CONFESSIONS AND GOODBYES
"I'm sorry." Dutch looked into her eyes.
"I am too." Corinne whispered looking down. "I understand you know."
"I never meant to hurt you." Dutch reached out to hold her hand that was covering her heart. "I should have left after Eunice left me. I should have just left."
Corinne's eyes lifted in shocked. "Don't ever say that, Dutch. Don't you ever say that ever again. We are your family. You couldn't leave your family." A single tear rolled down her cheeks. "I shouldn't have kissed you when you agreed to remain. I should have left it at a hug. I shouldn't have allowed my loneliness to cloud my judgment."
"You were just missing Tim was all. I understood. I knew that I was just a replacement for your husband." Dutch sighed. "I was fine with that."
"You stopped being a replacement for Tim the moment you walked into the nursery with the cow that you craved for Timmy." Corinne confessed. "I fell in love with you then, Dutch."
Dutch swallowed. "I fell in love with you then also, Corinne." They stood there at the end of Jessica's bed just staring into each others eyes. All the hopes and dreams of what could have been crossing into each others souls. "I should have married you when we woke up after our first night together."
"If only …." Corinne sighed deep.
"Eunice was the first woman that I truly cared about. Loved." Dutch broke the spell. "Even when she cheated on me – I still held onto my love for her. But you, Corinne, have shown me what real love is. I should have legally and morally made it mine for good." A tear rolled down his cheek. "I still have deep and real feelings for Eunice."
"As you should." Corinne sighed. "You need too get Eunice out of your system before you are ready to move on." She smiled. "Hey, I knew this. That was why I never allowed any serious conversion to happen between us." A tearful laugh burst forth. "I knew my sister would return. I didn't want you on any false pretense. I didn't want you on the rebound."
"I wanted you too win the high card." Dutch whispered.
"I did also." Corinne said. "That's why I lied. I should have moved faster so Eunice didn't have a chance to snatch the card away." Her hand rose and traced his jaw line. "But, I couldn't do that too you, Dutch. I couldn't cheat out of finishing what needs to be finished."
"I wish I met you first." Dutch whispered.
"I don't." Corinne smiled softly. At his confusion. "I still had the misguided thought that I loved Tim. If I met you while visiting, Chester in prison – then I would never had married Tim. Then Timmy would never have been created. I love my son. I would never wish him out of creation."
"Neither would I." Dutch sighed. "I love the little guy like my own son."
"I'm taking Timmy to California." Corinne said.
"What?" Dutch's eyes widen.
"It's best that I'm not around right now, Dutch. You need to see the end of your and Eunice's time together without me hovering around." Corinne played with her lower lip. "I don't want to be the reminder to you or to my sister why you two don't work out." She looked over her shoulder at the closed bedroom door, then back at him. "I love my sister, Dutch. I don't want to flaunt it in her face that she lost you too me."
"I understand." Dutch closed his eyes briefly. "I'm going to miss you."
"I'm going to miss you too." Corinne whispered.
"Hey at least we can still write and call one another." Dutch smiled at the thought.
Corinne shook her head, "No contact. It's better that we have no contact, Dutch." Licking her lips, "You'll hear about me and Timmy from the family. Mother will tell me about you. But you and I can't be in communication with one another."
"I hate this." Dutch said in a rough voice.
"I do too." Corinne sighed. She kept firm eye contact with the man that truly was her soul mate. "I wish too God that Eunice would have returned, and told you that she no longer loved you. If she had only said that – then this would be unnecessarily!" She dug her nails into her blouse.
Dutch gathered Corinne into his arms and held on tightly. She clung to his back and neck. Resting her head against his heart. She broke down. As did he. He finally lifted her head and lowered his head to capture her mouth. They put everything into that kiss – knowing that it would be the last one they would share.
Corinne pulled away. "Don't rush the end needlessly, Dutch. Just know that I'll always be here waiting for you."
Dutch just held her hand until she walked away so that she let go. His hand still held out as she reached the door. "I love you Corinne."
Corinne smiled with tears rolling down her cheeks. She turned and opened the door. Closing it softly after her. Dutch's hand finally lowered to the side as the click met the door frame.