Harmony was growing quickly as the months flew by, and River had been there through all of it. He knew Melody was frustrated with him and felt that things may have been going in the wrong direction, so he curbed his after hours activities. Up until this night, Melody had kept quiet about her concerns. The house was peaceful and joyous just the way she always wanted it to be. She loved that he had been at home more often and didn’t want to wake up from her dream, but she had to know what was going on with him. They were sitting on the porch one night just after she finally got Harmony to sleep. His arms were wrapped around her waist and her head nestled on his shoulder. The night was so still and quiet, she could hear faint beats of his heart. It was the most perfect moment, but she had to ruin it. She had questions. She was afraid to ask for fear of how things may end, but she had to know. When she felt courageous enough, she sat up and hoped for the best.
“I…” Oh Watcher, please don’t let this get out of hand!
“What is it,” he asked.
She didn’t quite know what to ask or where to begin. “Do you…am I…are you still attracted to me?”
His head jerked back and left eyebrow rose. “What?”
She didn’t break eye contact for a second. “Well…are you?”
“Of course I am! What is this, Mel?”
“You don’t care that I’ve gained weight?”
Narrowed eyes accompanied his raised eyebrow and jerked back head. “No. Why would I?”
She felt pressure building up behind her eyes, and it tried to force out some tears, but she wouldn’t let them go. Strangely enough, she almost wanted him to say yes. At least then there would be something she could actually do to fix the problem. “I’m just trying to figure it out,” she said.
“Figure what out?”
“Why you keep leaving me!” She failed to keep the tears at bay and they rolled down her face one by one.
He reached for her hand and held it. His other hand gently wiped the falling tears. “Bae…I haven’t left you. I’m right here.”
He knew what she meant but was trying to avoid that conversation for obvious reasons, but she was determined. “But will you be tomorrow or the next night?”
He looked up at the sky and let out a loud, long sigh. All his training and years in the S.I.A. taught him how to be a good spy and cover his trail. That training helped him deal with his friends, children, and suspects, but when it came to his clever, needy wife, he felt like he was on his own. “What do you want me to do,” he asked.
“I just want you! I don’t feel like I have you anymore. I feel like…I’m not as important.”
His heart was like a sinking ship, and her words were the canons that made the gaping holes. He wished that he could tell her that she was the reason for everything he did even when it didn’t make sense. It would change everything if he could tell her that he was trying to protect her. But, he couldn’t. He had to suck it up and let her believe whatever it was she wanted to believe and hope that things didn’t get any worse for them. However, he tried to say as much as he could. “Melody, you are the most important person in my life! I love you so much…I’d die for you! I know our life didn’t turn out how you wanted, but one thing hasn’t changed for me. I will do anything and everything to keep you happy and safe. Do you believe that?”
She looked deep into his eyes. She wanted to believe him; she did believe him. But there was still some uncertainty about him.
He knew what was happening on her side of the bench and knew he had to play along if he planned on showing any signs of contriteness. “Do you want me to promise to spend less time with the guys? I’ll do that if you really want me to.”
“Riv…” She sighed. “Riv, I don’t want you to spend less time with them because I ask you. I want you to act on your own convictions.”
He was screaming inside. ALL of this is about my convictions!! Every lie! Every second of every day is all about my convictions!
She saw a hint of frustration in his eye. “I feel like if I have to keep making you stay home you’ll grow to resent me, so I want you to want to stay. And I’m not asking you to never see them again. I just don’t understand why you feel you need to see them so much. It makes me feel like you’re running away or something.”
“Melody, I’m not running away. I promise! Ok? And…I’m not running to go be with someone else or whatever you’ve been thinking about me. I love you. I love coming home to you. You are still the girl of my dreams, and after all this time, sometimes I still can’t believe I’m married to you. We have great kids, and I love watching them grow. All of you are my life, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Ok?
“Do you believe me,” he asked.
“Of course,” She did believe it, but this wasn’t the first time they had a conversation like this. It was a cycle that never changed. His absences became unbearable. She nagged. He tried to reassure her about his undying love for her to avoid answering the questions about why he was absent. He stayed home for a period to show he meant what he said. Then it would begin all over again. Each time, she believed everything he said and hoped that things would get better, but this time she wasn’t holding her breath.