It was already 1 PM and I was still in bed, feeling too lazy to get up and dressed. After what I’d been through last week, my day off had finally come and it felt awesomely good. And with it, came my meeting with Allison. Or so my aunt had promised.
So yes, I could say I’d been feeling too edgy and impatient for over a week. Fortunately, I hadn’t gone through any arguments with anyone, and even though Cooper Senior was still here – go figure why – he hadn’t approached me again, and I was thankful for that.
Since I was supposed to meet with my aunt downstairs at 2 PM, I hurried to get up, and went to take a quick shower. In fifteen minutes I was out. I guess I was too anxious to meet Allison. I decided to wear some jeans and a white top, which contrasted with my black hair, dark blue eyes and tanned skin. Next, I slipped my feet into some sandals and combed my hair.
Looking at myself in the mirror, I thought I looked good to meet Allison. I didn’t know why I was so nervous, though. I had all the questions ready to ask her and everything. So why the hell was I so anxious?
Maybe because you’re meeting Adam’s mother, my conscience answered. Allison’s Adam’s mother. Of course you’re nervous to meet her. It’s almost like meeting your boyfriend’s mother, without the boyfriend part. Well, it made sense. However, Adam and I didn’t date, so I shouldn’t be feeling like this. The only reason I wanted to visit her was because I wanted to know her reason for abandoning Adam.
In that moment, I found myself picturing Adam in my mind, though I immediately hurried to shake him off my head. Sighing, I looked away from my reflection in the mirror and reached for my purse, putting everything essential inside it.
At last, I was ready... and it was still too early to go.
Still, I decided to go downstairs. I knew that if I stayed here, I’d get even more nervous. So, I walked out of my room, and started going down the staircase. Everything was too quiet, so when I reached the maids’ floor, I heard that familiar voice, “I’m hiring you, because in my opinion, you’re the best out there in what you do, Josh, and I know you don’t have a job right now, so that’s also why I’m proposing you this.”
Even though I looked down, I didn’t need to do that since I easily recognized that cultured voice – Adam.
“Of course, and you know I can pay you well. Come on, you can’t say no, Josh. Look, I’ll give you some time to think and then you give me a call and tell me your answer. How’s that for you? Ok, then. I expect to hear from you soon. Yeah, you too. Bye.”
I didn’t know he’d already started hiring staff for his clinic... Well, I didn’t know why I was that amazed. Not only did I know Adam was going to run it all by himself, but I’d already heard the maids commenting that Adam’s clinic was almost ready and soon, Adam could start working there.
I watched him hang up the call and put his cell back on his pocket’s jeans. Then, I saw him go to one side of the first floor, where his room was, and lost him.
In that moment, I found myself biting my lip, like I always did before doing something after some thinking. I hadn’t had the chance to talk to Adam since that last time he’d barged in a room where my aunt and I had been speaking. I’d wanted to, but I hadn’t had any chance so far. And Adam did deserve to hear me out for all the stupid lies he’d make up just so he could tell Rachel I’d been the only one to blame in this whole story.
No matter how much time I stood there thinking, I knew I’d already made up my mind, so I didn’t lose any time and hurried to go after him. However, even if there wasn’t anyone walking around the corridors and the stairs, I tried not to make any noise at all, so that I wouldn’t attract anyone’s attention.
When I reached his floor, Adam had already vanished, but since no one else lived on that side of the floor, I knew there was only one place he could be – his bedroom. When I got there, I hoped no one else was keeping him company, because it was my turn to barge in without his permission.
He was sat behind one of his desks, but when he calmly looked over his shoulder and saw it was me, his reaction was just to stare. He definitely wasn’t waiting for this, but I didn’t care. This was the chance I had to say everything I’d kept for myself for the past week.
“We need to talk, Adam.” I said, trying not to crack under the pressure. Slowly, Adam got up and turned at me. Folding his arms over his chest, he just nodded, giving me permission to speak.
However, I just stared at him. Wasn’t he surprised to see me there? I mean, we hadn’t talked for a week after that last argument we’d had, where he’d felt betrayed, because I didn’t want to tell him who’d hit me.
“Aren’t you curious to know what I have to say?”
Adam shrugged his shoulders, “I probably know why you came.”
“I bet you don’t.” I was sure Rachel hadn’t told Adam about the fight, unless she wanted to unleash Adam’s fury.
“Want to bet?” I remained silent. Knowing I wanted him to explain, I let him keep going, “Alexis told me Rachel talked to you.”
"Talk is a nice way to put things,” I said sarcastically. And yes, it was obvious it had been Alexis. It just didn’t occur to me. Had she mentioned she’d spoken to me, as well? “She rather yelled at me. In case you’re wondering about my reaction, no, I didn’t yell. I was just too busy thinking why the hell you told her all of those lies.”
There, I’d said it.
Adam lowered his head, and closed his eyes for a second. He seemed too tired, honestly. Well, I should take advantage of that, just like he took advantage of my situation, and told Rachel those stupid lies, knowing I couldn’t do a damn thing to contradict her. I mean, what could I do against his perfect girlfriend, without setting free everyone’s fury at me? Yes, because they only saw Rachel’s side of the story, and not the maid’s.
When Adam looked back at me, he spoke exhaustedly, “You know why I decided to go for the lies, kid.”
“Don’t call me kid.” I snarled, trying not to melt in front of him, when he looked so needy and so worn-out. Instead, I focused on what Rachel had told me, making my own blood boil. “Tell me, Adam! Tell me why the hell you told her all of that shit! Just so you could keep your already screwed up engagement?”
“If it’s screwed up or not, it’s none of your business.”
I just had to smirk. My voice ran thick with sarcasm when I spoke. “You’re joking, right? It’s like I wasn’t even the one who helped you screwing it up and all.”
Adam gazed at me, and stayed silent for some moments. I wanted him to argue with me, so why was he so calm about it? “Why are you here, Eva? Why do you force yourself to go through this, when you said it yourself you just want to forget everything about us?”
“How can I forget all about us, when problems concerning our involvement keep rising and twisting my life?” As far as I knew, this was the only time I’d decided to come to Adam on my own, given that all the times we were together after we came back happened out of pure coincidence.
“If you’d ignored me in the first place when Gabi hired you, none of this would’ve happened.”
In that instant, my jaw fell open, and I could not believe Adam had used that argument. I even choked on my words when I said, “You did not... say that, Adam. I mean... you were the one who insisted we could be together, despite everything we ended up doing!”
“If you hadn’t followed me to the stable that night-”
“Are going to attack me with that from now on?” I cut him off, now really pissed off. “You have no right to say that to me, Adam! I could have gone to the stable a million times and you could have chosen to ignore me or even fire me! But no! You didn’t do that, did you? You allowed yourself to get close to me! So don’t say it’s all my fault, just like you told Rachel, because you know that’s a big fat lie!”
“Come on, Adam! How could you tell her you kindly asked me to walk away, when you actually did the exact opposite?” Now that I was yelling out all of that, I couldn’t really believe Adam had said it. Adam... for me, Adam was everything but a liar and a jerk, like Rick, but... I guess I was wrong. “How could you tell her I just wanted to make a fuss on the day of your dad’s birthday, so that she’d think you’d cheated on her? When I heard her saying that... You can’t possibly guess how betrayed I felt!”
“I couldn’t tell her anything else, kid! I couldn’t!” He shouted. However, it sounded as if he was pleading now. And maybe he was. “I still want to marry her! You think I’d tell her I love you?”
For a second, I almost died there when my heart stopped beating for a while. Adam was saying he loved me, yet he wanted to marry Rachel. How could someone live like that? How could he continue to live his life knowing that?
“You could have told her anything... Anything!” I yelled, furiously pointing at him. “But you could have had the decency to say it was your fault, too! You could have told her I wasn’t the only one to blame!” And you should have had the courage to say you loved me!
God, what a hypocrite he was!
“Damn, Eva, can’t you fucking understand I want and have to marry her? It’s obvious I wouldn’t tell her something like that, otherwise she’d break off the engagement!” How the hell could he keep saying that when his marriage was already done for good? Besides, he’d said it himself! He loved me! Was he capable of marrying Rachel, knowing he loved me too?
“For god’s sake, Adam! You love me, as well!” I snapped, feeling like I was about to break under the pressure. “How can you be so sure she’s the one you want to spend your life with?”
No, no, no, Eva! Don’t you start begging!
“How can you be so sure I am not the one? How...” I unexpectedly trailed off, and turned around, not having the courage to look into those needy and pleading icy blue eyes. I didn’t have the guts to stay there any longer. I couldn’t keep yelling at him, because in the end... no matter what I said or did, I’d always be the one who’d end up walking away with my heart once more broken.
As I tried my hard to push back the tears that threatened to come down my face, and thought of everything Rachel had said, I also remembered when I’d been with Alexis. If it hadn’t been for her, Rachel would have taken advantage of being alone with me.
Not to mention I wouldn’t have been able to calm myself down that moment. I think I’d have said or done something crazy. I remembered what Alexis had said to appease me, in order for me not to go straight to Adam.
But then... before I knew it, all I had in my mind was a scene being replayed, when Alexis was leaving my room to go back to Adam, instead of what she’d said to make me relax.
"You know... Why won’t you prove him wrong? Why don’t you try and make him see... you’re probably the ones he loves more?”
"Why don’t you provoke him to the limit, to make sure Rachel’s not the one he really wants to spend the rest of his life with?”
"I don’t think I can do that. Every time we ended up kissing or... you know, Adam has always ended up choosing Rachel.”
"I think you can. I think you should try. I think it would be worth it.”
Unconsciously, I slowly turned around to look at Adam.
He was right behind me, battling inside him, trying to decide whether he should comfort me or not... trying to decide if he should dare touching me.
I gazed into his icy blue eyes, and tried my hard to read his mind. However, I’d always sucked at it. But... Alexis was Adam’s best friend. If she’d said that to me, then... she must’ve read something in Adam. She was the closest person to him, other than Rachel. She knew him better than anyone.
Could I really make him see... he loved me and not her? I asked myself.
Out of the blue, I heard Alexis’ confident voice in my head, “I think you can. I think you should try. I think it would be worth.”
I dared to draw closer to Adam, my eyes fixed on his. I reached out for his shirt and gripped it smoothly. Adam didn’t move a finger. He kept staring at me, looking so uncertain about... everything. My hands moved up. I caught myself biting my lower lip, doubtful. I was trying to convince myself that Adam would pull away anytime soon. He would. If he loved Rachel, he would.
However, he didn’t. Instead, he grabbed my own hands with his, and allowed him to go up to his face. I caressed him and he closed his eyes, feeling the coldness of my hands on his face.
How could this be so easy?
Well, like Alexis had said... “...If I’m telling you this, it’s because I think it’s worth it.”
And maybe... maybe it was.
I was being so weak, but I didn’t care. I didn’t care that, one minute ago, I just wanted to slap him right across his beautiful face, though now I just wanted to kiss him that bad. And you know what? I didn’t give a damn to control that last urge.
Feeling secure about it, I slightly pulled him down. Adam leaned down, but didn’t go all the way. Instead, he asked me the same question he’d asked a few minutes ago, “Why do you force yourself to go through this?”
I didn’t give him an answer for the question. As an alternative, I pulled him down again and my needing lips met his.
In that moment, I knew I wasn’t the only one who was pathetic.
Adam’s hand immediately slid to my lower back and squeezed me against his sculpted body, at the same time his free hand moved to the back of my head, so that I wouldn’t run away from his greedy kisses.
I could have pulled away, because Adam had just proved Alexis was right, but I didn’t. Yes, I was that stupid and pitiable, just like Adam. I just stayed there, kissing him in the same starving way, wanting more than he could offer me, now.
Before I knew it, Adam was suddenly lifting me, and my legs automatically wrapped around his waistline. The moment he started walking, I knew where this was heading to - his bed. But I didn’t care. I was too lost in that feeling of having him, again.
I hated myself for this, because I knew it would end up like it always did.
Ignoring the reasonable part of me, I tried to focus on Adam when he suddenly lay me down in his bed and started kissing and sucking my neck, arousing me in such ways that I found myself failing to remember what important encounter I was going to have in an hour.
Burning with desire, I just wanted to take my clothes off and make love to Adam all over again.
You’re so pathetic, Eva. You pity yourself for this, yet you’re not capable of controlling your desire.
I paid no heed to my conscious, trying to focus on Adam’s kisses, on Adam’s hands on my body, warming me not only with the heat of his body, but with the heat of desire.
He’s worse than Rick, yet you’re letting him have you. Don’t you feel stupid?
My hands grabbed his head and I obliged him to kiss me, once more. But suddenly, Adam pulled away, and before I knew it, he was taking off his shirt. Craving for what he could give me in a few moments, I let myself be taken by desire, when I was suddenly trailing kisses down his abs.
While at it, I looked up at Adam. He was regarding me intently, his icy blue eyes ready to kill me if he wanted to leave no trail about this event.
He’s a lying bastard, Eva! He says he loves you, but he doesn’t give a shit about you! You’re nothing to him! Why do you think he’s decided to stay with Rachel?
In that moment, I froze.
What the hell am I doing? I asked myself. I had what I wanted, so why was I in his bed, imagining us making love all over again, instead of thinking of how stupid he really was?
I fell back, staring at the ceiling.
As for Adam, he resumed his kisses on my neck, while pulling my shirt up.
“Tell me, Adam...” I started, ignoring the way he was making me feel, “...how can you marry Rachel and pledge your faithfulness to her... when you know you’ll always end up getting involved with me... whenever we meet?”
That was enough to make him stop. Adam stared back at me, completely caught off guard. As for me, I just kept thinking on what Alexis had said. She was right, indeed. This proved I could have him anytime I wanted. And hell, it had been so easy!
I abruptly moved away from him and hurried to get off his bed. I straightened myself, while Adam just gazed at me, too shocked to say anything at all. I wanted to yell he was a cruel son of a bitch, but I knew that what I’d said had been worse.
Choosing the silent treatment, I maliciously turned around and left his room, allowing my words to sunk deep into his mind and heart, and letting him realize that, no matter what arguments he’d later arrange to contradict what I’d said, deeply, he’d know I was right.
However... that didn’t make me feel any happier.
Yes, Adam couldn’t resist me every time we were alone, but what was it worth, if he’d always go to Rachel? Alexis’ words clung to those thoughts, but I ignored her determined voice. Nothing was worth doing. Nothing.
It was a hopeless situation.
Too drowned in those thoughts, I didn’t realize my aunt was coming in my direction until I actually heard her unusually perky voice, “Eva! Where have you been? It’s past two! We’re supposed to be on our way!”
“I’m sorry, I-”
“Where were you, anyway?” My aunt asked me, interrupting the apologies I was going to give her. “I looked for you downstairs and when I realized you probably hadn’t come down yet, I went to your room, but you weren’t there...” Trying to read my miserable expression, my aunt then looked past me.
I immediately did the same thing, suddenly afraid that Adam had come for me, but no. He wasn’t there. He’d never ever come after me. I focused on my aunt again, and wondered what the hell she was seeing that I wasn’t. But then I reasoned, and I knew why she was speechless. She’d just seen me coming from the floor where Adam’s room was.
“You went to see him?” She asked, narrowing her eyes in a suspicious way. Before I opened my mouth, she cut me off, “Don’t lie to me, Eva. I’m tired of that, ok?”
Now that was true. I was done with lying to my aunt. Sighing, I told her the truth. “Yes, I went to his room.”
“Why did you do that, Eva? Are you aware Arthur’s father is still here? He could have seen you! He-”
“I think I know what could have happened if someone saw me, aunt.” I snapped, with no emotion at all. Not standing the way my aunt looked at me, I started going downstairs, hoping she’d stop her inquiry, but no.
“Why did you go there? Did he call you? Did he-”
“I went there, because Adam and I had some unfinished business to resolve.”
“Such as?” She questioned me, though I kept going, deciding to ignore her. I didn’t want to tell her about all Adam and I had argued about. And because I didn’t want to lie to her anymore, I restrained from saying anything at all. My aunt didn’t deserve to be told lies, anymore. Better to stay ignorant, right? “Eva-”
I abruptly turned around and blew up, “Unless you want me to lie to you again, please don’t ask me why I went to Adam, ok, aunt? If you don’t want me to lie to you, again, then please... don’t insist.” I pleaded, also not wanting to talk about it.
My aunt remained silent, and just gazed at me. I knew she saw through me, and I knew she caught a glimpse of the sorrow and suffering that had flooded me. I avoided her eyes by letting my head fall, but my aunt kindly lifted my face and noticed my eyes held tears I didn’t want to shed. “He... Did he do something to you?”
I shook my head, and tried to smirk, though I failed. “No, and that’s the problem, aunt. He didn’t do a damn thing! He says he loves me, but he doesn’t do anything! Yet, when we’re together, he just... we just...” It was my turn to trail off. That moment, my aunt saw how weak I felt again when I just hugged her, running away from her sympathetic stare.
If I had to have a breakdown, it better be now. I didn’t want to go to Allison’s house and show her how weak and sad I was. I didn’t want her to be aware of how much I was suffering for her son.
I was thankful that my aunt had decided to just let me be. I didn’t need to talk. I just needed someone to be there for me, while I shed those tears... so unworthy of Adam.
Nevertheless, moments later, my aunt spoke softly, “Eva, we need to get going... I told Al we’d be there soon.”
“Yeah, sure.” I muttered, pulling away from her grip. I immediately turned away from her, not wanting my aunt to see my messed up face. I wiped off my tears, tucked my hair behind my ears, and I hoped I looked better by the time we’d get to Adam’s mother’s house.
When we got outside the house and property, there was a cab already waiting for us. Taking a deep breath, I walked in after my aunt, and heard her saying the address to the driver. Next, the driver started the car, and I was officially on my way to meet Adam’s mother.
On our way, I caught asking myself how she was. If she was pretty, if Adam had something in him from his mother, if she was like Mrs. Cooper, so socially nice, or if she was just a plain woman... like me. I got so nervous that my hands were already shaking with anxiety to meet Allison, whom Adam didn’t even know was alive. But if it was up to me, that would soon change.
My aunt tried to talk to me, trying to ease the atmosphere, since she knew how bothered I was with Adam and how nervous I felt for going to meet his mother, but the last thing I needed that moment was to talk. Aunt Deena soon realized that and gave up.
At last, we arrived at the city around 3 PM and it took us only a few minutes until the driver took us to a specific house. Oh god, let the house be far away from where we are... I didn’t want to see her right now! I... How...
My thoughts soon abandoned me when the cab driver stopped in front of a one-story house in a nice neighborhood. It was now.
We got out of the cab and after my aunt paid for the trip, she approached me and smiled, “So, we’re here.”
Yeah, we are, I replied mentally, as I followed my aunt on her way to the door. I caught myself suddenly lacking air when she knocked on the door and those seconds lasted forever.
But then, the world froze for me when the door opened and a woman stepped out.
“Deena!” The woman exclaimed, eyes wide-open when she recognized my aunt and hurried to hug her tightly. “Finally! I was wondering you’d changed your mind!”
“Oh, of course not.” My aunt replied, breaking the hug. “You know I never miss a chance to chat with you. Anyway, I want you to meet Eva.” And so my aunt stepped aside, and Allison finally looked at me, with a caring smile on her face.
On my mind, I compared her to the picture Adam had once showed me, and she still looked the same, though it was clearly visible she’d aged quite a bit. Her feral hair was shorter, and because she shared my hair color – black – some grey locks stood out. Her skin wasn’t as tanned as it was on the photo I’d seen, but it still didn’t match Adam’s pale complexion. Her blue-grey eyes, despite everything I knew that had happened to her, still held joy. I wish I could look half as happy as her after losing Adam...
“Eva... Eva!” I heard, and then someone suddenly squeezed my arm. I snapped back to reality and saw my aunt. She made a face, and then I realized I’d just been staring at Allison.
“Oh, I’m so sorry, I-”
“It’s ok, it’s ok, don’t fret about it.” Allison said, her lips curving in a larger smile. “I knew you’d probably do that. I know I would, so... Anyway, it’s a pleasure to finally meet you, Eva.”
“The pleasure’s mine, Mrs....” And I bit my lower lip, not knowing what to say now.
“Oh, just call me Allison.” She said, rolling her eyes. “Now, shall we get in? Despite the heat, it’s cozier inside.” And so Allison turned around, and my aunt and I followed her. Embarrassed, I didn’t speak unless I was asked something, and always followed my aunt around. Allison guided us to the living room, and pointed at a couch in front of a comfy chair where she sat after.
I caught myself looking around, evaluating. Her house had nothing to do with the Coopers mansion. It was so... little. Anyhow, before I could keep on looking around, I was brought back to reality again by Allison herself.
“You know, it is really a pleasure to meet you, Eva.” Allison said, looking at me with her piercing blue-grey eyes. “After everything I’ve been hearing from your aunt... You can’t possible imagine how curious I was to meet you.”
I smiled nervously and answered honestly, “Same here. Since the very moment I found out about you, I...” I paused, not being able to say what was on my mind, since the moment the moment I found out about you, I could only think about telling Adam that you were alive. Anyway, I managed, “It had been such a discovery! I mean, I’d heard your name being said a lot and when I finally found out... I couldn’t even think straight.”
“Now that you talk about it,” My aunt started, turning to face me with curiosity and suspicion stamped on her face. “You never told me how you found out.”
In that moment, I remembered the night Adam’s grandfather was in my bedroom, waiting for me, to threaten and hit me, so cruelly and meanly. “I... I just put together all the pieces from the puzzle. I mean, you had talked about Allison, Adam had talked about you, too, Glenda said some things that made wonder, and even Mr. Cooper and his father had argued in front of me about Allison! But... I found out about it the night Mr. Cooper’s father went to my room and... and threatened me, claiming he wouldn’t let the same thing happen to Adam, like it happened to his son and Allison...”
“That son of a bitch...” Allison suddenly snapped. “That was the night he hit you? How dared he? Why didn’t you tell someone about it, Eva?”
“Did he ever hit you?” I suddenly asked. Allison didn’t reply right away. Instead, she gazed at me, looking absorbed in her thoughts. I took her – and my aunt’s silence as an answer to my question, and in that moment I knew Cooper Senior had been taking the same steps he’d taken when he’d found out about Allison and his son. Bastard. “So you know why I didn’t tell anyone, especially Adam. It would... everything would get out of control even more. Adam would...” I didn’t even continue. Just from imagining the way Adam could freak out and do something...
“John hit me the day he found out I was pregnant.” Allison unexpectedly disclosed, avoiding my dark blue eyes by looking at a ring she wore on her finger. Still, the moment she said that, I immediately remembered I wasn’t pregnant. In fact... that time of the month had started two days ago. “To this day, I still don’t know how he found out, but he unleashed his wrath that day. I didn’t know what to do, but I was sure I couldn’t keep living in Arthur’s house anymore, especially when his father already knew about us.”
“Did he... did Mr. Cooper know you were pregnant?”
“Arthur abandoned her.” It was my aunt’s voice. I looked at her blue eyes, and it looked as if she was imagining that time in her mind, again. “I told you the night Adam brought you home.” When she added that, I immediately recalled that night, listening to the story my aunt had told me about Allison and Mr. Cooper all over again.
“Why... How could he do it? I mean, it was his son!” I found myself lashing out at my aunt, feeling outraged. “Is he that heartless and cruel? Or did he have any reasons to give up, just like that?”
“Till this day, I have no idea why he quit fighting for us.” Allison revealed sadly.
“He was weak, that’s all.” My aunt blurted out, with hate and anger on her words. I guess she must’ve really seen what Allison went through and how much it broke her heart. “He didn’t have the courage to face his father, and-”
“Don’t say he was weak, Deena.” Allison abruptly cut off my aunt. “If you say he was weak, you have to tell her I was weak, too. I also gave up the moment he suddenly changed and turned into that cold person he is now.”
“You were forced to give up! Not only did Arthur himself abandon you, but his father threatened you and Adam! How can you say you were weak? Arthur was the one who quit!”
“I quitted, too!” Allison yelled at my aunt, pointing at her chest. This fight was getting heated. “I could have talked to Arthur about us and how much we both meant to each other, but-”
“Wait a minute!” I got up, placing myself between the two women who still hadn’t gotten up yet, which amazed me. However, I was rather confused because of something my aunt had said. So, I made myself be heard, “Adam’s grandfather... threatened you and his own grandson?”
In that instance, a shadow fell upon Allison’s features. I guess that meant a yes. “He came to me on my last days on their house, and told me that if I didn’t leave his house soon, he... he’d make sure I wouldn’t have the baby and that Arthur would never see me again.”
My jaw fell open the moment Allison revealed the part where Cooper Senior had said he wouldn’t let her have the baby. I was shocked, surprised, and disgusted. How could that man think about harming a baby? His own grandson, for god’s sake! It was Adam!
“Since that had been the time Arthur had also changed,” Allison continued, gazing at my astonished expression, “I... I couldn’t really do anything but to run away and be sure Adam would be far away from him. My son stood first on my priorities. As much as I loved Arthur... I couldn’t really risk Adam’s life.”
And thank god she’d made that wise decision. I mean... I couldn’t even imagine my life without Adam now, even if we weren’t together, anymore! While those thoughts hang on my mind, I gazed into Allison’s eyes, and there was nothing in them but sorrow and torment. Before I knew it, I caught myself asking, “Do you... still love him? I mean, Mr. Cooper?”
Allison got up and turned her back at me. I noticed her shaking her head with a hand on her cheek and another on her waist. “I know it’s stupid of me, but... yes, I love him with all of my heart, Eva, I really do. Arthur was – and still is – the love of my life. Losing him... felt like if the world had fallen down on me.” I heard her sighing and after some moments, Allison turned around, and I became aware she was about to cry. “I tried to move on, Eva. I wanted to, because I spent the whole time thinking about Arthur, but... I couldn’t do it. I’ve been with other men, but none of them has made me feel the way Arthur has...”
I didn’t say anything. I didn’t even know what to say in that moment while I looked at an inconsolable Allison.
I just sunk in the couch and looked at nowhere in particular, feeling Allison’s pain. All questions had vanished from my mind, and in their place was only one.
Would I... Would I turn into another Allison? Broken-hearted, not being able to move on, and having done nothing to be with the man she claimed being the love of her life?
With that question on my mind, I recalled all the moments I’d spent with Adam. He’d stood up for me most of the times, when his father had tried to torn us apart. He said he loved me, and he couldn’t fight against the need he felt to have me whenever we were alone. Adam never wanted to have the relation we now had... I’d been the one to choose that way.
Could that mean... there was still some kind of hope for us?
Or was I just... fooling myself?
Once more, too into my thoughts, I only came back to reality when my aunt nudged me. “I’m sorry,” I said, noticing Allison was back on her comfy chair, wiping off her tears. “I... I was just thinking.”
“It’s ok,” Allison spoke, trying to smile a little, but drastically failing at it. Looking at her now, knowing everything that had happened and how she felt after all these years, I really couldn’t help but to imagine myself in her place, longing for a long lost love. “I should be the one apologizing, Eva. You came here to ask me one simple question, and instead I just started babbling about the past.”
“It’s fine, really.” I said, shrugging a shoulder. I’d also been interested in her story with Mr. Cooper. Nevertheless, she was right. I’d come here with oodles of question to ask her, though there was only one she had to respond. And so far, that had been the only one she hadn’t given me an answer.
Decoding my facial expression, my aunt said, “You can ask her, Eva. She knows your major reason for wanting to come here.”
With my aunt’s approval, I looked back at Allison, who now gazed at me with her piercing blue-grey eyes. In that second, I found myself thanking for the fact that her gaze wasn’t as disturbing as Adam’s was, with those icy blue eyes of his.
Anyway, I had to ask her. And so, without any sugary words, I asked straightforwardly, “Why... why did you abandon Adam?”
Allison took a deep breath, and let it out slowly, never avoiding my eyes, though. I know I had no right to question her motives, but I was too curious to let this opportunity pass by. I had to have an answer for that troubling question. I mean... what mother would just... desert her son?
“After Arthur’s father threatened me and the baby, I moved out of the house to the city. It’s not far from them, but I couldn’t go anywhere else. I didn’t have the resources or the money for that, not to mention I had to start saving for the baby’s stuff at the time, given that I’d decided I’d have the baby-”
“You’d thought about not having the baby?” I inquired with my eyes wide-open, completely shocked, seeing that I really wasn’t waiting for that one.
“I know, I know... some stupid thing to think, uh? But you have to understand my position at the time, Eva... My conditions to have the baby weren’t the best.” Allison said, and even if I was still surprised, I understood her motive for thinking about that. If I’d been in her position, I’d probably have thought about it, too... or not. “Anyway, I had the baby in February and a few months after that... Arthur’s father paid me a visit.”
When she said, tons of questions regarding Cooper Senior’s motives to do that filled my mind. Why the hell had he come to visit Allison, if he’d said he wanted her out of their lives? Still, I restrained from interrupted her, because I knew Allison would explain everything to me.
“I was alone, and you can’t possibly imagine all the things that went through my mind when I saw him there. I couldn’t stop thinking that he’d come to hurt Adam, but then, when he started talking about Arthur... I knew something was very wrong.” Allison paused dramatically, clearing up her throat. I thought she’d keep going, but my aunt took her place.
“I was still working for the Coopers, and Eva... you can’t possible imagine the effect Allison’s departure had on Adam’s father, being pregnant and all. It devastated him. For over a year, it looked he was nothing but an empty man that had lost all reason to live. Well... he did loose. He didn’t do anything to straighten his life up, and the only thing he did was to think about Allison. I know this, because I became good friends with him at the time.” I tried to control my surprise when my aunt said that last part. I couldn’t imagine her being such a good friend with Arthur Cooper, no matter how much I tried to picture it. Did she really know... how devastated Mr. Cooper had felt? Had Allison meant that much to him? “And his father, in spite of knowing that Arthur would never love any other woman, tried to cheer up his son, but nothing he did worked. So... he had an idea.”
And so my aunt stopped talking, and turned to look at Allison, whose eyes were still on me. I guess it was her turn to speak. Still making an effort to stay put, I allowed Allison to continue without saying anything.
“John Cooper came to see me, because he wanted to talk to me about a proposal. He... he wanted Adam.” When I heard that, I gasped in shock, though Allison ignored me, and kept going. “He claimed he was just doing that for his son’s sake, which now I know it was true. He thought that bringing back home his grandson would change his son, Adam’s father.”
“And it did.” My aunt disclosed, but then, she added sadly, “Just not as much as he thought he would.” Before I could question my aunt about that, Allison spoke again.
“He claimed Arthur could give him a better life than I could, which was something he was right and that I couldn’t deny. They were rich. Adam could have anything he wanted. I was well aware of everything Adam could take advantage, but I was still was afraid it was just a scheme to take Adam away from me and do something.”
“But it wasn’t,” I found myself saying. “Adam’s alive. He’s with Mr. Cooper.” Allison nodded, and I caught myself realizing how courageous and how madly in love she was for Adam’s father. I mean... she’d practically finished saying she’d given Adam to Mr. Cooper, just so he could get better! That had to be the most selfless act I’d ever known about! “Still... didn’t it hurt? Don’t you regret it? How can you live knowing you just gave up from Adam-”
“I didn’t give up from my son, Eva.” Allison abruptly cut me off, in a somewhat aggressive way. “I just did what was best for him, because if you think about it... Adam has a life he could never have with me.”
“That doesn’t matter!” I rose my tone, feeling outraged for the second time that day. “You’re his mother! Adam doesn’t care about the wealthy life he has... all he cares is about the ones he loves! You! He’s damaged because he doesn’t know you or anything about you, since Mr. Cooper has decided to hide everything from him! Adam doesn’t-”
“Eva,” Allison said my name, making me shut up as she lifted her hand, looking at me with an annoying expression. “I know about the way Adam has been feeling his whole life. Why do you think your aunt’s still there?”
I immediately turned my head to stare at my aunt, though I didn’t say anything. She was still working for the Coopers just because Adam was there? “Allison made me promise I’d watch over Adam. I knew how much it had cost her to give away her son like that, for the sake of her lover, so... I couldn’t say no.” I lacked a response. All I thought was that my aunt was probably one of the best persons to have as a friend. Who would keep working for people like the Coopers, if they had the chance to get another job?
However, I tried to control myself when I looked back at Allison and spoke, again. “But... don’t you feel the need to go to Mr. Cooper’s house and... just tell everything to Adam? I mean... he’s a man now, he-”
“Believe me, I’ve thought about that all my life, but... I can’t risk it.”
Without thinking, I said, “Mr. Cooper’s father threatened you again?” Allison nodded, running away from my dark blue eyes. God, that man was a real son of a bitch. Wouldn’t it be easier if he allowed Allison and his son to be together?
“What makes me keep going is that I know Adam has a good life, regardless of his problems. Arthur did a good job with our son.” Allison stated, finally smiling. Then, she revealed, “I wouldn’t have done anything different if I had the chance to change this decision.”
Well, I guess I finally had the answer for my question.
Allison didn’t abandon Adam... she left him under Mr. Cooper’s care, because she knew he could provide their son a much better life, and because it could have helped changing Mr. Cooper. However, like my aunt had said, it didn’t do much. I understood why. As much as I was sure he loved Adam... he loved Allison, the love of his life, I guess. And Allison wasn’t the one who was married with him, now. The woman who slept with him every day wasn’t Adam’s mother.
Was that... was that the effect the loss of a person’s love had on another?
Would the same thing happen to me?
Before I could escape reality once more, to think about those two simple questions, Allison asked, “Anyway, tell me, Eva... how is Adam?”
“What... What do you mean?” I asked nervously, not understanding Allison’s question. Hadn’t my aunt filled her in with plenty of information regarding Adam, throughout her life? “I... I’m sure you know everything there is to know about Adam.”
Allison faintly laughed, and I still didn’t get what she wanted me to say. So, she explained, “Deena has told me he’s a little different when he’s with you.”
“Oh.” I grumbled, not waiting for that one. I looked at both women, and both were gazing at me, making me feel pressured and nervous. “I... I don’t know what to say, really. Adam... Adam’s Adam when he’s with me. He’s... sweet, thoughtful, always helps me when I need him... I don’t really care about his flaws.” When I said that last sentence, I remembered when I’d opened myself to Mr. Cooper, regarding the way I felt about Adam, and he’d said it looked as if I’d known him for years.
“He’s never gotten out of control with you around?” Allison asked, suddenly wanting to know everything about Adam’s behavior around me.
“Well... he has, but...” I trailed off, blushing. I let my head fall, hoping Allison and my aunt hadn’t noticed my flushed cheeks. When Adam had gotten out of control around me, most of the times... it was because he wanted to have me that way. However... he had gotten out of control because of me, and when I reminded myself of that, his wounded hands popped up in my mind. “I... I-I don’t really want to talk about that.” I smiled tensely, still feeling that burning sensation on my face.
“Judging from the look on your face, I’m guessing whenever Adam got out of control, it wasn’t that bad.” And so she smiled, and I couldn’t feel any more embarrassed than I already was, especially with my aunt right beside me, listening to that. “Do you like being with him?”
“I love being with Adam.” I replied straight away, with a grin on my face. That was the easiest question to answer. I adored being with Adam, because he distracted me and comprehended me. Whenever he was near me... he turned different. He became less damaged.
“But he does have that arrogant manner Arthur also has, right? From all the things Deena has told me, I guess Adam has inherited Arthur’s arrogance and rudeness.” She remarked, and I nodded, agreeing with her. In fact, Adam had inherited everything from his father, or so it seemed to me. Not only was he physically alike, but he was also similar to his father in terms of his personality.
He’d even fallen for a maid! And... I knew he’d follow his father footsteps, as much as I hurt me. He wouldn’t stay with me. He’d stay with Rachel.
Still, those depressive thoughts soon vanished from my mind when the hours passed by and I found myself listening to all kinds of stories from my aunt about Adam. Allison knew them all, but unfortunately, she hadn’t been there to see it for herself, which saddened me.
By the time it was almost 7 PM, my aunt finally got up from the couch, and said, “Well, it’s getting late, Al. Eva and I should go.”
“Oh, yes, of course.” Allison also got up, and I did the same. I didn’t really feel like going back to the house, especially because I didn’t want to look into Adam’s eyes and remember what I’d said to him before I left to visit his mother. “You want me to call the cab?”
“No, I’ll do it.” My aunt said, rummaging for her cell inside her purse. When she found it, she dialed the number. Then, she said, “I’ll be back in a second,” And so my aunt walked away from the living room, and Allison and I were alone for the first time.
I smiled at her, not really knowing what to say.
“Can I ask you a question, Eva?” Allison broke the silence straight away, looking around. I just nodded, with my eyebrow arched in curiosity, given that Allison seemed to be in a little hurry. “Do you really, really... love Adam?”
Caught off guard, and even though I knew the answer to that question, it took me some moments to reply and even stuttered when I did. I mean, after all, this was Adam’s mother, and we were talking about my feelings for her son. “Y-yes, I... I really l-love Adam.”
Allison then put her hands over my shoulders and spoke in a lower tone, “Then, don’t do the same mistake I did.”
My eyes narrowed, “What... what are you trying to say?”
“If you’re sure you love Adam and that he loves you... don’t let anything and anyone come between you two.” She told me, almost pleading. I tried to hide that I was too surprised with this sudden approach, and remained silent, allowing her to keep going. “Don’t let the story repeat itself. You don’t know what it’s like to live like this, knowing you could have had him, if you hadn’t been a coward and had stood up for everything you wanted.”
“I tried to talk to him, but Adam wouldn’t listen to me! I-”
“That’s because you haven’t given your best.” Allison cut me off, smiling in a confident, somewhat considerate way, too. “Are you sure Adam loves you?”
“Yes.” I replied without thinking. He said it himself, even if he was still with Rachel... “I’m sure.”
“Then don’t give up.” Allison said sharply, locking my eyes with her gaze. “I know Deena or anyone else would say the exact opposite, but... they don’t know what it’s like to go through what you are going through... what Arthur and I went through.”
Looking into Allison’s eyes and listening to her pleading words far in the background, I focused on that familiar voice on my head, talking to me – Alexis. I was listening to her words once more that day, telling me I should try and that it would be worth.
“...I don’t want the same thing to happen to my son, and I surely don’t want you to end up like me, Eva, because it will take away all the joy and reason to live your life.”
I still didn’t know what to say. I was chocked on words that wouldn’t come out of my mouth. Not to mention I was a little too surprise with Allison’s unexpected approach about that matter. I mean... she was telling me to go against everything and everyone! She was telling me to go against all odds and battle for Adam!
Still, how could I... when Adam himself refused to be with me?
“If you’re so sure Adam’s the love of your life and that he loves you as much as you love him... Then, go for it. Ignore every instinct that tells you that you can’t do it, and ignore everyone who tells you to back away and quit.” Allison paused, and in a caring way, she tucked my black hair behind my ears, and her lips curved in a weak smile, which broke my heart. “Don’t quit like Arthur and I did, Eva... Don’t let Adam make the same mistake his father did.”
Some moments passed before I opened my mouth to speak, but right when I was about to say something, my aunt showed up, interrupted the conversation I was having with Allison’s mother. “I’ve called a cab, and it’s already on its way here!”
“Well, I guess it’s time to say goodbye, right?” When I looked back at Allison, she no longer looked sad, heartbroken and weak. Instead, she had a huge grin on her face when she stared back at me again, “It was a pleasure to meet you, Eva, really.”
I tried to smile, puzzled. She really didn’t want my aunt to know about all she’d told me while she was absent... Well, I understood why. My aunt had always been against me and Adam together, afraid I’d go through what her friend went through... Anyway, I changed into a perkier mood, and politely said, “The pleasure was mine, really.”
“You should come visit me again, Eva.” Allison said, when she looked back at my aunt, “Next time you come, bring her along, ok?”
“That’ll be a little hard, since we don’t have the same days off.”
Allison rolled her eyes and that earned her an annoyed expression from my aunt. “You’re good friends with Arthur, so just ask him to make sure Eva’s day off is on the same day than yours!” And before my aunt could reply back, Allison drew closer to her, and hugged her.
Next, after one last small talk, Allison accompanied us, and when we stepped outside of her house, the cab was already there, waiting for me and my aunt.
“Well, have a nice trip back home!”
“Thank you,” I said courteously, ready to turn around and head for the cab. However, before I did it, Allison grabbed my arm and pulled me into a quick hug. Still, I knew there was more to it when the moment she started whispering.
“Promise me you won’t allow things to go down the same way, Eva.”
I didn’t say anything. How could I promise something I wasn’t even sure I wanted to do? I mean, I knew I didn’t want to end up like Allison, but... Adam had chosen Rachel! And no matter how much I loved him... I didn’t know if I was capable of fighting for him any more...
Yet again, before I knew it, Alexis’ words and everything Allison had said when my aunt had disappeared to make the call, clung to my mind, telling me that I should try... telling me I wasn’t a coward and that I’d regret not doing it...
“Don’t let my son do the same mistakes his father did.”
I thought Allison would want me to say, I promise, but she let me go right after she said that, not pressuring me or anything. She just looked at me, smiling, but I knew that inside... she was in pain, because she didn’t have her neither her son nor the love of her life by her side.
“Come on, Eva! Let’s go!” My aunt called behind me.
I silently waved goodbye at Allison, and spun over my heels, walking towards the cab. I walked in after my aunt, and closed the door, looking one last time at Adam’s mother before the man started the engine and drove away.
Sighing, I leaned back on the seat and closed my eyes for a moment. Still, before I could focus on anything at all, I heard my aunt, “So... you’ve met Allison. Are your questions all answered?”
“Yes, they are...” I muttered.
“You’re not going to tell Adam about this, Eva.” It wasn’t a question, it was an order. To be honest, at that point, I wouldn’t tell anything to Adam, though I’d promised myself I would. Maybe one day... later, I could make things happen, but right now, with the way things were, I couldn’t really risk doing anything and give a free rein to Cooper Senior’s rage against everyone.
“Rest assured, aunt,” I mumbled, “Adam won’t find out through me.”
With that said, my aunt didn’t ask me anything or commented about our meeting with Allison, and I was grateful for that. At that moment, all that was playing in my mind was that little scene with Allison, when she’d taken advantage of my aunt’s absence.
Should I really... try harder? Would it be worth? Would I be capable of changing the story this time?
And so on my way home, I tried to come up with answers for those questions and more.
However, when I’d arrived to the Coopers’ house, I still had none, though deep inside me... I knew what the right answers for those questions were.