Coming: September 16, 2014
"I've flown halfway across the globe to watch the love of my life marry the love of hers."
He never intended on returning home...
Never second-guessed the life he'd chosen...
Never planned on meeting someone that would make him want more...
But everything can change As the Dawn Breaks.
Seven hundred and seventy one long days.
Seven hundred and seventy one lonely nights.
Seven hundred and seventy one sunrises to remind me of the one that changed everything.
A little after five o' clock, I awake from yet another night of restless sleep; no longer needing an alarm, my body now a well-trained machine. Shuffling my feet to the compact kitchen in my apartment, I throw frozen bananas, strawberries, and pineapple into the blender with some orange juice and a scoop of yogurt and flip the switch to 'high.' Thirty seconds later, my frothy fruit shake is ready, the healthy alternative to what used to be a couple cups of black coffee. My stomach thanks me daily.
I grab my glass and stroll through the living room to the patio area - my morning sanctuary. Settling in my chair, I take a few minutes to drink in the view. The beach is still empty, as are the neighboring patios, and only the sound of waves crashing against the shore can be heard. The sliver of a moon still hangs high in the sky, but very soon, it's faint light will be overpowered and concealed by the intense brightness of the sun.
As if she heard my thoughts, the fiery temptress lifts her head up over the horizon, a burst of bright colors shooting up announces her arrival. I slowly sip my refreshing breakfast, my stare glued to the impressive vista, as the memories come rolling in with the surf. Every day, without fail, I torture myself for these few minutes, allowing my mind to reminisce about the time I spent with Trystan - the time when I realized I wanted more from life than the one I was living. I wanted to love and to be loved, unconditionally; I wanted someone - the same someone - to wake up to every morning and to go to bed with each night; and I wanted a family to protect, support, and experience life with.
But then I came home and remembered all the reasons why I couldn't have those things. I am a murderer. I killed a man in cold blood. And though my intentions for the act were honorable - at least in my mind - my life in exile is my punishment, void of any of the things she made me realize I truly want.
Going back for her has never been an option. I can't live in the States, and I can't ask someone I knew for two days to move to the other side of the world, especially now that she has a child. I'd give damn near anything for a chance to make it work, but with both of our situations, it just isn't feasible, even though I still try to help from afar.
I'm left with the visions of long blonde hair whipping in the breeze, the faint scent of coconut and lime swirling in my nose, the branding of bright emerald eyes onto my soul, and... sunrises. Inevitably, the dawn breaks each and every day, and inescapably, so does my heart.
The last of my drink slides down the back of my throat and I stand up, ready to face yet another day. Alone. Counting the hours until the next sunrise.
Seven hundred and seventy two.
Erin Noelle is a Texas native, where she lives with her husband and two young daughters. While earning her degree in History at the University of Houston, she rediscovered her love for reading that was first instilled by her grandmother when she was a young child. A lover of happily-ever-afters, both historical and current, Erin is an avid reader of all romance novels. In 2013, she published the Book Boyfriend Series, which included books Metamorphosis, Ambrosia, Euphoria, and Timeless, and recently published When the Sun Goes Down, a contemporary romance novel. Her books have been a part of the USA Today Bestselling list and the Amazon and Barnes & Noble overall Top 100.