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from Annie's Karma
“Okay. This is the last of the boxes. Now we can get out of this hell-hole.”
“Uh-huh.” Annie kept her back to him so he couldn’t see the tears on her cheeks.
“Hey, are you okay?” Dave put the box down and went to her. He put his arms around her middle and gently pulled her back against him. “Do you want to talk about it?”
“No.” She turned in his arms and wrapped her arms around his waist. “It’s stupid. I haven’t been living here for months… and I certainly wasn’t happy in this place.” She buried her face against his chest.
Dave could only remember that Annie almost died here. He glanced over her head and noted the bare walls and the hollow vacancy in front of him. Still, this had been her home and he had to remind himself of that. At some point he hoped she felt happy about moving in to this house, he wondered if she would ever remember that joy.
“I bet you had dreams, though, when Scott and you first moved in here.”
She shrugged in his embrace. “I used to be naïve.”
Dave felt only anger towards Scott and sadness for Annie. He hoped, sooner rather than later, that he could return some of that innocence to her. Sometimes Dave wondered if he could have lived with himself, if Annie would ever have forgiven him, if he had made sure that Scott hadn’t lived to go to trial, but that wasn’t the kind of law enforcement officer and not the kind of man he was. He only hoped that Annie could love him for that. He held her just a little bit tighter.
“I hope the next person who lives here makes it into a real home.” Annie sniffled and backed out of his arms. “I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be whiny.”
“You’re not being whiny.” He reached out and caught her chin with his fingertips. He tilted her face up to look at him and shrugged. “That’s beautiful of you to wish someone else happiness, especially someone you don’t know,” He narrowed his eyes, “Or do you?”