I’ve been doing a lot of revisiting of Tommy and Brittany’s relationship and I came across this scene that was a huge turning point in their relationship. I love what Tommy told her and I just adore their relationship.
“Can I sit with you?” Tommy asked her as he walked outside.
She wiped her eyes and smiled. “Of course.”
He sat down and exhaled, letting out a long breath.
“Can I ask you something?”
She looked at him and hugged her coat around her body.
“Can you tell me what you thought when you first got to know me? Not the conference room, because I kind of know what you thought then, but after that, what made you decide to let me near you?”
She was quiet for a minute.
“I liked you.”
“And you seemed to like me, without knowing anything about me, and despite my attitude. Most people turn away after I talk to them. I am not the nicest.”
He was quiet still.
“And when you found out more about me, you seemed to genuinely want to be my friend,” she smiled. “And when I told you to leave, you didn’t. You pushed me to tell you what I wished for and then you pushed me to go for it.”
He listened to her and let her talk, waiting for her to continue.
“Then everything changed. You were thrown into my past and you stayed by my side when I did nothing to make you think I would ever appreciate you. You offered your home and your heart and you never asked for anything other than for me to give what I was feeling a chance,” she wiped her eyes and looked at him. “And then you asked me to go on vacation with you and your family and against every part of my better judgment, I went.”
“Against your better judgment, huh?”
“In case you didn’t know it, I have a hard time trusting anyone, I guess that much hasn’t changed. But from day one, I trusted you. When I looked at you, I felt things that I was sure I would never feel. When you touched me, I wanted more and when you kissed me, I knew that was a feeling I didn’t want to live without.” He turned to face her and she smiled. “You are the most amazing man. You are sensitive and caring and strong and intelligent. You value family and loyalty and integrity and you do what’s right, even when it’s hard. You are fearless and handsome and sexy and you are my whole world.”
He reached and took her hands in his.
“That was quite the answer, and it proves what I wanted you to understand.”
His chin quivered as he looked into her eyes. “You have all of these memories creeping into your mind from such a horrible time in your life. I can’t stop that from happening, and to be honest, I don’t want to, because I need for you to stop wondering what happened and I want you to move on. But watching you struggle with your feelings of worthiness and your ability to be the woman I want in every way is breaking my heart.” He took a deep breath and wiped his eyes, “I think, based on what you just told me, that we have made some pretty amazing memories ourselves and maybe that’s the key to getting through this part. When the thoughts of the past get to be too much, I want you to know that there are better memories that came after. Maybe if you think of those memories, the others won’t have as much power.”
He wiped the tears that fell from her eyes and continued, “There was something you told me a long time ago, and I don’t know if you remember, but it stuck with me.”
She looked at him and waited.
“It was when I found out you had been assaulted. I hardly knew you, but you were upset and I remember sitting with you and you began to apologize for getting emotional.
“I ruined your jacket,” she said as she saw the spot her tears had made on his coat. “I think it will dry,” he looked at her. “Can I get you anything?” She shook her head, totally mortified. “I’m sorry; I don’t know what came over me. I don’t usually do things like that.”
“Show emotion? I think you’re allowed. Anyone who witnessed what that girl had been through would be affected, let alone someone who,” he stopped, not knowing if he was crossing a boundary he shouldn’t.
“Someone who also has been raped?” she said softly. “Sometimes I feel like it happened yesterday,” she took a tissue and wiped her face. “I have separated myself so much from that moment. It’s bad enough I have to live with the scars everyday, but I want so much for it to not be my defining moment. There is more to me than that event. I won’t let it have that power over me,” she couldn’t believe she was being so open with a virtual stranger. But something had happened between them, a wall was broken and a small sliver of ice had melted.
Tommy felt tears come to his eyes. “I don’t know what to say. I wish I had profound words of wisdom to make you feel better. I know when memories hit us in our lives; sometimes we just need to go through them. You can’t run from them and you can’t bury them or they will eat away at you.”
Brittany smiled. “That’s when you told me about your parents.”
“So you do remember,” he stroked her cheek.
“I remember every moment with you,” her voice cracked with emotion.
“Then that’s what needs to help you get through this. You are not defined by that moment and you never will be. You said it, there is more to you than that event, and I need you to know and remember that. You have been through something absolutely horrific, but you survived and going over what happened will not make your survival any less profound.” He kissed her fingers as he watched her cry at his words.
“Baby you are here, with me and our daughter in this world and what you are doing now by opening all of these secrets is allowing yourself to completely heal and move forward. You are the woman I fell in love with, the woman who brought me into the land of the living and the woman I am forever grateful to and for. You are that woman and that hasn’t changed because of anything that has happened recently. You are the same woman, you are my wife and you are my hero.”
She wiped her eyes and he tucked her long hair behind her ear.
“I need for you to think about the happy memories when the past becomes overwhelming. Make it the happy place you go to and let me help you stay there and not in the sadness,” he pleaded with her and his eyes were full of such love and understanding that she felt a modicum of the weight on her shoulders lift off.
She reached up and cupped his face in her hands. “You are so right and I am so in love with you. Thank you for loving me,” she pulled him to her and kissed him deeply, wrapping her arms around him and feeling, for the first time in a long time, like maybe she could move forward.
“Let’s go inside.”
He stood up and she walked inside with him.