Trapped by Guilt

Henry is forced to revisit the time of his life he spent with Natalie, and is thrown into uncovering a disheartening truth about the second family he had left behind. One-shot, Henry's POV!

Suddenly, light, crisp paper had the sharp texture of a shard of glass, and I could feel it poking into my skin. As my fingers ran over its edges, holding it, not sure what to do with it – the envelope scarred me, mentally drawing blood from each and every finger. Releasing what was held inside, and bleeding not just from the physical cut, but making me bleed to show proof that I felt something. Holding that envelope made me feel sick.

I held the envelope right side up, and continued to shut and open my eyes. I didn't believe the return address was written. There was no reason for anything to be coming to me from that address, from that person anymore. But the murdering curiosity made my mind wonder if maybe – maybe at last, there was a reason.

Dan Goodman.

I always wondered what had happened to Dan Goodman.

Part of me wanted to throw it away. Everything else had been thrown away. The potential, the love, and the desperate desire that almost ruined my life. I hadn't gradually left that part of my life – I ripped the band aid hard and fast, letting the wound open up. The air hit it, and it stung…but eventually that hurt had healed. It was over, and I was okay with that.

Before I could stop and reason, the envelope had tears, and rips, and I was holding its contents in my hands. I gazed over it quickly, and came to the obvious conclusion. It was over. Nothing would change anymore. Nothing could be repaired, nothing would be better. It was a funeral invitation.

But whose funeral?

Part of me didn't care anymore. And part of me didn't want to give in to how much I cared.

Either way, both parts agreed – I threw it out before my question could be answered. Whichever Goodman woman it was that had died, at least they would finally be at peace. I knew they both deserved that.

It was the one who would live, I knew, that might never reach that place. That woman, might never be free from the guilt. Over the course of my 27 year old life, I had learned one thing for sure – guilt is like jail. You're stuck, you're locked in, you're helpless.

People can bail you out – but in the end, you still committed the crime.

Regardless of which Goodman had passed, I knew that the guilt of giving up on one of them would never escape me.

My heart no longer beat alongside Natalie Goodman's, but it was forever in handcuffs.

I found myself on the floor, giving in, and reaching into the trashcan. I read carefully, my eyes scanning desperately over a name I had known too well just a few years ago. My handcuffed heart went out to Dan Goodman in that moment. Whether it really was or not – in his mind, this would always be his fault. I was stuck in the cuffs, but he would forever be locked in a cell.

A/N – Thank you all for reading, and thank you times a billion for all the sweet reviews you've been leaving on my other stories. I appreciate it! I've been developing this idea for a while, I hope you enjoyed!