Thought I Knew You(99)

By: Kate Moretti

Leah and Hannah seem to have come through the ordeal, not unaffected, but at least unscathed. They are happy to have their daddy back in their lives. Greg frequently comes over to spend time with them. They hike in the woods behind our house, and ironically, Greg, previously so stoic, has become Hannah’s confidant. He now relates to her on a level I can’t compete with, and I find myself jealous when she comes home from school, upset or sad, and takes the phone into her room to whisper behind a closed door. Hannah still attends dance class, and the evening fights between her and Leah have stopped.

The girls have never appeared to be resentful of Drew, but I’m not so foolish to believe they won’t as teenagers. Drew is careful to love them without trying to replace Greg, and for big decisions, he defers to their father.

We have dinner together as an extended family on alternating Sundays. Generally, those gatherings are loud, raucous affairs. Deep down, I’m sure Drew wishes to have one family event without Greg’s presence, but you’d never outwardly know it. He is kind and friendly toward my ex in a way I could never have been had I been in his shoes. It’s on these Sundays when my heart overflows with love for Drew.

Drew and I have not married. We will someday. We would like to have a baby of our own, but I can’t in good conscience do that to Greg, not yet. I see Greg watching me when he thinks no one is looking, and sometimes it is with such open longing, it hurts my heart and twists my insides. It seems my role in life has not changed, but all the players have moved around me. My feelings for Greg are mixed. I sometimes remember Greg as he was, strong and sure, but for the Greg he is now, I have a parental, fiercely protective love.

I can’t help but wonder how my life would be if any of us had made just one small decision differently. If Greg hadn’t gone to Toronto. If Drew had stayed with Olivia. If in the end, I had chosen Greg. But when it comes to matters of the heart, you don’t always have a choice.

Sometimes, it just is.

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