"So, you've been pretty quiet."
careful as she sat slumped down in her seat. Although he was
almost through eating, she'd hadn't even attempted to pick up her
sandwich. "Is it Trevor?
Did something else happen between the two of you that you haven't been
telling me? You've moped around like this for weeks now."
"I think Trevor and I are over." She
swallowed hard and looked away quickly as she felt her eyes begin to
tear. She'd managed to push what she'd heard Trevor say in his
sleep to the back of her mind, but she couldn't forget it. "I
know he's in love with someone else." Patterson was shocked,
but tried to hide his true feelings about the end of Lorraine's
relationship with Trevor.
"Honey, how do you know he's in love with someone
"H-he told me," she lowered her head and
vacantly watched the steam drift off of her cup of freshly poured
coffee. "Well, not directly. He...he..."
"Lorraine, tell me. Tell me what happened.
You'll feel better if you get all of this off of your chest."
He reached across the table and grabbed her hand firmly. She
looked up at him and dried her eyes. Taking a deep breath, she
began to explain what had happened.
"Trevor came to see me. I hadn't seen him in
weeks. He told me he'd been wrong to neglect me and wanted to make
things up to me. He told me how much he loved me." She
hesitated as she thought about the events that followed. She still
found it difficult to really believe what had happened.
"L-later, he was asleep and apparently dreaming. He was
talking to someone and telling them how much he loved them. I
thought he was talking to me! H-he wasn't. He was saying 'I
love you' to someone else."
"Lorraine, how do you know it was someone
"H-he called out
name!" She threw her head into her hands and began to sob.
As much as Patterson didn't want Lorraine and Trevor's relationship to
work out, his heart broke for her as he saw the deep emotional pain she
was suffering. The last thing that he'd ever wanted was for her to
get hurt. However, he'd always felt that that was exactly
what would happen if she'd persisted in loving Trevor.
"W-who is she?" he asked cautiously.
"That's not important. It doesn't matter.
All that matters is that he's not in love with me and probably never
was!" She looked up at Patterson and tried to force a smile
at him. "I know a few weeks ago I said something about us
starting over. We haven't really talked a lot about it
"Well, you've had a lot on your mind. This
whole mess with Trevor has gotten you torn to pieces." He
looked at her and wondered how anyone could even think to be so cruel to
her. "I would love nothing more than to put back together
what he had, but I know it can't happen over night. I know that
you have to put him behind you first."
"Heaven help me, but I still love him.
Despite everything that's happened and everything that I know, I still
want us to work out." She silently remembered happier times
with Trevor when she'd believed that her life was perfect and nothing in
the world could hurt her. "I honestly don't know if a future
between you and me is possible, Patterson." She watched him
as his face fell. "I-I'm not saying it's out of the question,
though. Just not right now. This entire mess with Trevor is
still fresh. We have to take things slowly. I-I don't think
I would be able to stand experiencing such pain again." He
gave her hand another gentle squeeze and smiled at her warmly.
"I understand. If something more does happen
between us, we'll go just as slowly as you want. The last thing I
want is for you to be hurt." Patterson meant every word.
He knew he'd have to wait for Lorraine to get over Trevor before they
even had a remote chance of getting back together. He also
realized that maybe that would never happen. He only wanted
what was best for her...if that wasn't him, then he'd just have to
accept it. What was best for Lorraine was what was most important.