“You’re leaving?” Robyn asked Patrick, her heart pounding and a feeling of dread overcame her. “When?” He had just told her the awful news that he was leaving London and moving to Toronto. The two cities were worlds apart. The thought of never seeing him again was unbearable. They had known each other since she was in high school. He was there for her when her parents died in a tragic hit and run accident. They were on their way to a restaurant for dinner. They were going to celebrate their fortieth wedding anniversary. She had made the reservation for them just that morning.
At the time it happened, she was in a café having hot chocolate with him. It was after he took her home and had left that she received the devastating news. When the doorbell rang soon after Patrick left, she thought it was him and ran excitedly to the door and froze when she saw a police officer standing there instead. She felt numb after he broke the news and after he left, she walked stiffly over to the phone. She picked up the receiver and dialed Patrick’s cell number. He answered on the second ring. She had no memory of what she said to him but in about ten minutes he was at the house, holding her as she finally broke down. The pain she experienced then at the sudden loss of her parents was similar to the pain she was feeling now at the thought of losing him.
“I leave in three weeks,” he told her quietly, his expression tense as he studied her face. “I’m going to miss our conversations.”
“Is that all you’re going to miss?” she asked in a trembling voice. The tears threatened to come and she blinked them back. “Our conversations?”
His eyes darkened. “No,” he muttered thickly. “I’m going to miss you like crazy.”
“Then, why are you leaving me?” The tears were rolling down her cheeks now.
He reached out and cupped her face, his heart aching as he gazed down into her face. “Robyn, please don’t cry.”
He must be out of his mind, thinking that he could fly off to another part of the world and leave her behind. How could he when he loved her so desperately? He had fallen helplessly in love with her five years ago when she went to the office to take her father to lunch and he introduced them. He and her father enjoyed a good working relationship and after he retired, they kept in touch. Several times Patrick was invited to their home for dinner.
After her parents died, Robyn and he became very close. He loved her but didn’t know how she felt about him. He knew she cared about him but it could be the kind of love she would feel toward a dear friend. It tortured him to think that one day she would fall in love with someone else and he seized the first opportunity to leave London before that eventuality happened. He chose Toronto because it was so far away. And now, as she stood here, crying, he felt his resolve to leave weakening.
“I can’t help it,” she cried. “I love you, Patrick.”
Groaning deeply and unable to help himself, he lowered his head and began to kiss her, his mouth moving hungrily on hers when he felt her response. She hugged him tightly around the waist and pressed against him as she kissed him back wildly, her love for him gushing out.
The frenzy exchange of kisses lasted for several minutes and then he raised his head to look down at her. “Come with me to Canada.”
She stared at him. “Do you mean it?” she asked. It was hard to imagine leaving the city where she was born and raised but she was willing to leave it for him. She would go anywhere with him. He was her life.
He nodded. “Yes, I do,” he muttered thickly. “I love you, Robyn and now that I know that you love me too, I can’t go to Canada without you.”
Her heart leapt with joy and Canada which just a few moments ago was the place that was going to take him away from her was to be their new home. She put her arms around his neck, her eyes shining. “I never thought I’d be happy to leave London.”
“Before we leave, I want us to get married.”
Her eyes widened. “Married?”
“Yes. I don’t want us to be shacking up. We will get married on Saturday.”
Her head was spinning. He loved her and wanted to marry her before he took her to Canada with him. Her world which had seemed dark and dismal a few moments ago was bright and beautiful again. Smiling through her tears, she pulled his head down to hers, closing her eyes as their lips touched.