I always thought it was a little odd that Gillian, the woman who was capable of finding the good in the worst people she met and even sympathised with criminals, could not find even the smallest amount of good in Wallowski. Don't really like Shazza, but couldn't get this out of my head.
Don't owm LTM etc.
I never imagined that finding my replacement would be easy. But then, until a few month ago I never even considered that i'd have to find someone to take my place. Never imagined there ever being a time where right by his side was not the place you would find me. So I never thought i'd be so willing to let someone slip into my shoes. Not like Zoe had done with me. Because thats what she did. All those years ago, she made a choice. She let me take her place. They might have seemed like the perfect family unit on the outside. It might have appeared that everything was as it should be to those whom they met. There would even be those who said that it was his relationship with me was the reason Zoe left. But it wasn't like that. They were over a long time before he met me. She was done with him, with them a long time before I arrived in their lives. But she stayed. She waited. She knew that leaving him, leaving him alone, it would hurt him in a way that would almost be irreparable. Would do damage to him like his mother before. Damage that she was sure would destroy him unless there was someone willing to try and put him back together again. So she stayed, and she watched, she waited. Waited until there was someone who could help him and eventually a cover up led him to require therapy. Eventually, he met me.
She could have stopped it, if she had wanted too. Could have put her foot down and told him to choose. And back then, even with fireworks flying from the moment we met, his loyalties were still to his family. To the woman who had given him meaning. Who had given him Emily. He would have chosen them. Chosen her. But she didn't ask him to make that choice. Despite all her stropping and storming around. Despite all her cursing and supposed distain for me, she let me in. Let me invaid their home, let me take over his life, let me become part of a family neither of us has realised we were looking for. Because that's where she needed me. Right at the center of their lives, right at the forefront of his life. Because I was her out. So she waited, she let me in. Let me become a part of their lives. Let me take her place. And she felt it, as we all did, the moment his loyalities changed. Felt the power of the moment when it became clear that I was the person he would choose, the person he would catch. When it became clear he would walk away from the woman who had given him the most a woman can give, in order to have me.
And that's when she left. When she knew it was over. When she knew it was me who could fill a void that she had never been able to fill. When she knew I was the one who was going to be able to pick up the pieces of him that would break as she walked away. When she knew I was the one who was going to be able to pick up the pieces of him that had broken long before her. When she knew I was the one. The one who would stay, no matter what. She let me replace her, let me be the one because she could see that's what I was. I was his missing piece, the person who could bring him back from whatever dark and twisted path his mother had set him on years ago. I was the person who would never judge him. Never question. Never faulter.
And for so long I was that, and despite everything I still am. As I search for my replacement there is no judgement, no questions. And I am as certain of my love for him as I have always been. Which is maybe what makes it easier. Knowing that it is love that is guiding my decisions. Love powering my steps away from him.
But the thing that makes it easiest is him. Because without him knowing that i'm searching for someone to fill the space beside him, he finds my replacement. Brings someone into our lives who I know, will be able to take my role beside him. If I push him hard enough.
Sharon Wallowski probably wouldn't have been my first choice. Something sits heavy in my gut, something telling me she's not worthy of him, but i'm working on a time restriction and so I find a way to accept her role in his life. Find a way to live with how one day, not long from now, people will mutter the question, 'have you seen Cal and Sharon' into the air I once breathed. Into the air that once belonged to Cal and I.
He's wary at first. Unsure how to respond to my so obvious destain for the detective. Unsure why i'm being so uncharacteristically 'bitchy'. Confused by my inability to see her as anything more than a bent cop. But then it changes. Me disliking her, it brings out something primal in him. Something he can't control. Like when you're a kid, and you're mean to the little girl you like because you don't know how else to act. Only we're not kids, and whatever buttons of mine he's hoping to press by having her hang around, whatever change in our relationship he's trying to bring about by dangling her infront on me backfires, and he ends up pushing himself further away from me and closer to her. Exactly as I knew it would.
They're so alike, him and her. More alike that him and I ever were. More alike than we ever could be. Me and him, we're cut from different matetial. That's one of the reasons we always worked so well, I thought. Because we were capable of seeing things in one another that we were simply incapable of finding in ourselves. That's why Zoe picked me. Because I was different. Different to him, but also different to her. She allowed me to take her space because I could see things she couldn't. Because I could see past who he pretended to be, and into the parts of him she couldn't ever find. She picked me because I was different to her, and that's what I was looking for in my replacement. Someone to be different to me. So that when he looks at her, he won't be faced with the memories that I know will threaten to plague him. When she takes her place next to him, he won't turn to her and be reminded of me.
We're more alike, Sharon and I, that I would have liked. Seem to both be driven by a desire to protect our partners whatever the cost may be. But, my time is limited, and so I focus on our differences. And justify our similarities until I can't see how they can be anything other than good. Cal needs someone who's willing to bend the rules, who's willing to look the other way. And she will. She won't do it for the same reasons I did, but she will do it none the less. So I push forward, accepting the detective in the knowledge that once i'm gone, she might just be able to keep him out of jail. Keep him safe. Keep my absence from being the end of him.
I expected it to take longer than it does. Expected my task to be unfinised by the time I have to leave. Expected him to fight for us harder, but it happens fast. Something in him understanding that I have a reason for my sudden change in attitude. Something in him knowing that I have good reasons for pushing him into the path of another woman. A woman I so obviously dislike. So he allows it, allows me to push him towards her. Doesn't fight me as I push him away from me.
So it happens quickly. And while it's exactly what i've been pushing for, when it does happen, I realise how unprepared I am for what it means. How unprepared I am for the ending of something that could have been so much more. How unprepared I am for the ending of the something that barely began.
It's a cold winters morning, the kind where the air is thick with the promise of snow. The kind that used to be my favourite, but for the short time I have left, will be tainted with the memories of losing him. The three of us are walking through a crime scene, and from the outside it would look like three collegues, three friends even. The three of us in a line, Cal centered as always, talking and splaying his arms around all over the place. It's this way, the way he's empowered and passionate about his work, his skill, that I will try and picture when I look back. As I remember him. To the ouside it would look normal, and not like a friendship that was supposed to last a lifetime, a friendship that was supposed to be so much more, is about to fall apart.
But that's what happens. It one small second, in one small reflex motion, everything i've been hoping for and dreading comes alive before my eyes. She takes my place. In perfect harmony, like someone somewhere had it all planned, we hit a patch of ice, and both her and I lose our footing. And after a brief second where our history threatens to override everything i've been pushing him towards, he reaches out and catches her. And as I fall to the floor, he pulls her upright, cementing her place beside him. A place that for so long belonged to me. A place that should have always belonged to me. But that's not the point anymore. The point is that by catching her he has someone, someone to help him heal. Someone to help him pick up the pieces that I will leave in my wake. Someone to pick up all the broken bits of him that I wish I wasn't going to cause by leaving. And as I land on the ground, surrounded by the broken bits of ice that if you look closely enough, appear to mimic the way my heart is breaking, I realise that while it happened alot quicker than I thought, alot quicker than I would have liked, it's time.
And yet, there's a look on his face, an immediate remorse and regret in his eyes as he turns to find me on the floor, and instant offering of his hand and gentleness of his touch as he locks his fingers around mine and pulls me to my feet that has me concerned. Because the warmth of this touch spreading across my skin from fingers he won't remove from my arms, the pain on his face as he realises he saved her instead of me, the way he so quickly turned away from her, it screams something I don't want to see. It screams that i'm the one. Screams that there can be others by his side, but he will always want me. Screams that no matter who I push him towards, no matter who I make him think he should catch, I am the person his heart will long to save.
But my time is running out, which means it has to he her. So, with tears burning my eyes, and my secret threatening to tumble from my lips and ruin everything, I shake my head, and shrug off the unease that is sitting heavy in my stomach.
I'm running out of time. So she has to be the one. He has to save her, has to want to save her, has to want her. He has to stop looking at me with love and regret and a million other things in his eyes. He has to stop looking back at me, and start looking forward. He has to let go of me, and keep holding onto her.
Because I can't be the one anymore. I have to go, and he can't come with me. I have to go, and he has to stay.
Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed. Was going to do this as a one shot, but might add another chapter if people want one. Reviews appreciated.