32 | Letting In
After gaining a lot of courage, I turn my head and my eyes lock with brown orbs that screamed fury.
“Ava…” I struggle to find words but my mouth gets clogged up with unfamiliar fear.
“I can’t believe this Phoebe! How could you?! How could you not tell me?” She literally screams and for a moment my hands itch to muffle her screams with my hands.
“For fuck’s sake Ava, stop screaming! You will wake people up with that tone” I implore her into understanding but she rises her hands to silence me.
“I had enough Phoebe. For years I stayed by your side and always tried my best to understand you and yet you do this. I understand that maybe you wanted to keep it private from others but still, it hurts knowing that you hid this from me. I mean I tell you everything and yet you never open up to me. You did not tell me where you got those hickeys from when you doused your neck with foundation…”
My eyes widen with realization after hearing this and after seeing my expression, she lets out a bitter humorless laugh and continues “You think that I didn’t notice that? C’mon, Pheebs I am the one who taught you how to apply makeup for Christ’s sake! I know what a concealer and foundation smell is better than you” She bursts out and I do my best to not howl with laughter at her words.
Seeing my suppressed smile, she grows even mad and all my amusement vanishes in thin air.
Fuck! I’ve never seen her this mad
“Fuck this! I’m done” She spats out and before I can even stop her, she storms off from my room, slamming the door loudly on her way out.
My head starts throbbing with pain at all this and I slump down on the loveseat near my bed and clutch my head with both of my hands.
This is so fucked up. For a moment I grow worried thinking, what if Ava left me just like Emily? Then again, she isn’t the type to stoop down that low.
After contemplating this situation for a while, I get up from the couch and slip inside the warm covers of my bed. I know Ava like the back of my hand. If I’m lucky, she’ll forgive me soon. With that thought in my head, I drift off to sleep.
Knocking timidly on the rosewood door, I stand impatiently outside Ava’s door with one hand holding a plate of chocolate brownies covered with foil paper. The only way to get off Ava’s shit list is to present her with her favorite delicacies and that is nothing other than chocolate.
After a few minutes, the door swings open revealing a sleepy form of her still yawning. After her eyes register me fully, her expression grows cold with wariness, and with a silent nod, she lets me in.
I cautiously step inside her room whilst studying her emotions carefully. Thanks to God, she didn’t look mad like last night and I inwardly sigh with great relief.
Her room was an absolute replica of mine except the color palette consisted of green and white unlike the beige and bronze scheme of my room.
I place the brownies on top of the coffee table and sit down on the soft couch facing the fireplace. I was so nervous to even face her that I looked down and started fidgeting with my hands. After a stretch of silence, her firm arctic tone cuts the tension hanging around the room.
“Why are you here Phoebe?” I hear her ask with disinterest and turning my head in her direction, I see her studying her nails as if they are some rare artifact flown down from Egypt.
I start feeling uneasy under her judgmental scrutinizing stare and cross my legs to appear calm and collected.
“I’m sorry Ave. You know how much you mean to me. Your opinion means everything to me and I was scared knowing full well that you’ll be disappointed knowing that I’ve been sleeping with Blaze an-” I decided to take the high road by coming clean first but get interrupted by Ava.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa, hold the fuck up! You have been fucking Blaze Hunter? Noah’s cousin?” She looks at me incredulously and the expression on her face indicates that she’s clearly baffled by my confession.
I look at her warily and nod slowly as her face contorts with realization.
“Fucking shit Phoebe! I thought you were fucking Noah! Or are you doing both of them?” She gazes at me expectantly whilst pointing a finger in my direction accusingly.
And now it’s my turn to look confused. However, as soon as I let her words soak in the head, my fists curl with anger and I glare at her which causes her to look down fearfully.
“Are you fucking serious? Are you trying to say that I’m a whore and to answer your question, no, I’m not fucking Noah” I say through my gritted teeth as I try to reign in my temper then suddenly a thought occurs to me.
“Why on Earth would you think that I’m sleeping with Noah?” I say and fold my hands over my chest as I sink further into the couch to make myself comfortable.
“Fuck” She curses under her breath, releasing a frustrated sigh and rubs her temple whilst scrunching her eyes closed.
I still wait for her answer and all of a sudden, it dawns upon me and my eyes widen like saucers upon the revelation.
“Oh my god, Ave! Do you like Noah or something?” I splutter my question half expecting her to answer my question saying how ridiculous I sound but her silence is confirmation enough.
I wasn’t nervous because I don’t like Noah. It was because what if she starts behaving like Emily did when Noah chose me over everyone.
Shit, shit, shit, this can’t be happening!
After a long while, she raises her head and looks at me with guilt-ridden eyes.
“I’m so sorry for not telling you Pheebs…” She trails off and looks away from what I assume as shame.
“I don’t understand Ave. If you like Noah, then why didn’t you say it to him? Or did you?” I ask her skeptically with my eyes narrowed and wonder if she got rejected by him.
Nah, Noah would be an idiot to reject someone as beautiful as a Goddess like Ava.
It all starts making sense. All those times, Ava would continue telling me about Noah and his talents. I always turned blind eye to all her words because I was never interested and thought she kept doing this to act as Noah’s wing-girl. Except it was all her admiration for him.
Shit! This is all so fucked up!
“No! I never told him that I liked him. Are you crazy? That would’ve ruined our friendship. Besides, I wasn’t sure if he ever even moved on from you”
“This all too much Ave. Besides, we never loved each other” I say sincerely with a firm tone and notice her looking at me with disbelief.
“Are you blind? Did you not notice the way he looks at you? Even after all these years?” She asks and I frown with confusion.
You see this is the problem. I never paid any heed to anyone’s feeling towards me because I was immune to it. My humanity was stripped away from me since the day cold blood smeared my hands.
Shaking my head clear of that awful memory, I rise from the couch and perch beside Ava on the bed and will her to look at me by clasping her shoulder with both of my hands.
“Ava, you know that I don’t care about all this. But I care about you. I know I sound selfish but then again I’ve never claimed myself to be a selfless mortal. If Noah likes me then I’m afraid I can’t do anything about it. We both parted ways eight years ago knowing that we will never work. I can’t do anything if he’s still hung up on me. Besides, you don’t know for sure if he still likes me unless you ask him yourself” I speak out truthfully and shake away a few strands of my brown curls that fell over my eyes.
She gulps down nervously and hugs me without saying anything. I hold her close to me and rest my chin on her shoulder, inhaling her sweet exotic floral scent.
We stay quiet for a long time and trying to break the silence, I voice out my fears.
“Hmm…” She hums with her face buried in my hair, still hugging me.
“Would-d you ever leave-e me like Emily d-did?” I nervously interrogate her and she stiffens inside my arms upon hearing my question.
Pulling away from me, she studies my face and gasps out saying, “Dear God no! Heck, Pheebs! Why would you think that? I’ll never do that to you. If you are asking me this because of Noah, then the answer is no. I’ll never abandon you for him. It isn’t your fault that he likes you, Phoebe. Who wouldn’t? Your kind, sweet, gentle…” I try to cut her off but she holds up her hands and continues, “No, let me finish. No matter how much grief you’ve faced in your life Pheebs, no matter how much you change, deep down a part of you still exists. That part which still feels and craves love”
I lock my eyes with her and instead of lies; I’m faced with genuine love and affection. My tears start welling with unshed tears and I look away so that she can’t see my face.
“Phoebe amore, don’t cry” She embraces me from behind and I cry harder when I hear Blaze’s pet name for me.
“Oh Ava, I don’t know why I’m crying. It hurts so much to live in guilt every day knowing that I’ll never be able to face a normal relationship without cracking” I keep on sobbing and hot tears roll down my cheeks and fall on my blue denim skirt.
“Do you really like him?” She asks and I turn to look at her with my blurry vision. I sniff and gently nod my head as yes.
A soft smile breaks on her face and she brushes away my tears using the back of her hand.
“Then open your heart, Phoebe. He cares for you. He always agrees with whatever you say and looks at you like he’s smitten with you” She says with a broad smile and also find myself smiling at her words as the heat starts creeping up my neck.
“I don’t know Aves. Maybe I will”
A/N - Ava, and Noah, who would've thought? I hope you all like this update and let me know your thoughts on it!