Once outside the Book Cafe Sheridan sank onto a bench, feeling as though she couldn't possibly move any farther.
Gwen sat beside her, looking concerned. "What are you going to do Sheridan?" Sheridan let out a harsh
little laugh. "What is there to do? I don't want a man who can't be loyal to me... a man that can't be trusted.
And even if I did, I would never break up a family. That baby deserves both a mother and a father Gwen."
"What about you? What about what you deserve?" Sheridan looked at Gwen incredulously. "Me? You think
I deserve Luis? That doesn't say much for your opinion of me Gwen... you think I deserve a liar and a cheat."
Sheridan picked absently at the hem of her dress. She'd never felt more miserable in her life than she did at this
very moment. And that was saying a lot, considering the terrible things she'd been through over the years. "Oh
Sheridan... I'm so sorry things didn't work out." Silent tears dripped down Sheridan's face and Gwen slipped
an arm around her. "Why can't I ever be happy? Why Gwen? All I want is what everybody else has... a family
and a real home." She wiped at the tears streaming down her cheeks. "What's wrong with me...?" she
"Nothing's wrong with you Sheridan. You're beautiful, caring, funny, smart... you just haven't met the right
man yet." "I really thought Luis was the one... the one that I've been waiting for my whole life... you
know?" "I know Sheridan. I thought he was a nice guy too... you weren't the only one fooled. All of Harmony
thinks he's just wonderful. You know what though? You are strong and you'll get over him. You'll meet the real
mister right one day."
"My days are running out Gwen... most people find love before this. And what if there is no mister right for
me? No, I'm swearing off men. I know I said that before, when I had that awful experience with Jean-Luc, but I
really mean it this time. It just hurts too much... I can't go through this anymore." "Well, I think
you may change your mind, but at any rate you need to stay away from both Luis and Beth... this isn't good for
you." "I know... I won't come back here, not for a long time." "Good. Do you still feel like
shopping for the wedding? It might take your mind off things?" Sheridan offered her a weak smile. "Thanks
Gwen, but I really don't feel up to it anymore. I think I'm just going to go home and lick my wounds for awhile."
"Sure Honey, if that's what you want." They walked to Sheridan's car and Gwen gave her a hug. "Take
care of yourself." "I will Gwen. Don't worry about me. I'll be fine."
It was a blatant lie of course. She knew as she drove home that she wasn't fine and never would be. She barely
even noticed where she was going, arriving in her driveway almost on auto-pilot.
She got out of her car and approached the porch. Suddenly she remembered their date... when they'd gotten the ice
cream. She smiled a little sad smile as she remembered how they'd argued over what flavor sprinkles were the best.
Then he'd kissed her... their first kiss... a gentle peck on the cheek. There were no fireworks or anything, but
it had been the sweetest kiss Sheridan had ever experienced.
She shook her head and went inside. There her eyes fell on the couch... and she saw him there the night they'd
thought his father died. He'd fallen asleep on her couch and she'd covered him with a blanket. Later, she'd watched
him sleep... stroked his hair and imagined the day she'd have the nerve to caress him when he was awake. It was
that moment when she'd known for certain that she was falling in love with him.
Now, Sheridan closed her eyes against the painful reminders. She went into her bedroom and closed the door. There
were no memories there... he'd never been in her bedroom. That was one thing she was thankful for... if it was
this painful now, it would only be ten times worse if they'd made love. Still, seeing the bed made her think of
him anyway... she recalled her dreams. She'd had so many dreams of them making love that she couldn't begin to
count them. "Stop it!" she sobbed out loud. "The only person he makes love with is Beth!" The
tears once again rolled down her face and she hated herself for being so weak. She should be able to handle this
better... it's not like she hadn't been through similar situations before.
But this was different. Luis meant so much more to her than all the other men in her past. Hell, she'd been engaged
to Jean-Luc... they'd made love many times... she'd loved him. But still... the feelings she had for Luis were
so much stronger... it was the real deal and she knew it. And now it was gone, gone because he didn't feel the
same way. He'd just been using her for a good time, while the woman he really cared about was Beth.
Inside though, Sheridan wasn't surprised. Nobody had ever really loved her, not even her own father. Why should
Luis be any different from the rest of the world? She slid down the closed door, until she was sitting with her
knees drawn up. She buried her face in her arms and cried... she cried harder than she'd ever cried in her life.