“Yes. I’m jealous. And angry at so many things. But I’m done running from them all. I want to be here with you. I want you to open up about Rose to me, not her.”
“I don’t know if I’m ready for that.”
His admission caused a lump in my throat.
“I know. Even if you’re not ready to open up to me…I want you to know that I am here, that I’m not going anywhere. We shouldn’t have to face things alone anymore. I want to be here when you’re thinking about Rose or Elle or the poor decisions I’ve made. I want to share in your pain. If you’re mad at me, I want to be here so that you can unload your feelings onto me even if it hurts me. I don’t care what Daddy or anyone thinks anymore or who finds out the truth. You’re my truth. The only thing that has ever felt natural to me is loving you. No one is going to tell me I can’t love you openly anymore. I’m done running, Sevin.”
“You’re done running from reality?”
He gestured with his fingers. “Come here.”
I wasn’t sure what he was going to do. Instead of touching me, he reached into his pocket and grabbed his phone. After swiping through a few times, he faced it toward me.
On the screen was a picture of a beautiful little girl with dark hair. Unprepared for the image—one I was never supposed to see—my chest suddenly felt heavy. At the same time, it was an unexpected gift. The photo was taken from the side. With a beaming smile, Rose was in a royal blue baseball uniform and clearly didn’t know her picture was being taken.
“Look at what we lost,” he said.
Taking the phone from him and choking back tears, I whispered, “I’m so sorry.”
“I’m not gonna fight the adoption. My mind is made up. I don’t want to rip apart her world. I love her too much.”
I looked over at him. “I think that’s the right decision.”
His indignant stare permeated me. “One I should never have had to make.”
“But I take some responsibility too, you know. I should have been more careful with you back then. I was so crazy in love with you that I didn’t always make the most responsible decisions.”
“Both of us.”
“I still have very little control of my feelings around you. That’s why I needed to stay away, why you haven’t heard from me while I tried to come to a decision on Rose. I’m still working on coming to terms with it. That’s partly why Nancy was here. She’s actually adopted. I wanted to pick her brain about her feelings toward her birth parents, stuff like that.”
“No explanation needed. And I totally understand why you’ve stayed away.”
“It hasn’t been easy keeping my distance from you.” He took the phone from me. “Addy told me you’ve been seeing a therapist.”
“Yes. He’s really helped me see what I need to do moving forward.”
We spent the next couple of hours opening up to each other about our feelings when it came to Rose. Sevin confessed that he, too, had been seeing a therapist to come to grips with his anger issues.
Finally, I built up the nerve to suggest something I’d been holding in. “I need to be here with you, Sevin. Everyday. I need to prove to you that I’m in this with you for the long haul—not just with my words but with my actions. My car is filled with all of my things. I—”
“Wait.” He wrinkled his forehead incredulously. “You want to move in with me?”
“I’m not sure I’m ready for that.”
“I wouldn’t be sharing a room with you. I just want to take care of you for a while. Will you let me?”
“I don’t know if that’s a good idea.”
Not beyond begging, I pleaded, “Please.”
The look in my eyes must have shown him how serious I was, because he simply nodded.
That night, Sevin helped me move my things in, setting me up in the spare bedroom. I prayed to God that it would be my last move for a while.
The next few weeks were all about adjusting to the new routine. Sevin and I were living in his home, but there was no intimacy. He was still acting closed off toward me for the most part. We’d sit and have dinner together or talk about our days, but he didn’t make any physical contact.
It was painful, but I vowed to push through, reminding myself that only through the passage of time could my intentions be proven. Even though he was being cold, I still wanted nothing more than to just be with him every day and try to give him the kind of life he always deserved.
On the way home from work at Addy’s shop, I would stop daily to purchase more items to make his house a home. Sevin’s house had a cute farmer’s porch, so I picked up some potted plants to hang up across it. I painted the white living room a terracotta color and hung several canvas paintings. I put out candles and hung up inspirational wooden words, like “home” and “hope” as well as organizing all of his music. Everything was perfect on the outside but broken on the inside.
The hardest of my efforts was the cooking. I was determined that we would sit down together to a nice meal every night but couldn’t cook for the life of me unless it was breakfast or dessert. Everything else sort of went to hell. I would intentionally race home from Addy’s to arrive before him and sift through recipes online. It was hard to tell if Sevin was enjoying what I’d make half of the time. I was pretty sure my meals were at least edible. Enjoyable might have been too much to ask from me. Dean always preferred crap food that was easy to make, like hotdogs, frozen chicken nuggets or macaroni and cheese. He never liked vegetables. So, cooking healthful and tasty food was fairly new for me.