I'm Here to Fix You

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Chapter 56

CHAPTER 56 - I JUST WANT TO SEE YOU SMILE AGAIN

SILVIA’S POV

I heaved a deep sigh as I contemplated the closed door. I came here in need of strength, but I’d forgotten Violet closed her bookstore a few months ago, before I got pregnant. She couldn’t keep up with it, also her daughter, aka Ryan’s mom, convinced her to go live with them in San Francisco. I was able to say goodbye, but ... I miss her. I’d so badly need one of her hugs right now.

There was the on sale cartel on the door, but I doubt anybody will try. The place is too little and too peculiar for any other shop that isn’t a bookstore. With giants like Amazon and whatnot, independent bookstores don’t easily open these days. I won’t deny I thought about it, but ... it’s not my environment. It’s a pity. The place might remain like this, empty and abandoned for a long, long while.

“It’ll become a tea room.” A familiar voice said beside me, startling me, yet not in a bad way. Maybe I can’t have one of Violet’s hug right now, but her grandson’s presence is a welcomed placebo nevertheless.

Frowning, I turned around, also confused as to when did he appear beside me. “A what?”

Ryan smiled. “A tea room. Or kinda. It’ll be one of those places where one can come sit and read a book in peace while tasting tea and cake. At least that’s the plan.”

“Oh.”

He neared the door, and took off the on sale sign. “Come on in, I’m going to offer you the first tea.”

I blinked my eyes, confused. “Wait, so it’s ...”

“Mine now, yes.” Ryan exhaled deeply and gloomily. “Granny left it to me. I thought I’d sell it, but ... I just can’t face it.”

“What do you mean she ... left it to you?” Oh, no ...

Ryan pushed the door open, his shoulders sagging. “She passed away last month. Something about her heart, it was so sudden.”

“Oh, Ryan, I’m so sorry ...”

“It’s alright.” We entered. “She didn’t suffer, that’s what matters.” I followed him to the corner where there was once the cash register, which had now been replaced by a glass window where presumably cakes would be showcased. “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you, but ... it was all so fast, I didn’t have the time, and when I thought of it, I ...” Ryan turned to look at me, well, more like at my belly. “I didn’t think it was wise to upset you.”

“I understand.” No, I don’t, but I didn’t say it. I hate being treated differently just because of this bump on my belly. The more I go on, the more people look at me as if I’m a fragile poor little daisy. I hate it.

He made some tea, and we went to sit by the front of the shop, by the window where the new arrivals were once put. “I’d offer you cake, but as of now, we only have equipments for tea, and not all. We’re going step by step.”

“We?”

“My cousin and I.” Ryan explained, sipping his tea. “Granny left everything to me, but I couldn’t make it on my own, and Susan was willing to join.”

“I see. But why a tea room?” And how do I tell me he made me crave cake now?

“Well ... truth be told, it was a project granny and I had been working on the past months. Ever since she closed the bookstore, that is. She didn’t want to sell, so I thought we could make something of it even if she didn’t run it.”

I smiled, sipping my tea. “There’s the mindful Ryan I know.”

“The thing is, I’ve been trying to put my life back together, and ... this project kinda helped.” And there goes the little jab there. Should I remind him it was him to break up with me?

“I understand.”

Ryan smiled into the void, his gaze lost, tea cup in his hands, for a long minute. I didn’t want to disturb him. I know how much he loved his grandmother, it’s obvious it was a huge blow to lose her like that. God, Violet wasn’t even that old ... I wish I could have seen her before ... but at least we did say goodbye, in a way.

I leaned in, and covered Ryan’s hands with mine, so that he looked up. “Hey ... you know she’s watching over you. She’ll never be completely gone, Rye.”

He cracked a small, bittersweet smile, welcoming my hands in his. “I thought you didn’t believe in afterlife and all that.”

“Well, I do and I don’t. But your grandma was a force to reckon with, she’s probably bantering with God or something.”

He chuckled, which was a welcome sound, but I could see the threatening sign of tears in his blue eyes. He’s always been such a sensitive soul, and Violet was like ... a wall for him. He went to her when he needed cheering up or simply a break. She was always ever so happy when he came over. And oh, how over the moon she was when he moved to Boston.

A tear escaped my eye as I thought of her. “Damn pregnancy hormones.” I muttered to myself, but Ryan heard me.

He looked up, his gaze lingering for a moment, but as if he’d recalled something, he abruptly let go of my hands. “So ... how’s it going?” He pulled back, leaning against the chair so hard that it seemed he wanted to escape from the sight of me. I wish I hadn’t noticed the hurt look in his eyes.

Please, tell me he’s over us. Tell me he’s hurt only because of his grandma, not because of us. I feel as if it’s been so long, yet it’s been only over a year. I got together with Jake four months after Ryan broke up with me. Definitely too soon given what we had. I guess this is karma.

“It’s going.” I sighed, grabbing my cup of tea. “Life is life and all that.”

Ryan frowned, baffled. “What do you mean?”

I forced a smile on my face, while all I wanted was to vent out. I’ve never cried in front of him, yet right I so badly needed to. I so badly needed to take refuge in his arms and feel safe. But it would serve to nothing. Because the truth is, as much as I loved Ryan, as much as he gave me, he’ll never be Jake.

God, I hate him. I hate Jake so bad. And I hate the fact that even though during the day I put up a tough façade as I keep rejecting his every attempt at reconciliation, at night I fall asleep in tears, because I miss him.

I’m a fucking living cliché. He cheated on me, broke my heart, acted like a douche, yet look at me, I still miss him, I still love him.

The fact that his child is growing in my belly doesn’t help. These stupid pregnancy hormones mess up my emotions, and I feel even worse than I normally would. I suppose that’s why I didn’t resist much, and I just ... burst into tears, even in front of my ex.

“Sil ...” Ryan breathed out, concerned. “What’s going on?” He came to swiftly pull me up, and embrace me, so that I stupidly took refuge in his arms. I’ve never been so goddamn week, ugh.

I wrapped my arms around his torso, holding him close as I hid my face behind his neck. “Oh, Rye ... if only you knew ...”

“Then tell me.” He kissed my temple. “Tell me what’s going on. What’s hurting you? Is it-”

“Jake.”

My ex took a deep breath, which I could easily read as ‘I knew it’. “What did he do?”

“What you never would have.” I stupidly voiced my thoughts as I gripped his shirt. “He cheated on me.”

Utter silence was the answer. What else could I expect? Ryan didn’t let go, though. He didn’t speak a word, but neither did he let go of me. If anything, he held me closer, and kissed my temple. His usual way of comforting me. Sometimes I think I chose the wrong guy. Then I remind myself, I didn’t choose, my heart did for me.

“I’m sorry.” I mumbled through muffled sobs after a couple of minutes. “I ... you’re the last person I should talk about this to ...” I tried to pull back, but Ryan didn’t let me. If anything, he cupped my cheeks, and stared straight into my eyes.

“Don’t ever feel sorry for needing comfort, Sil. You know I’m always here when you need me.”

“But it’s not fair.” I slipped out of his touch, and wipe away my childish tears. “Not after all that happened between us. Not considering I didn’t comfort you when you needed it the most.”

He cracked a small endearing smile as her grabbed my hand, rubbing the back of it, as he used to. “I don’t care about fairness, Sil. I care about you. And that’s all that matters.”

Stupid heart. Why did you choose the one guy that was bound to hurt me? Why didn’t you stick to this amazing man that is now before me? He’d have cherished us. He’d have loved us until the end.

“We can be friends, if you like.” Ryan mentioned, barely able to smile.

“I wish we could ...” I sighed, rubbing my belly. “But it would hurt you, Rye, we both know that.”

“It’s alright. It’s been over a year. I’m fine.”

“Rye ...”

“If not a friend, let me be the shoulder you cry on, Sil, or the pillow you lean against. Let me be anything that can be useful in this predicament. Please.”

“I-”

“It’s not a ploy of some sort to win you back. We crossed that bridge long ago, and it didn’t work out. I’m not at all keen on putting us through another heartbreak like that. I just want to support you through these hard times.” Ryan took a step closer, half smiling as one of his hands entangled in mine, while the other rubbed my belly bump. “I just want to see you smile again.”

***

JAKE’S POV

“How do I know it’s not photoshopped or whatever?” I spat, gripping the phone so tightly that I nearly crushed it, as much as I nearly smashed my jaw by clenching it.

Hillary laughed, taking her phone back. “Why would I do such a thing?”

“I don’t know, maybe you think this way you’ll have your chance.”

She grinned. “Jake ...” She caressed my cheek. “I lost my battle, I’ve come to terms with that. I wouldn’t have showed you this if I didn’t think you ought to know.”

“Oh, really.”

“Maybe you won’t believe me, but I do not wish to see you hurt, Jake.” Hillary claimed, taking a step closer as she cupped both my cheeks, her body growing closer to mine. I didn’t move back, but not because I wanted anything from her. I didn’t move because I felt numb, empty, void in my deepest core.

The picture she just showed me, it was proof that it really is over between Silvia and I. I thought I could find a solution, I thought I could fight it, try anything to have her forgive me, but ... it’s useless now, isn’t it?

Silvia went back to Ryan. Why am I even surprised? Of course he would be the first choice after me. Wasn’t she pregnant, she’d probably sleep with him just to spite me. And the truth is, I couldn’t even blame her if she did.

I managed to destroy the most beautiful thing that ever happened to me. I managed to once again hurt the woman I love. I keep on screwing up, and it’s no wonder. I was a fool to even only believe I could make this work. How could I ever? When I’m simply not made for it.

It’s over now, I suppose I should just come to terms with it. Let’s be honest, we were delusional to think it would last. It was never supposed to. I just wish I didn’t feel my heart sink deeper into the abyss every tear she cries.

We’re soul mates, remember? I feel her pain. So I know, that even though she’s in Ryan’s arms right now, she’s hurting. I know her heart is aching and bleeding, because so is mine. But it’s over, and there’s nothing more to say about it, so just let me wallow in my misery on my own.

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