“You’re right, Emily,” I say. “You won’t ever hurt me again. The day I walked in on you and found you with that other man has turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me. If that hadn’t happened we would probably still be together and I would be missing out on the love of my life. So, actually I owe you a thanks.” With that I turn the nob and walk into my house, slamming the door behind me.

I can hear her screaming at me through the door, but I tune her out. Nothing is going to get me down tonight.


At least I thought so until three hours pass and there’s no sign of Megan and she’s not returning my texts or my phone calls.

I don’t want to leave in case she shows up and so I call my sister. “Abby, have you talked to Megan tonight?”

“Well, hello to you too, big brother!” she smarts back.

“Abby! Have you talked to Megan?” I ask her urgently.

“Geez! Chill. No. Not since last night at the party,” she admits finally.

“Okay. Well she was supposed to be here hours ago and she’s not answering her phone. Can you check on her?” I plead with her.

I can hear the smile on her face. “So I guess me interfering last night worked out, huh?”

I put my head in my hand. “Yes, and I will be sure to thank you later. But for now, will you try to get a hold of her? I’m worried.”

“Yes. I’ll call you right back,” she replies.

I sit and stare at my phone for three minutes. I watch the clock flip and another minute goes by. I start to dial and it rings.

“Is she okay?” I ask into the phone instantly.

Silence. That’s all I get.

“Abby, is she okay?” I yell into the phone.

Her voice is terse and I can tell she’s pissed off. “What did you do to her?”

Stuttering, my mind starts whirling. “I didn’t do anything to her. Where is she?”

She’s quiet for a moment and then she starts speaking really softly. “Jackson, whatever you did or she thinks you did is bad. She’s really messed up right now. She could barely talk on the phone for crying so hard. She wouldn’t tell me what happened. She just made me promise not to tell you where she lives.”

“Fuck that!” I tell her. “Where is she at, Abby? I promise I didn’t do anything. There has to be a misunderstanding or something. She was fine when I left her today at the coffee shop. Please, just tell me where she is.”

“She’s packing. She’s going out of town for a few days. She’s even having me fill in some at the shop and I’ve never even made coffee before. She’s desperate to get away.”

“Tell me where she is. Now, Abby. I promise I’m not going to hurt her. I’m going to fix this,” I plead with her.

“I promised her…” she starts.

“She shouldn’t be driving like this. Please, let me go fix this. I’m begging you, Abby. Let me just make sure she’s okay. I won’t bother her,” I promise her as I pace the room before grabbing my keys and running outside. Hell, I’ll drive all over town if I have to.

Abby’s silent for such a long time I finally ask, “Abby, you still there?”

“She lives on Webster Road. Third house on the right. But Jackson, I’m telling you if you don’t fix this…”

“I will… I promise you. Thanks, sis.” I hang up the phone and take off across town, praying I’m not too late.

When I get to her house, I walk up the steps and all the lights are off and no cars are in the driveway. I pound my hands on the door, but she never answers.

I sit down on her porch with my head in my hands. What the hell happened?

I pick up my phone and send her a text.

Please be safe driving. You shouldn’t be driving when you’re upset.

Then another.

I don’t know what I did, but I promise you that I won’t hurt you. Please come home and talk to me.

I stare at my phone, waiting for a response, but it never comes.

Please, Meg. Please call me, text me, anything. Just let me know you’re okay.

I sit on her front stoop for hours before I finally go home. The pain in my chest is real. The pain is worse than anything I’ve ever felt before.


I drive an hour away to stay in a cabin in the mountains. I always loved coming here when I was a kid. It gives me a certain solace that I can’t find anywhere else.

By my second day here, I’m starting to calm down. I pick up my phone to call Abby. The last text she sent me, she threatened to call 911 so I figure I had better call her.

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