Episode 645: So Long I'm GoneLike most everyone, a couple weeks into the new year, Xavier found himself already breaking his lone resolution. He’d vowed to stay away from Avalon, to quit watching her from afar and telling himself he was just looking out for her.
She could have been easily avoided. It was his day off from the garage, he could have found something constructive to do. He had decided to help out at the shelter since they’d helped him out so much. But he had chosen an extra long route to get there.
It didn’t seem to matter that the weather was icy and he shivered inside his thin clothes. Something compelled him to walk past where she lived. And when he hadn’t caught a glimpse of her there, he’d moved on to her bookstore.
He hadn’t stepped inside since they were a couple. His hands trembled as he pushed through the door. The bell overhead startled him and nearly sent him running. Fortunately, his pretty ex didn’t look to him; she was busy talking a customer into buying a book series.
Xavier slipped down one of the aisles and feigned interest in a book when really he was only interested in the small open space on the shelf that allowed him to see her.
His heart pounded like crazy. He could hear her. He could see her. A few steps and he could touch her. He hadn’t stood that near her in so long. Too long.
He lingered while she sold that customer, and then failed with two others. He envied a man whose fingers brushed hers as he returned a purchase. He longed for what might have been when she crouched to a little girl’s height and showed her a book she would love. Ava was so good with kids.
The moment the child and her mother left the store, Xavier got the incredibly stupid idea to step forward and ask Ava if she still thought he’d be a decent dad, if she still wanted that with him.
It was for the best that Sebastian suddenly appeared. Xavier watched them through the shelves. His heart wrenched in his chest as the other man wrapped his arms around Ava and she said, "Just the man I wanted to see."