This is submitted for the Literotica 750 Word Project 2021.

Sometimes, all that's left is goodbye. A 750-word story about loss and regret.

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She walks up to me, arms crossed at her waist, head bowed. She's been crying again, but she tries to smile. It's a failed effort and the tears stream down her cheeks.

"Hello, James. It's been a long time since we last spoke and there's so much that I need to tell you. Can I speak with you for a moment?"

She pauses to gather her thoughts. It's been so long since I've seen her smile.

"Mom and dad are doing well. They send their love. They both miss you.

"I saw your mom last week. She looks old and she seems tired. I asked if she would have lunch with me, but she refused. I doubt she'll ever forgive me.

"I tried to talk to your father on my way here, but I don't think he wants to hear anything I have to say. I was a big disappointment to him. He always told me that he raised two boys and finally you had given him a daughter. He was determined to spoil me rotten. Somehow, I forgot to be the daughter he wanted me to be. I miss the hugs he used to give me.

"The kids are getting big and they ask about you all the time. Jeanie is dating now, but there's no boyfriend, yet. She's keeping it casual. Jack is starting to notice girls. He has a lot of questions and needs you to answer them for him. No boy wants to talk to his mom about girls."

She finally smiles at me. I know it's hard for her, but I do see hope in her eyes.

"Are you happy, My Love? Do you have someone who loves you? Is there someone who brings you joy, who holds you at night and kisses your tears away? I hope there is. You deserve to be happy. I want you to be happy.

"I wish I could be happy again, but I don't deserve it. I was happy until I threw it away for nothing of any value. You know how they say that time flies as you get older? Well, it crawls when your life is broken like ours. Most days are like the day before, one after another and nothing changes, and then some days just seem like they will never end. Most days, the kids are the only reason I get out of bed in the morning. I'm just putting in time at work. My friends have no use for me. They blame me for what happened to you.

"Bill left about this time last year. He got a job in Denver. I can't say I was sorry to see him go. I never met him again after that night.

"Will you ever forgive me, My Love? Will you grant me peace? Can I earn redemption?

"I am living for our children now. They are all I have. They still have the books you used to read to them at bedtime. I catch them reading them sometimes, even though they are much too old for them now. They will never forget you, My Love. I won't allow it. I've told them it was all my fault and I think they have forgiven me. They are young and forgiveness comes easily when you are young.

"Please tell your father that I'm sorry and I'll bring him flowers next time. I miss him terribly. I know what I did broke his heart. I never saw him smile again and he was gone just six months later.

"James, if only you had chosen to stay. You should have yelled at me, hit me, thrown me to the floor and cursed me. I would have taken anything you threw at me gladly if only you had stayed. I never had the chance to say, 'I am sorry.' I am, My Love. I am sorry every day. If only I had you back, I would give everything I have to see you smile again.

"I guess wishes don't always come true, do they?

"Winter is coming, and the days are getting cold. Are you keeping warm? I have nightmares of you lying there in the winter chill.

"Wait for me, James. When the children no longer need me, I will come to join you. It won't be long now. I miss you every day and all night long. Please forgive me and then maybe I can forgive myself.

"Be happy, My Love, and tell the Lord I am sorry."