“It doesn’t have to be this way,” he said. “Remember the night we met. The night I proposed. Remember our wedding. Remember all those memories we made before we were ripped apart. They’re inside you, sweetheart. You just have to let yourself feel them.”

His voice made her heart hurt. She needed him to stop talking. “I don’t want to feel them!” she yelled, backing toward the bedroom. “I don’t want to feel anything! I want you to leave me alone. Get it? Just leave me alone.”

Caroline rushed through the door and locked it behind her, leaning against the wall. She was safe. Alone. In the place where she tried to check her memories at the threshold. She took a deep breath to get herself back under control, but could do nothing to quell the fury pulsing through her veins. She thought she heard Jack pounding on the door, trying to turn the knob. She ignored it.

Was it possible to literally see red? She’d never understood that expression before, but the entire room seemed tinged scarlet. There was a pile of papers on the dresser and she shoved them over. She threw the pillows off the bed, tossed Jack’s clothes out of the drawers, kicked over the chair and table in the corner. She found herself unleashing her anger on every inanimate object in the room, unaware of whether she was making any noise or releasing her rage in silence.

Caroline looked over at the nightstand, at the sappy framed picture of the two of them. She couldn’t explain her hatred for the happy couple in the photo, but she wanted nothing more than to wipe them from her memory. Gone. They had to be gone. Everything in this fucking room, in this goddamn apartment, in this shitty life of hers had to be gone.

She flung the frame toward the opposite wall as hard as she could, hearing the glass shatter as it fell to the floor, crying out as she saw the wood break apart. She dropped to her knees, sobbing, hearing Jack’s voice somewhere far off. She crawled over to collect the broken pieces of the frame, turning her head as her husband shoved his way through the locked door.

“Caroline,” he panted, looking around the room. “Are you-?”

She pulled the picture out of the shattered frame and stared at it, her lip trembling, clutching the jagged wood pieces in her other hand. She tried to gather up all the fragments but knew it was no use. It couldn’t be repaired.

Jack ran over to her. “Don’t touch it. There’s glass everywhere.”

“I can fix it,” she said quietly.

He knelt down beside her. “You can’t, Caroline. It’s been damaged too much.” He took the pieces of the frame out of her hand. “Don’t hurt yourself, sweetheart.”

His gaze drifted to the crumpled picture in her hand. Caroline hung her head in shame. He’d called her sweetheart again. Still so good and so generous while she steamrolled her way through everything he cared about.

“I’m sorry, Jack,” she whispered. “I didn’t mean to break it. I don’t know why I did it.”

“I know,” he said softly. “It’s okay.”

No matter what she did he almost never lost his temper. Even when she was fucking up his entire existence. Caroline started to cry. “It’s not okay. Why do you keep saying that when it’s never going to be okay?”

“Because it will be,” he said. “You might not believe it but I do.”

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