I woke up at the ass crack of dawn to leave. Moving quietly as I had long trained myself to do. Packing my clothes and my soap, my toothbrush and all that. I spent a good fifteen minutes just watching him sleep, his even breathing. Fighting to keep my mind made up. No matter how much I may want this... little broken family, they were better off without me. I wish... my grandfather hadn't made me want this so bad. I wish I had left with anger etched into my soul. Instead of with a heart filled with regret.

I thought about the phone call from my mother, her exasperation and anger at me for wanting to leave. Then my granddad took the phone and went into his study so we could have a "man to man" talk.

"You need to take care of them, Gary. I know you may be angry or scared, but listen to me when I say that you cannot just leave this... boy with all the burdens. You see this through to the end and I promise you when you hold her in your arms you will never want to leave again. I know you have... these issues you work through and fight with every day and I know it's hard, believe me I know. I think every day about... finding you on the bathroom floor." My heart sank at that. I hated to be reminded of that weakness. "But I want you to work at this, Garrett. I have the feeling that if you do, you won't regret it."

I wasn't able to disappoint my grandfather. And his words calmed me. So I had returned to Petey, filled with apologies and shame.

Once I accepted that I wanted to be with him, I had never been happier. But lately, I've been thinking... and thinking. And thinking.

How I've been, how... I'm not deserving of this happiness. And I've wronged him. They would be better off without me, I only ever caused problems. And they deserved better than that. Better than me. Some other man, a better man. Someone who would give them all they needed, heal their hearts.

I swallowed thickly, tears stinging my eyes as I envisioned Peter smiling at a faceless stranger, this same stranger holding my little girl… being her Dad.

No. No. No. No, no, no, no, no. Please, no. "Don't." I whispered, taking a deep breath. "Don't be weak now." My chest felt heavy and constricted. I was doing the right thing… I was.

I sat down at our kitchen table, my duffle bag by the front door, and stared at a piece of paper as I considered long and hard about what I should write. Long, lovingly thought out words sprang to mind, telling him how much I didn't want to leave, but in the end the only way I could keep my resolve to leave was keeping it short. I gave him the barest reasons, less words than I thought he deserved.

I'm sorry. I just can't do this. No matter what seems to happen, no matter how much I want to stay, this is never going to work. I'm never going to be the Dad she deserves.

Forgive me. -G

I blinked back more tears as I folded the note and silently went into our bedroom. My eyes wanted to take him in, commit to memory every angle and curve of his face. I scoffed, was I really acting so weak and pathetic?

I placed the note on the bedside table and only then did I look at him. I slowly passed the back of my fingers across his forehead, moving hair out of the way, and down his cheek. His brows furrowed a little but that was the only stirring he did.

I then let my eyes go to his swollen abdomen. "I'm sorry." I whispered, my words sounding small, my voice cracking. Now or never.

I left then. No turning back. Across the grounds of the Estate, to a place in the fence where I could squeeze through the bars. My bag strapped across my back, my heart left behind, I was facing the world alone.

I gave a single nod.

All was as it should be.


This was really short, but we've closed out on this four year project. Wow. I cannot express how much it means, the response I've gotten. The reviews, the follows, the favorites (both for this story and for myself as a writer). It all means so much to me. So thank you, for sticking with me through this. I've got so many more ideas running around in my head, I hope you'll all stick with me.

So, I don't know if any of you at all picked up on it, but Keith and Jason are characters I borrowed from Far Cry 3, a game from Ubisoft. I like the game but will probably never get around to writing anything for it.

Oh, again, I'd like to invite any and all of you to the Facebook group, The Fangirl Fix. It's a closed group but you'll be excepted if you ask to join. I post on there a lot because I'm an admin. So, I'd love to see some of you join. I'd be able to answer questions, take requests (which I'm totally open to, by the way).

Many thanks to my friend, Destiny, who answered my questions about pregnancy, let me type and upload chapters using her (husband's) computer. You're secretly my spirit animal (secretly) and I love you bro man dude.

I think that is all. Thanks again.