The Things We Leave Unfinished - Rebecca Yarros
My dearest Jameson,
This is not our end. My heart will always remain with you no matter where we are. Time and distance are only inconveniences to a love like ours. Whether it’s days, months, or even years, I will be waiting. We will be waiting. You’ll find me where the creek bends around the swaying aspen trees, just as we both dreamed, waiting with the one we love. It’s killing me to leave you, but I’ll do it for you. I’ll keep us safe. I will wait for you every second, every hour, every day for the rest of my life, and if that’s not enough, then eternity, which is exactly how long I’ll love you, Jameson.
Come back to me, my love.
Georgia Ellsworth. I brushed my thumb over my credit card, wishing I could wipe hard enough to erase the letters. Six years of marriage, and the only thing I’d walked away with was a name that wasn’t even mine.
In a few minutes, I wouldn’t have that, either.
“Number ninety-eight?” Juliet Sinclair called out from behind the plexiglass window of her booth, like I wasn’t the only person at the Poplar Grove DMV and hadn’t been for the last hour. I’d flown into Denver this morning, driven into the afternoon, and hadn’t even been to my home yet—that’s how desperate I was to rid myself of the last pieces of Damian in my life.
Hopefully, losing his name would make losing him and six years of my life hurt just a little less.
“Right here.” I put my credit card away and walked up to her window.
“Where’s your number?” she asked, holding out her hand and wearing a satisfied smirk that hadn’t changed much since high school.
“I’m the only one here, Juliet.” Exhaustion beat at every nerve in my body. If I could just get through this, I could curl up in that big armchair in Gran’s office and ignore the world for the rest of my life.
“Oh, stop it, Juliet.” Sophie rolled her eyes as she walked into Juliet’s booth. “I’ve got Georgia’s paperwork, anyway. Go take a break or something.”
“Fine.” Juliet pushed away from the counter, vacating her seat for Sophie, who had graduated the year before us. “Nice to see you, Georgia.” She flashed a saccharine-sweet smile in my direction.
“You too.” I offered her the practiced smile that had served as my glue for the past few years, holding me together while everything else disintegrated.
“Sorry about that.” Sophie cringed, scrunching her nose and adjusting her glasses. “She’s… Well, she hasn’t changed much. Anyway, everything appears to be in order.” She handed back the papers my lawyer had given me yesterday afternoon with my new social security card, and I slid them inside the envelope. How ironic that while my life had fallen apart, the physical manifestation of that dissolution was held together by a perfect, forty-five-degree staple. “I didn’t read the settlement or anything,” she said softly.
“It was in Celebrity Weekly!” Juliet sang from the back.
“Not all of us read that tabloid trash!” Sophie retorted over her shoulder, then gave me a sympathetic smile. “Everyone here was really proud of the way you held your head up through…everything.”
“Thanks, Sophie,” I replied, swallowing the lump in my throat. The only thing worse than failing at the marriage everyone had warned me about was having my heartbreak and humiliation published by every website and magazine catering to the gossip lovers who devoured personal tragedy in the name of a guilty pleasure. Holding my head up and keeping my mouth shut when cameras were thrust in my face was exactly what had earned me the nickname “The Ice Queen” over the last six months, but if that was the cost of keeping whatever was left of my dignity, so be it.
“So, should I say welcome home? Or are you just visiting?” She handed me a little printed paper that would serve as my temporary driver’s license until the new one came in the mail.
“I’m home for good.” My answer may as well have been broadcast from the radio station. Juliet would make sure everyone in Poplar Grove knew before dinner.
“Well, then welcome home!” She smiled brightly. “Rumor has it your mom is in town, too.”
My stomach twisted.
“Really? I…uh…haven’t been over there yet.” Rumor has it meant Mom had been spotted in either one of our two grocery stores or the local bar. The second possibility was much higher. Then again, maybe it was a good—
Don’t finish that.
Even thinking Mom might be here