“No, no, no.” Eric was smaller than John, but he had more of his wits about him and managed to push John back out of the front door. “You cannot go in there.”
“I didn’t mean to. It was a mistake. You have to believe me. I have to tell her.” John’s voice was on edge, but Eric gave him one last hard shove on the chest, so John finally took a couple of steps back and stopped trying to push past Eric.
“I didn’t mean to,” John repeated, and without the sense of urgency, his voice bordered on pathetic.
Now that John seemed content to stay outside, Eric relaxed a bit. “I know, I know. And I’m pretty sure she knows too. She’s just mad.”
“You believe I didn’t mean it, right? That it was a mistake. That I’ll never do it again, yes?”
“Yes, John. I believe you.”
“Then why can’t I see her. Why can’t I tell her that?”
“Because here’s the way I see it—and if you think I’m wrong, then we can do it your way, but I’m pretty sure I’m right. Right now, Emma is sleeping, after crying herself to sleep while explaining everything that happened. She sees herself as the victim here, which I think we can all agree that she is. If she finds you there when she wakes up, or worse, you go in and wake her up, she’ll see that as a betrayal on my part. She’ll still be angry at you, she’ll be even angrier at me, and she’ll be gone like that.” Eric snapped his fingers and John jumped at the sound. “After she’s gone, God only knows how far she’ll go, or when, or even if, she’ll come back.”
John watched Eric carefully for a moment and deflated a little more. “You’re right. Of course, you’re right. I can’t press her or we’ll break.” John was pacing slightly on the sidewalk, muttering to himself for half a minute. When he turned to face Eric again, he looked more determined than the panicked look he had moments before. “I have a plan. Will you hear me out?”
“I’m going to leave, but I’m not going to go far. When you get the chance, talk to her. Get Emma calm enough to meet with me, as much on her terms as possible. Beg and plead on my behalf if you have to. Just get me in the door again. I will try my hardest to convince her to forgive me. If I can’t then I deserve what’s coming to me. I’ve no one to blame but myself.” John gave a nod of finality and gave Eric a sad sort of smile.
“Okay,” Eric agreed, “But it is one hundred percent on her terms. If she never wants to see you again, I will make damn sure she gets what she wants.”
“Fair enough.” John took a deep breath and tried to stand up a little straighter. “Hopefully, I’ll see you soon.”
Eric watched John walk away. He’d see how Emma felt in the morning, but he hoped that she’d give him a second chance. That was clearly a man fully prepared to learn from his mistake.