other again, the last time i was away, we got in to her room and I’ve put a stop to it. I suddenly realised what I was doing. And then I came to you and told you we should move permanently together. And that’s all. It wasn’t a relationship; it was a fucking mistake."
"Why didn't you slept with her again?" at this point, it was more of a personal curiosity.
"Because, Diane i love you. That night i was angry at you and i suddenly realised i can't punish you by sleeping with another woman. I realised that all this distance is killing us and i realised i wanted only you, that no other woman was going to substitute your absence. I needed only you to be happy. And right then and there i decided this must end, i couldn't do it, i couldn't be away from you for so long. I wanted my wife. She is nothing to me, sleeping with her was the worst decision i have ever made."
"I wasn’t enough Kurt? Tell me? What the hell should I have done more? What could I have done to keep you beside me, to consider me enough?"
"Nothing, it’s not you…"
"Bullshit! Tell me, Kurt, what? I was not desirable enough, I was not young enough for you, what?"
"Diane, it was not about that. I've just told you.."
"Just fucking tell me, I want to know", she was yelling now. "I want to know why you throw our lives away. Just tell me. Tell me if I could have done anything to stop you from doing this. I need to know, Kurt!"
"I wanted for you to want me more. I wanted to put me first from time to time, I wanted to feel like you need me all the time. I wanted for you to come to the conclusion that this arrangement between us is not enough."
She forced him to talk and now she was silenced by his words, she didn’t expect him to actually respond. “I don’t want to talk anymore, I don’t have the right to say those things after what I did. It’s my fault and I will have to live with it for the rest of my life. But please, please believe me when I say that I love you. Don’t you ever doubt that. It’s all I have to offer, there are no excuses for what I did and I can’t turn back time. The only thing that I can do is assure you that I love you and that she didn’t mean anything to me. I don’t even remember clearly what happened."
He came closer to her, trying to touch her arm, but she pushed him away. He looked at her one more time, then passed by her. He stopped in the door frame and turned around. He looked at her and knew that he will remember this image for the rest of his life, this image of her, sitting in a semi profile, looking so hurt will remain in his mind like a tattoo, hunting him for the rest of his days.
"Can I come tomorrow to take some of my things?"
She just nodded, never looking at him. He took a few steps closer to her again, but knowing that she wouldn’t allow his touch or his proximity he turned around and left.

Chapter Text

For a moment, she couldn’t feel anything else but a dreadful headache, as if the only thing she was feeling was her head. She wasn’t completely awake, but through her closed eyelids she could see the light of a few rays of sun, who could manage to sneak past the thick curtain.
She tried to open her eyes, but it proved to be difficult, she felt her eyelids heavy. She felt her eyes swollen and for a moment she asked herself why, not remembering what happened the day before. Out of habit, she stretched her hand to the other half of the bed and then the realization of what happened the day before hit her with full force and a loud sob, released from the deepest part of her being, found its way out. He wasn’t there anymore, he was someone else, he hurt her like no one ever did before. She felt like her entire world have been shaken from the ground, she felt as if nothing will ever be the same again, she felt desperate and powerless.
She pressed her head deep into his pillow and his smell, the smell that reminded her of happiness, and long nights of love making, and waiting, and home, reached her nostrils. She started to cry softly and quietly, she didn’t know how she will ever get out of this black hole, the only thing left for her to do was cry, and maybe with that crying all that deep sadness and anger and every god damn hideous feeling will find its way out. Why did it had to end this way? How did they manage to take something so beautiful and pure and transformed it into this fucking mess? In what moment did everything started to fall apart? Because she didn’t even noticed and that was the worst part.
She cried almost without stopping after he left, going from desperation, to grief, form loving him like a mad person, to hating him for ruining all. Only a day had passed and she missed him so much that it physically hurt.
She felt like a burned village, after the enemies passed through, that is all that was left of her feelings, of her, only ashes.
Without knowing why, from time to time her thoughts kept going back to Alicia, not because of the way she betrayed her, no, she kept remembering the moment she first met her, the way she looked at her and judged her. She couldn’t understand how a beautiful, smart woman could close her eyes at her husband’s infidelity and remain by his side. She couldn’t even imagine then, that she could one day be in a similar position. But back then was another life, she was another person, she wasn’t crazy in love, she wasn’t deeply hurt, Kurt Mc Veigh wasn’t in her life yet. And there she was now, in the same position. Lying in bed, feeling his smell on the pillow and on the sheets, her mind going back and forth between leaving him or forgiving him. She was really considering closing her eyes to his indiscretion, hoping it was true what he told her, that it happened only once. Isn’t that ironic? She was content to know that her husband slept with someone else only once, she almost couldn’t recognize herself anymore. She was desperately holding on by anything she could, the most frightening thing was losing him, she found him so late in life, she found love so late in life that she wanted to hold on to it with all she got. She didn’t want to think that he was a serial cheater, she couldn’t have been that blind, she usually judged the people right, she had to, being a lawyer. She refused to believe that everything, everything was a lie, that he didn’t had any feelings for her, she couldn’t. She wanted, she needed to believe that sleeping with that woman was a mistake, the only mistake, she needed this to survive. But the doubt was there. That woman…she was the prisoner of her imagination, intimate moments between him at that other woman playing in her head over and over, leaving her vulnerable, unsure, making the wound that she will have to carry with her for the rest of her life even more painful. She felt the anger rising in her chest again, feeling like she couldn’t breathe anymore, and suddenly she throw the quilt of, lifted up, took his pillow and throw it away, as far as she could, fueled by all the anger that she felt. She couldn’t feel his smell anymore, knowing that he was never hers and that she shared him with another woman, knowing that nothing was true and real, knowing that she will never feel something as miraculous as this love.
She always thought that he will be her biggest love, but also the last love, that they will grow old together and that they will love each other until the end. She never thought that something like this might happen, she never considered it. She trusted him completely, with everything she had and he…he did this…
She felt old and lost, she knew that she could never love someone else after him, she knew with certainty that she will never meet someone like him and that she will love him until her last breath. How sad, how pathetic, how fucking humiliating.
She slowly got out of bed, trying to put her slippers on, but she managed to do that after a few tries. She felt weak, she felt sick. She didn’t even knew what was the point of getting out of bed, she knew that she couldn’t go to work, not in this condition. She couldn’t have worked anyway and she would have to face the world. By now, probably everybody knew, she knew what was waiting for her, some of her employees looking with compassion
at her, others whispering and gossiping in corners, some of them even feeling happy that this happened to her. No, she couldn’t do it, she couldn’t face the world. Not now. Even strong people need a break from all sometimes, even strong people are allowed to be weak sometimes. She would have to call David and tell him that she will miss work for a period of time, she didn’t knew how long, until she will gather the force to go out in public again. She knew she couldn’t heal in a short time, but she needed at least the time to feel strong enough to wear the mask of the strong, powerful woman she once was.
She went into the kitchen and poured herself a cup of cold coffee, left from the day before. She took two sips from it, when suddenly her eyes filled with tears. She just realized that he made this coffee yesterday, just yesterday morning she had a different life, a different story. She felt loved, she felt respected, she felt wanted. It was like yesterday morning was a lifetime ago. This would probably be the last coffee prepared by him that she drinks. She wondered if he made breakfast and coffee for that other woman too. And the thought of what was to come made her tears start falling again. She was a total mess, she never before in her life fell apart like this.
She remembered that she gave him permission to come and gathered some of his things and that he will probably come today. He would probably take the essentials and the rest she will send it to him. He didn’t bring too many things anyway, there were some books, some work related stuff, his computer, some clothes…This was all that was left of their life together, some objects and an interminably pain, from which she couldn’t see the way out, she felt buried in this pain, she felt like she will be swallowed altogether by this pain.
She had all this questions in her mind, that kept repeating themselves and she couldn’t stop them. Again, the thought of forgiving him and moving on crossed her mind, but she wouldn’t be able to do it. It was too early, maybe in time, who knows. Plus, she wanted to hold on to the little respect she had left for herself. It was enough that in the days prior to this, when she felt that something was happening inside him, but didn’t know exactly what, she hold on to him with such desperation. She would have accepted anything he wanted, she just didn’t want to lose him.
From time to time, his words, from the other day recurrently pronounced themselves in her mind, like an obsessive thought, maybe he was right after all, she never thought that he was unhappy, she never noticed something to worry her, to alarm her. Why did he had to be so god damn closed? She tried so hard to make him open to her, share with her everything he was feeling. Or maybe she didn’t paid enough attention to see the signs there. The night before she analyzed their relationship from the first day they met until yesterday, trying to identify her mistakes, her part of the blame.
She looked with a lost gaze through the kitchen window, with the cup with the coffee he made for her in her hand, her blonde hair all messy, her robe crooked and opened, her blue eyes red and swollen from all the crying, asking herself again what will she do with all this immensely love that she still felt for him, once all this will be over. She suddenly jumped a little at the sound of the doorbell. She was sure it was him, but why did he had to come so early? She wasn’t ready to see him yet, she was so tired of all this. She was sure that he intentionally came this early, wanting to see her, thinking that later she would be at work. He still had the key, but she knew he would not use it so she would have to go and open the door for him. With trembling hands, she placed the cup on the table, adjust her robe, tried to arrange her hair a little, wiped her eyes and her nose and started walking with small steps, like she never wanted to arrive at the door, at him. Her heart started to beat like crazy, her legs were weak, clearly this wasn’t the best idea in the world. She should have told him that she will be sending everything. But she had to face him now. She grabbed the doorknob with a shaky hand, closed her eyes, breathed deeply and opened the door.

Chapter Text

The need to see her it was almost masochistic. He couldn’t close his eyes the entire night and the dark circles surrounding his eyes proved exactly that. He thought about her all night and every time he imagined her so broken and lonely in the house that just became their home, he wished he would vanish from his life. Maybe it would have been better for her if she never would have met him, if she would never have fallen in love with him and instead she would have fallen in love with a decent man from her world, a bright lawyer, dressed in an Armani suit, who listens to Bach and reads Tolstoy and Proust and of course, is a democrat, like she is. Not an unpolished cowboy, who only reads ballistic books, wears jeans and boots and didn’t even owns a tuxedo, who was a republican, but most importantly who was a cheater. He was what he was but she saw past all that, she saw beyond these superficial aspects of him, of his life, she saw him, him, as a human being, as a man, undefined by his political views, his social class, his love for guns. No one before made him feel so special and still he had to be the biggest jerk in the world. He wondered where this tendency of self-destruction came from, if he only could have spoken to her, told her what’s going on with him. It didn’t hurt so much the thought that he destroyed his life, it hurt more the thought that he made her suffer.
He was finding himself in front of her door again, like he did the day before, trying to find the courage to press the doorbell. After a few minutes, in which he tried to regulate his breathing, he pressed it and then waited. After some time, maybe a minute, the door opened but she didn’t showed up. She only opened the door for him, not bothering to say hi or even look in his direction. He walked in with slow and heavy steps, as if he carried the weight of the entire world on his shoulders. He closed the door behind him, turned around and stopped. His eyes remained caught up in hers, he never saw that look in her eyes before, it was the gaze of a profoundly wounded woman and he realized that his stupid behavior irreversibly changed something in her, he took away a part of her and he felt like the biggest fool in the world. That woman, that amazing, beautiful woman that was standing in front of him and that have been his and his alone lost a part of her that she will maybe never going to recover. For a few seconds, neither of them talked, they didn’t even knew what else was there to tell each other, they were both hurt and they felt as if they were reunited at a loved one’s funeral. In a way, it was true, it was the day that they were burying all of their dreams, all of their hopes, all the faith. It was the day that maybe they were burying their marriage, their life together and possible their love.
Finally, Diane broken the silence in the room.
"So, you know where your clothes are. Some of them are at the cleaners, I will send them to you when they will arrive."
"Diane…I am sorry", he said automatically, like a machine, like that was the only sentence he knew.
Diane looked into his eyes again and he saw there all the rage that lived inside her, threatening to come out any minute, and destroy everything in its way, like the lava from a volcano.
"Stop telling me you are sorry. Your sorry doesn’t mean anything to me, Kurt, it doesn’t change anything. It is what it is and we have to put an end to this, to this pain, each in his own way and in his own direction", her tone was calmer now, much calmer that he would have thought. Kurt looked to the ground, his head fell between his shoulders and he walked to the stairs resigned. Diane’s gaze followed him walk away and then she turned around. It was so hard to know that he is so close, right beside her, in their home and not being able to touch him, hold him, love him, because what he did and her anger and her wounds prevented that.
She walked in the kitchen again, talking her cup of coffee and resumed her activity, of watching blankly out the window. She was trying to forget that he was there, in the house in which they’ve spent so many nights together, in her room, that later became their room. No, she couldn’t just forgive him for what he did to her, she couldn’t just take him back. She needed a lot of time away from him, from all their drama, from all the pain that his simple presence caused her.
That was the moment that she clearly knew, she knew that it was over, there was no turning back. All the roads and the bridges have been burned and if he would ever want to come back to her, he would have to find a new road, the ones that existed were forever closed. The tears flooded her eyes and a lump chocked her throat, in a way that she couldn’t even swallow anymore. She will have to talk with David, to ask him to start the divorce proceedings as soon as possible, she didn’t want to have the chance to rethink this and change her mind. Three years…that’s it, that’s how long her marriage lasted, the most passionate, full of love, wonderful years of her life that would end in the biggest deception she ever lived and the most devastating pain she ever felt. She will always love him, there was no doubt about that, but she couldn’t go back, she already taken the decision, she wouldn’t be the woman she never thought she could ever be, she will not betray all of her principles and become one of those women who were constantly cheated by their husbands, of those women who are looking in the other direction, pretending not to know, not to see, just because they are too afraid to lose their men. She was Diane Lockhart after all, a strong, independent woman, a liberal and an avid feminist and a woman that was broken in half, she added bitterly.
She heard his steps on the stairs, but she turned around when he was already near her, so close that she could feel his cologne, and she could feel his body heat, the body that she could once touch without any restrictions.
She looked in his eyes, but he dropped his look to the floor and started talking, shaking his head.
"Diane, tell me what can I do, I would do anything, anything you will ask me"…she hadn’t heard the rest. Everything that was happening, him standing in front of her, him talking and shaking his head, the way the tears gleamed in his eyes, his hands shaking a little while he spoke, she saw everything in slow motion, like in a stupid, cheesy love scene from a movie. She watched him talk for a few moments more, the tears were starting to roll down her face, knowing that maybe this was the last time they would be face to face as husband and wife. Unexpectedly, she put her trembling hands on both of his cheeks, pulled his face to hers and kissed him hard, crushing his lips and feeling his taste for one more time. That kiss contained all her pain and her grief and all the resignation.
His eyes widened in surprise and shock, this being the last thing that he thought she will do. He never thought that he would feel her lips over his like that, feel her smell, her taste, her breath washing his face. He closed his eyes and he caught her in his arms, strongly, desperately, painfully, like there would be nothing after this kiss will end, like the world would come to an end after she will let him go. They kissed for a few moments, holding on to each other, hot torrents of grief coursing both their faces. Then she withdrawn her lips and her body from him, just as sudden and fast as she initiated this, but his hands were still tight around her waist, as if he knew what was to come, as if he refused to let her go, for fear that he will never touch her again.
In her eyes, he could read two things, resignation and determination and the mix of these two feelings send him chills down his spine. And all of the sudden everything was clear for him, like someone has lifted a vail over his eyes, this was it, it was over, she was saying goodbye, this was the last kiss, the farewell kiss.
"Diane, no, please, don’t do this. Give me another chance, just one." He was shaking his head from one side to another, as if this continue negation would help make this unreal, would help change her mind, would help stop what was about to happen, would erase everything he’s done.
"Diane, please, I love you." He fell on his knees in front of her and his desperate hands surrounded her, her body, her legs, as if by this hug he could root them there forever.
She remained still, while silent and calm tears were staining her face, her gaze had a neutral particularity now, she was looking far away to that window kitchen, like she was trying to project herself somewhere else, in a happier moment of their lives. She felt like everything inside her was frozen, as if the resignation had put a layer of ice over her feelings.
"Kurt, I am sorry, but I can’t…I can’t go on with this, with us. All my trust in you is gone and a marriage without trust…Some part of me will probably always love you. I am sorry, but I can’t." She was ending their relationship with the same words it started almost 7 years ago. "In the following days, David Lee will contact you to start the divorce proceedings".
"Diane, no, please, I am begging you", he was now desperate. He stood on his feet again, and grabbed her arms, forcing her to look him in the eyes.
"Kurt, please, don’t make this harder than already is", she said as a sob escaped her lips, her voice breaking when she pronounced his name. "How can you even begin to imagine that there can still be an us, a marriage, how would that go? I would go insane thinking that you are with another woman all the time, every time you come late at home, every time you would go out of town…I can’t, I am sorry, I can’t relive this over and over. I can’t be around you, Kurt, is too painful."
At last, Kurt’s hands had fallen helplessly, lifelessly alongside his body. He suddenly looked older, the pain he was feeling transforming his face features. He looked again in her eyes, embraced her one more time, a short and strong embrace. She wasn’t his anymore, she didn’t belong to him, maybe she never did. He made this terrible stupid choice and this was the price he had to pay. He destroyed the more precious, beautiful thing he ever had in his little, shallow life. He put his hands in his pockets and slowly turned around, starting to walk towards the door, his walk as tired and old as he felt. All of the sudden he stopped in his track, and just as slowly she faced her again, walking towards her now. He took her hand, reluctant at the beginning, but then more and more resolved. From his pocket removed her wedding ring, the one she angrily throw at him the day before. Her wedding ring, the symbol of their endless love, the symbol of their vows, now broken by him. He wanted to put the ring back on her hand, on the finger that it belonged, the way he did when they married. If three years ago, with this ring, they were beginning their lives as husband and wife, they were starting a new life, hoping that would be a wonderful life, full of love, now with same ring, they were saying goodbye. She initially pulled her hand, the mere gesture, the memory of that moment, of the happiness she felt bubbling inside her that day being too distressing. She finally gave in, letting him take her hand, feeling the force and determination with which he held her hand.
"Diane, please, please don’t divorce me. I completely understand that you don’t want to see me, that you don’t want me near you anymore, but please don’t divorce me, not so soon, give me something I can hold on to, give me some kind of hope, because I can’t…. i can't face this", his voice crackled as his had fallen between his shoulders for a moment. "Don’t close the door completely and irrevocably. I will give you all the time in the world, I will wait for you the rest of my life, if that’s what you need. Please, promise me that you won’t divorce me. I love you and i know that i have no right asking you this but please, at least tell me you will think about it."
She nodded slowly, loving him and hating him in the same time for destroying everything, but nevertheless, moved by his pain. He looked in her eyes one more time, his look desperately pleading her not to give up on him completely, he bowed and kissed the hand on which he put his ring, turned around and exist the room and her life.
She was standing still, looking in the direction that he left, while hot torrents of grief coursed down her cheeks.
She leaned against the cabinet behind her and slowly lower herself on the ground, holding her knees and crying uncontrollably. She cried for her life, for her love, for her man, all lost now, she cried in advance for the long nights that will follow, for the moments that the longing for him, for his nearness, for his laugh, for his touch will become unbearable, for the moments that she will completely lose her hope and her desire to live without him, for the loneliness that will come. His absence will be like an open wound in her chest, which she will carry with her everywhere she will go.