He meets her in the small back aisle of the main street grocery, between rows of pacifiers and baby toys.

It's been twenty years, maybe. Maybe more. Maybe less.

The tension is astounding. The silence drags on.

He almost laughs.



She gestures at his almost-full shopping cart, of diapers and children's footie pajamas. "Kid's on the way, huh." She offers a twitch of a smile.

"Adopted, actually."

This time she grins, wry and slightly sad, the look of a woman defeated and who knows. "So, it was Kyle." she chuckles softly. "It was always Kyle, wasn't it?"

Stan doesn't respond. He doesn't know how to, doesn't know how to get the words out, or what they should be.

She stops her laughter.

"And I thought you said you weren't the marrying sort." There are tears in her eyes, now, her voice is laced with bitter poison. "What happened to the Stanley Randall Marsh I thought I knew?"

And now Stan is crying, too.

He was foolish, brash, young and twenty when he said that and drove her away forever.

"If you had waited.." his voice is barely a whisper, drenched with long-forgotten, locked-away memories.

"And if you hadn't."

"I needed time.."

"And Kyle gave you that, didn't he?"

And finally,

"I'm sorry."

And Wendy smiles through her tears, her voice broken and beautiful, unchanged.

"I knew you were in there."

Before Stan can respond, she twirls around and leaves with the smallest of whimpers,

"If only."

Years later, Stan receives a letter in the mail. It is an invitation to Wendy and Eric's wedding, on the twenty-first of may. He does not go, Wendy loses hope of ever seeing him ever again, and life goes on.