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She leaves on a Monday.

She tries to leave on a Monday but

Aaron still smells like the ocean.

Or he doesn't, and it's all in her head, but

- the first time she held him he looked up at her and she almost dropped him, right there, he looked up at her and she

- didn't love him yet

- didn't know how much she would.

Her mother would brush her hair, sometimes, when she got tangles she couldn't undo herself. Kate sat quietly, big eyes looking at their reflection in the mirror, and felt loved. It was soft, and nice and

Kate loves her son. Fiercely. Violently. It hurts. It bleeds. Into everything she does. 

She runs her fingers through his baby hair and he stirs awake. His eyes open and he calls her name

- mommy -

and she can't leave him. She can't just up and leave him and

- one of these days he'll say mommy and it won't be her and

It hurts. Loving him, having him, seeing him, it hurts, every single second she has him is one more second it 

Isn't enough, loving him. And she knows, this, knows that love is not enough, love is not, it's not, it's

She wants to run. God, does she want to run.

But he curls up around her and breaths his baby boy breath on her skin and she can’t just 

Leave him? Can she?

She doesn’t belong here. It’s her house and she doesn’t belong and these people, this family (not hers, never hers) these blonde hair beings with the laughs and the blue eyes and

She doesn’t belong, but she can’t leave him. Yet. Not yet.

- he’ssolittlesolittlesolittleso

- he’s her baby. HERS.

She looks at him and it pulls at something inside, deep inside, it 

Rips her apart.

Stay mommy, he tells her. Smiles like a promise. Wraps his arms around her neck. Loves her. Just like that.