10 Years:Time for Love Book 5

By: Bethany Lopez

Time for Love Series Book 5



Dear Reader,



I have written about many sensitive subjects over the last few years, but 10 Years may contain the most emotionally difficult scene I’ve ever written. It may be difficult for some people to read, so I wanted to put a warning here and let you know that this story contains some strong sexual situations, and details the way the characters cope with those situations.



Thank you for giving Gwen and Craig’s story a chance.



I hope you find beauty in their journey.



Bethany





Prologue ~ Gwen



(7 years old)



“I’m sorry, Gwennie,” my daddy said as he held my writhing body a couple inches away from him. “You’ll still see me on weekends and holidays, but I can’t live here anymore.”

“No, Daddy, please, take me with you,” I pleaded, tears and snot mingling as they ran down my face.

Our parents had just told Gaby and me that they were getting a divorce. Gaby said that she already knew they were going to. She explained that they were always fighting, and Daddy had been staying in the room behind the house lately, so she knew this would happen.

But I hadn’t.

I believed that my mommy and daddy would be together always. Like they were supposed to be.

And I was going to live with them forever.

Now, Daddy was ruining everything by saying he was moving away. I didn’t understand.

“Don’t you love us anymore?” I asked as I tried to wiggle free of his hands so I could latch on to his waist.

“Of course I do, honey,” my daddy replied, his big eyes filling with tears. “You have to calm down, baby.”

I heard him, but I couldn’t calm down. I’d been trying to talk him into staying all morning, and he wouldn’t listen. I tried laying down and crying, stomping my feet and crying, and then just holding on to him as hard as I could, but nothing was working.

Mommy was waiting inside the house. Every once in a while she would look out the door, and I could tell she’d been crying too.

Why didn’t she tell him not to go?

Eventually, Gaby came out and took me away, leading me to her room and shutting the door. She was thirteen and didn’t usually let me in her room, so I felt a little thrill when she sat me on her bed, which helped calm the tears.

“Gwennie, you have to stop,” she said. “You’re making this harder on everyone by carrying on the way you are. Mom’s about to have a breakdown.”

I felt something sharp and indefinable at my sister’s words, but I still asked her, “When do you think Daddy will come home?”

Gaby stood up quickly, then turned to me, her face filled with hurt and anger.

“He’s not. Gwennie. He’s not coming home. It’s going to be me, you, and Mom from now on, so get used to it.” I didn’t like what she was saying to me, so I started to get up, but she pushed me back down and leaned in, bringing her face close to mine. “I’m sorry, I know it sucks.” I pulled in a sharp breath at that; we weren’t supposed to swear, but Gaby continued talking, “But that’s the way it is. We’ll go to Dad’s new house and see him sometimes, but things will never be the way they used to be.”

“But…” I started to argue, my eyes filling again.

“I’m sorry, Gwennie, but it’s time to grow up,” she said, her voice softer now.

I took a deep breath and choked back the tears, then wiped my wet cheeks with the sleeve of my shirt. I looked around the room, then at my sister. Her face looked sad, but she wasn’t crying. I knew she was upset about what was happening too, but maybe she was keeping it inside.

I decided to be more like my sister. I didn’t want to make my mommy sad, and I didn’t like feeling as horrible as I had all morning. I was going to hide my feelings from everyone. Maybe, if I didn’t think about him leaving, or the way our family used to be, I’d feel better. Maybe, if I pretended like he’d never left us, and like he’d always lived somewhere else, and we’d always visited him, I wouldn’t feel so sad…

So that’s what I did.





Chapter One ~ Craig



(10 years old)



All I wanted to do was go play baseball. My brother, Cal, had promised he’d take me to the cages and then go play catch, but first, he wanted to stop at the park.

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