Then I realize I don’t have any. I’ll open the envelope, because there’s no way I can’t.

I reach for the letter opener and slice it down the paper in one quick swipe. Inside I find a few folded pages and I flatten them out on the desk. The first few pages detail where she went when she left our school.


Kory had tested out of her senior year early and was waiting to decide on what college she wanted to go to before she left. She received acceptance letters to five Ivy League schools, and she chose Harvard. She graduated early as a chemical engineer and went to work for one of the leading cosmetic companies in the country. She was there for several years before taking an abrupt job offer in Manhattan.

The next page is her personal history, and there Pandora has her listed as single, never married. The knot in my chest relaxes, and I’m surprised because I had no idea it was there. It wouldn’t have mattered if she was married. That wouldn’t stop me.

Wait, what am I thinking? Am I really doing this? Do I have a choice?

The rest of the pages are filled with information about where she lived and what she was up to in Boston. There’s not much else that’s known about her situation in Manhattan, other than the fact that she’s living with her mom in the building I own, and she’s got a job that’s about a block from me.

I stand up and start pacing. I could walk over there right now and wait to pretend to bump into her. I could walk into the building and just ask for her. It’s not like she doesn’t know who I am.

Then I think back to the last time I saw her, and the tears in her eyes. However much time has passed, that’s still the image that’s burned into my brain. I can’t think of a single reason why she would want to see me. But that was then, and I never got a chance to explain myself. She never stopped to let me tell her the truth, and it’s time for me to change that. In fact, it’s pretty fucking long overdue.

I’m pacing with purpose now because a plan is forming. The only logical thing to do now is to make it so she can’t run. This time she’s going to hear me out. This time I won’t let her get away.

Chapter Three

Kory

I finish putting on my lipstick, happy with the way everything seems to be falling into place this morning. I feel like it’s the first good hair day I’ve had in forever, and it helps that my lip is no longer bruised and puffy. I was thankful it had gone away before my mom got back from vacation. I’m even more thankful that I hadn’t heard a word from Jason.

Maybe he’s letting it go. I’ve been debating reaching out to his wife. I don’t know how to handle that. I don’t want to be back on Jason’s radar, but I also think she needs to know about the man she’s married to. Doesn’t she deserve it? She lies in bed next to him every night, and the thought makes my stomach turn.

Putting the lid on my lipstick I put it into my purse then exit my bathroom. I make my way to the kitchen and smile when I see my mom up and making breakfast.

She’s been over the moon about me being back home, which has made me a little slower on finding a new place to live. She turns around when she hears me, and a giant smile brightens her face. Her curly gray hair bounces a little, and it makes me realize how happy I am to be home.

“I made chocolate chip pancakes,” she sing-songs, making my heart ache a little more. It’s always just been her and me, making us superclose.

My mom wanted a child more than anything in the world, so she chose to go through artificial insemination. I never had a dad, but I never felt like I was missing out either. My mom filled this house with so much love that there was never room for me to wish for something else.

“Bacon?” I tease

“Always,” she says, setting a plate in front of me at the breakfast bar. “How goes the new job?”

“Good. I really love it. I have more freedom, and they give me free rein with all my ideas. It’s refreshing,” I tell her.

Being back in New York has been better than I thought it could be. I feel more like myself. I don’t know why I’ve been running from it for so long. This might not have been my plan, but it’s turned out to be a fantastic opportunity. I’m putting my past behind me and not shedding any more tears. It’s also hard to be sad when I’m getting to spend more time with my mom.

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