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Rob Coleman was devoted to Raney the moment they met in high school. After they married, his twin brother died unexpectedly and Rob’s grief thrust him into an identity crisis he couldn’t recover from. The decisions he made in that haze of grief have haunted him for nearly twenty years. Now he’s back and completely befuddled by the strength of his response to seeing Raney again.
They rebuilt their lives without the other but their unexpected reunion makes it clear their history is far from resolved.
Rob sagged to his knees, overcome with repressed grief and memories. Interred here, stolen away from him much too early, was his twin brother. His other, better half. This was the first time he’d been here since that cold, rainy November day they buried J.W.
He was numb, unable to recall a single specific memory or identify a particular emotion. He just felt empty. Bereft. Alone.
He didn’t know how long he sat there gazing at J.W.’s headstone, but a bone-deep ache began to overtake the numbness. He reached out, tracing the letters of his brother’s name, following the lines that led inexorably to the dates of his birth and death. As his hand wandered lower against the marble, he noticed a vase embedded in front of the marker. Fresh flowers spilled out of the unremarkable green container.
He leaned back on his heels, stunned out of the haze of his grief. The vibrant, cheerful white daisies and red carnations seemed out of place when he felt so overwhelmingly sad. Grudgingly, he considered their simplicity perfectly suited J.W.’s personality. Assuming his grandfather was responsible for them, he wondered how Pops had managed to make the trip out here given his recent fall. He’d have to remember to thank him. He supposed he should take over that particular duty, too, now that he was back.
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