“Hello, Sasha.” The voice on the line is David’s, but not David’s. It lacks the edge of arrogance, the timbre of demand, she’s grown used to.
“Yes,” is all she could manage to say.
“I saw you at the clothing bank, I think. It was you, wasn’t it?”
I’m not ready for this, she thinks. “What do you want, David?” Sasha tries to keep the old edge in her voice, hears how badly she fails.
“I just want you to know something, Sasha. I want you to know that I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry. I treated you badly. You didn’t deserve it. You offered love, and I rejected it. That’s what I do. That’s what I did. I was the one who didn’t deserve it, so I rejected it. But I also craved it. And I kept stringing you along, because I wanted so badly for you to love me, but I couldn’t let you actually do it.”
These are the words she’s longed to hear, the words she thought would make everything okay again. He’s to blame, not me, all I did was love him, he took advantage of me.
Sasha breathes. Inside the breath, she sees that young girl again. Herself, back then. And she knows.
“David, I did love you. I still do. But I couldn’t just offer you love. That was terrifying. What if you said no? So I disguised it, wrapped it up in sex and control. I don’t blame you for rejecting that mix. I really don’t.”
The young girl begins to weep, and laugh, all at the same time.
“Sasha, are you okay?” She realizes she is laughing and crying aloud.
“Yes, David. Yes, I am. Are you? Are you really okay, too?”
“I think so. I think so. But there’s one more thing, Sash.”
She braces herself. Will he flash his old anger? Will she?
“I do love you, you know. I do. And I don’t expect you to return it any more, but I want you to know that I do. Love you.”