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They stared at each other, separated not merely by the expanse of the table, but also by a shared history that should have kept them united. Each was unwilling to back down. Both were eager to draw blood.

A contest of wills.

This was all it had come down to, all that was left between them.

The air grew heavy with unspoken accusations. The days of heated exchanges were long gone. Then, a breathy sigh from her, filled with pain.

‘I love you so much…But I’m not even sure I like you at all these days. I want to try again, to give us a chance again…but…and…I can’t forget how-‘

Unable or reluctant to continue, she bit off what she was about to say and averted her gaze, defeated.

A stark silence reigned for long minutes.

In truth, even she didn’t know what she was about to say. She couldn’t forget how he’d betrayed her with lies and infidelity in the later years of their marriage, and she couldn’t forget how he used to go on and on passionately about setting up the largest non-profit fund in the world. She had married a good man, a kind man…a passionate man. But a man who, over the years, had allowed his impassioned nature to run amok.

She could neither forget the shared laughter nor the tears wept alone in this marriage. Now, they warred within her, leaving her lost and distraught.

How could love win when trust had been broken and fears awakened? She wondered if she’d ever know how to choose.

My choice…and his.

A little voice within whispered. Perhaps the stalemate would finally be broken.

Taking a deep breath, she looked him in the eye and uttered the words that would take them both to a new chapter in their lives.