“Did you miss me?” she asked …

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“I guess so,” I answered, without making eye contact, as nonchalantly as I could.

“I did it to punish you,” she said casually.

“I know,” I answered, flicking through the mail.

“But every time I saw salt I would think of you and start to cry,”

“Oh really?” She knows how much I love salt.

“Were you crying into your cup of tea and pouring through old photos of me?”

“No,” I answered honestly, “I just kind of got on with my life.”

By now she was blinking back tears. Poor, dear thing: she’d never engaged in open warfare before and had no idea who she was dealing with – me; war torn, battle weary, permanently on my guard, defensive, jaded after all of the single and hand-to-hand combat missions I’d endured over my life – I was not about to start making tactical errors now.

“Would you have crumbled and died if I hadn’t come back?”

“Um, well, it would hurt for a while and then I guess I’d get over it,” I heard myself lying.

Her eyes met mine and we held that gaze.

“Come here,” I said with my arms outstretched and she melted into my embrace.

“I love you,”

“I love you too. It’s history now, leave it where it belongs,” and the dam inside of me receded a couple of inches, just enough to let me start breathing again.

Then we went straight back to chatting about the books we’d been reading as if nothing had ever happened.

atoughgirl

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