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Love Leaps

a short story

Karen Jerabek

Smashwords Edition

Copyright 2012 by Karen Jerabek

All rights reserved. No parts of thispublication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, ortransmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical,photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior permissionof the author.

Smashwords Edition, License Notes: Thisebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook maynot be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like toshare this book with another person, please download an additionalcopy for each recipient. If you're reading this book and did notdownload it, or it was not downloaded for your use only, thenplease download your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hardwork of this author.

Authors’ Note: This is a work of fiction.All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Anyresemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purelycoincidental.

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For Kate and Lily,

my heart, my joy, my loves

Love Leaps

β€œI don't understand what that means,” Istammer, trying to make sense of it all.

β€œWell, it just means I need some space,”Gray says quietly.

β€œI know, you said that. But what does itmean?” I ask, begging for answers. After spending almost a yeartogether, I'm not sure if this is his way of breaking up withme.

β€œI don't know, Emma. It just means I need alittle time to sort things out in my head,” he says.

β€œAre you breaking up with me?” I askpointedly.

β€œNo,” he hesitates.

β€œAre you sure, because this feels like abreak up,” I say choking on my tears.

β€œI'm sorry. I just haven't felt like myselffor a long time and I need to get back to who I am, that'sall.”

β€œI still have no idea what that means,” Isay exasperated.

β€œDon't you ever wonder if you're livingsomeone else's life, just going through the motions?” he asks.

β€œNo, I don't. Are you having some sort ofquarter-life crisis or something?”

β€œNo, well, maybe. I don't know. I just needsome time to figure it all out, that's all. Can you just trust me?”he asks but I can't answer him.

β€œEmma, I love you, but I just need thisright now,” he says quietly. β€œPlease don't cry.”

β€œI'm sorry,” I mutter as I wipe the tearsaway from my face with the back of my sleeve.

β€œDon't be sorry. I don't want to hurt you.Just give me a couple weeks or so to sort through all this stuffthat's jumbled in my head,” Gray pleads.

β€œSo we're not broken up?” I askhesitantly.

β€œNo, we're not,” he says, but I'm notreassured.

β€œAnd this is just for a couple weeks?” Iask.

β€œYeah, probably,” he says. β€œI don't knowexactly, but probably.”

β€œSo, what are you going to do, to figurethis out?” I throw at him, finding this whole idea of taking somespace ludicrous.

β€œI don't know. I think I might go visit Colefor the weekend or take a few days off from work. I don't reallyhave it figured out,” he says, sounding very tired.

β€œSo you're going to take some space and notsee me at all,” I say, blinking back the tears. β€œAre you going tocall me?”

β€œI don't know. If you need me, you can call,but I think I just need to have as few distractions as possiblewhile I get my life figured out.”

β€œI see,” I sigh.

β€œI know this is hard,” he says.

β€œYou have no idea,” I throw back at him.β€œYou're asking me to flip a switch and pretend like we're not acouple so you can go figure out your life or whatever without anyidea how long that's going to take.”

β€œI know it's really selfish of me, but I'vebeen feeling like I'm suffocating and I don't know what else todo,” he says.

β€œFine,” I say defeated.

β€œAre you really okay with this?” heasks.

β€œDon't ask me to condone this. I don'tunderstand this at all. But what other choice do I have?”

β€œI'm sorry,” he sighs. β€œI'm really sorry. Ihope that I can figure things out and be a better man and a betterboyfriend.”

β€œWell,” I sigh and take a deep breath. β€œGoodluck.”

β€œThanks,” he says and hangs up.

And just like that, the man I thought I wasabout to be moving in with is half way breaking up with me andgoing off to do some crazy self-exploration crap where he hopes tofind himself. I'm so not okay with this.

It's late and we've been on the phone for acouple hours. My head hurts and my eyes are tired and all I want todo is sleep. I toss my cell phone on my nightstand and flip off thelight. As I'm enveloped by darkness, the tears start rolling downmy cheeks and I'm overwhelmed by my sobbing. Drained and exhausted,I finally fall asleep after an hour of crying. My eyes are nearlyswollen shut and my pillow is drenched in tears. Sleep is awelcomed reprieve.

In the morning, I toss back severalibuprofen and chug a Red Bull. I need my head to stop pounding andI need some energy to get to work on time, actually getting thereat all will feel like an accomplishment. As I glance in my hallwaymirror on my way out of the house, I look like I'm headed to afuneral. I'm in head-to-toe black with my darkest sunglasses on.Maybe I should go change. Screw it, I tell myself. This is how Ifeel and I don't have time to change anyways.

I slide into my cubicle fifteen minutes latebut no one seems to care. Logging in at my computer, I startshifting through some folders, trying to look busy like I've beenthere since 8am. As soon as my computer loads, I open my email andshoot off a message to Jessica, my best friend, giving her thequick synopsis about Gray which I still can't seem to wrap my headaround.

β€œI don't get it,” she writes. β€œThis makes NOsense. Maybe this is just a lapse of sanity and after the weekend,he'll pull it together.”

β€œMaybe,” I mutter under my breath. I justwish I knew what he was talking about. The mystery continues.

A few hours later, Roger waves and smiles ashe's walking by my cube. I glance up, smile

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