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"Now that you're gone
I can't cry hard enough
No, I can't cry hard enough
For you to hear me now..."

Can't Cry Hard Enough ~ Williams Brothers

Meant to Be

Part II - Together, Apart

	Half blinded by tears, Emily stumbled to her car, sat down, 
and sobbed uncontrollably.  She couldn’t believe it was over.  Things 
had been so perfect... maybe too perfect, she reflected.  
She’d been so in love, so happy.  And now her world was shattered in 
a million tiny pieces, and she had to pick them up and build it all 
over again.  A world without any Mark in it... or at least not in the 
way she wanted him in it.
	If there was a God, he would’ve kept us together, she 
thought fiercely.  There had to be some way... how could it be right 
to be apart when it was breaking her heart?  They were made and meant 
for each other... it had taken them so long, but they had finally 
figured that out.  The day he’d finally told her he loved her, 
she’d realized what had been missing from her life for so long - it 
had been him.  But now everything was broken, and she didn’t 
know why, or how... just that somehow, they’d decided that for 
everything to work, they couldn’t be together off ice.
	Oh, Lord... how in the world could she keep going without 
him?  How would she wake up tomorrow and skate with him?  
They’d sacrificed their love for their skating, and for their 
friendship, but right now, she couldn’t see either continuing without
it.  How could she could and skate with the man she’d loved - the man 
she still loved - and pretend nothing had happened?  How could 
they go back to being just friends after knowing a love so real that 
they’d crossed all the boundaries to find it?
	She was a total wreck, and she knew there was no way she was 
going to drive home like this.  She managed to stop crying and 
sighed.  Oh, well.  Her car could stay at the rink until tomorrow.  
Now, if she could only manage to control herself long enough to get a 
cab and get home...
	Inside, Mark was just as big a mess as she was.  Once she’d 
left, reality had hit him like a brick.  Oh, God... had he just told 
Em that it was over?  That they couldn’t make things work?  Had 
he been the one who’d ended it all?  He knew that everything
he’d said was true... he knew they couldn’t continue the way they had 
been... but he wasn’t thinking straight.  All he wanted was to run 
after her, take her in his arms, tell her everything had been a 
mistake, that they’d find a way to make it work, that he couldn’t
live without her around...
	Life without Emily.  Or life the way it used to be... with Em 
as a partner, with Em as a friend... without Em to love.  And not 
even the way it used to be, because now, the hope was gone... the 
hope that used to carry him through the hard days, the hope that
someday, Em would love him.  the wish that came true that day almost 
a year ago... Had it really been less than a year?  It seemed like a 
lifetime ago.  He could barely remember what life had been like 
before loving Emily.  He didn’t want to remember...
	But now he had to, because they had to build their lives up 
all over again to make their partnership work.  Sometimes he hated 
the sport, he really did.  There were days like today when he wished 
he could throw his skates over the nearest bridge and live like a
normal person.  A life when he and Em could love each other and not 
have to worry about balancing skating and life.  A life where this 
never would’ve happened, when they’d have had time and freedom to 
work around things like this without worrying that their career would 
be sacrificed because of it.
	Skating over love.  Skating, which had been the most 
important thing in his entire life for almost two decades.  Skating, 
which had brought them together, his obsession, his life.  Now, he 
didn’t know what was more important - skating, or her.  Before,
skating would’ve taken priority over any relationship, any girl... 
but this was her.  His Em... no longer.  Was it worth giving 
her up for skating?
	Being together was wrenching them apart.  Now, they were 
agreeing to stay apart to keep together.  It didn’t make any sense, 
but it was the way they’d decided things had to be...
	Then why was it breaking their hearts?	

Onto Part III ...: OR
Back to the story ...: