A bit of background here: before I attended graduate school and starting creating my own characters through novels, I wrote a few stories here on the forum. My first story is gone forever, as I made no backup of it. However, a story I wrote and posted here in 2008, Second Chance, lives on via a backup disc I burned to compile the files on my last desktop computer. This story, instead of being about Pam's dream, is about Ray's nightmare--he and Donna divorce, he marries Jenna, and leaves Southfork. And so it takes place where season seven would have ended: Bobby doesn't die and thus the next three years went much differently. I hope you enjoy it--I'm sure my writing had improved since I wrote this, but I didn't want to change the vibe or heart of the story by editing it :hello: I may have trouble living with you…but I still love you. …there are new people in our lives now. …I wanna sell the ranch. He woke up in a cold sweat. He looked around him. It was dark, but the moon shone on a room not familiar to him. It was the bedroom of his old brick house that he’d sold nearly three years ago. He sat up in bed. The farm calendar on the wall caught his eye. May, 1985. That wasn’t right—it was May, 1988. Had he just dreamed all of this? If he had, it was truly lousy. He’d lost the only woman he’d ever truly loved, and their child. He looked around—she was still gone. But if it was still 1985, then they were still married—she was just living at Southfork. The events of the past few months came back to him—he’d been a fool, such a damned fool. At a time in his life when he should be pulling the one who loved him more than anyone else closer, he was pushing her away. He’d told her to leave, and she had. He put on a robe and walked to the kitchen, the same kitchen he thought he’d left so long ago. Same curtains, same pictures, same couch and chairs—everything was the same, but she was still gone. He just had to figure out a way now to get her back, to bring her back home…and a way to become the kind of man she deserved, the man he promised he’d be on their wedding day. *** She sat on the patio and stared out across the range. She balanced her coffee cup in her hands—decaf, so it wouldn’t affect the baby. The baby. She was carrying their child, but she couldn’t figure out a way to tell him. She knew she had to tell him, but they hadn’t been able to communicate anything these past few months. They wouldn’t have conceived this child if they didn’t still love each other, right? And yet they couldn’t live together anymore—the strain had just become too great. In her heart she kept hoping that he would change. She’d tried everything. She loved living with him—loved being his wife, loved riding out across the range to visit him for no reason at all, but he couldn’t seem to understand that. She’d spent much of this year trying to bend, and finally she couldn’t anymore—she snapped back. Still, she loved him, and each morning that she turned over to find herself alone was harder and more painful than the one before. The door opened behind her and Miss Ellie stepped out, but she didn’t look around. “Good morning, Donna.” “Morning, Miss Ellie.” “I didn’t know if I should disturb you, you seemed deep in thought.” “Yes ma’am, I was. I was just thinking about what to tell Ray.” “I see.” “I need to tell him today, but I just can’t figure out how to do it.” “Donna, I have to say that is the first time I’ve ever seen you so wracked by indecision. You’re usually so level-headed and have the right answer for everything.” Donna sighed. “I know. It’s strange for me, too. I’m afraid when I tell him, he’s going to ask me to come back home—and I’m just not sure I’m ready for that.” “Well, you never know. Maybe he’ll let you make up your own mind.” “Maybe I’m just being too hard on him.” “Donna, the men in this family are stubborn—I won’t try to convince you they’re not. But you love Ray, and he loves you. There’s no one to stand in your way. I’m not saying a child is the only reason to get back together, but you might find him in a different state of mind today.” “Thank you so much for everything, Miss Ellie. I would’ve been lost without you these past few weeks.” “Well, I have an added reason now for wanting to keep you around.” She smiled at Donna and placed her hand on her shoulder before going back inside. Today, she thought. I have to do it today.