- A new version
There is something that happens inside you when you see your ex–wife, the mother of your son, shot and bleeding on the cold cemetery ground. Something I never thought I would feel towards Ava. 1
When I saw the men with guns pointing at us, I didn’t fucking think. I knew Noah was safe with my parents so my instincts took over and I dived for Emma. I would die for her and I was prepared to do just that..
I was relieved when the shooters ran after seeing the police but my relief was short lived when one of the officers shouted for an ambulance. I turned around wondering who was hurt, only I didn’t expect it to be Ava and seeing her hurt almost brought me to my knees.
It was a flurry of events after that. The ambulance arrived and the officer refused to let Ava go until he made sure she was safely in the able arms of the doctor.
I was pissed at his reluctance to let her go, she was my wife, I mean ex–wife but more importantly I was pissed at myself. I should have protected her. If something worse had happened to Ava, how would I have explained it to Noah? How would I justify the fact that I had failed to protect his mother?
So here I was pacing back and forth in the waiting room. So fucking worried because we hadn’t gotten a word since Ava was rushed to the emergency room. No one had come out to inform us of the prognosis.
“Please let her be okay” Kate, her mother whispered.
This is the first time I’ve heard any emotion in her voice when she talked about Ava I guess losing her husband and then almost losing her daughter softened her a bit.
We were all here with the exception of Noah Travis was seated next to Kate who was next to
I sat down unable to control the anxiety inside me. I needed her to be okay for Noah’s sake. I kept telling myself
I don’t know fo
ow long we were waiting, but when I looked up I saw Ava. She was over at the nurse’s station handing off papers. Her left arm was in a sling as she took her credit card and put it in her bag.
With difficulty, she managed to get out her phone, while still holding her bag. You could see that it wasn’t an easy task by the frown on her face.
“Ava” I called as she was about to walk past us. Her eyes still on her phone.
She looked up. I immediately noticed that something about her was different. I couldn’t place my
finger on it but it was there.
“What are you doing here, did someone else get hurt?” she asked. Her voice flat and devoid of any
“How are you doing?” her mom asked instead of replying.
“Unfortunately for you, I’m not dead yet”
Her answer took everyone by surprise. Not only because of how she worded, but because of how cold it was.
I decide to cut in. “Where are you going”
“Home” was her only answer.
“Your hand is in a sling, you can’t drive” I reason.
“That’s why I called an Uber”
“Ava we need to talk. It’s about you father” Kate whispers making Ava turn to her mother.
There was something missing. I could see it in her eyes.
Coldly she stared at her mother. “I don’t see what that has to do with me, the last time I checked,
he didn’t consider me his daughter”
A sob tore from her mother’s throat but Ava doesn’t pay any attention to her. It’s like she had.
switched off all her feelings leaving nothing behind but a cruel familiarity.
She moved towards the door but then stopped. “Where is my son?”
“At mom’s house” Travis answered. His eyes drilling into her.
She sighed. “Looks like you’ll get that talk after all”
“I’ll drive you” I offered
This earns me a frown from Emma but she’s got to understand. No matter my difference with Ava,
she was still Noah’s mother and she is hurt. Not forgetting that she was my wife.
Surprisingly Ava turns me down. “No need. I’ll use the Uber like I had planned and meet you there”
Without saying anything else, she turned and left. We stare at the place she just stood a moment.
ago. Usy, she would jump at any opportunity to be close to me. So we were all surprised that
she rejected my offer.
“Let’s go before she gets home and leaves before we’ve had the chance to talk” Kate says softly. Her voice still sad.
We drove here together, so we all jump into my Cadillac Escalade and drive off. Breaking every speed limit, we get to Kate’s house just in time to see Ava closing the door behind her.
I park the car and get out. Getting inside the house we find my parents, Gabe and Ava who was basically ignoring them. It was weird seeing this side of her. Most of the time she would try to make small talk with them even when they snubbed her.
“Can we just get this over with” she says in irritation as she takes a seat.
“James came to me with a business proposal that he wanted to partner with me. I agreed because I thought it was a good investment” I began.
“We signed the required documents thinking this was a solid company. It was later that we realized that the company belonged to a criminal gang. Neither James nor I wanted anything illegal to touch our companies. We knew that it would be inevitable if we continued with them so we found a way to terminate the contract, and reported them to the police”
“Okaaay” Ava dragged the word, her brows were furrowed as if she was confused about where this was heading to.
I sigh, already feeling drained by the events of today. “Turns out the gang members were among the most wanted, they didn’t take it well that we had ousted them so they went into hiding. We thought that since the police were involved they would keep their distance”
Kate took it from there. “They started threatening your father. They promised to make him pay then came after his wife and children. They blamed him because he was the one that had approached them even though he didn’t they were involved in illegal business. We thought that they were bluffing with their threats that’s until they gunned down your dad”
Travis, Gabe and my parents already knew. I look at Emma to find shock and fear etched on her
features. I then turn to Ava and the same dead and cold look is still on her face.
“I don’t see how any of this has to do with me” her voice is cool as she looks at us. Her eyes piercing us like shards of ice.
She stands up. “I’m going to take Noah and leave”
“Damn it Ava, you’re not taking this seriously” I say through gritted teeth.
Didn’t she know what this meant? How much danger she was in. How‘ things today could’ve have
ended with us planning her funeral next?
“I am and like I said I don’t see how this involves me”
Travis growled portraying the same frustration I was feeling. “You were shot today shouldn’t that tell you something?”
She glares at him. “All it tells me is that I was in the right place at the wrong time”
“Ava…” Kate goes to speak but Ava cuts her off.
“No. They were after the three of you, not me. Everyone in this damn city knows that none of you
considers me part of this family, so what’s the use of going after someone he wouldn’t care one bit
if she died?”
Her words cut through the air leaving us.cold. This was so unlike her. What the hell?
She turns to look at me. Her eyes are devoid of any emotion. It’s like she was dead on the inside.
Something about the way she looked at me bothered me. I hated that I couldn’t see any emotion in
“If there’s someone you should worry about, someone whose safety should be your priority then. it’s the woman beside you. She was his perfect little princess, so stop dragging me in whatever
mess he created” she pauses then faces the rest. Staring each and every one down
“Stop you fake ass concern. I don’t fucking need it and if it turns out I’m danger I will deal with it by myself. I’d rather die than accept any of your protection” she finishes in revulsion.
Her mother gasps and we stare at her in surprise. Unable to recognize the woman standing before
- us. Kate looks like Ava has just slapped her.
Emma springs up and stares her down, trying to intimidate her. In the past Ava would have
backed down but not this time.
“Stop being such a little bitch, just like always you want everything to be about you” she seethes making Ava laugh tonelessly. 2
“I don’t know which hole you’ve been hiding dear sister but nothing is ever about me. It’s always you but that’s not what we’re discussing right now. I’ve lived without these people’s protection for as long as I can remember, I don’t know why they’re all of a sudden interested in my safety. It’s fake and I’d rather not have fake people around me…Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go home”
She turned and ignored Emma and the rest of us like we didn’t even exist. I couldn’t believe the words that left her mouth. She talked about us like we were fucking strangers to her. Like we
were nothing to her.
“Noah” she shouted and seconds later we heard footsteps running. Soon, my son appeared in the
His gasp of shock as he stared at his mother made me feel like scum.
“Mommy, what happened to your arm?” he asked running and hugging her.
She gives him a one armed hug “Nothing my love, just hit my arm on the door and the doctor bad
to set it right”
She caresses his cheek lovingly. The hard and cold look completely gone as she stares at our son
“Does it hurt?”
“Just a little but I’ll be fine, now come on, let’s go home so we can eat ice cream and cuddle”
This brings a big beautiful smile to Noah’s lips. His face lighting up at his mother’s words.
Ava tries to carry his bag pack but Noah stops him
“I got it I’m a big boy now. You’ll see, when we get home I will take care of you and kiss your pain
away like you always do with me”
Ava smiles. Her smile transforming her whole face Melting the ice that had encased it. We all gaze at the mother son interaction Unable to pull our eyes from the adoration they have for
“Is that woman your sister?” Noah throws curious looks towards Emma
“No. I don’t have a sister” she replied then said something else under her breath. “And neither do I
have a family”
I don’t think we were meant to hear that last part but we did if I was to go by the sharp intakes of
air. I turn to Noah, wondering if he heard what Ava said but it seemed he didn’t because he was
waving at me.
“Bye kiddo” I replied hoarsely.
He bid goodbye to the rest and then they were gone.
We were left in silence each of us lost in thought. I continued staring at the door, confused on
what the heck just happened. Her detached treatment unsettled something inside me. Pulling at
unknown strings deep within me.
This was a side of Ava that I’ve never seen. A side that was foreign to all of me and I didnt fucking