Time Heals All Wounds
Mia opened her eyes and her gaze immediately locked with Steve’s. Time stood still as they gazed into each other’s eyes, looking deeper into each other. Joe’s visit came as a surprise to Mia. Obviously, Steve had not been expecting him either.
Mia had watched the entire scene unfold from the top of the stairs, and when she saw the stack of letters in Steve’s hands she immediately knew who had written them. After years of unanswered questions and doubts, Steve finally had in his hands the one thing that could have saved them years of anger and pain. That was all in the past now.
Despite Steve finally having those letters, they weren’t of any use to them now. Nothing could bring back their unborn child, not even those letters. Time changed everyone, including herself and Steve. Even though she loved him with every fiber of her being, sometimes love was not enough, especially when the safety of their child was their top priority.
Mia did not know when she had closed her eyes, or how long she had been sitting there, thinking. All she knew was that Steve was suddenly at her side, sitting one step below her, holding her hand. She opened her eyes once again and was shocked to find such vulnerability in Steve’s eyes. Sure she’d seen him shed a tear or two before, but never looking so exposed. Just the sight of him made her heart break even more, if that was possible.
“I’m so sorry,” he said in a hoarse whisper. He looked down at their hands, cleared his throat, and looked up and into her eyes once more. “I’m so sorry for ever doubting you, for thinking you would be capable of making up such horrible lies. I know sorry is not enough and it won’t ever be enough to take away all the pain my father’s lies caused you, but I swear to you if I would have had any idea I would have been right there by your side through it all.”
“I know,” she whispered. Mia slipped her hand out of Steve’s hold and wiped the tears that were falling from her eyes. “It’s just – none of that matters anymore, Steve. What’s done is done and there is nothing we can do about the past anymore.”
Steve nodded in acceptance. She was right, but it still hurt. Just thinking of everything that could have happened if he had known made his heart ache. But Mia was right. They couldn’t dwell in the past. All they could do was close that door and focus on what they had now, that’s if they still had something to hold onto.
They both remained silent, each lost in their own thoughts. Wondering, what now? but both too afraid to utter a word.
“Remember when we used to sit just like this, in silence, staring out into the horizon, for hours,” Steve said smiling at the memory. “Except, the silence was welcomed, peaceful. Now, it’s just painful.” He turned to look at Mia, who had leaned her head on the rails and was staring at who knows what downstairs.
“We were kids. We didn’t have a care in the world,” she replied softly.
Steve nodded leaning his head against the wall. “Did you ever love me?”
It was very unexpected, which had Mia snapping her head to look at Steve. She looked at him like he had grown another head. Where had that question come from, she wondered. “Are you serious?” she asked, bewildered.
“It’s a fair question. With everything that has happened, can you blame me for having doubts?”
Mia wiped the lone tear that had fallen from her eye and turned to look at him fully. “You are the first and only man I have ever been in love with.”
“What about Derek?” he asked.
“I loved Derek,” Mia said without hesitation, immediately noticing Steve stiffen. “I loved him, but I was not in love with him the way I was in love with you.”
“Why didn’t you ever marry him?” he asked.
Mia sighed and turned away from him. “Why are you doing this, Steve? We’ve already been through this.”
Steve slid closer to Mia and placed a finger under her chin to have her face him. “I’m trying to understand, Mia.”
“Understand what?” she asked confused.
“I’m trying to understand how you would be with a man who was capable of kidnapping you, and possibly kill you, yet you don’t want to be with me. You knew from the beginning what my plans were. The same man you are using as an excuse to leave me is the same man who brought you back to the island.” Steve looked intently into Mia’s eyes. “You knew the danger he possessed, yet you still chose to be with me. Now you want to leave. What happened to sticking together through thick and thin?”
Mia pushed his hand aside and avoided his intense gaze.
“Look at me, Mia,” Steve demanded in a low voice. “Don’t shut me out. Do you still love me?” Steve was putting himself completely on the line. He was exposing himself to more pain but if this was his last chance, then he was going give it his all.
Mia looked at Steve. “Yes, Steve, I still love you. I love you so damn much and I will always love you. No one will ever be able to replace you because you have marked my life in so many ways I can’t even begin to explain.” Mia pushed Steve aside, stood up, and rushed down the stairs. She needed to breathe fresh air. Steve wanted an answer, and he wasn’t going to stop until he got one, but she couldn’t think with him so close. She walked to the back doors and stepped outside into the fresh air of the night, breathing in the smell of the beach.
Mia didn’t stop until her feet hit the edge of the water. Some time from when she arrived to now she had removed her shoes, probably when she sat to look at the pictures. Now she could feel the cool water hitting her feet, but she didn’t mind. The sensation was welcomed, and she closed her to relish from it. Mia didn’t have to open her eyes to know he was close by. Her thoughts were confirmed when she felt his strong arms wrap around her small frame.
“Don’t run, Mia,” he whispered right next to her ear, sending shivers down her spine. “Don’t run from us. We are stronger than this. We can make it if you just give us a chance.”
Mia felt the last of her defenses fall. She needed to decide if her fear was stronger than her love for this man, for the small family they had built. “I’m scared,” she whispered. She turned in Steve’s arms and stared at his shirt. “I’m terrified.”
Steve hurried his fingers in her hair and made her look at him. “What are you so afraid of?” he asked in earnest.
“Of everything,” she confessed. “Of this, us, not working out. I’m afraid we won’t be able to get through everything that has happened.”
“We’ll make it. I swear to you we’ll make it, even if it’s the last thing I do,” he whispered on top of her head, holding her tight to him. “I love you, Mia.”
Mia stepped away from him, giving herself enough room to look at him and say what she had to say. “It sounds so easy, Steve, but the truth is that I’ve hurt you in so many ways. I can’t even forgive myself for all the pain I’ve caused you. Can you honestly look me in the eyes and tell me you have forgiven me for kissing Danny?”
Steve looked away from Mia.
“Thought so,” Mia said, his silence proving her point. “This is exactly what I’m afraid of. You’ll eventually use it against me and throw it in my face.”
Steve snapped his gaze back at Mia. “You can’t expect me to just forget that, Mia. Come on, you need to give me a break here,” he said spreading his hands out in exasperation. “It will take time to heal that wound. Put yourself in my shoes. What if I had been the one to turn to your best friend for comfort and kissed her?”
Mia flinched. She would have felt betrayed if Steve would have turned to Savi.
“You wouldn’t have liked it,” he answered for her. “It’s written all over your face. I saw the way you flinched from just thinking about it.”
“You’re right, I wouldn’t have liked it,” she snapped. “But how long Steve? How long will it take you to forget about it?”
“I’ll never be able to forget about it, Mia. Danny is like a brother to me, but I believe you when you said it didn’t mean anything,” he said honestly. “The only thing I can do is move on. It’ll take time, but we both have a lot of healing to do.”
Mia walked the small distance separating her from Steve. She placed her hands on his chest and looked up at him. “Do you really mean that?”
“Yes,” he answered without hesitation.
“You promise not to hate me for hurting you so much, and for blaming you for everything?”
Steve smiled at her. “I’ll admit it still hurts and it will hurt for a while, but I could never hate you.”
Mia closed her eyes in relief. She was afraid Steve would hate her for blaming him. She wrapped her arms around his waist and buried her face against his chest. “I love you so much, Steve.
Her voice came out muffled but he had understood everything she said. He didn’t know she was crying until he felt the dampness go through his shirt. Steve lifted her head and looked into her eyes. “I need you to say it Mia. I don’t want to get my hopes up.”
Mia scrunched up her nose in confusion, clearly not understanding what Steve wanted her to say. She was about to ask, but it finally dawned in her. “I love you Steve and I want us to be a family, if you’ll take me back.”
Steve threw his head back and laughed. He felt like a huge weight had been lifted off his shoulders. He sobered and looked down at Mia. He loved this woman and he would do whatever it took to never lose her again. Steve crashed his lips down on her and kissed her like he never had before. He felt like he was dreaming, and he did not want to wake up from this dream.
“Steve,” Mia whispered breathless as she broke the kiss.
“Yeah?” he whispered back equally breathless.
“I quit my job,” she said.
“I know,” he replied, kissing her once again.
“Steve this is important,” she said against his lips.
“It’s okay. I’ll talk to the governor,” he said matter of fact, trying to resume what he was doing.
Mia shook her head and pushed him gently away. “No, Steve,” she said trying to get him to listen. “I don’t want to go back. I’m done with that.”
Steve looked at, really looked at her and saw that she was serious. “Are you positive? Is this what you really want?”
Mia nodded as she ran a hand through her hair. “I want to spend some time at home with Sophie. I already missed a lot of her life and I don’t wan to miss another day.”
“Whatever you want Mia,” he said. “I can provide for you and Sophie.”
“It’ll just be for a year or two until I can find another job. Something that won’t take up a lot of my time.”
“Take all the time you need,” he said.
“We’ll make it, right Steve?” Mia asked suddenly, wanting to hear it from Steve. “It’ll take some time, but that’s what time is for, right?”
Steve smiled and kissed her softly. “We’ll make it, Mia. Time will heal all wounds.”
Mia smiled and hugged Steve. It was a step in e right direction, and she knew, with Steve by her side, they would make it. Time will do its job and begin to heal all the wounds in their life.