“How long did you think I would wait?” Lauren snapped.
“Sorry, Cheryl made me read the kids a bedtime story,” Patrick replied as he got into the car.
“We need to stop sneaking around like this,” Lauren said. “I mean, it’s almost 9, and your wife thinks you’re out picking up papers to grade. How long do you think she’s gonna buy that?”
“Lauren, let’s not do this right now. Just drive.”
“You can’t avoid the topic forever, Patrick.”
“All that matters is that I love you.” He squeezed her hand.
“It’s a beautiful night out, isn’t it?” she smiled. “I thought we’d go look out over the water and count the stars.”
“Lauren, do you not see that it’s raining? It’s freezing outside. Let’s go somewhere warm.”
The car approached the empty bridge and came to a stop in the middle.
“Lauren, you’re crazy. I’m not going out in the rain.”
“Then I will.” She walked to the railing and climbed over the metal bars.
“What the hell are you doing?! It’s wet, Lauren, you can fall!”
“Now can we talk about it, Patrick?”
“You’re insane. There’s nothing to talk about. Just come down from there before you get hurt.”
“Not until you tell me what our future is. Do you expect to sneak around for the rest of your life, lying to wife and kids? I’m not going to be your student forever. I’m graduating next month, and I’m never going to see you again.”
“Babe, that’s not true. You’ll work close by, get yourself a nice apartment, and we can see each other whenever we want.”
“That’s not what I want! I’m moving to Chicago, Patrick. A huge law firm gave me a position and I want you to come with me.”
Patrick sighed. “You know that I can’t just leave everything. My kids, my wife-”
“Oh, please. Your marriage is miserable, and you’re always at work so your kids never even see you.”
“You know, it’s not that easy to just leave. I have commitments!” he shouted.
“Who do you love more?!”
“That’s it, I’m leaving.” Patrick began to make his way to the car.
“Would you really leave me here like this?”
He sighed and turned around. “Lauren, I really do love you. I want to be with you. But I’m not ready to leave Cheryl yet. Now please, will you come down from there?”
Lauren stared at the blackness of the water, the waves intensified with the falling rain.
“Lauren, please. Take my hand.”
She faced Patrick with teary eyes and grabbed his outstretched hand. “I’m sorry,” she said. She pulled his arm and they both fell over the railing into the water below.
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