What if you were given a second chance at first love? Would you take it?
5… The number of years since I’ve been home.
4… The number of people who know my secret.
3… The number of times I attempted to move on.
2… The number of months I spent crying after I left.
1… The number of men I’ll love in my lifetime.
They say everyone has one true love, one person who was made just for them. A person they were meant to spend the rest of their life with.
For me, that person was Wyatt.
Our love was perfect. When we were together, nothing else mattered. Not college. Not our parents. Because our relationship wasn’t about anyone else.
We had big plans for our future together.
The thing about life… it doesn’t always go as planned.
An award-winning romance author, Rachael is a Midwest girl (yes, they say she has an accent but no, she doesn't hear it) who loves to create amazing stories that tug at your heartstrings. Keep your tissues handy.
When she's not writing, you can find her on the golf course in the summer or cuddled up with a cup of coffee and her Kindle in the winter.
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More days than I want to add up.
When I left, I was instructed to stay away. Don’t look back, my mother said. Only good things lie ahead, and looking back would keep me from achieving everything I wanted out of life.
She was wrong.
The first year was the hardest. Everywhere I turned, I saw him. Everything reminded me of him, of the trip we took together. The time we shared together that summer. The one night that changed the rest of our lives.
Wyatt was my life, and then my parents ripped me from him.
All it took was one misstep and it was over for us. Once they found out about him, they made sure it was over between us. They didn’t care about the circumstances. In their eyes, he had destroyed my life, my future. They cared more about their reputation than how I felt. They always have and still do to this day.
Per my mother’s instructions, I’m to come home for her birthday celebration and then head back to Denver. No detours. No pit stops. No fooling around.
As if I could face him after all this time.
The secrets I’ve kept from him will come to light one day, but it won’t be this weekend. It can’t be. I’m not ready to confess all my sins. Five years may be a long time, but it still feels like too soon, yet too late to ask for forgiveness.
Some things are beyond forgiveness and this secret is guaranteed to be one of them.
It feels like a lifetime and yet there are moments when it feels like it was only yesterday I stared out of the passenger window of my father’s car, watching as my life was changing before my eyes.
I remember holding my stomach as we drove past Garrett’s, the realization that Wyatt would never know why I left. He would never know that we created a child together. He would never forgive me for keeping his child from him, for denying him the opportunity to be a father.
But I wasn’t denying him, my parents were. At least, that’s what I’ve tried to convince myself of. Every time I look into her eyes, I see him. I see the life we planned for us. And all that convincing fails me.
I should have been stronger.
I should have fought harder.
I’ve had the opportunity to try and make amends, but my fears have held me back.
For five years.
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