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The Love That Passed

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In a twist of fate, Jared is coerced into a marriage with Colleen, a fragile soul battling against time. With a long-term girlfriend, Stacey, already in his heart, Jared finds himself trapped in a web of emotions he never expected. As Colleen faces a life-threatening illness, Claire, Jared's mother, is drawn to her unwavering optimism and selflessness. Hidden secrets about Stacey's infidelity weigh on Claire's conscience, but she hopes that time will heal all wounds. Unexpected events force Jared and Colleen to see each other in a new light, leading to a delicate dance of unspoken feelings. Colleen's pregnancy adds a layer of complexity to their relationship, further testing Jared's commitment. As tensions rise, a threat from Stacey's past puts Jared's life in jeopardy, leading to a heart-wrenching separation on a crucial day. Colleen's battle for survival takes a tragic turn, but she leaves behind a heartfelt plea for Jared to find happiness and love once more. This emotional rollercoaster of love, loss, and second chances will tug at your heartstrings and leave you breathless.

Chapter 1

Colleen's POV

"Hubby, can you lend me some money?" I asked my husband, Jared. He glared at me after hearing it.

"Why would I give you money? Do you think just because I agreed to marry you, I will give you what you want just like that?" he said.

I got hurt, but I didn't show him and instead I smiled at him and said, "It's OK if you don't want to. It wasn't important either. I will leave you with your work."

I walked out of his office and went to my room. Yes, my room. I had my own room even though he was my husband.

That was two years ago, when we had just gotten married. I was really sick and my doctor finally told me that there was a heart available which was compatible with me. I got excited, I thought I would be able to prolong my life if I underwent the surgery. But there's a catch: it was expensive. So I asked my husband, but sad to say he didn't give any. Because he's mad at me.

Did he change, you asked? No, he didn't. He stayed the same. He was still mad at me.

I understand his anger though. He was forced to marry me by his mother and his sister. He doesn't love me, he loves someone else. Stacey, his girlfriend for four years and probably expecting them to get married until I came between them.

Jared said that he loves Stacey and that there's nothing I can do to change that. I don't know if they broke up after our marriage, though I don't care about it. I was still hopeful that they would. It's not because I am being selfish, is there anyone who would want their husband to see someone else? I guess none, right?

For the meantime, I was glad that Stacey had not come to our door saying she was pregnant with Jared's child. I don't know what I would do if that happened. I may not love him, but I respect our marriage and I hope he does the same. Though I know that he wasn't, as long as he didn't flaunt it and no one knew about it besides him and Stacey, everything was fine with me.

I myself didn't know why I suddenly agreed with my mother and sister-in-law to get married to him. They were very sweet to me though. I get nothing out of this marriage. Well, not exactly nothing. I got a family. Although it wasn't a normal one, I still have my mother and sister-in-law, whom I can call mom and sister. They love me so much, like their own. I can feel how much they cared for me and I know if Jared did something wrong to me, they would get mad at him and would never forgive him for that.

I came from a broken family. My mom divorced my dad because he was out of commission. Meaning he was broke. I was eight when I heard them fighting over money, money that we don't have. So I hate money, no matter how shiny or glittery it was and I was 16 when they divorced.

My mom now has her own family and so does my dad. Can you imagine how happy they were finding their second family? You may think I was too, because I never heard them fight anymore. At first, yes, but when both of their new family members didn't want me, my heart sunk.

My mom said she doesn't want me in their house because I reminded her of how irresponsible my dad was, while dad doesn't want me with them as well, because I reminded him of my mother and how greedy she was.

So yes, I live alone, by myself. I married Jared for the sake of his mom, mommy Claire. She was a very loving mother, a total opposite of my mom. She was sick and I wanted her to be happy, so I agreed with her.

Now, two years ago, after our marriage, he was still the same. We never see each other, even when we live together. He was always out before the sun rose and he went home when I was already asleep. Even if he was still like that, every day, I did my duty as his wife. I prepare everything he needs before going to work and everything. I was happy when he took the suits I prepared for him beforehand.

I packed his clothes at night before he went home, so when he wakes up, he doesn't need to look for anything. At first, I still found the clothes I chose for him from where I left them, but after nine months, maybe he got tired of it so he just wore whatever I prepared.

Even if he doesn't eat at home, I see to it that there is something for him to eat when he finds himself hungry in the middle of the night or when he gets home. It happened numerous times when he went home hungry and found the plate of food I prepared for him in the kitchen sink. It was so little and nothing to brag about, but for me it was big.

If he accepted me after 20 years, that would be fine by me. Although I won't be alive anymore when that time comes, I would still appreciate it.

I was content with everything that happened, I would never ask for more. Jared was enough for me. I would not ask him to love me, it would only pain him if, after a while, I would have to leave him. It would be fine with me if I was the only one who loved him, at least it motivates me to hold on for the next few months that's left for me.

I feel lucky that I was able and capable of loving someone. I had been yearning for that for so long after I lost my faith in my parents. I only cared for myself before I got married to Jared. Now I feel alive even if I feel the pain he was giving me emotionally.

I wanted to hope that he would really change, but I didn't want to hurt him in the end. So this should be OK, me loving him and him loving someone else. At least when I'm gone, I'm sure he will be happy with Stacey. The woman he yearned and loved.

Chapter 2

Third Person’s POV

Two years ago

Jared found himself at the epicenter of a turbulent storm. His world, once familiar and stable, had suddenly become a maelstrom of conflicting desires, expectations, and frustrations.

It all began with a confrontation that would forever change the course of his life. In the dimly lit living room, anger radiated from Jared like a palpable force. His gaze, ablaze with fury, fixated on Colleen, a poised and enigmatic presence seated on an elegant couch.

"You want me to marry her?" Jared's voice boomed, his finger accusingly pointing in Colleen's direction. His outrage was a tempest brewing beneath the surface, threatening to engulf everything in its path.

Colleen remained composed, her eyes meeting Jared's with a calm that seemed to aggravate him further. She was, after all, at the heart of this familial tempest. "I have a girlfriend, and you know that," Jared continued, his voice rising i


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