24 He’s hurting
I’m still reeling from Rowan’s actions a couple of days ago. I don’t get what the hell has the inte him. Was he trying to jeopardize his relationship with Emma? Did he want to get me trouble with her?
She already thought that I was out to get her man That I was doing everything can to take hu away from her. What she didn’t understand is that I just wanted peace I didn’t want Rowan I’ve been there, tried that and learned my lesson the hard way.
“Are you sure about that?” an annoying little voice asked me. “You can’t deny that you liked the kiss. That’s how you always imagined him kissing you. With nothing but want and passion”
I shake the thought away. It was wrong. I was determined to move on from Rowan and find a life and love of my own. Just because my body betrayed me didn’t mean anything. My re pons- was purely biological. There was nothing more to it
“Keep lying to yourself” the voice argued
I wasn’t lying to myself. Or maybe I was, bottom line is I wasn’t going to read into Rowan
uncharacteristic behavior or his unexpected kiss.
Pushing thoughts of Rowan completely to the back of my mind, I focus on the door to the coffee
shop. It was five and I had just gotten out of work. Letty and I had made plans to meet up before
I take a bite of my cake just as the door opens and Letty walks in. Her eyes searches the sea of
people before finally landing on me. She rushes towards me, a smile on her face.
“I’m so sorry I’m late, we had a last minute meeting at the office” she says as she takes a seat
opposite me. (0
I smile back at her. “It’s okay. No worries”
“I see you’ve already ordered” she points out.
“I missed lunch so I was a bit hungry”
She nods her head before making her order. When that’s done, she turns and faces me. Giving me
her full attention.
“So tell me, how did your date with Ethan go?”
If I’m being honest, Letty has come to mean a lot to me in the short time we’ve known each other. She is the best friend I never knew I needed. The one I never got to have in high school because I was too obsessed with getting Rowan to notice me.
“It went really well” I tell her shyly.
Her face lights up and a grin takes over. “Tell me everything”
“There isn’t much to tell, Letty. We went to dinner at this fancy restaurant and then he took me out for ice cream. Which was my favorite part of the night”
“Did he kiss you?” excitement was written all over her face
I chuckle at that. It’s like nothing else I said to her registered. All she wanted to know is how the night ended.
“No.” I tell her. “I could tell he wanted to, but he didn’t. I don’t know whether I am still disappointed by that or not”
“Because part of me wanted him to do it, just to know how it feels to be kissed by someone who actually wants me, but the other part was glad he didn’t kiss me because I’m not sure whether I’m
ready for that yet”
She keeps quiet and just stares at me. I see the wheels in her mind turning as she thinks about
what I just told her.
“You’re telling me that Rowan has never kissed you?” she asks, a frown marring her beautiful face.
“He has, but not like he meant it. I saw him kiss Emma when we were younger. It was passionate
and heated. Like he couldn’t get over the taste of her lips on his. Like he could do it over and over
again.” I take a breath. “He has never kissed me like that”
I avoid her eyes because I don’t want her to see my shame. This is the first time I’m telling anyone
this. I’ve hidden the broken pieces of my marriage to Rowan in my heart for so long. Not wanting
anyone to know just how much his actions destroyed me.
“He did kiss you like that last Friday” that same annoying voice reminds me.
That was just a fluke. It didn’t mean anything. Besides it can’t erase all the times I wanted him to
much as he could, and that always hurt me like you wouldn’t believe That my husband found me so unattractive that he didn’t even want to kiss me. Even when we had sex, he would kiss anywhere except my lips.
“You deserve to be kissed like the world is going to end in the next minute” Letty’s words pull me out of my head. She has my hand in hers, offering me support and comfort.
I look at her and sigh in relief. She wasn’t looking at me with pity or sympathy That was the last thing I needed from her
“So, apart from that, everything else was perfect?” she asks
“Yes, I did see Rowan and Emma though Looked like they were out on a date”
“Yes” I answer taking a sip of my drink Trying to forget how perfect they looked together
Emma was right. She and Rowan just made sense Everyone saw it then and finally I’m beginning
to see it now,
“Well, I hope he saw how freaking gorgeous you were and I hope it sinks in that he let go of a true
I laugh. I told you Letty was good for my ego For once there was another human being who wasn’t
obsessed with how beautiful Emma was Finally, someone who wasn’t comparing me to my sister
or rubbing her beauty in my face.
“So that’s it? Nothing else interesting happened?” she asks
“Nope” I shake my head.
I wanted to tell her about Rowan’s visit, but I stop myself. Don’t get me wrong. I trusted her but
sometimes people slip up and say things they aren’t supposed to say.
The last thing I wanted is Emma ever finding out that Rowan came to my house after their date.
Worst of all, that he kissed mé
We settle after that and our conversation flows easily, but I noticed that something was eating at
“Okay, what’s wrong?” I push my glass and plate aside.
“Nothing” she answers averting her eyes.
“Spill it, Letty” I command.
There’s a battle waging inside her mind. Immediately I know that I wasn’t going to like what she says. If she chooses to tell me, that is. 2
“It’s about Travis, he really is sorry”
I mentally shake myself. I should have just kept my mouth shut and minded my own damn business.
“We’re not going to go there” the words leave through clenched teeth.
Letty sighs. “Please, Ava. It’s tearing him apart that you want nothing to do with him. That you were hurt and he couldn’t even be there for you. He’s hurting”
“He’s hurting? Do you know how many years I’ve been hurting? Do you know how many painful things he’s said and done to me? He wants me to forgive him yet he never forgave me for hurting his precious sister. He told me I was dead to him. That he only had one sister, do you know how painful it was to hear him say that? Or to have him taunt me that Rowan will never love me because Emma was his everything and I was nothing?”
I was trying to move on yet they kept dragging me back. Once again, his pain comes before mine. No one cared that they hurt me and tore me down, yet he expects me to forget my pain and forgive him. It wasn’t going to happen.
I stand up and pick up my bag, already in a foul mood.
“If he can reverse the pain he gave me, then I might just forgive him. Until then we have nothing
to talk about”
I see the tears swimming in her eyes but I ignore them and walk away. She calls my name but I
don’t turn back. 1
I hail a cab and get in just as she gets outside. I refuse to look at her as the cab drives off.
I fight back the tears that threaten to fall. I wasn’t going to be weak anymore. I wasn’t going to fall
back to feeling sad for myself. That chapter of my life is over. I was now going to focus on creating
a new life for myself.
We get home and I pay the taxi driver. Thankful that I was home. In my safe space.
I walk to my door and I was about to open my door when a chill runs down my back. I felt like I
was being watched. I turn around to look at the street but there was nothing out of the ordinary.
A neighbor three door down was walking her dog. Cars were driving past my house on their way to
their homes. A couple of people were on their evening jogs.
I turn back around, unlock my door and get inside. All the while still feeling the chilling and
menacing stare on my back.