A small piece inspired by Carrie Underwood's Good in Goodbye. Enjoy.

Disclaimer: not mine

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Victoria Parker was by no means a romantic.

She loved, of course, and she had even been married before. Carlton was her first serious relationship in college and when he proposed to her at the end of their senior year, she had been convinced she could do no better. So she said yes.

The years that followed were not all bad, but they were certainly not the stuff of her dreams. When she was a little girl, she had hoped and dreamed of her prince charming, of having a home and children to fill it with.

When it became more and more clear that Carlton would not fulfill those dreams, it left her with bitterness and heartache. She loved him, yes. But she deserved to be happy, too.

So when she found herself crossing a street, ready to meet her fiance for dinner, she was taken aback by broad shoulders and an all too familiar laugh.

Carlton.

I heard you laughing in a crowd

Outside a restaurant we used to go to

I caught a glimpse that stopped me in my tracks

It took me back

Reaching the sidewalk, she found herself suddenly unable to move. There were a few people walking about, engaged in conversation and even laughing. But she didn't notice them.

Her gaze was focused on her ex-husband, standing just a few feet away from her. As surprising as it was to see him, she was nearly shocked by the sight of a giggly, blond haired toddler perched safely on his shoulders.

"Carlton."

He stiffened and turned in her direction, his shocked expression no doubt mirroring her own. "Victoria?"

She pushed through the crowd until she was standing in front of him. "Hello, Carlton."

He looked dumbfounded until the little girl on his shoulders gently patted his head. "Daddy, who's that?"

Victoria let her gaze move upwards, until she saw the little girl's face.

There was doubting where she had gotten those stunning blue eyes.

You looked happy with that little girl

Up on your shoulders

Happy, I know where she got those crystal eyes of blue

Time's been sweet to you

He gently patted her knee. "This is a friend of Daddy's, angel. Can you say hi?"

"Hi!" She held tighter to her daddy. "I'm Margaret Grace Lassiter!"

Carlton let out a belly laugh and squeezed his girl. "That you are." To Victoria, he said, "She's doing this thing now where she's telling everyone her entire name. Juliet thinks it's hilarious."

"Juliet…" Vaguely she remembered the partner he had mentioned while he was trying to convince her not to end their marriage. It certainly seemed as though things had worked out well for him.

"Mm hmm. We just had dinner and now we're getting some ice cream. Aren't we, Mags?"

"Ice cream!" she repeated delightedly, her little fingers burying themselves in his hair. "But we gotta wait for Mommy!"

"Indeed we do."

The restaurant door opened and a heavily pregnant woman walked over to Carlton. Victoria felt a little dumbfounded at the way Carlton looked at her, as though she had hung the very moon above them.

He never looked at her like that.

Carlton leaned down and kissed Juliet sweetly. His left hand went to her belly and Victoria caught a flash of a wedding ring. "Ready for ice cream?"

"Mm hmm." She slipped her hand into his and finally seemed to notice Victoria. "Hi."

Victoria froze again and Carlton swept in. "Sweetheart, this is...an old friend. She was just saying hello." He glanced over at Victoria again. "It was good to see you."

"You as well, Carlton."

"Daddy, ice cream!" Maggie reminded him, earning another adoring grin from her father.

"Okay, princess. We're going." He cast one more gaze to Victoria before turning to leave with his family.

She watched them go, standing there long after they had disappeared from her sight.

"Be happy, Carlton."

As bad as it was, as bad as it hurt

I thank God I didn't get

What I thought that I deserved

Sometimes life leads you down a different road

When you're holding onto someone

That you gotta let go

Someday you'll see the reason why

Sometimes, yeah sometimes, there's good in goodbye

Finis.