Jamison pushes himself off the wall and turns away from the diner, shoving his hands into his pockets. Happy couples erupt from the street and mingle together in droves of laughter and gentle touches that makes the weight in his chest pound painfully. When Ana finally rounds the corner, he follows in step, muttering quiet greeting and fighting every urge to reach out and place a hand on to her shoulder to stop her in place. A part of him is angry and through gritted teeth and a clenched jaw, he’s sure she can tell by just taking one glance over at him, but she never does. When he finally parts his lips to speak, she shifts and the words don’t come as easily as planned.

Jamison is so focused on how to get to the bottom of the situation that he doesn’t even notice the sudden shift in Ana’s voice, and how it breaks as she struggles to find the right words to say when she decides to break the silence between them. He doesn’t notice her wavering closer or her labored breathing as her knuckles shake in obvious turmoil. She walks past him a few steps to announce herself, and that’s when he finally realizes that this is far more serious than she’s let on. He curses himself beneath his breath for not knowing better. Obviously, she’d called him here for good reason. He has never seen or heard Ana cry and suddenly, Jamison feels sorry for being mad at her ― there at the mental cusp of every secret that she has freely given him and how he’s felt unable to share with her anything in return. He’s lost in his own thoughts until he hears her apologize, something she rarely does. “I’m sorry. I don’t know how it happened. I didn’t mean for this to happen. I wanted the baby, and …” He stares into her face with tears swimming in his eyes, unaware of how to cope with the news.

He feels a sympathetic twinge in his arm and then much lower, at his knee. He clenches his jaw as he remembers the taste and the scent, and the guilt that follows thereafter. More than anything, he wants to do the right thing. He wants to tell Ana that it won’t change him, it won’t change anything between them, but he knows that that’s a lie. He knows that they’ll still fight and shout and that it’ll shatter their latest, fragile truce and that they’ll go back to hurting one another again eventually. He wants to tell Ana that she should forget about it, that they should just sleep it off and lie down to forget. He wants to repeat the lies over and over again because maybe then she’ll hate him for it and that’ll be better in the end anyways. Go to bed and wake up and it’ll work itself out in the morning. But he knows it won’t, and for once, he wants to live up to all the trust placed in him. For once, he wants to be a good man.

A part of him wonders if that’s even possible. Jamison Todd has never been a particularly deep or very thoughtful individual. If a person seems rotten, he assumes they are rotten right down to the core. In fact, in many ways, he’s superficial and flat and that’s both good and bad. He’s busy wracking his brain for a solution when she abruptly breaks the silence with another quick apology and excuse for having to go somewhere. “Let’s talk about this another time,” she adds, turning on a heel to saunter out of sight. When all of it is said and down, he drops to his knees in the middle of the sidewalk they’ve occupied and yells into his hands.