“I want the whole story, Anabeth.” Bishop began to pace, his steps long and loud. Stomping almost. “I deserve that much. You never gave me a fucking reason why you left.”
And I never would because to admit what I’d done would break him. Break us forever. A sob ripped through my chest, racking my body hard. “I can’t. You’ll…”
“I’ll what?” Bishop lunged and grabbed my arms, holding me up, staring down at me in a way he never would again if he knew. If I told him. With care and compassion and feelings so strong, I could almost believe he’d forgive me. But he wouldn’t. I couldn’t even forgive myself. “Tell me, Anabeth. What is it you think I’ll do if I know?”
“You’ll hate me,” I snapped. “You’ll never see me the same way, and I can’t. I just…”
Bishop stood solid and firm, waiting for me to finish my sentence. Watching as if hoping I would keep talking, but I was done. Out of words. Battlements restored.
Hating myself, knowing he wouldn’t stop pushing me unless I made him, I said the only thing I could think of to end the conversation. “Katie’s waiting on the boxes.”
Bishop reeled as if I’d slapped him with my words. I didn’t back down, staring right back at him as he gaped at me. As his own walls came crashing down, his face going from hurt to pissed in two seconds flat.
“You ruined us, Anabeth,” he said, his voice empty and lifeless. “Whatever happened—whatever you’re keeping from me—it destroyed us both. Don’t you get that? I should know what took you away from me. I should know why my heart’s been broken for fourteen goddamn years.”
But the words wouldn’t come. I’d promised myself I wouldn’t ever tell him, wouldn’t ever bring that pain to his door. A broken heart was nothing in comparison, so I simply shook my head and pressed my lips together as the tears flowed. As I collapsed under the grief and self-hatred that I carried every day. As I watched him shut down.
He grabbed a box of signs and headed for the stairs, leaving me behind.