“How could you,” she says, deadly quiet.
“It’s for your own good,” Oliver retorts, his voice still carrying that same harshness if only because he knows she can take it.
“You had no right,” she whispers, and now he can hear the tears beneath the words, the way she’s fighting it, and he wants to pull her in, comfort her, but he doesn’t. This is about bringing back the old Julianne, and he grabs her wrists as she goes to hit him on the chest, one angry tear escaping dwon her cheek.
“Julianne!” he yells. “It’s time to let go.” He glances over at the remnants of the fire, her father’s possessions reduced to ashes. “You’re a shell. You’ve been hanging onto something that no longer exists. No, fucking listen to me. You’re still alive and you don’t need to go around carrying your father’s death like, like goddamn shackles around your ankles. Just let go. Move on. This is the first step. You just… nothing you do now can fix the way your relationship was with him, do you understand that?”
She’s fully crying, now, silent sobs wracking her shoulders, and he lets her. They both know it’ll be the last time. She doesn’t answer, but she does take his hands from her wrists. Free again. It’s a start.
( juliannevonunwerth )