Chapter 33 - Melody
“What did you say?” Connor frowned.
“I said I have to break up with Knox,” I said with a sudden resolve.
“Hang on - I thought the two of you were ′just friends’."
“It’s complicated. But the best way to explain it is that Knox wants to be with me when we’re in the same place. But when we’re not in the same place, he feels that we won’t be able to make a long-distance relationship work. Yet, at the same time, he doesn’t want me to see other people. Are you with me so far?” I raised a brow as Connor kept his eyes on the road.
“Yeah. Although it is confusing as fuck, but I’m with you.”
“Thank you. So, even though Knox doesn’t want to admit that we’re in a relationship, we are, actually, because the definition of a relationship is that you’re not seeing other people. Right?”
“Right,” Connor immediately agreed.
“I can’t go on like this, Connor. I’m not asking for much - I just want to hear him say that he wants to be with me, no matter where in the world we are. I just want him to be honest with me. Because the way he reacts shows me that it’s what he wants, but he’s too scared to say it for some reason.”
Connor’s eyes narrowed. “Okay. And you are you going to get him to say it, then?”
“By breaking up with him. By telling him that I don’t want to be his friend. It’s all or nothing. If he doesn’t want to be in a relationship with me, then I’d rather he doesn’t call. I’d rather not see him again. Because this thing hurts too much, and it’s confusing the hell out of me.”
Connor nodded, seeming to think about what I’d said.
“I think it’s a good idea, for what it’s worth. Just be prepared for the consequences,” he said, with a bitter undertone to his voice.
“What do you mean?”
“I mean... be prepared to follow through. Don’t make hollow threats. Be prepared to walk away if he doesn’t come to his senses. Because you can’t back-pedal once you’ve given an ultimatum like that.”
“Like... like what happened when you walked away from Hailey?”
“Exactly. I knew I was taking one hell of a risk putting that ultimatum to her. To tell her that I was walking away and that it was her last chance to tell me if she wanted to be with me, because it would be too late the next day. And that’s exactly what happened.”
I bit my bottom lip, nodding. “You’re right. I have to be prepared to follow through with it.”
Was I? Was I really prepared to just walk away from him like that? I didn’t know, because I loved him with every single contraction of my heart. It would kill me to end things between us. But what was happening right now, was killing us both as well.
There was a silence between us, as we were both deep in thought after that.
“You know what?” Connor suddenly asked.
“You should move in with me into the new house. If I get the place, that is.”
My jaw dropped. “Move in with you?”
“Yes. I’m going to ask one of my other friends as well. I don’t want to live alone. I’d like to have some friends to hang out with,” he explained, flashing me a smile.
“I don’t have a job, Connor. I have a semester and a half left of study - I can’t pay bills and rent, although I’m flattered that you’d ask,” I smiled.
“You don’t have to pay rent or bills. You can cook two or three times a week, to make sure I eat enough vegetables,” he said only half-jokingly.
“Are you serious about this?” I asked, still astounded by the suggestion.
“Yes. Deadly,” he said nonchalantly, as though it wasn’t a big deal. “It will be fun, I promise.”
“Hmmm... I’m flattered. I’ll think about it,” I smiled, still trying to get my head around the idea.
“Perhaps if you tell Can’t-make-up-his-mind-Vaughn about it, it might light a cracker under his stubborn ass as well,” Connor said, sounding quite amused at the prospect.
We both started to laugh. “Can’t hurt at this stage.”
But even though we were laughing just then, I already knew that I’d have to steel myself for that conversation, because in fact, getting my heart broken again was nothing to laugh about.
After Connor and I went out for lunch, he dropped me home.
“Want to come in for a second to say hi to the family?” I asked, already knowing he’d decline.
“No thanks, I have things to do,” he made up an excuse, but I was pretty certain he just didn’t want to run the risk of seeing Hailey.
I unlocked the door and walked towards the stairs, and then Hailey came out sauntering out of the kitchen with a mug in hand.
“Hi, where have you been?” She smiled.
“I’ve been out looking at houses with Connor,” I answered honestly.
A flash of pain crossed her eyes, and she nodded quietly.
“Did he find something?” She tried her best to stay composed, although I could see she was feeling upset again.
“Yeah. He has made an offer - now it’s a waiting game to see if the vendor will accept.”
“I hope it works out for him,” Hailes said with a sad little smile, and my heart broke for her. And then I thought about Connor’s comment about lighting a firecracker under Knox’s ass, and I thought that perhaps it might be an idea to try the same psychology on Hailey, just then.
“He has actually asked me if I wanted to move in with him and another friend,” I added, watching her reaction carefully.
Her jaw dropped, and she looked astounded.
“Connor asked you to move in with him?” She asked incredulously, nearly letting the mug filled with hot liquid slip from her grip.
And just then, in the worst example of poor timing, my dad walked in on our conversation.
“What the hell was that?” He asked, his face a thundercloud.
My eyes widened. Shit. This was spectacularly poor timing. I wasn’t even sure if I would seriously consider the idea or not, and the last thing I was ready for, was a confrontation with my dad.
“Nothing. Connor is buying a house,” I smiled, hoping that my dad would back off. But of course, I had no such luck...
“And did I hear you saying that he asked you to move in with him?” He demanded to know, not sounding happy at all at the prospect.
“Yes - with some other friends as well. As housemates,” I quickly clarified.
“Not happening,” my dad declared in a no-nonsense tone.
“To be clear - I haven’t made up my mind yet. But why not?” I frowned.
“Because I was his age once. I played football, just like him. I know exactly what it’s like. That, plus I know his dad, and I know exactly what he was like at that age, too. There’s no fucking way that any of my daughters are living under the same roof as Mayhem’s kid. I don’t mind him - don’t get me wrong - he’s not bad kid - but hell no.”
“Why not? What did you do that was so bad at his age?” I pushed my luck, and my dad raised his eyebrows.
“Let’s just say I wasn’t an angel, Mel. Mayhem wasn’t either. I don’t want you to live with someone who is going to set that kind of example for you,” he maintained adamantly.
“You mean... you don’t want me to live with someone who may be behaving like you did when you were the same age?” I called him out on his double-standards.
“That’s exactly what I’m saying. Now, I know Connor and you are good friends, and that’s great. But you can forget about this moving-in business. You’re still studying - concentrate on getting your degree, and then we can talk about you moving out, with anyone but Connor Blake.”
I rolled my eyes and shook my head at my dad, because he was seriously in over-protective mode right now.
“You weren’t living at home when you were my age. Neither was Mom. Just saying. Serious double-standards,” I challenged him, and he was clearly not impressed by that response, either.
“It’s not happening, period. By the way, there was a flower delivery for you. A bunch of red roses - in the kitchen. Care to tell me who they may be from?” My dad asked with great interest, and my eyes widened again as my heart starting racing inside my chest again.
“No idea. I’ll go have a look though,” I took off, excusing myself from the conversation.
I nearly staggered backward when I saw the beautiful bouquet of at least three dozen red roses in a vase on the kitchen counter, and I immediately reached for the white envelope sticking out. I just knew they’d be from Knox.
I unfolded the card with trembling hands...
"Dear Snow. Please forgive me. I’m sorry beyond words that I’ve offended you. Please answer my calls, so I can properly apologize. Love, Knox.”
And while part of my heart was pounding inside my chest, at his use of the word “love”, I also knew that I needed more than that little word inside a card. If he was too scared to say it out loud, he couldn’t cop out by using the word so innocuously inside an apology-card. I wanted to hear him say it, if that was how he felt.
I was still angry at him. I was still offended. I was going to make him sweat, that was for sure. I was done being mellow-Mel. I’d given him time. I’d given him space to sort himself out. I was drawing the line right here, because I couldn’t go on like this.
I took the flowers up to my room, placing it on my nightstand. The roses were perfectly formed and fragrant, and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I felt my lips curve slightly upwards every time I so much as looked at the flower arrangement.
I switched on my phone, and immediately it started buzzing. There were text messages, missed calls, and voice messages from Knox.
I listened to his voice messages first.
“Snow, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I was way out of line, and I know it isn’t true. Please call me.”
‘Nope. Not good enough.’
“(Sigh) Snow... please answer. I know I hurt you with what I said. I apologize unreservedly. We need to talk.”
‘Not happening, Knox.’
“Okay... you’re not taking my calls. I’m getting the message. I feel like absolute shit that I’ve hurt your feelings. Please call me when you get this.”
‘Good. Let him suffer.’
I hardened my heart and started looking at the text messages. It was much of the same variety, really.
KNOX: In case you’ve deleted the voice messages without listening, I’m so sorry, Snow. I didn’t mean it, and I don’t know why the hell I said it. Okay, no that’s a lie, I do. I’m jealous as fuck and that’s the truth. Please call me so we can talk.
A smile started to form on my lips, reading that one.
KNOX: You must be really angry at me. I deserve it, I know. It’s night time here, but I’ll keep my phone on the whole night. Call me, please. Doesn’t matter what time it is. I need to talk to you, please. There’s something I need to tell you.
‘Good. You got the message, then. I am angry, and I have a right to be angry, too. Sorry, Knox but I’m going to make you suffer. I’ll call you tomorrow - maybe - if I feel like it.’
I switched off my phone again, not wanting to be tempted to answer if he tried ringing again. Because even though I felt full of resolve right now, I was a girl in love, and love made you do incredibly stupid things...