Sergei looks so sad :( This scene from his POV is one that was not seen in LIFE ON THE EDGE. It occurred at a pivotal juncture in his and Emily's relationship. Read more about it after the spoiler space....
After Emily found out the truth about Sergei's past, she didn't know if she could trust him, and she shut him out as she tried to figure out her feelings. This scene takes place during that time.
The strong aroma of coffee and the sound of the barista calling out orders was the same, but the café felt entirely different without Emily sitting across from me. I’d shown up every afternoon that week, hoping she’d stop by, only to be disappointed every day. She said she needed time to think, but if I could get her face-to-face outside the rink, she’d have to see how much I regretted lying to her.
The front door swung open, and my hope diminished a little more when I saw Chris and not Emily. He spotted me and came over to my table.
“If you’re waiting for Em, she’s headed home.”
My shoulders dropped, and I raked my hand through my hair. “I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.”
Chris sat in the empty chair. “You really screwed up, man.”
“I’m aware of that.”
“Why didn’t you just tell her the whole story from the beginning?”
I looked down and traced the rim of my cup with my thumb. “I didn’t want her to know I’d made such a stupid mistake.”
“So it was a pride thing.”
“No, it was more…” I paused and shifted in my seat. “She has really strong values, and what I did goes against everything she believes in.”
Chris's brow wrinkled. “Yeah, she goes to church and all, but it’s not like she’s some judgmental person. You should know that.”
“I know she’s not judgmental, but I’m sure it's changed how she sees me...” I rubbed my forehead. “It doesn’t matter now why I kept it from her. What’s important is how do I keep from losing her?”
“Well, you’re gonna have to prove she can trust you. And I suggest you do some serious groveling.”
“I’ve left a ton of messages. She won’t talk to me.”
“You have to think of something that will really get her attention, something she can’t ignore.” Chris rose and shoved his hands in his pockets. “And can you figure it out soon? I don’t like seeing Em so miserable.”
“Believe me, I’d do anything to make her smile again.”
“Good luck,” Chris said and went toward the counter.
I stood with my coffee and grabbed a lid for the cup on my way out. No use hanging around there if Emily wasn’t coming. During the drive home, I thought about what Chris had said. Saying “I’m sorry” over and over hadn’t worked. What could I do that would be more meaningful?
When I reached my apartment, I tossed my keys on the coffee table and they landed next to the Lyrics book. I picked it up and flipped through the songs, reading all the notes I’d written to Emily. Line after line of heartfelt emotion inked on the pages. She’d loved them so much. My chest tightened, and I looked up at the photo of us that sat beside the TV. Would reading my notes remind her how much we belonged together? I was haunted by the look in her eyes when she’d run out of my apartment. It had felt like she’d lost all faith in me, like she didn’t even recognize me.
I remembered a particular song that had lyrics about being sorry, and I searched the index for the page. I read the words a few times and got a pen from the kitchen to highlight them. Should I include a note? I took a notepad and sat with the pen poised above the blank paper. Again and again I tried to start writing, but I made only frustrated scratches on the pad. Nothing felt powerful enough to describe my regret.
I decided to forego the note and let the lyrics express my feelings. Heading back to my car, I made the quick trip to the florist on Main Street. After looking at a variety of flowers, I selected one deep pink rose and placed it in the book, marking the song of apology.
When I pulled into Emily’s parking lot, I was glad not to see her car. I wanted to leave the book and let it speak for itself. That way I was still giving her space while also showing her how sorry I was.
I set the book on the doormat and climbed back into my car. This had to work. The more time that passed without Emily speaking to me, the more I feared she was slipping away.
Whatever I had to do to prove myself to her, to make her believe in me again, I would do it. Emily was the greatest gift I’d ever been given, and the thought of losing her strangled me inside.
I could not let it happen.