I want to thank MoreColourfulMoniker for reviewing this and Sandra70 for her constant encouragement

Chapter 1 - Prologue

"Having your own business can be really fun, it gives you free time if you need it and…"

Emma Swan tuned out of the conversation completely. She did not understand why she even bothered to go out on dates anymore. It wasn't like she was going to find True Love in a guy she was set up with by an acquaintance of her boss. She looked at her phone to see how much longer she could stay before calling it a night.

Fifteen minutes later, she invented an excuse and left the restaurant. She grabbed a cup of coffee and headed to the river, enjoying her walk.

She sighed deeply. It had been three years since they defeated the Wicked Witch and she decided to return to New York, magic and fairytales be damned. Storybrooke be damned. She had had enough of the curses, the danger, the drama. She wanted peace, a good environment for Henry. Sanity.

After they defeated the witch, it became clear that the new curse did not trap people in the town like the last one and everyone was able to cross the town line if they wanted to. Thanks to this, some folks decided to venture into the outside world. Regina moved to New York with Robin and Roland, determined to move forward and stay in Henry's life. A little bit later, David and Mary Margaret settled in Queens, where Mary Margaret started teaching again and David rekindled his work in the animal shelter. Her parents had gone the extra mile to continue being in her and Henry's lives, willing to accommodate to the modern world and she truly appreciated their gesture. It had allowed them to bond in a way she never felt was able to do in Storybrooke.

Her life was a good one now and everything made sense.

Everything but him.

She'd never see him again, not since their confrontation after they defeated the witch. After she gave up her magic to save him and told him she was moving back to New York.

"You're really going back to New York? Don't you care about your parents or anyone else in this town?"

"I have to do what is best for Henry…"

"That is a lie. This is not about Henry. This is about you running away. Aren't you tired of running? Don't you want to at least try? Stay… please stay, Swan. Let us try for a happy future."

"I'm sorry if I misled you, Killian. But I am going back to New York. I'm done with all this."

"As you wish, love. I won't bother you again. Goodbye, Swan."

She never saw him again. He'd vanished from existence. He left Storybrooke, that much she knew; but where he was or what he was doing was a mystery to her. Eventually, she pushed him out of her mind almost completely.

But on nights like this, as she felt the wind on her face nearby the river, her mind could not help to think of him, wondering what could have been if she'd not ran away. She closed her eyes and could almost conjure his image, feel his eyes staring deeply into hers.

She finished the coffee, tossed the cup into the garbage bin and headed home, wondering.