It’s been two days since Emma and I were kidnapped. The police have searched for Reaper, but he
was in the wind again. They couldn’t find him and those of his men who were caught weren’t
I’ve lived in constant fear since then. I don’t want something like that happening again. I
especially didn’t want to be targeted for something that I wasn’t even involved with.
“Mom can I play video games?” Noah ask bringing me back to the task at hand.
I’ve done all my chores in the hopes of keeping my mind from thinking too much. I was currently
folding our clothes. After this, I didn’t have anything else to do.
“Sure. What time did Gunner say he’s coming?”
Those two were now joined at the hips. They did everything together even when they were in
Their bond was so special and it reminded me of the one Rowan, Gabe and Travis have had since
they were young boys.
“Okay. I’ll make sure to have some snacks for you two”
He kisses me on the cheek. “You’re the best”
After that, he leaves and I am once again left with my thoughts. It’s like for the past few days I’ve
done nothing but think. It was driving me crazy. The thoughts just kept coming. Even when I was
Everything was confusing. Especially where Rowan was concerned. He has called a few times, but
instead of talking to him, I just hand over the phone to Noah. I wasn’t in the right mental capacity
to deal with him or the new character he has suddenly developed.
His actions these past few months are so contradictory. How can I all of a sudden mean something
to him when I didn’t for the last nine years? What has changed?
Nothing different has happened. I am still the same Ava. The same woman who he kept rejecting
her love. 1
If this change in him had happened a few years back, I would have jumped at the opportunity Now though, I feel like too much has already been said and done. There are just things that i can’t erase from my mind of my heart. Words said that can never ever be taken back and actions that can never be undone
But isn’t this what you’ve always wanted? a voice asks me. To have him see you, pay attention to you, want you‘
I can’t deny that. I always dreamed of a day when Rowan wanted me, craved me. But it’s a little too late now. I let go of those fantasies a long time ago.
Those were the fantasies of a girl who was in love and craved love. The woman I am now understands that some things were just never meant to be.
The woman I am now understands that hurt is more powerful than love. She understands that people you love can break you to the point where you’re nothing but pieces on the floor,
She understand that love is never enough and that you can’t force someone else to love you. Finally, she understands that once something is broken things can never be the same again, that includes a broken heart and trust.
Falling for whatever game Rowan is playing would be foolish. He already destroyed me once and I
can’t let that happen ever again. I don’t want to ever go back to a time where I would look at
myself in the mirror and not recognize the woman staring back at her. I can’t risk that.
Protecting my heart and being there for children is my top priority now. That has to be enough.
The love I have around me is enough, even if it isn’t romantic.
My silly dreams of finding my prince charming is long dead. Rowan and Ethan taught me that.
They taught me that fairytales are exactly that, tales and we know that tales are fiction.
I’m shaken from my thoughts by the sound of knocking on the door. I look at the time and realize
it’s almost three. I have been sitting here, drowning in my thoughts for almost an hour and a half.
I needed to sort out the mess that was in my head. I can’t keep this up for long.
Sighing, I stand up. I knew it was probably Gunner because he was the only one we were
expecting. I would make them the snacks I promised then take a much needed nap.
Opening the door, I am shocked to find Gunner standing outside with his dad.
“Hey” I greet him awkwardly after giving Gunner a hug.
He doesn’t need invitation so he rushes inside and up the stairs the moment we’re done greeting
Calvin and I are left standing awkwardly, staring at each other.
I haven’t seen him since the last time he was here. Gunner is here almost every day and Noah
sometimes goes to their house, but I’ve hardly seen or interacted with Calvin. It’s like for some unknown reason he was avoiding me.
“Do you want to come in?” I ask him when I see him shuffling from one foot to another looking rather undecided
“Yeah, if you don’t mind”
I move to the side to let him in. he looks unsure at first but he finally crosses the threshold and
enters my house.
Leading him to the kitchen, I motion for him to sit down while I prepare the boys their snacks.
“I heard what happened to you, just wanted to make sure you’re okay” he says after a while.
It wasn’t news in this city. Someone got wind of it and by evening, Emma and I were all over the
news. No one knew that I was a Howell, and I wanted it like that because I wasn’t ready for the
scrutiny that came with the name. They all still believe I was a Sharp and now everyone was
speculating on why someone would want to kidnap both Sharp sisters.
“Uh- thanks” I respond. It all felt so weird and awkward.
“How’s the face?”
“Better” I simply answer.
The swelling had gone down. All that remained was the ugly purple–blackish color around my
We are quiet for a moment. Both of us not sure what to talk about. I even wished that he could
leave. I hate awkward situations. They usually make me feel sweaty and out of balance.
“I’m sorry” his voice cuts through the tense air, making me turn to face him.
“How I have treated you. It’s not fair when you’ve been nothing but kind to me and my son. I just…”
I stare at him not sure what to tell him. This time it’s not out of weirdness but out of shock. When I
invited him, this was not what I was expecting.
“You have to understand, I haven’t had the best experience when it comes to women, so trusting
them is a bit difficult for me”
I swallow, realizing that I had it wrong all this time.
“It’s safe to assume that you were hurt by Gunners mother and not because she died, right?”
The emotions that play on his face tell it all. Whoever Gunner’s mom is has done a number on him,
and from the looks of it has continued to do it. He’s a man that was drowning in pain. If he wasn’t
careful, it would consume him.
“Yeah, but I don’t want to talk about it. It’s too fucking painful” he whispers while trying to mask
the pain that was chocking him.
I feel for him. Maybe it’s because he looks so lonely and lost. Maybe it’s because I see myself in
him. Maybe it’s because I can relate to his pain. Whichever it is, I want to help him. I want to show
him that there is a way to co–exist with the pain.
I can’t promise it’ll heal. After all, mine hasn’t, but there is a way to live with it without it
drowning you. Calvin just hasn’t figured that out, and instead of living, he is merely surviving.
Existing. Those are not ways to live, especially if you have a child. 1
“I get you Calvin. Fuck, do I understand you so I am going to accept your apology and I am going to
give you’re an offer of friendship” I tell him sincerely.
He looks at me in doubt, but finally he nods his head. Though a bit reluctantly.
I don’t know much about him now, but what I can tell is that he doesn’t have a support system.
That’s what he probably needs. Someone or some people in his life that will bring him out of his
shell. Ones who’ll show him life is to be lived.
Isn’t that what happened with me? Letty and Ethan came into my life and basically showed me
the light. Sure, what Ethan did was fucked up, but I will always be grateful to him for showing me
that there was more to life other than pain and heartache.
“Friends?” I ask pushing my hand forward for him to shake.
“Friends” he gives me a small smile.
Even as we shake hands, I can’t help the uncomfortable feeling tunning amuck in my chest 1 don’t sense danger from him, but something tells me that Calvin was meant to move here. He has secrets which were bound to come out and when they did, they would shift everything.