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Toxic Pull

Lucy learns the love you want, is not necessarily the one you need.

The rhythmic, pounding bass and the horns of the Imperial March made her sit up, frantically searching for the phone in the dark. Her hand brushed against something cold, and then she heard the crashing sound of the water glass falling to the floor.

“Shit,” she mumbled, as she finally wrapped her shaking hand around the phone.

She was panicking that she was going to miss him. Only one person on her phone had that ringtone, Michael, Mickey for short, the love of her life.

“Hello?” Her voice was scratchy from sleep and her heart was pounding in her chest. Nothing.

She sat up Indian style in the center of her bed and pulled the phone away to see if it was still connected. “Hello?”

“Lucy! Hey baby, what’s up?”

Lucy’s shoulders slumped in relief, and she was shaking, but she attempted to sound casual. “Not a lot. What’s up with you?”

“Luce, were you sleeping?” he yelled into the phone.

For the first time, Lucy heard the pounding of the club he was at.

“No.”

“Lucy, you are such an old woman!” Michael laughed.

She flushed angrily and pushed her hair back out of her face.

He was drunk again. Lucy could already smell the bourbon and beer that usually accompanied this late night phone call. Her fingers ached to touch his stubble. She ached to feel his weight pressing between her thighs. It was coming, it always did.

The noise faded from the background, but Mickey continued to yell, “Oh baby, don’t pout. Look, I’m getting in the cab now. See you in ten minutes.”

She heard the cab door slam and the phone went silent.

Her heart was pounding in her throat as she threw her phone on the bed and frantically untangled herself from the blanket. She ran into the living room, picking up the dirty clothes that were thrown haphazardly around. ‘Why do I strip the moment I walk in the door?’ she thought angrily to herself.

Picking up the dress she had been wearing that day for work, she threw them all into the washer and shut the lid. Her eyes fell on the dirty dinner dishes and then to her unshaven legs. Lucy lifted her leg up on the counter and ran her hand up it. “Shit!” she snapped.

‘Two-day stubble is okay for work when I’m wearing tights, but this is Mickey,’ she thought and raced to the bathroom. In her panic, she hit the bathmat and slid into the corner of the sink.

“Fuck! That’s going to leave a mark.”

Lucy ignored the pain and turned the water in the bathtub on. She knew her time was almost up, so she stripped and got in without waiting for the water to be hot enough and began shaving her legs.

After the fastest shave and wash up in the history of shaves and wash ups, she rubbed her body with the towel, slipped into her bathrobe and stumbled back into her bedroom. Her foot stepped into the puddle of water and on a piece of broken glass.

“Fuck!” She sat back down on her bed to see the damage. There was a tiny piece sticking out of her foot, and it had begun to bleed.

“No, I almost made it,” she whined to herself. Somewhere in the back of her mind she surveyed the last few moments of her life and didn’t like the thought that entered her mind.

‘Look at yourself.’ Lucy looked into the mirror on her vanity. Her hair was in a big, messy, dirty-blonde heap on top of her head and her brown eyes were bright and slightly wild. ‘All this for a man that will come here, fuck you, pass out on you, and leave you without calling until he’s horny and without ass,’ the spiteful woman with Lucy’s voice snapped.

“I can’t help it, I love him,” Lucy mumbled feebly and tears filled her eyes.

She heard the door open and looked up from her bed to see Michael walking through. All of her fears and sadness washed away as it always did when she looked at Michael. Everything faded into the black of his always shaggy hair, into the stubble that donned his perfect face and into those beautiful green eyes.

Eyes she lost herself in whenever she was with him, eyes that looked through her and commanded her to love him, eyes that saw who she really was and gave her every promise her heart ever desired. Lucy knew he loved her when she looked into his eyes. It was all there and is why she allowed him in every time he called. That is why she allowed another piece of herself to die every time he called and didn’t stay.

“There’s my girl,” he said, leaning on the door and locking it back.

When she first moved into the tiny apartment, she made sure that he had a key. She wanted him to be able to come over anytime he needed her.

He slowly made his way to her. “Hey, baby.”

“Hey, Mickey. Watch the glass.”

Mickey froze and looked down, “What did you do?”

“I knocked over my water glass, and I got a piece in my foot.”

“Hang tight,” he mumbled and left her room. He came back with the broom and the dustpan and began to sweep up the glass.

“Mickey, you don’t have to do that. I’ll get it.”

“Hush.”

He finished sweeping up the glass and came back into her room with a bottle of peroxide, a cotton ball, a band-aid, and a pair of tweezers.

Lucy kept her head down so he couldn’t see the smile on her face.

He sat on her bed and patted his lap. “Come on, give me your foot.”

“Oh no, buddy, you’ve been drinking. I’ll get it out,” Lucy protested.

“Lucy. Foot. Lap. Now,” he commanded, patting his lap again.

“You’re so bossy,” she mumbled and moved so she could give him her foot.

He took her foot and brought it up to his face and the tweezers to her foot.

“Eek!” she cried, pulling her foot back and scrunching her eyes closed.

“Stop now,” Michael said laughing and pulled her foot back to him.

With perfect care and tenderness that you would never expect from a 6’4" drunk man, he managed to get the glass out without hurting her at all. He cleaned it with peroxide, tickling her only once, and then covered it with the band-aid.

“This only needs one thing, and you are all done.”

“What’s that?”

“This,” he said and kissed her foot tenderly.

Lucy looked into the eyes of the man she loved and he kissed her foot again, only closer to her heel this time. Then her ankle, and her inner calf; rising to his knees, he kissed hers. Their eyes were still locked and Lucy’s heart was pounding. She was slipping into his eyes and felt only the feel the soft scratching of his beard and the warmth of his breath on her inner thigh.

Her robe fell open as easily as her legs under his skillful hands. Lucy’s body shook with the burning desire that only Michael could ignite in her.

His fingers dug into her inner thigh. “God, I've miss you,” he growled. The look in his eyes was that of a man lost in the desert finally finding water, his source of life.

Lucy’s back arched and she moaned for him. This man played her body as if it were an instrument, his instrument. Easing the music from her; starting low and soft as his mouth enclosed over the most delicate of spots.

“Mickey,” she sighed.

“It’s been too long, baby.”

She shuddered and grinned. He left a trail of kisses all along her body causing her to giggle and goosebumps to form.

“I love that sound.”

“What sound?”

He nuzzled her neck making her squirm and laugh. “That sound. I miss your laughter when we don’t talk,” he said while he slowly rubbed against her.

“We only don’t talk because of you.” Her voice was sad and he nuzzled her again, this time giving her a quick nip.

“Shh, baby. I’m here now.”

“Are you going to…” She was cut off because at that moment he slid inside her. If he had waited another moment, and somewhere in the back of her mind she heard herself say, ‘He cut you off on purpose,’ she would have asked, ‘Are you going to leave me again?’

Lucy’s body was no longer her own. It was now Michael’s; the way it always was when he was with her.

He kissed her neck and she sighed, "Mickey."

Michael was no longer making love to her; this was carnal, this was raw need. Lucy loved the desperate way he looked at her, how he used her body to ease himself.

Within moments he growled against her neck, “Lucy!”

He held her tightly, kissed her again and then whispered in her ear, “I love you, Lucy. You are home to me.”

The bright beam of light shone on Lucy’s face waking her. ‘It was a dream,’ she thought. Lucy knew differently, though, the delicious ache between her legs and the soreness of her muscles told her Michael had been there.

‘Was he here now?’ She wondered. Lucy was afraid to turn around to see because she knew he was gone. He was always gone when she awoke and the coolness at her back told her what she needed to know.

Lucy lay perfectly still watching the dust particles swirl throughout the ray of light while her breathing began to accelerate and the fissure in her heart began to grow. Needing to know before the pain took over she turned over slowly. Her fears were confirmed. Michael was gone. The tears began to fall in a torrent of uncontrollable sobs.

A month went by, and Lucy hadn’t heard from Michael. She knew she wouldn’t, but like every time; she hoped that she would. She took some time to grieve again and then attempted to get back to her life. Lucy had been on a few dates, but found herself comparing them all to Michael and none of them came close.

“Next,” the bored sounding teenager behind the counter said, snapping her back to the moment.

“A large salted caramel hot chocolate and a banana nut muffin, please.”

“$5.75.”

Lucy opened her bag and didn’t see her wallet. She began digging through it. “Crap!” she mumbled, looking up at the now annoyed cashier. “I’m sorry, never mind I seem to have left my wallet at home.”

“I’ve got it. Add a large regular coffee and another banana nut muffin to that order.”

Lucy turned around to the man behind her that had just offered to pay for her. She had every intention of telling him no thank you, but she lost her train of thought. She was greeted with one of the warmest, sweetest smiles she had ever seen, and instantly smiled back. The smile felt odd and very out of place on her face, tugging on muscles she hadn’t used since Michael left.

The very handsome redheaded man reached past her and handed the cashier the money.

“Name?”

“Todd,” he answered then turned, smiling at Lucy. “And your name is?”

“Lucy.”

“Hello, Lucy, it’s nice to meet you. Do you want to share a table while we wait? It looks like they are backed up and that poor boy in the back isn’t having much luck.”

Lucy turned and watched as the young teenage boy dropped the iced coffee he had just finished making. She took the seat across from the still smiling Todd. “You didn’t have to do that.”

“Thank you is the normal response, but you’re welcome.”

Lucy blushed, realizing how rude she had just been. “I’m sorry. Thank you, Todd.”

“It’s okay, we all have moments,” he said, flashing her a heart-stopping grin.

She returned his grin and then looked down, blushing. “How can I pay you back? Do you come here often?”

“Really Lucy, a lady like you using cheesy pick-up lines?”

For a split second she tried to decide if he was serious or not, then she started laughing and swatted at his hand.

Todd winked at her. "Yes, I come here often. I’ve seen you in here almost every day for a month. You always look so distracted."

She looked down at the table and didn't answer him right away. She thought about it and why Michael continued to occupy her thoughts even when he had treated her so badly. She did love him, but she was also beginning to understand what he was.

"I've had a lot on my mind lately," she said in a soft voice.

"It would seem so," he said with his trademark smile.

“Todd!” the teenage boy called.

The two of them spent the next hour talking and laughing. Lucy was surprised at how easy and natural it felt sitting here with Todd.

His phone went off, and he apologized, “It’s my brother, I was supposed to have met him 45 minutes ago,” he said with a slight blush of his own.

“I know I’m late. Yes, I’m still coming. I’ll see you in a few minutes.” He put his phone away and looked apologetic. “I’m sorry, I have to go. I promised him I would help hang his new TV.”

“It’s okay, I didn’t realize the time, I should probably be heading home myself.”

"Well, before you go ... Lucy, can we do this again sometime? I have enjoyed our short time together," he asked, with a hopeful expression.

Lucy thought about it for a moment and decided why not, she had just enjoyed herself. "Sure, I guess so," she said. They exchanged phone numbers and Lucy headed back home.

Walking home, she touched her face and smiled, and her cheeks hurt from laughing so much. Then she suddenly realized she hadn’t thought of Michael once while sitting with Todd.

One month and another Friday night later, Lucy was sitting on her couch in her pajamas watching one of the endless remodeling shows. She had gone on two dates with Todd since their first initial meeting and she had enjoyed herself with him. Todd was charming, funny, smart, and handsome. He had his own home and he had a career that he loved. Basically, Todd was a perfect catch.

Then one Thursday morning on her way to work, her phone chirped. Looking down, she saw she had a text from Mickey. “Hey, babe. I miss you. See you tomorrow.”

Her heart soared and instantly texted back, “I miss you too. See you then.”

Her next text was to Todd, “Hey, Todd. Something has come up, so I have to cancel for tomorrow. Sorry.”

Lucy sat at home waiting. She waited until Sunday night, but still no Michael. She texted, she called and received nothing in return. Crying herself to sleep again for the third night in a row, she withdrew back into herself.

Todd called and asked her out, but she turned him down, telling him it wasn’t a good idea. Her heart wasn’t into dating. She still wanted Michael, and there was no room for anyone else in her heart.

There was banging on her door, snapping her out of her musing. It set Lucy’s heart racing and she jumped up going to the door hoping beyond hope that it was Michael. Peering through the peephole, she saw her best friend, Jennifer waving a bottle of wine at her.

“Open up!”

Lucy knew it was no good trying to keep her out, so she opened the door.

“This ends right here, right now. You are getting your ass in the shower and we are going out,” Jennifer said, pushing her way past Lucy and heading to the kitchen to get the bottle opener.

“Jen, I’m just not…”

“In the mood, yes Lucy, I know, I know. I don’t care. You have wallowed in your self-pity long enough over a piece of shit that doesn’t deserve you. We are going out now.”

Jennifer poured two large glasses of wine and shoved it into Lucy’s hand and tapped her glass with her own. “Drink up and go shower.”

Lucy looked into the infectious grinning face of her best friend and suddenly realized she wanted to go out. She grinned back and downed her glass of wine.

Entering one of Jennifer's favorite nightclubs, the music was thumping, and there were sweaty bodies everywhere. Jennifer had been right; it was exactly what she needed. Lucy headed straight to the bar to take a shot and then made her way to the dance floor.

Several songs later, Lucy looked up and saw Jennifer waving at her indicating she had more shots, so she sashayed her way back to the table. Someone bumped passed her and she stumbled on her heels, but arms caught her before she could hit the floor.

“I’m so sorry,” Lucy said, looking up into the face of her rescuer. She was greeted with the cutest grins and there was a twinkle in his big blue eyes. Her heart skipped a beat and she blushed. Todd!

He leaned down to her ear. “No need for apologies. Are you alright?”

Blushing further, Lucy nodded her head. “Thank you for catching me.”

“I’ll gladly catch you anytime you decide to fall,” he said with a wink and let her go. "This rescuing you is getting to be a habit."

Lucy giggled at his remark. “Yes, it is. Well, my friend is waiting,” she said and then made her way to Jennifer and her waiting shot.

“Oh my, God, Lucy, who was that, He's the cutest man ever,” Jennifer yelled over the music.

“Which one?”

Jennifer gave her a, don’t be stupid, look and pointed. “The redhead leaning on the beam. The one who caught you as you fell.”

"Oh that was Todd,” she giggled, “He is the one I met at the coffee shop and had a few dates with. He is pretty nice.”

“He is the one you stopped calling?”

“Mmhmm,” Lucy nodded, sipping her drink through a straw.

“Stupid woman! He has a nice ass,” Jennifer remarked biting the corner of her lip.

"Jennifer!"

They giggled, took their shots and went back to the dance floor.

Dancing with Jennifer, Lucy kept her eye on the handsome Todd. There was something very appealing about him and it made her feel good that every time she turned to look at him, he was watching her.

She had to admit that Todd was a catch. He was sweet and kind hearted, and he was definitely nice on the eyes. The more she watched him, the more she found herself missing him, but she had blown him off so there was no way she could call him.

Towards the end of the evening, Todd walked up to her and extended his arms, she stepped right into them, giving him a hug. “We are heading out, and I wanted to say goodbye. Take care, Lucy,” he said and gave her a light kiss on her cheek.

Lucy’s heart pounded in her chest and she watched him walk out.

A couple of days went by and Lucy was at work when Todd called. She smiled when she saw his name. "Hello.”

"Hi, Lucy."

“Hi! How are you?"

"I'm fine. I wanted to ask you the other night at the club, but I wasn’t sure. Would you like to go out on another date?" he asked.

"I-I guess so, sure. When?" she asked, surprised by his question.

"How about this weekend?”

“Umm,” she hesitated. Did she want to try this again?

“Unless you already have plans..."

"No, I've got nothing going on this weekend,” she interrupted him.

"Good. How about I pick you up Saturday around 7:00 and we go out for a nice dinner?" he asked.

"That sounds wonderful, Todd."

"It's a date then. Okay, I'll let you get back to work. See you Saturday!" he said, and she heard the click of the phone.

Lucy set down her phone and then sat there for a moment. She felt her heart beating wildly and her breathing was faster than normal. This guy was really getting to her! Her hands were shaky, and she tried to get back to work. But she couldn't get his handsome face out of her head. Mercifully the day ended a few hours later, and she went home to try to relax.

Finally, Saturday came and Lucy began to get ready for her date with Todd. She had bought a new dress for the occasion, wanting to look her best for him. She showered and primped until she was satisfied with her looks and outfit and waited for his arrival. She didn't have to wait long; finishing only a few minutes before she heard the knock on the door.

"Hi, Todd, come on in," she said opening the door.

"Wow Lucy, you look amazing!" he said, standing in the doorway.

Lucy blushed and looked down, smiling. "Thank you, you look nice too. I'll get my jacket and we can leave," she said.

They had a good time talking and learning more about each other. She found out that Todd had broken up with his girlfriend about six months ago and was just getting the nerve up to enter the dating scene again. Lucy told him that she too was trying to get over someone.

The conversation flowed easily from topic to topic and it made for a very nice dinner. Todd was a perfect gentleman, and Lucy was every inch a lady.

When dinner was over, he was driving her home, but stopped by a small duck pond. They walked to the picnic table to talk more, neither one really ready for the night to end. The moon was high, casting a brilliant reflection on the water. Lucy was a little apprehensive that Todd might try something, but he did not. All he did was take her hand as they watched the ripples in the water. Lucy smiled gratefully at his chivalry.

Todd and Lucy began seeing each other regularly. For about six months things were perfect for them and they were getting closer with each passing month. Todd had never pushed himself on her, knowing she was trying to get over her last boyfriend and not wanting to rush her into something she wasn't ready for.

One night, after one of their ever growing hot and heavier makeout sessions, Todd confessed that he loved her and that he wanted to finally make love to her. Lucy hesitated with her response and Todd kissed her gently and said he understood that it wasn’t time.

Lucy couldn't be happier with Todd, and she decided that tonight was the night. Tonight she was going to tell him she loved him too and that she was ready to give herself to him. Once she made her mind up, she realized how right it felt.

Then it happened. Lucy was putting the finishing touches on dinner and felt so amazing about her choice that she couldn’t wait for this evening. There was a knock, and Lucy went to the door expecting it to be Todd, but it wasn't. It was Michael!

"Hey baby, I'm home!" he said, stepping in before Lucy could say or do anything.

He took Lucy in his arms and gave her a long deep kiss and she melted once again. Damn him! She could not resist when he did this no matter how he hurt her. She was putty in his hands and melted into his arms.

“Hey Lucy, I brought white wine I hope…” Todd stopped talking seeing Lucy in Michael’s embrace.

She jumped and pushed away from Michael. “Todd! Oh my, God, it’s not…”

Todd held his hand up interrupting her, “Lucy don’t.” He turned and looked at Michael. He needed the confirmation, so he asked, “Michael?”

“Yeah, I’m Michael, and you are?”

Todd looked at Lucy and for the first time since she met him his normally smiling face was gone. It was replaced by hurt. “Lucy,” he said softly then he set the bottle on the table and left.

Despite the happiness she had felt with Todd, and the pain she now felt watching him walk out her door, it was Michael. What else could she do? He was all she had ever wanted; no matter how badly he repeatedly treated her.

Michael came up behind her and kissed her neck. “Did I interrupt anything?

Lucy took a breath and composed herself before turning in his arms, wrapping hers around him. “No, it was nothing. Just a date, but it’s okay, no big deal.” Even saying that lie sent a pang in her heart.

Michael kissed her long and slow. “Good. You look delicious and I’ve missed you.”

“Have you?” she asked out of breath.

“Yes,” he said and lifted her skirt touching her through her delicate panties.

“Ah, Michael.”

“Already ready for me baby? God, I want you.” He lifted her up by her thighs and set her on the table.

Lucy began whimpering.

Michael took her hard and fast. The thought, ‘He’s claiming you,’ sprang to mind, but it was lost in the sensations that swept over her.

“Fuck, Mickey!” she cried out.

Lucy continued to hold him while she shook with unexpected tears.

“Baby, what’s wrong?”

“Don’t leave me again. I don’t want to wake up alone again.”

Michael gave a soft chuckle, “Luce, honey; I want to stay. Can I stay here?”

“What?” she asked her breath hitching.

“Lucy, can I please stay?”

“Yes,” she answered completely amazed by his question.

Michael kissed her and gave her a hug. “I love you, Lucy.”

For three weeks Lucy was in a fog. Something was wrong. Michael was here and this was all she had ever wanted, but she missed Todd too. This was longer than he had ever stayed before and she foolishly thought he had decided to settle down and stay with her. She knew if they kept going things would work out. Lucy would finally get her happy ending with him.

That is, until the day she came home from work and found Michael had company.

Time stopped, the world around her turned dark and everything fell into this one pinpoint of movement; Michael lying back on her bed with a tiny blonde on top of him. “That’s it sweet girl, so good.”

‘No!’ her mind screamed. ‘No, he told me he loved me and that he wanted to stay with me.'

‘Did he?’ the snarky voice commented. ‘He said can I stay with you, please, Lucy. And you stupidly told him yes and then he hugged you and said he loved you. Of course, he did, he was taking from you again.’

“Mickey?” Lucy’s voice cracked as she forced herself to speak.

“Oh shit, Lucy. I didn’t think you’d be home for another hour,” Michael sat up and pulled the blonde off to the side.

“Mickey?” Softer this time.

“What the fuck Mike, is this your girlfriend? You never said you had a girlfriend,” the blonde snapped.

“She’s not my girlfriend, she’s my best friend,” Michael said, pulling on his clothes.

‘Not my girlfriend, she’s my best friend.’ Lucy felt like she had been kicked in the throat. There was no air in the room. Everything swam in front of her eyes and down she went.

When she opened her eyes again, she was lying on her bed with Michael beside her and the blonde behind him had her hand on Michael’s shoulder, looking down at her with a pitying look.

“Luce, you okay? You scared me.”

For the first time in her life, Lucy realized that she no longer loved Michael. She realized that she was trying to hold on to what she thought they had, what she was so desperate to have. What she had with Todd was love, true love, and mutual respect. Only she had not shown Todd respect. Not the respect he deserved and for what? For this man standing over her, that used her over and over again.

“Get out.”

“What?”

“You heard me; Michael get out.”

“Lucy, honey, don’t be like this.”

Lucy sat up and pushed him with all her strength and snapped, “Get out!”

Michael stood up and the blonde tugged his arm. “Come on, Mike, let’s go.”

“Wait a minute; I want to know what I did? Why are you so mad?”

Again another blow on her already broken heart, he didn’t even see what he did as wrong. ‘Oh my God, I’ve been such a fool. Such a Goddamn fool,’ she thought bitterly.

“Mike, come on,” the blonde knew and she was dragging him away.

“No…” he started, but Lucy’s scream of rage stopped him.

“Fuck you! Get out, get out, get out! Leave your key and get out of my house, get out of my life! I hate you!”

“Lucy,” was all he said, and then he took her key off his ring and set it on her dresser.

“Luce…”

“Get out!” she screamed again. Her fists were balled tightly. So tightly she felt the pain of her nails digging into her palms.

A moment later, the door shut and she screamed again. Her body whipped around to her bed, the vile, dirty bed that held so many lies and so many horrible truths.

Lucy ripped the blanket off throwing it to the floor, and then she struggled with the sheets, pulling desperately to get them off her bed. With an anguished cry and one last hard yank, the sheet pulled up and she rolled it in a ball throwing it across the room.

She was out of breath and could feel the tears threatening to spill. She grabbed her pillow and ripped the case off and then grabbed Michael’s pillow. She gripped it tightly to pull the case off as well when she caught a whiff of his cologne.

Her breath caught. She pulled the pillow to her nose and breathed in; inhaling the scent of the man she had loved. The man she had loved her entire life. The man that had never loved her more than as a best friend that he liked to have sex with.

She then thought of Todd, the man that trusted her and truly loved her. “Oh God,” she wailed as the reality of their relationship and what she had done to Todd came crashing down on her. Lucy’s body collapsed to the bed clutching Michael’s pillow.

Two days later, after Todd refused to answer any of her calls or texts, she finally went to his house to beg him for forgiveness.

“Please forgive me. I’m sorry I was such a fool,” she pleaded with Todd.

Todd was pacing in his living room and whipped around to her. “Yes, you are. Lucy, I will not go through this again.”

“I know, I’m so sorry. Please, I love you.”

This made him pause, and it was the first time she had said it to him. “Do you, Lucy?”

“Yes, I do love you.” Tears were running down her face.

“You loved me enough to run to him the minute he came back,” he bit bitterly at her.

Lucy’s head fell into her hands and she sobbed.

The room was silent except for her sobs. Todd was no longer pacing, and he was standing at the window with his back to her.

She looked at his back. “Todd?” He didn’t turn around and he didn’t respond to her. In that second, Lucy knew all was lost. She had ruined it all.

Lucy stood and walked quietly to the door. “I’m sorry, Todd. I do love you.”

As she opened the door to leave, she felt Todd’s fingers grip her arm. “Stop, Lucy. I never said I wanted you to leave. I’m hurt, but I love you.”

Lucy cried harder and threw herself into his arms. He hugged her tightly to him.

“No more Michael, Lucy I mean it. I will not forgive you again.”

Lucy kissed him and looked into his eyes. At that moment, she knew how foolish she had been; how blind she had been and how much she truly loved this man. At that moment, she knew she would never go back to Michael, that the Mickey she had fallen in love with was gone forever.

So with complete confidence for the first time ever, she was able to say, “No more Michael.”

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