Trusting Him (Journey to Love, #2)

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14. Distance

Lily’s POV

It has been a little more than a week since Jules’s dad was admitted into hospital and I think he is very soon going to be discharged. It doesn’t seem that there are going to be severe negative side effects from his heart attack which I know was a massive weight lifted off my shoulders and we’re not even talking about my own father.

Jean has some recovery in front of him but in moments like these I have to remind myself that things could have been a lot worse and he could have had a stroke. The next couple of months he is going to be recovering mentally as well as physically and while I am not his child, he is someone that I can see myself liking even if he wasn’t my boyfriend’s dad.

Jules has been distant again which is not something I ever thought would happen with him, I am not used to seeing and feeling like this when it comes to him. After my last relationship I said that I wasn’t going to settle for anything less than full commitment from my next partner but life doesn’t roll that way and I can’t exactly blame Jules for being a bit cold with me. I might be blinded by love once again but I don’t want to give up on Jules when he hasn’t actually done anything wrong.

I didn’t even think that I wanted this kind of relationship with someone, I thought that I was going to have my fun and keep things casual to protect my own sanity but I have found myself in another relationship where I want to give it my all. And this time it has everything to do with the amazing man that I am with, it does feel like I am finally dating a man. Jules is only a year older than me but I know he has been through a lot of things that I’m not sure I would be able to get through so no wonder he is more mature than the other guys his age.

I managed to find myself a good one but now I’m not sure how to keep him.

I haven’t been to the hospital in a couple of days because of my lectures and I am missing both Jules and his dad. We are getting along like a house on fire so I do genuinely want to see him and check how he is doing. All I have been getting from Jules are one word texts and being left on read most of the time which I have been trying to ignore and not let it get to me but it is because I am pissed that he is not leaning on me and at the same time I am sad that he is going through this and there is nothing I can do to help him.

“Are you going to see Jules today?” Hope asks from beside me and since yesterday she has been pressuring me to just head to the hospital and check on them both, I am Jules’s girlfriend after all, her words not mine.

“I think today I am going to have to head down there, he’s ignoring and while that is a shitty thing to do, I’ve never seen him when he is dealing with something as traumatic as this so maybe this is the way he copes?” I shrug my shoulders because I have to remind myself to keep an open mind, I’m not one to speak about healthy coping mechanisms and good communication skills so I should at least cut him a little slack before jumping to conclusions.

“From what you’ve told me, he is super close to his dad so this must be so difficult for him. You’re the queen of pushing people away but I think this time you need to be pulling someone in, this is not going to be fun for me who is going to have to pick up the pieces.” She moans and rolls her eyes. I of course hit her in the arm even though I know damn well that she is right and has a point, doesn’t mean I like it or that I want her to know she’s right.

“You’re supposed to be on my side here, you traitor.” I laugh with her but I know that I am trying to mask the worry that is starting to build low in my stomach, I don’t necessarily have anything to worry about but all of my senses are tingling.

“I’m always on the right side, because I am always right.” She pushes me back and for how little she is, she does have some strength to her. I think she is still having trouble with one of the guys, I really hope her and the twin can make up soon. I’m a shitty friend for this but for a

moment my brain is drawing up blank on names, or anything other than Jules to be honest.

“You’re an annoying pain in the ass but you are right.” I smile and hug her goodbye as I head towards the bus stop. I don’t feel as though I am in the right mindset to be driving right now and luckily the hospital is only half an hour on the bus.

I plug in my earphones and try to pass the time with a couple of songs, it’s not working very well but after what feels like hours I am walking into the hospital, trying to once again figure out where to go because hospital layouts are confusing. And it’s not something that I want to be an expert on anyway.

I manage to find the right ward and of course when I actually go in, nurses are running around everywhere and for all I know he might have been moved from a room out into the ward.

“Hi, excuse me. I’m here to see Jean?” My statement comes out as a question because I can’t really say I’m here to see my boyfriend’s dad and my boyfriend while we’re at it because he has been ignoring me.

“We don’t have a Jean on the ward honey, he might have been discharged.” one of the nurses stops for a couple of seconds and gives me a tired smile. I see the bone deep exhaustion in his eyes as he is quickly called away to do something else.

I’m left standing there confused because while Jules hasn’t been his usual self, surely he would have at least sent me a text or replied to one of mine. I see that I am going to have to push a little bit harder if I want to get anything out of him so as I walk out of the hospital I call him.

He takes so long to pick up that I think he isn’t going to at all but when he does, he doesn’t even speak a word. “Jules? Babe, you there?” I ask and all of the anger that I might have been holding onto melts away when I think about how sad he must feel.

“I’m here, what do you want?” His voice comes through sounding rough and with an edge that he;s never spoken to me in before.

“I came to the hospital to check on your dad and to see you but they said that he’s been discharged?”

“Yeah, the other day. He’s doing better, you don’t have to worry about him.” That might be the longest sentence he has said to me since his father was admitted into the hospital nearly 2 weeks ago.

“Of course I’m going to worry about both of you, I’ve been going stir crazy trying to get you to tell me anything.” I try not to sound too crazy down the phone as the last thing he needs is a crazy girlfriend.

“I haven’t spoken to anyone, this is not personal to you. I just haven’t been in the mood to be around people.” he replies and this time I feel as though his voice is missing something, it’s as if there is a void there.

“Would it help if I was just there and did nothing? You’re not even going to notice that I’m there.” I have to try because at this point I am willing to try anything just so I can see him or get near him.

“I don’t want to see anyone, and that includes you Lily.” He doesn’t snap at me but it’s like he stabs me in the back with just a few words. My eyes glaze over as tears begin to blur my vision. I don’t understand why he is pushing me away when we have both worked so hard to get to this stage.

“I know you’re hurting so you’re pushing me away but I care about you and I’m going to be here whenever you decide that you might need me next to you, please give your dad my love.” I stop myself before I say the dreaded ‘love’ word. Now is definitely not the time and I don’t think I would be able to handle his rejection with the mood he is currently in.

I expect at least something in reply but all I hear is the dead tone as he hangs up on me.

I almost stare at my phone in shock as this is not the man that I have been falling for. We might not have been together for a long time but Jules has never snapped at someone else, no matter what they have done and he has never been forcibly kind to me to fool me. He does a lot of things that I don’t even notice at first, he doesn’t do them to impress me because he never brags about them.

I have no energy to do anything else for the rest of the day so I just head to the shop to buy some snacks and I am going to hide in my room for the rest of the day.

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