Bobby Goren had always thought that he had finally come to terms with the death of Nicole Wallace. He had mourned her loss, had grieved, had moved on. Or so he had thought until now, until this moment when he saw her, alive and well, standing before him.

For a moment, he could not believe his eyes. He blinked, rubbed them, looked again. And there she was, her hair longer than the last time he had seen her, her face a little changed, but unmistakably her. The very sight of her was like a dagger piercing his heart, re-opening an old wound that he had thought had healed.

The anger came first, hot and fierce. Bobby stalked towards her, his hands trembling with rage. “You,” he said, his voice low, guttural. “You did this to me. You made me believe that you were dead. You made me grieve, made me suffer. And all this while you were alive, living your life without a care in the world.”

Nicole raised her hands, a gesture of appeasement. “I know, Bobby, and I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you.” Her voice was gentle, almost pleading. “Please, let me explain.”

But Bobby was beyond reason. He could see nothing but his own pain, his own torment. “Explain what?” he spat out. “That you had to run away, that you couldn’t face the consequences of your actions? You killed people, Nicole. Innocent people. And you ran away, leaving me and everyone else to pick up the pieces.”

Tears sprang to Nicole’s eyes, and then she blinked them away, a flicker of defiance coming into her expression. “You don’t know what it was like for me,” she said, her voice shaking a little. “I was trapped, Bobby, by my own fears, my own demons. I didn’t know how to break free. And then, when I finally did, when I thought I could start over, I found out that you were the lead detective on my case. I knew that you would never let me go, that you would hound me until the end of time.”

Bobby’s fists clenched, his body rigid with anger. “So you decided to fake your own death, to leave me and everyone else without any closure, without any answers. You left me to suffer, Nicole, to question myself, my own judgment, my own sanity.”

“I had to,” Nicole said, and now there was a desperate note in her voice. “I had to protect myself, Bobby. I had to start over, make a new life for myself. You don’t know what it’s like to live in fear, to feel like you’re constantly looking over your shoulder, waiting for the past to catch up with you. I had to do what I did.”

Bobby shook his head, his eyes blazing. “No, you didn’t. You could have faced your fears, your past. You could have taken responsibility for what you did. But instead, you chose the coward’s way out. You chose to run, to hide, to leave me and everyone else behind.”

Nicole’s shoulders slumped, and now she looked defeated, broken. “I know, Bobby,” she whispered. “I know that what I did was wrong, that it hurt you, hurt everyone. But please, can’t you understand? Can’t you see that I was just trying to survive?”

Bobby looked at her, looked deep into her eyes, and for a moment, he felt a flicker of something that he could not quite name. It was almost like pity, like understanding. But then, the anger surged back, strong and fierce. He turned around and walked away, his hands still trembling, his heart still aching.

He knew that he could never forgive her, never forget what she had done. He knew that this was a wound that would never truly heal. And he knew that he could never trust her again, even if he wanted to.

For now, all he could do was walk away, alone, and try to forget the past. But he knew that it would haunt him forever, that the specter of Nicole Wallace would never truly leave him. And he knew that he would never be the same again.


♥writing was all I had, all I’ve ever had, the only currency, the only proof that I was alive. Memory.♥ each of us has a story to tell. Leave your thoughts. Leave your comments.

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