- A girl named Nora.
“Fuck” ine grunted shout makes me open my eyes.
Ethan was holding his shoulder, which was bleeding
“Drop the fucking gun Ethan or I swear I’ll blow your brains off” Rowan’s angry voice penetrates
my foggy brain.
He’s the last person I want to see right now. Mainly because I’m ashamed. He tried warning me,
but I didn’t fucking listen to him.
“I have the whole building surrounded, Ethan. You’re outnumbered” Rowans adds.
Just then I hear police sirens and sigh in relief.
Ethan lowers his gun, before putting it on the ground. His eyes are locked with mine. I want to
pull them away, but I can’t. I want to be reminded of what a fool I’ve been this whole time.
“Ava, darling look at me” his voice pulls me from Ethan’s cold gaze. It’s only then that I realize
that Rowan was standing in front of me. 2
Seeing his face up close brings tears to my eyes. The last words he said to me two months ago still
rings in my head.
I keep my eyes on him as he unlocks the chains. He was my anchor right now. Maybe if I focus on
him, I won’t drown in the treacherous water of pain.
“I got you” he whispers softly, his voice full of kindness.
The moment I’m free, I collapse in his arms. So worn out that I’m unable to hold myself up.
He hugs me to him and I have to fight back the tears that threaten to fall. My eyes collide once
again with Ethan. He was on the ground and the police were cuffing him. His wound was bleeding,
but no one seemed to care.
I watch as they take him away. My heart breaking at the loss of a future I thought we had together.
“Are you hurt?” Rowan asks me, pulling me away from his warmth.
I felt so cold now. So chilled. I not only felt the coldness on my skin, but it seeped into my
I shake my head at his question. My mouth refusing to work. Refusing to say a single word Maybe if I just pretended, everything will go away. Maybe I’ll wake up and realize it was all just a terrible.
Nothing registers in my mind. I see Rowan’s mouth moving but I can’t hear a thing. I see Travis
walking with a shocked Letty and Gabe walking in with some of the cops. It still doesn’t register.
I was numb. Or maybe I was beyond numb. I was completely broken.
Why did he do this to me? Why go through all the trouble to get to know me if he was always
planning to kill me? It didn’t make any sense at all.
The more I thought about it. About us. The more I died inside.
I felt us moving. Rowan’s hand around my waist. Supporting me. I was so lost in my head and my
pain that I didn’t realize we were even in a car until we hit a bump in the road.
The car ride didn’t take long. We were soon parking outside the police station.
Brian greeted us and led us inside to take our statements. I don’t remember all the things I said or
how long I had zoned out.
“Ava…” Rowan shakes me gently.
I turn to look at him, only to find that we were in a white room. It wasn’t just us, Travis, Gabe, Letty
and even Emma were all present.
Letty had a bandage wrapped around her head. I touch my own and find one too. I didn’t even
know when it was done.
“There was an ambulance at the warehouse. They checked you and put on the bandage to stop the
bleeding. Other than that, everything seemed fine“. Rowan said as if he had read my mind.
“What is she doing here?” I ask, pointing at Emma.
The last thing I needed was Emma witnessing my pain.
No one answers. They all just look at me in sympathy. I look at the floor, unable to face them. I
was just about to ask all of them to leave, when the door opens.
look back up. Ethan and Brian walk in.
Ethan was still handcuffed, and his shoulder was bandaged. At least I think it was, since it was no
“Sa, you requested to hear from Ethan and here he is. Maybe he can tell you why he fooled
everyone including our entire department” Brian says tiredly.
“He hasn’t said anything?“Travis asks, pulling Letty who had tears in her eyes, closer.
I know how she must be feeling. I introduced her to Ethan, and we even hung out all three of us
together a few times. She must also feel betrayed like I was.
“No, he refuses to say a thing” Brian shakes his head.
I turn to face Ethan only to find him staring intently at me. His emotionless gaze sucked me in
“Why? Why did you do this to me, Ethan?” my voice trembled as I spoke.
He stares at me. His cold gaze burned me. Gave me frostbite. I still don’t know where all the
warmth he used to have went. Did he have a switch for his emotions, and he could just flip it on
and off when he wanted it? Or did none of it exist? If that’s so then he was one hell of an actor.
“I wanted the company.” He simply said.
I was shocked that he had actually answered. I didn’t expect him to
The shock is pushed back as what he said, registers. Soon, my surprise turns into confusion.
“What company?” I ask
I didn’t have a Company. I invested in Companies, but I didn’t have any of my own, like Rowan. The
only thing I had was Hope Foundation, and I don’t see someone like Ethan being interested in an
organization for helping children.
“What company are you talking about, Ethan?” I push when he doesn’t say a damn thing.
I needed to know what made him play me like that. What was so important that he would pull
such a hurtful stunt.
“I wanted your grandparent’s company…I worked so hard for it, so it’s only fair that it was given to
me” he said leaving me more confused.
“You’re not making any sense.” I laugh humorlessly. “You did that for a company that I have no nights to If you wanted that company so bad, then you should have gone after Travis given it was
left in his name”
Travis giares at me, but I don’t care. Everyone knows that my grandparents and father didn’t leave
me a dime. I didn’t even have shares in the family company like Emma did.
Ethan sighs tiredly before proceeding to unleash chaos. “I’m not talking about the Sharp’s. I’m
talking about your real grandparents“.
“What the hell are you talking about?” Travis booms. “Don’t listen to him, Ava. It’s probably
I keep quiet not agreeing with Travis.
“It’s not bullshit. I’m telling the fucking truth” Ethan grits out before turning to me. “Tell me deep
inside you’ve never felt that they aren’t your family. Tell me you’ve never doubted that you are
truly a Sharp”
I want to deny his claims, but I can’t. I’ve doubted it so many times that I once thought of having a
The way my parents and grandparents treated me since I was a kid was just so different from how
they treated Travis and Emma. I was always an afterthought. No one important to them. My needs
and happiness always came last.
My grandparents used to buy Travis and Emma toys and treats when they came to visit. I usually
got nothing. No hugs, no kisses. I got nothing but coldness and indifference from them. I never
understood why they were like that. It made me question if I was truly one of them.
“You can’t say anything because deep inside you know the truth. You know the Sharp’s aren’t
your family. That’s why you never felt like one of them” Ethan concludes when I didn’t say
I look away. I didn’t want any of them to see the truth in my eyes. To see the biggest insecurity
I’ve had for a long time.
“So you really didn’t see us as your family?” Travis asks in a small voice.
“Does that surprise you?” I fire back. “I was never treated as part of your family. I was always the
outcast. The one looking in at the happy family while I was out in the cold”
“Oh please, save us the pity party you have for yourself” Emma interrupts, sneering.
“What the hell is she even doing here?” Ethan and I ask at the same time.
I look at him before quickly pulling my gaze away.
“She’s your family, Mrs. Sharp” Brian says as if it makes sense.
“I don’t know what drugs you’re smoking, but no one in this room, except for Letty, is my family
So I would prefer if they left, especially Emma”
I feel Rowan tense beside me, but I don’t give a damn. What I said is the truth. Family cares for you
and no one here except Letty has ever cared for me.
“Can we just get back to Ethan?” Gabe asks after a while
Ethan shrugs. “I’m going to tell you a story about a girl named Nora” he begins
“Nora came from a middle class family. Her father was a preacher and both he and his mother
were staunch christians. She was raised to follow God and the bible religiously and she did until
she met a boy. Theodore was his name, though he preferred being called Theo.”
We were all entranced already as we listened to him. I had no idea where the story was going, but
it was all intriguing.
“They met when they were eleven and even though she tried staying away from him, she couldn’t.
They started out as friends then started dating at thirteen. Nora knew that it was against every
teaching she was taught, that her parents would kill her if they found out, but she was in love and
she couldn’t let go of Theo and neither could he.”
“She thought it would be simple. Hide her relationship with Theo until they graduated high
school. She planned to apply to a college far away from home, that would give her the freedom to
be with Theo the way she wanted. It was supposed to be easy and everything was working out
well until the unthinkable happened”
He takes a deep breath before continuing. “Nora got pregnant at only fourteen. Theo was
supportive and he was going to take responsibility because he loved Nora, but her parents found
out. Her dad in particular went ballistic. He wanted her to get rid of the baby. Nora couldn’t do that
to her child, so when she refused, her parents kicked her out”
The more he talked, the more my heart got heavy. I don’t know why, but I just felt like what he
was telling us was going to change everything. I don’t think I’m ready for any more changes.
“You see, Theo’s parents were kind and they were also fucking rich I’m talking about owning a
whole damn city, kind of rich. After Theo explained everything to them, they understood. They were disappointed in their son, but they took Nora in none the less.”
“Even though they were young, they decided to keep the bab. Her pregnancy progressed well and her parents came to their senses when they realized they could benefit from this, after they found out who exactly got their daughter pregnant”
Damn, what kind of parents did Nora have? I ask myself. Using your daughter simply because you found out that they boy that got her pregnant was from a rich family was despicable.
“A few months later, the parents showed their true colours. They demanded to keep the baby.
They thought they could use their grandchild to get monthly payments for the baby’s care. Nora,
Theo and his parents refused. It caused a big fight and to make them back off, Theo’s parents
promised to make a huge donation to their struggling church”
I watch as Ethan narrates the story. There was still no emotion in his eyes. He was like a robot.
Just narrating facts.
“Nora went into labour unexpectedly. The baby wasn’t due for another month, so no one expected
her to go into labour. Theo couldn’t get to the hospital in time and his parents were on a business
trip. It was a long and difficult labour. When she finally delivered, there wasn’t a cry. She
immediately knew that something was wrong. Given how young tired she was, she couldn’t stay
awake, that, combined with the amount of blood she lost made her lose consciousness”
“When she woke up, she was given the most painful news. Her baby didn’t make it. She was a still
birth… You can imagine how painful it was for all of them, especially for Nora and Theo. It was the
worst kind of pain losing their baby, a baby they had been looking forward to holding”
I swallow. Dread filling up every square inch of my body.
“Why are you telling us this?” I choke out in fear.
“I’m telling you this because, Nora and Theo are my parents” he pauses, but his next words bring
me too my knees. 1
“More importantly, they are your parents too. You’re the child Nora was pregnant with when she
was fourteen. You’re the baby that supposedly died during childbirth” 13