As it turned out, I wouldn't have a chance to regret it.
The rest of the vacation was perfect. Traci and I had the best time. I felt like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I felt so happy and carefree for the first time in forever and couldn't wipe the smile from my face.
Ashton and I didn't talk didn't until I got back home. I didn't want to bother him in case he was with Brandi. And I figured he didn't call me because he didn't want to interrupt my time with Traci. Plus he had those "things" to take care of. So I didn't think much of it.
But when he called the day after I got home, I knew right away that something was wrong. He sounded sullen as he made a little awkward small talk. It worried me, so I asked him, "What's wrong? You seem upset?" Nothing could have prepared me for his answer.
Those words became the bane of my existence. I knew before he said anything else that I'd lost him for good.
She told him the day he got back home. He said he had to "do the right" thing and stay with her to raise their child. That didn't surprise me because he's an honorable man like that.
I didn't even attempt to talk him out of it, even though I knew better than anyone that you can raise happy children without being in a relationship with the other parent. I was devastated, to say the least. But I tried to think positively. He wanted children, so he was getting what he wanted.
We talked for quite a while, though it was mostly me listening to him vent his feelings about the situation. I understood his decision to stay with Brandi, and told him so. But I also told him that it wouldn't be good for us to stay in touch. If he truly wanted to be with Brandi, it would only lead to complications. He reluctantly agreed.
That was the last I spoke with him. The only way for me to start moving past it was to cut all ties. I deleted his number so I wouldn't be tempted to call him. And I also deleted my Twitter account. It wasn't like I used it anyway.
So it's been three months and I have no clue how or what Ashton is doing. Now and then Traci keeps me up to date on what's happening with the band. Their third album is doing well and they'll be starting another tour soon. But I won't be attending any shows.
I still struggle to not think about what could have been. Most days I fail miserably. I suppose it'll get easier with time.
Am I happy? Yes. In the important things in life, I have nothing to complain about. My kids are healthy and happy. I have an amazing job that pays well. I have the best family and friends in the world. Could I be happier? Definitely.
Did everything turn out as I thought it would when I met Ashton that August night nearly two years ago? Absolutely not. But I don't regret a single minute of the time we had together.
Reflecting on things I could have done or said differently, I know nothing would have changed the outcome. As Ashton said, if I hadn't left him when I did, we would have split up anyway, but on bad terms. Maybe Brandi would still be pregnant, or maybe not. It's impossible to know, and there's no use in punishing myself wondering about it.
I still love Ashton with all my heart, even though I shouldn't. I need to let go in the worst way. Unfortunately, I can't turn off my feelings like a light switch.
Sometimes I still get so angry at myself for not giving the relationship a fair chance. I understand why Ashton questioned my loyalty to the relationship. It wasn't all because he was paranoid. I was always looking for reasons why we shouldn't have been together. And I don't even know why. It was just some subconscious defense mechanism to avoid getting too attached, I guess. Too bad it didn't work. Maybe if I hadn't done that we'd be in a different place right now. Maybe I would be traveling the world with him, and I'd be the one having his baby. Or maybe it all turned out exactly the way it was meant to be. Maybe... or maybe not.
A/N: Well, there you have it. I know it's not your typical happily-ever-after ending. But isn't that more like real life? I had the hardest time deciding on how to end it. And the whole obsession thing didn't turn out as "wow" as I'd hoped, but I did the best I could without making it very unrealistic.
There's a short story sequel to this one. If you want to read more about Ashton and Aubree, it's called Addicted To Your Fix.
The fact that anyone would take time to read something I've written means the world to me. So thank you from the bottom of my heart. ❤ If you didn't already know, I have a few other stories you can check out if you're interested.