Victoria never imagined this would happen. Her beloved Billy, the father of her children, the love of her life, had been gone a full year. It had been the worst year of her life. The turmoil she felt from within caused her great pain.

In a sense, she regretted her final moments with Billy, before the machines were turned off. It had not been a mistake to bring Johnny and Katherine to visit their dying father. No, Victoria regretted not taking a moment for herself, a moment to say goodbye to the man she loved. Her thinking had been skewed at the time, the pain of her grief setting in even before he was gone.

Life was not the same. Victoria now understood the grief Billy felt after his daughter died. No matter what anyone said, the pain never eased. Some days, it was difficult for her to leave the house. Work became a lesser priority, opting instead to stay at home with her children. She had no energy for sinister plans brought on by her father, Victor Newman. He could rebuild the company with Adam. He could plot to take down the Abbots without any assistance. The darkness of her bedroom comforted her more than the walls of Newman Enterprises could ever have.

Hannah, the sitter, came over on that fateful anniversary. Victoria had somewhere to be. She couldn't bare to be around Billy's or her family. Her pattern of isolation was worrisome to all who loved her; to Victoria, it was comforting. There was only one place she wanted to be that day.

When she arrived at Chancellor Park, Victoria tried not to block the memories from flooding to her mind. All the good times, all the bad times, they blended together to tell the story of her life. She felt cheated of a life with Billy. They had their falling outs, but what couple didn't? In the end, it was always supposed to be Billy and Victoria. That wasn't going to happen.

She was in tears by the time she arrived at Delia's tree. It had been planted in honor of Billy's late daughter, and she thought it was the perfect place to be on that day. Victoria perched herself on the bench directly across from the tree. It hadn't grown much in the past year, but that didn't matter. All that mattered was how close she felt to Billy there.

It's funny, the way grief works. A full year had passed, and many tears had been shed. The tears she shed that day felt different.

"Oh, Billy," she gasped suddenly. "I gave up on you when you needed me most."

Gambling. Alcohol. Cheating. The death of his daughter. It was all made worse by her own actions.

"I'm sorry," she sobbed. "I'm so sorry."

The realization had come much too late. Billy Abbot was gone, never to return again. As much as she hated it, this was Victoria's new reality.

[A/N: I haven't written fanfiction in a very long time. This is just me getting my feet wet!]