Cement Heart(109)

By: Beth Ehemann

“Do you ever wonder what if?” I asked cautiously.

Her eyes turned sad as she shook her head. “Don’t.” I stared back at her, not saying word. Selfishly, I wanted to know the answer; I needed to know the answer. Finally, she took a shaky breath and let it out slowly. “I have thought about it, and it kills me every single time, because while I can’t imagine my past without him, I don’t want to imagine my future without you.”

“Babe, you won’t have to. You want my prediction for the next year?”

“Of course.” Her voice rose in anticipation as she wrapped her arms around my waist and laid her head on my chest.

“I think we’ll be sitting right here with the same two great kids and the same amazing friends, except I’ll be begging you to finally let me move in with you.”

She scoffed, “You won’t have to beg hard.”

I closed my eyes as I kissed the top of her head and took a deep, contended breath, filling my lungs. Within a few minutes, her breathing became rhythmic and I knew she was sound asleep. Carefully lifting my feet onto the coffee table, I laid my head back against the couch and looked around the room. The room that Mike had told me I had a cement heart in. The room that my cement heart had finally broken in when Michelle told me about her dad. The room that I’d promised to always be there for Matthew in. The room I’d promised never to take his father’s place in.

The room that held a bookshelf full of memories that this family needed to leave up forever. The bookshelf that now held a new framed picture of me and Mike in our Wild uniforms after a game. The frame that now had a box of Lemonheads sitting next to it.