“So this is what a breakup is?”
Emit Relevart shoved his blue hair out of his eyes, and stared at her as if she had lost her mind. They had met at their favorite spot, the far western corner bench in Wild Horse Park, the one by the beautiful blue hydrangeas, the place that Bella had once said smelled like heaven. Yet today something was different. The scent of death hung in the air.
Bella fiddled nervously with her hands in her lap, twisting her diamond studded gold bangles, a gift from Mortimer, between her thumb and forefinger. This was not how she had expected him to react. He, of all people, should understand. Loss was inevitable. Happiness was a lie.
“It wouldn’t have worked out anyway,” Bella offered lamely, the pit in her stomach refusing to dissolve. She shifted uncomfortably and lowered her voice as she continued, “I am carrying another man’s baby.”
“It did not bother you the other day.”
“You can’t possibly know the first thing about raising a Simterran baby.”
“I will learn.”
“It’s not that simple. And you are a different race. How do you know you can even be with me?”
Bella hated how snobbish she sounded.
“Are you really that concerned with my place of origin?”
He arched a brow sorrowfully. Bella began to speak, but couldn’t find the words. This was harder than she had anticipated. He was struggling to understand her. She could see it in his expression. His warm rain colored eyes pleading with her for the alternative answer wasn’t helping at all. He had been everything she had been looking for, and now she was forced to end their relationship before it truly started.
“What are you not telling me?”
Emit’s hand reached for hers. She gasped, and bit her lip, desperately trying to choke back the tears that were threatening to rise. She jerked her hand back though she longed to remain in his touch, and dropped her eyes.
“There is something else, is there not?”
“I just can’t see you anymore.”
“We cannot have four incredible weeks together, and then you decide to break up with me without an explanation. Did I hurt you?”
“No,” Bella shook her head, her dark eyes pooling with tears. “It’s nothing like that..The baby is Mortimer’s.”
She hated lying but she couldn’t bear telling him the truth… that she was trapped… and she would always be trapped. Emit looked as if he was stabbed in the gut. His eyes widened with surprise. She hoped he wouldn’t read her mind.
“But you said…”
“I know what I said… I… panicked… okay, Emit? I made a mistake. I told you the wrong thing,” Bella thought if she rushed the lies, it would be easier. “Mortimer wants me to come back to him. He says he could love me. It was one drunken night… one I thought I had forgotten… but he and I decided to work things out…” her voice hitched, and she hated the sick feeling of telling untruths.
“Bella, milady, what is it?” Emit reached up to stroke her cheek, and a startled cry escaped her lips.
It was tearing her heart apart to break up with him. She turned away from him, unable to look at his face.
“So the baby is not belonging to the father Malcolm?”
“Then you were confused, but now you want to go back to Mortimer. I thought you did not love him.”
“Please,” she whispered. “This is just the way it has to be.”
“But you love me and I love you, you know that, am I correct? ” Emit probed quietly, looking down at his shoes.
Bella stifled a sob.
“Bella, you obviously care about me, or you would not be crying,” Emit continued, tugging gently on her shoulder. “And you know how much I care about you. Please, just tell me what’s wrong. Did he hurt you? Mortimer? Is it something else?”
“I…” a tear slipped down her cheek. “…can’t. Goodbye.”
And with that, she stood up and ran away, not once looking back, running far away from a fleeting moment of happiness, one that could never be.