By @UnmaskedDreams


By @UnmaskedDreams

When tragedy strikes, the hardest part of moving on is learning to forgive yourself.

Chapter 17


Penumbra — “a half-shadow”

One week after camp

       “So, what did you want to talk about?” Kelly asked as Alyssa shut the door to her office.

               Alyssa chewed on her lip.

               “Alyssa?” Kelly prompted.

               “How did you know you were in love with Jerry?” Alyssa asked finally.

               Kelly leaned back a thoughtful expression on her face as she fiddled with her engagement ring. “How did I know I was in love with Jerry?” She paused. “This is about Will, isn’t it?”

               Alyssa averted her gaze but nodded.

               “Compared to others, it was relatively easy for me,” Kelly told her. “Most people assume we fell in love that summer we led a team at camp, but that’s not the entire story.”

               “Really?” Alyssa asked shocked.

               Kelly nodded with a fond smile. “Even before camp, I knew I was physically attracted to him. But I had never talked to him before then. By the time camp was over, the attraction had developed into something more. I wasn’t in love with him, then. It was just right, too, since a few weeks after camp, his family moved away. In the time that his family moved away, I finished college and began working in a job I love. When he came back, all the emotions I had thought had disappeared when he had came rushing back and it was more intense. Six months after, we began dating and more than a year later, here we are – engaged and to be married in a few months. Love?” she laughed. “Well, I realized early on in our relationship that although emotions play a role, we still have to choose to love every single time.”

               “Here you are today – an example for the youth to follow,” Alyssa said finally.          

               Kelly nodded. “But, our story is much different then what’s in store for you and Will. This chasm between you and Will might make or break your relationship.”

               “After what happened earlier,” Alyssa began sadly, “there’s nothing between us anymore. I don’t there would be anymore.”

               “The warmth we all saw between you both during camp was gone earlier,” Kelly noted.

               “I gave him Kade’s USB,” Alyssa told her. “I was wrong to assume we could be friends after that.”

               “You can’t really be friends with someone you’re in love with – or have strong feelings for,” Kelly reminded her.

               Alyssa sighed. “But that doesn’t stop me from being worried from him.”

               Kelly nodded. “There’s nothing wrong with being worried about him. But before you even enter a relationship with him, make sure you’ve already sorted out your own emotions. Pray. Focus on yourself. When the time comes, I believe all things will come together for good.”

               “I hope you’re right,” Alyssa said with a wistful smile. 

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