Robert sat on the edge of his bed for quite a while. His mind drifted back to the dance hall, where he first laid eyes on that stunning young woman with long dark ringlets. He remembered coming back from the war, taking those long walks in Cowdenbeath. His dear, stalwart Margaret – moving away from her family across the ocean, and then criss-crossing the United States with only a whisper of complaint. He laid back down and put his hands behind his head, remembering how she made do during the Depression with strong resolve. She really was as perfect a housewife as could be had: always neat, changing into a fresh frock for the delicious dinners she made. A perfect mother… a perfect grandmother.
I put her through so much. I should have let her be the perfect housewife. That’s what she did best.
Robert rolled out of bed and went to his desk. He pulled out a pen and paper and wrote one last letter to his wife.
I am sorry. I am sorry for so many things. I am sorry I tried to force you to become who you weren’t. I am sorry I put my career so far ahead of us. I am sorry for causing you so much pain. It’s all my fault, not yours. I am sorry I couldn’t stand by you as you stood by me. Please forgive me. I have always loved you. I have never loved another. I will remain true to you, even in your death.
I have so many regrets. Please forgive me. I would give anything to do it differently.
For the first time in his life Robert allowed tears to run down his face. He took the letter with him as he went out to his dock. The breeze was warm and stiff. Whitecaps were breaking against the seawall, and the current in the water off the dock was swift. Robert ripped the letter into small pieces and sent them sailing in the breeze until they hit that strong current and were swept out to sea.
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