Title: The Right Thing

Keywords: JS
Rating: K+
Timeline: four days in January 2002
Disclaimer: nothing is mine

Huge thanks to Sharon, who follows me like a shadow and keeps me 'in character' with Jack (above all, but not only! :)), and to Diane, who corrects all my many errors and suggests details as only a true JS fan could. You are awesome, girls! THANK YOU!

N/A: I'm here again. You know that English is not my language, so be patient with me. I'm trying to improve! This story is JS, but I warn you, it's not a happy fic. This is a very 'angsty' story. If you want to read my idea on how Jack ended the affair go on and enjoy this, otherwise I suggest you to find a happier story. There is plenty of them in these days! ;)

For you, who want to go on with me, Buona lettura! I hope you will enjoy this!


THE RIGHT THING

PROLOGUE

SAM

I knew that it was going to happen, but that didn't make it less painful. Jack had just gone away. I had sworn to myself that I would never let a man make me cry, but this time I can't hold back the tears…

"It's the right thing to do. I have to do the right thing for my family… and for you"

Those had been his last words to me before he left. I couldn't speak. I knew if I tried, the tears would come and I did not want him to see how hurt I was. I sensed this day was coming, but I didn't believe it could happen so soon

She closed the door behind him and stood with her back against it. She could hear his footsteps walking down the corridor until he started to go down the stairs. He didn't hesitate; he was going away without any second thoughts. When she was sure he wouldn't come back, her legs turned to rubber and she felt herself sliding to the floor. She sat on the floor; her hands were in her hair and her head bent over her knees. She started sobbing. And her sadness turned to frustration…

How could he decide what is best for me? He may think he can just go home and play the loving husband and caring father, but I know it, he will be living a lie…

She had only to wait; her 'back was against the wall'.


JACK

Jack was driving home. The streetlights were a blur. His eyes, but not his mind, were on the road.

I have just done what I never wanted to do. I just hurt Sam. It never should have happened. I was the one who was married. I was the boss. I was supposed to be older and wiser. She didn't deserve that. But it was the right thing to do – for everyone.

He had to do the right thing – for his wife, his children… and for Sam.

Even if it wasn't the right thing for me?

He barely noticed the traffic light change. He stopped just in time to avoid hitting a family crossing the street to Central Park. They were happily eating ice cream cones…

As he watched them, his mind flashed a memory of Maria and the girls on a similar walk…

they had stopped for ice cream cones, he was trying to eat his but the girls both wanted to hold his hand. One of them grabbed his hand and his ice cream fell to the ground. They were all laughing and the girls offered him in turn bites of their ice cream…satisfied to be able to hold each of Dad's hands…

The light changed but he did not notice. The car behind started beeping his horn. He came to his senses and headed home. He could not risk losing his family.

Is Sam worth it? No. I have to try to make things work.

He had seen so many parents lose their children through no fault of theirs. He had seen parents disappear and children run away… Here he was – he had a wife and two beautiful daughters, but he was too selfish to love and appreciate what he had.