Wide Open Spaces - Aurora Rose Reynolds

Wide Open Spaces

That moment your life changes.

That moment that changes your life.

That moment you love someone more than you love yourself.

That was the moment we gave our son up for adoption, and the moment I was left bare. A wide-open space that would forever be empty.

There are moments that define you as a person, moments that prove just how strong you are, moments you push yourself to keep going forward, when all you really want to do is give up. It was in one of those moments I reached out and found him waiting for me.

When Shelby Calder left home fifteen years ago, she never planned on returning to the Alaskan town she left behind. But after the death of her grandfather and a bitter divorce, she hopes going home will be a fresh start for her and her ten-year-old son.

Zach Watters has made a lot of mistakes in his life. But when he sees Shelby Calder looking more beautiful than ever, standing outside her childhood home, he promises himself letting her go won’t be a mistake he ever makes again.

Some things never change, and love is one of them.

Dedication

To the two people who made one of the hardest decisions in their lives.

Our hearts are full because of you.

Our days are beautiful because of you.

Adoption isn’t one sided, its not only about the couple who is adopting.

It takes a very strong person to follow through with the placement of a child.

How beautiful is it for someone to choose the gift of life, to follow through with something that is heartbreaking and a lot of times frowned upon.

How much courage does someone need to have in order to say I love my baby so much I want to give him/her a better life than I can provide right now?

That is love.

That is the definition of love.

Loving someone more than you love yourself.

Wide Open Spaces

Prologue

“You have to let him go now.” Kathleen softly lays her hand on my shoulder. Shaking my head, I feel my throat close up and pain—excruciating pain—slice through me. “I know this is hard,” she says gently.

“No, you don’t,” I choke out, feeling tears drip down my cheeks as I rest my lips against the smooth skin of my baby’s forehead.

“Shel, baby,” Zach says, capturing my gaze as he walks around the bed toward me. “We agreed. This is the best thing for him.”

Swallowing hard through the pain expanding inside of me, I pull in a deep shaky breath, closing my eyes.

“I hate you,” I whisper, blinking my eyes open meeting his gaze once more. I have no idea how I can love and hate someone so much, but both of those emotions rock through me as I hold my son in my arms.

“You don’t mean that.” The pain in his voice rips me apart a little more, and I lean my head back, closing my eyes, needing to block him out.

“Shelby,” Kathleen prompts, and my eyes open.

“Can I have a minute alone with him before you take him?” I plead, looking up at her.

“Of course,” she agrees softly, wrapping her hand around my shoulder and squeezing gently before leaving the room.

“I want to be alone with him, Zach,” I whisper, not even looking to the side of the bed, where he’s still standing.

He’s silent for a moment. I wonder if he even heard me. “He’s my son, too,” he says, causing bitterness to well up inside of me.

“Yeah, well, you can say goodbye when I’m done,” I tell him, hearing the indifference in my voice.

“I love you, Shel.” The feel of his lips against the top of my