For the last few days, almost every day I spend time with Liam. He has not started calling me dad, but I don’t mind. I have to make up for six years and for now I am just happy that he has accepted me in his life.
Although, I will not lie and say that I am not waiting for the day to hear dad from his mouth.
On the other hand, things with Avery are just the way they were. She has allowed me to be a part of Liam’s life, but other than that she is completely closed off.
Whenever I am with Liam, she barely spends time with us. She is not treating me badly or has shown any kind of hostility towards me. However, she only talks to me if it is something related to Liam, but other than that she keeps to herself.
During these days, the more I observed, the more I realized that she is nothing like herself.
She is Avery, yet she is not.
This scares me, what if I will never get my Firefly back? But I can’t give up, I will do everything to bring the Avery back who walked into my life and filled my life with light.
She deserves to be happy and I will make her realize this. Because somewhere in all these years she has given up on her happiness.
Between being Liam’s mother and Avery, she has forgotten her true self.
My Firefly is missing.
I want to talk to her, but honestly, I never really got a chance. Liam is always around and I can’t talk in front of him, even discreetly. Because he is strongly in tune with Avery’s emotions. The way he senses any change in her mood, it amazes me.
Even when he is playing or doing his own thing, a part of his mind is fixed on her. When he is with me, and Avery is not with us, every now and then he will go and check on her. He tries to look after her in his own ways.
It is like he has this strong need to make sure she is fine.
He is extremely possessive of her. If someone even stands close to her for his liking then holds her and he glares at that person. Like he is letting them know that she is his mother and they should step back.
Whenever I see him, my heart swells with immense pride and love.
Avery’s name flashes on my phone screen just when I am about to head to Battleground.
“Hey,” I answer while unlocking my car door, waiting to hear the excited voice of Liam, as normally he is the one who calls me.
The only reply which I get is silence and instantly, I know it is Avery on the line.
“Avery?” I gently question, while leaning against my car door, even though I am sure it is her.
I wait for her to speak as I listen to the silence.
“I need a favor from you,” she speaks after a few moments.
“Say it, Avery.” Straightening up, I reply without missing a beat.
It doesn’t matter what it is, I will do anything for her.
“Can you pick up Liam tonight and keep him with you for a day?” She asks, “I need to be somewhere and I don’t want him to come with me.”
There something in her voice which doesn’t sound right.
“Are you okay?” I ask softly, although somewhere I know the answer.
“I don’t leave Liam with anyone, so hiring a babysitter is out of the question. So, can you take care of him for a day?”
“What kind of question is this, I can take care of him all my life not just, for a day,” I answer while getting inside the car, “Don’t worry, I will be there in twenty minutes.”Quickly, turning on the engine, I pull my car out of the driveway.
Please, let me take care of you as well, Avery.
There are so many things which I want to know, but I don’t ask her anything. Because I know I will not get any answers from her.
“Thank you, I will inform Liam that you are coming to pick him up.” Her tone is quiet, “I will pack his bag, and make sure he will not trouble you.”
“He is my son, he can trouble me all he wants.” I lightly chuckle. It is impossible to keep him away from troubles because Liam is just like her, a magnet to troubles.
You can’t leave this boy unattended, even for a moment your attention shifts this will be enough for him to act upon his mischief in this time.
Sometimes he is an angel, but sometimes devils will look innocent before him.
“Okay, see you then.” She hangs up the call, leaving me to wonder where is she going at this time as it is almost dark and why does she sound troubled?
I raise my hand to ring the doorbell, but before I can ring the door opens and tiny arms wrap around my waist making me chuckle.
“I was waiting for you.” Liam lifts his head to look at me while still hugging me, “Mommy said you are afraid of monsters, that is why you want me to stay with you tonight and kill all the monsters.”
“Yeah, buddy, they are very scary and only a brave person like you can kill them.” I lift him my arms so that I can properly hug him.
The burden on my heart lightens every time I hug him, and even if I hug him thousand times it will not be enough for me.
“Why don’t you go and bring your transformer, and a police car?” I put him down when my eyes land on Avery who is standing in the kitchen as she packs something in the Tupperware box, “We will race them later.”
This is a good opportunity to talk to her.
“Okay.” He dashes upstairs to his room.
“Hey.” I walk inside the kitchen and slipping my hand in my pocket as I watch her keeping away the dinner leftovers.
“Hi.” She nods and puts away the empty dish in the sink.
“He didn’t even finish the dinner, as soon as I told him you are coming to pick him up.” She washes her hands, “He seems excited to be with you.” A small smile plays on her lips.
“I will make him eat something before putting him to the bed,” I say while she keeps the leftover in the refrigerator.
“Will you tell me where are you going?” I directly ask, not able to stop myself from questioning her, because she seems tense even though she is hiding it.
“Tell me, Avery, what is wrong?” Placing my hands on her shoulders, I turn her to me, “You can’t lie from me, so don’t bother by trying to lie.”
“I just need some alone time.” She lifts her eyes to me. Even though her tone is impassive, but I can see she is telling the truth. However, not the complete truth.
“Will you let me know if you will need me?” I ask quietly.
“I already have what I need.” She looks past me, “Now I don’t need anyone else.” Her gaze shifts back to me slashing my heart with her words.
This is how she must have felt when I told her all those words. Now I realize my words didn’t just break her heart, but somewhere they have broken her too.
“But I will always need you,” I whisper as my lips form a rueful smile.
“I don’t want to hurt you, Alec.” She sighs defeatedly and shakes her head. “I can’t...”
“You are not hurting me, Avery, you are just giving me back what I deserve after everything I did with you.” I hold her face, “I have told you and I mean it when I said I will take everything which you will give me. But I will not give up on you.”
“I love you.” I press my lips to her forehead, feeling grateful that she hasn’t pushed me away.
A hope flares inside my heart to see her smile that brightens her eyes, but it instantly dies the moment when I see a blank look in her eyes.
Her blank look is suffocating me and twisting my heart painfully.
I want to shout at her and ask her, what did she do to my Firefly? Where did my Firefly go?
But I know somewhere I am the one who is responsible for this. So how can I question her when I am the reason why my Firefly is lost?
My hands fall on my side defeatedly as I glance at her, my eyes desperately searching for my Avery.
“Stop looking for her, Alec, you will only be disappointed.” She holds my gaze, allowing me to see emptiness behind her eyes, “The girl you are searching for is gone. I have accepted it, now it is time that you should accept it too.”