“The boys miss you so much,” I say, twisting the edge of my shirt sleeve.
“I miss them too,” he says as he returns to the table holding two steaming cups of coffee. My palms are warm and damp. My arms shiver. No turning back now. I have to make this right. I look at the man sitting across for me and can’t imagine today how in love I was with him a few short years ago. That love had quickly turned to a consuming hatred during out contentious divorce. Now all that was left was fear.
“I realize, that I was wrong…so wrong…to keep you from them…”
“The things you said about me to the judge…”
“I know! I was awful. There’s no excuse. I know you would never lay a finger on either of the boys. You’re a wonderful father. They cry for you every night, you know. It breaks my heart.” I dab at my eyes with a napkin as my voice breaks. It was the boys that had convinced me to come today, to grovel to my ex, to beg his forgiveness. I couldn’t stand it any longer, watching them suffer, wondering if their father had abandoned them. I never thought the judge would order him to stay away from the boys. I thought he’d at least get supervised visitation. All I wanted was to hurt him a little. Or a lot. The same way he’d hurt me. “I want you to be a part of their lives. I’m so sorry, for everything.”
He says nothing as he watches me take a long sip of my coffee. I feel it immediately. It all slipping away. I stand and try and get to the door, but my legs give way underneath me. I crumple to the floor, struggling to take a breath.
“I’m sorry too,” he says as he stands over me, watching.
Inspired by last week’s Story A Day prompt – Regret.