looking for a 10

Looking for a 10 (a story)

She had read romance books all her life, and wanted to meet the man that was written about. The hero, the gentleman, the athlete, the genius, someone so kind and thoughtful.
But other than in the pages of these books, she couldn’t find them. She even looked in bars and diners, for the guy who could be taught.
She even searched about in the bins of the older men, and then went to the bins of the younger men. It seems like chivalry and decency were rare things. In the way that the romance books showed them to be. A well read and lived man who was ready for love with her.
She wanted nothing less.
Each year, she took an item off her list as her birthday passed. Another year of being alone and childless, but still her wishes and dreams went unanswered. And she didn’t know what to do,
Till she realized that she had little time left to have healthy children.
So she went to a friend of hers. One who she had always thought was nice enough. just not her type. Well, not the romantic hero. He was single, she was sngle. He wanted kids and would be a decent provider. She wanted kids and would be a decent nurturer. So they agreed to marry and form an imperfect family. He asked one thing of her. That she wouldn’t leave him for her hero. She was saddened, but she gave her word.
They married and had the children they wanted. They had a content and peaceful family.
Till one day… her hero came into her life. Everything the books said, he was. But she kept her word, because after all, her husband was a good man and a good father. And her children loved him. Her children were happy in their home. And she couldn’t leave him for a dream, could she? Of course not.
But everyday she got a bit sadder. And her husband started to notice it. So he sat her down and asked what was wrong. And she told him.
She saw his heart break right before her eyes. He released her from her promise to him. He refused to hold her against her will.
She walked to the door, thinking. And as she had hold of the knob, and was turning it, she stopped.
She turned and looked at the pain she had caused a man who had never hurt her or her children. She thought of every holiday and every birthday he had always been there for. And every word of love and praise he had heaped on her children to shape their sturdy self esteems.
And she came back to him. Put her hands on his bowed head, grabbed him and held him close.
And she stayed. The man who she had settled for had given them everything he could and been willing to give her her freedom if it wasn’t enough.
So she stayed and turned her eyes to the hero beside her, and forgot about the one in the books.

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