In Your Arms

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Chapter 24- Noah

I’ve been walking around for a couple of hours afraid of returning back to the apartment. I left. I fucking left. I feel awful, but I’m so mad right now. Just knowing that Charlie is in the same vicinity as Haven brings my blood to a boil. The fact that she saw him and all of the trust that we’ve built, the safety I always made sure she felt, was just gone in a matter of seconds. And I lost it. Never mind Julian’s wall, but Haven. Oh, my sweet, Haven. She just cried and I couldn’t stop myself. What ruined it for me was the fear in her eyes and I couldn’t calm down.

Never once had Haven looked at me with fear. She was afraid but never towards me and the look on her face has been haunting me since I left. I just couldn’t go stop myself. The anger in me has awakened, just consuming my mind. The things I want to do to Haven’s soon to be ex. My head pounds, my feet pounding against the pavement beneath my feet. I look up at the street names and I didn’t realize it earlier, but I’m around the corner from Julian’s. I sigh.

It’s time to face her again. I walk over to the apartment building and walk inside. I go on the elevator until I arrive on the 5th floor and head to Julian’s apartment door. Once I’m inside, all of the lights in the apartment are off, except the night lights in the hallway. When I close the door behind me, I hear movement. Expecting Haven, I turn around and I’m met with a very pissed off Julian. I start taking off my jacket as he shakes his head and motions me into the kitchen. I toss my jacket on the sofa and follow him. We head to the far side of the kitchen. He turns around to look at me, almost red in the face.

“What the fuck was that man?” He whispers shouts. I bring my hand to the back of my neck and shut my eyes tight not responding. “You leave a hole in my wall. You fucking leave Haven here crying her eyes out alone. What the hell is your problem?”

“I know, alright? I messed up,” I say opening my eyes to look at him. He shakes his head.

“You messed up? That’s all you have to say?”

“Julian, you have no idea what’s going on between us ok?”

“Well, you want to put a hole in my wall? Then you better tell me what the hell is going on.” He crosses his hands over his chest, waiting for me to respond. I sigh and walk to the table chairs, Julian following suit. When we sit, I fold my arms on the table.

“She’s married Julian,” he stays quiet, so I continue, “She left him because he was abusive. We came to start her divorce process and of course she sees him.” He folds his arms, leaning back into his chair.

“I had no idea that’s what you guys were dealing with,” he sighs and looks at me intently, “but Noah, that doesn’t excuse you. You blew up in front of Haven, who from what you’re telling me, is running from a man that probably did nothing but blow up constantly.” I shake my head and brush my hands through my hair.

“I know, I know. I’ve been beating myself up about it. I just can’t stand her being so fearful of that prick,” I look back up at him, “I love her. I’m in love with her and I just want her to feel safe.” Julian finally places his hand on my shoulder.

“These things take time Noah. You just met her almost three months ago. The trust you’re asking for isn’t going to be easy to just give. Put yourself in her shoes, the last time she trusted a man, he destroyed it by trying to destroy her.” With that he gets up and pats my shoulder walking out the kitchen. “I’ll be waiting for a check in the mail for my wall to be fixed,” he hollers over his shoulder walking to his bedroom.

I pinch the bridge of my nose. Julian is right, per usual. I’m putting too much pressure on Haven. I feel so stressed. I get up and walk towards our room. As expected, the door is locked, so I lightly tap on Julian’s door. He quickly opens it with a smirk on his face, holding a pillow and a knit throw blanket. He tosses them at me and without a word shuts his door.

I sulk off to the couch wanting so badly to just sleep this day away.

********

I tossed and turned all night. I gave up on sleep when Julian clanked around the apartment getting ready for work around 6:30. I know he was doing it on purpose to bother me because when we made eye contact, he chuckled. When he left, I was by myself, listening for Haven to wake up.

I heard her when she got initially got up and snuck off to the bathroom and then back into the bedroom. Finally, I heard the click of the lock, the creak of the door opening and her footsteps walking through the hall. I sat up quickly, folding my hands across my lap. When she finally came into view, she stopped at the entrance of the hallway and I see those beautiful hazel eyes. She must’ve gotten dressed in the room because she was wearing a black hoodie, leggings and sneakers, with her hair tied up in a ponytail. I can tell she’d been crying all night. It isn’t until I see her duffel bag on her shoulder that I push the blanket away and stand up, staying by the sofa to give her, her space.

“Hey,” I say quietly. She looks down and starts to fidget with her hands as they come together.

“Hi,” she says quietly. She looks back up at me. “Can we talk?”

“Yeah, yeah. Come sit,” I say, moving the blanket and pillow to the floor. I sit down and she follows. We both sit in silence both of us hesitant to speak.

“Haven, I-,”

“Noah-,”

We both cut each other off. I rub the back of my neck.

“You go,” she says. I nod giving her a small smile.

“I know yesterday was a lot, for both of us. But mainly you,” I start. She nods. “I just want to apologize for how I acted. It was totally unnecessary. I was a total jerk and I need a much better handle on my emotions because you didn’t deserve to see me that way.” She offers me a sad smile. I go to grab her hand and she shy’s away. I look at her quizzically. She takes in a deep breath, looks down, and then back up at me, this time tears welling up in her eyes. My heart stings at the sight. “What’s wrong Haven?” She sniffles.

“Noah,” she starts. “I can’t do this.” I shake my head at her words. The tears fall onto her cheeks. “I’ve been up all night fighting myself because I meant it when I told you I love you.” In this moment, I grab her hands, hopping off the sofa on my knees bringing her knuckles to my lips. She closes her eyes.

“Haven, I love you. Please don’t do this.”

“Noah, I can’t- I can’t be the woman you need me to be right now.”

“Haven, I don’t want you to be anyone other than you. Please don’t do this.” I kiss her knuckles again. She shakes her head, her eyes opening revealing a bloodshot red color.

“I have to Noah. I just can’t drag you in my mess with Charlie. It isn’t fair to you. Thank you for everything you’ve given me, but I’m going to return it. Starting with this,” She takes her hands away from mine and leans over, reaching for her duffel, grabbing the cell-phone I gave her out of the side pocket. She hands it to me. I turn my head away from it and stand up, crossing my hands over my chest.

“Haven, I’m not taking that or anything I’ve given you. Baby, I love you and I can’t just let you walk away from what we have. You’re my soulmate.” She looks away from me. I return back to my seat next to her. “You can’t do this.” I whisper. She continues to avoid my gaze, looking to the side. Then she turns towards me, with a determination in her tear-filled eyes.

“I have to, I can’t be someone to comfort you and myself at the same time. My pitcher is empty, Noah. I have nothing to give to you and as much as you will say ‘you expect nothing’. You do.”

“No, I don’t expect anything,” I say shaking my head. She wipes at her eyes.

“Noah, you do. You expect me to trust you with everything. To rely on you for strength, healing. But I can’t. I’m running from a marriage where I was expected to be someone for someone, and I don’t want a repeat of that. I need time to go through this alone, without having to worry about you losing your mind over what I’m going to go through. I need time, to find Haven Hart again, because for a long time she’s been gone and swallowed up by people who want her to be someone else. I can’t do that with you.”

“I cannot believe this,” I say raking my hand through my hair. “So, you’re just going to give up on us?” I say in disbelief. The words make my mouth taste sour. Finally, Haven reaches up and touches my face. I lean into her palm, the tears beginning to well up in my eyes.

“I’m not giving up,” she whispers through her tears, “I’m letting go because I know this is what we need to be better for one another.” I close my eyes, a tear falling down my cheek. I bring my hand to cup hers, against my face.

“I won’t let you go. I can’t. I love you.”

“That’s why I’m the one doing it,” she leans in to plant a kiss on my cheek. She gets up grabbing her bag. I get up with her feeling desperate and unsure of what she was doing.

“Wait, where are you going?” She wipes at her eyes grabbing her jacket and putting it on.

“I was able to change the flight to an earlier one. I’m going back to Waterston.” I look back at the sofa with the abandoned phone on it. I bend down and grab it. She looks at me defeated.

“Please, just so I know you’re safe. I promise I’ll give you space. I just need to know you have a way to contact people.” She gently takes it from me, giving me a small nod. She walks to the door, giving me one last look, before disappearing behind it. I’m left standing in the center of the living room, silent tears falling down my face. I feel the anger rising inside of me. Instead of giving in, I stalk to the bathroom to shower away my emotions.

I just let the love of my life, my soulmate, walk out of the door and out of my life.

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