Thursday, March 11, 2010


Prologue

Three years ago



Camille Pearson sighed and looked at the clock. Nathan had missed dinner.
Again.
She shook her head, annoyed. They’d both gone into work at the hospital at the same time. They’d had the same schedule, and they were supposed to get off and go home. Together.
But instead, as usual as of late, Camille had to hunt Nathan down, and he said he had some paperwork he had to finish and he’d meet her at home for dinner. 
Four hours later, Camille realized that, once again, he’d taken another shift, and didn’t even bother to call.
She looked down at the large engagement ring Nathan had given her over a year ago. Every time she tried to make plans for the wedding, he would say something like, “Now’s not the right time, babe” or “We’re so close to having all of our dreams come true, we can get married then”.
Camille was tired. Tired of sitting around all night waiting for him. Tired of eating dinners alone. She was tired of feeling like she was the only person in their relationship.
They’d been together for five years. They met in medical school after Camille had transferred to John Hopkins. The first day of class, Nathan had sat his gorgeous, tall, dark handsome self down next to her and she was immediately smitten. When she panicked realizing half way through class her laptop was dying because she’d forgotten to charge it the night before, Nathan discreetly leaned over and whispered in her ear that she could copy his notes after class. Camille believed she’d instantly fell in love.
Unfortunately, Nathan had a girlfriend that he’d been with since undergraduate school. So Camille had settle for becoming best friends with him, secretly pining over him at a safe distance.
The night of their graduation from medical school, Nathan showed up to a party, drunk and upset because he’d found out that not only was his girlfriend doing a residency across the country, but she’d been cheating on his for years now.
Camille had been the one to comfort him and eventually their friendship blossomed into a wonderful relationship.
But now…
Nathan was all about “becoming the youngest chief of staff” at the Baltimore hospital they worked at. She’d known this since they first met. She’d supported his dream. What she didn’t know was that she would begin to lose what she wanted the most while he went for what he wanted the most.
Him.
Camille sighed, blew out the candles she’d lit for the romantic dinner she made and close the robe that went with the sexy nightie she was wearing. She gathered up the food, took it to the kitchen, wrapped it up and put it in the fridge.
She couldn’t do this anymore, Camille thought as she walked through their apartment to the bedroom. She wiped a tear from her eye as she crawled into bed. She was done crying herself to sleep at night.

***

Nathan walked up the brownstone apartment with a pep in his step, and flowers in his hands. He was sure Camille would be pissed that he’d missed another dinner, but he would make it up to her. He was so excited to share the news he’d gotten this morning. He unlocked the door and froze when he saw suitcases in the living room.
“Cam?” he called out, looking around their home confused.
He tossed his keys on the small table next to the door and noticed an envelope with his name on it.
As he picked it, he heard Camille’s footsteps. She looked startled when she saw him standing there. 
“Nathan…”
“Cam?” he looked down at the suitcases again. “What’s with the bags? Did I forget about a trip you had planned to go to Coalton?”
Camille shook her head, and her eye, which were red and puffy, rolled upward.
“And that’s exactly why I’m leaving,” she mumbled under her breath. 
Nathan took a step forward. “I’m sorry I missed dinner last night,” he said. “But I got great news. The chief gave me a promotion at the hospital. We’re almost there baby!”
He wrapped his arms around her, and when she just stood there, with no enthusiasm, her arms limp at her sides, he took a step back.
“That’s good for you,” she said looking down.
“Camille,” Nathan said, studying her face. “What the hell is going on? I know I screwed up and forgot to call about working another shift but I’ll make it up to you.”
Camille shook her head. “I’m tired of ‘I’ll make it up to you’, Nathan. I’m tired of all of this.”
She moved around him, but he grabbed her arm. “Wait a minute. What the hell are you talking about?”
“This…this isn’t working anymore Nathan.”
“What do you mean this isn’t working?” he asked, his fist clenching the flowers in his hands.
“You’re never home Nathan. You’re always too busy with work, to never have anytime for us.”
He ran a hand down his face. “Cam, we see each other…everyday at work.”
“But we don’t see each other. The fact that you thought I was going to a trip to visit my family and didn’t remember…you’re always forgetting something when it comes to us, or too busy. We’re suppose to be creating a life together. And all this is, is me sitting around everyday, wondering if you’ll have time for me today.”
“Camille, you’ve known since we met what my goals were. I thought we were in this together.”
“But we’re not in this together,” she shouted. “It’s all about your career, nothing else. I’m tired of sitting here, twiddling my thumbs, waiting for our life to begin.”
Nathan glanced at the envelope on the table by the door. “So…what? You were just going to leave and not say anything? After being together five years, that’s how you were going to do me? Just leave me a ‘Dear John’ letter? That’s real messed up, Cam.”
“Yeah, maybe so. But you probably wouldn’t have noticed for at least a day or two.”
He watched as she tugged the ring off of her finger then sat it on the table next to the letter, then picked up her bags.
“I’ll send for the rest of my things, later this week,” she said. Her hand trembled as she turned the doorknob.
“Camille,” he nearly begged, but she refused to turn and look at him.
“Goodbye, Nathan,” she said with a tremor in her voice. Then she yanked the door open and rushed out.
Nathan didn't know how long he stood there, but he lifted his hand to his face, surprised to feel the wetness on his cheek. Then he felt the anger bubble up inside of him as he tossed the bouquet of roses across the room.
They hit the door, then bounced off of the table, knocking the letter and ring onto the ground.
He’d come home, hoping that he would be able to celebrate his latest accomplishment with the woman he loved.
But now all he had was an empty feeling in his chest. 

And the only person who could fill it, had just walked out of his life.

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