Henry didn’t know what to say as the woman settled beside him. She let out a sigh.

“You look like you carry the weight of the world of the world on your shoulders. That’s not the way to be,” she said. “Life’s too short to worry about strange little things.”

She kept on talking, and Henry simply sat, listening to her.

“Well, are you going to tell me what’s troubling you?” she asked.

“It’s nothing.”

“Sweetheart, you’re precious. No one sits in a graveyard when they’ve got a fine looking woman. I saw your woman.”

He let out a sigh. There was no way to get this woman to leave him alone. He decided to settle on the truth.

“I fell in love with my girlfriend’s best friend. When she found out the truth of my feelings—I didn’t cheat—she was going to kill her, only the accident she caused killed herself instead.”

“Nasty business, jealousy. I’ve never been one to like it myself.” She scrunched her face up and shook her head. “So, the girl you keep coming to see is also the woman who tried to kill the woman you love? Wow, she’s getting way more attention than she deserves.”

Henry started chuckling. He couldn’t help himself. The woman beside him made sense.

“Your feelings of guilt are understandable. You fell in love with a woman but continued to deceive your girlfriend.”

“I told April the truth yesterday. She didn’t know what happened on the day of the accident. I told her the truth.”

“Then I don’t see what the problem is. Guilt will eat away your soul, son. This guilt has got to stop. She’s gone, and whatever happened isn’t going to repair itself. At least you and April are still alive.” The older woman let out a sigh. “I’d trade anything to have my Bertie back. He was my other half, my heart, and soul. We had the most amazing life together. We were lucky. We met when we were young and didn’t stop there.” She smiled. “We were married within three weeks of meeting, and then the rest of our lives were our own. His dying hurt. We had all our lives together, and you know what it taught me?” she asked.

“What?”

“Life, no matter how long we have on this little round ball, is too short to let guilt take over. You’re free, son, and so is your girl. The business that went on is nasty, but you’re alive. Don’t waste a moment just because you feel guilty about your feelings.” She patted his knee. “Think about that while you’re wasting the minutes or hours staring at her grave.” She stood ready to leave. “Ask yourself something, son. If it had been April there, would Julia be sitting beside you or would she be in a prison cell for what she did?”

Her words rang in his head as he stared at the inscription on Julia’s grave. It was time for him to move on, not only from Julia but also from the guilt. He didn’t cheat or even flirt with April while he was with Julia.

Being guilty for the woman he craved no longer mattered.

He stood up and said a final goodbye to Julia.

****

April woke up to the scent of coffee and bacon filling the apartment. She wiped the sleep from her eyes and saw it was a little after ten. Last night she’d stayed at David’s not wanting to return home after the confession she made. Wearing one of his old ratty shirts that went to her knees, she used his spare bedroom to sleep.

Pushing hair off her face, she climbed out of the bed and walked toward the smell.

“You’re awake?” David said.

“Yeah, it seems it.” Her head pounded. “How much did I have to drink last night?” she asked.

“Four bottles of beer, and that’s stuff’s light. You really don’t drink?”

“No, and if this is any sign of what happens the day afterward, I’m not drinking again.” She moaned at the throbbing in her temples. “Man, it hurts.”

“I’ve got the perfect cure.” David placed two white painkillers in front of her with a cup of coffee, black. “Strong coffee, two painkillers, and one decent breakfast of bacon, eggs, and bread, lots of bread.”

The smell of the food made her stomach growl. “Yeah, I think breakfast sounds pretty good.”

He chuckled.

She took a sip of the coffee, wincing at the strong, bitter taste.

“I know it tastes awful, but trust the master. You add milk or cream and that stuff will turn nasty.”

“Thankfully I’ve got all my memories of last night. I’ve heard people forget what happens the night before.”

David laughed. “Yeah, I’ve had that mistake. Your memories shouldn’t be affected. You had so little alcohol I’m surprised you’ve even got a headache.”



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