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April 13, 2010 (38)
“Evalynne,” Addison said from outside my room, lightly rapping on the door as she did so. “Cole’s here. Should I tell him that now’s not a good time?”
Sighing heavily, I rose to my feet and walked over to my bedroom door. I quickly smoothed down my hair and straightened out the hem of my shirt before opening it. “It’s fine,” I assured her. I’d actually been the one who had texted Cole and asked him to come over here. After finding out the truth about Ash, I realized that I needed to tell Cole right away. I couldn’t keep something like this from him.
So I walked out into the living room to find Cole sitting there on the couch, waiting for me. Addison politely slipped into her room and shut the door in order to give us some privacy.
“Hey,” he greeted me, standing up from the couch to approach me. “I tried to call you last night, but you didn’t answer.”
“Yeah, that’s because I was in New York last night.” I informed him.
“What?” he asked, sounding confused. “Why?”
I sucked in a deep breath and led him back over to the couch where we both sat down next to eachother. “I was kind of, sort of visiting Will.” I confessed.
“You were doing what?” he demanded, rage clouding his eyes. “Are you out of your damn mind? What on earth would make you want to go visit Will?”
“He was lonely. I needed to go and make sure he was ok. I needed to let him know that I still care about him.” I told him. “Not that it’s any of your business who I go to visit,” I added a bit harshly. “But this isn’t why I told you to come over. There’s something I have to tell you.”
“Well it can wait!” he cried. “Right now, I’m mad at you for going to visit Will without telling me first! That boy is a psychopath, Evalynne! He could’ve hurt you! He could’ve—”
“Ash isn’t dead,” I interrupted him. I just couldn’t hold it back any longer.
“What?” he said, his voice soft and taken aback. His eyes were wide with a mixture of shock and worry.
“Ash isn’t dead,” I repeated. I proceeded in telling him the entire story just the way Ash had explained it to me, letting him know every detail from when his mom got pregnant to when Ash came back to find Will and I making out in his car. “I just found out today,” I said.
He sat there in a stunned silence, not saying anything at all. “This can’t be happening,” he finally murmured, sounding just as dejected as he looked. “He’s just going to take you away from me again. It’s not fair. He can’t just come back like this,”
I was shocked that he was being so bitter about all of this. I knew he didn’t like Ash, but the least he could do was show him a little bit of respect. Did he not realize just how devastated I was when I’d lost him? Did he not realize just how amazing it was for me to find out that he was still alive? It was a true miracle, and I couldn’t have been anymore grateful. But Cole seemed like just the opposite.
“Ash is my husband,” I reminded him, since he seemed to have forgotten. “I thought he was dead, but it turns out he’s not. Can’t you just be happy for me?” I looked into those dark chocolate brown eyes of his, searching for a sign of understanding. That crestfallen look never left his gaze though. In fact, it was just accompanied by a look of anger.
“How can I be happy when I’m about to lose you again?” he cried. “He was supposed to be dead! He can’t just come back like this!”
I couldn’t believe that he was being like this. This was way out of control. “Are you saying that you wish Ash was really dead?” I demanded.
He went silent when I asked him this, probably realizing just how carried away he was getting with his hate towards Ash. “Of course not…I’m just kind of p***ed that he just barged right back into your life like this when you’ve obviously moved on already.”
“Actually, when he got back into town, he saw me with Will so he tried to move on so he wouldn’t cause me anymore drama.” I informed him a bit smugly. “He didn’t want me to know he was back because he didn’t want to interfere with my life anymore. But I ended up moving here and running into him. He wasn’t going to tell me the truth, but his wedding ring fell out of the pocket of his jeans earlier so I figured it out and he told me everything.”
“Oh,” he murmured back, not knowing what else to say since I’d just proven him wrong. “So are you guys back together then?”
“No, not yet,” I told him. Honestly, I had no idea if we even were going to get back together. I wanted to be with him, but at the same time, I wanted to be with Cole. It was just such a difficult decision since I’d already moved on. I didn’t know if Ash even wanted me back anymore either. Had he moved on too? Was he really in love with Addison now? These were all questions I’d have to discuss with him later.
“Not yet,” he repeated sadly. “So you’re going to get back with him.”
“I never said that,” I replied. “Honestly, I don’t know what I’m going to do yet. This is a lot for me to take in right now. I have a lot to think about,”
“I know you’ll pick him,” he said, sounding let down. “It’ll be just like last summer all over again.”
“No, it won’t,” I assured him. There was no way I’d let things get to that point again. I knew what an awful girlfriend I’d been to both Ash and Cole last summer and there was no way I was going to put either of them through that again. They deserved better. “I really just need some time to think things through though. I only invited you here to tell you the truth about Ash, not to make my final decision. I have way too much going on in my life right now to make my decision right away.”
“Fine,” he said. “But before I leave, I wanted to tell you that I talked to Chelsea. I explained to her that I’m truly not interested in her and that her forcing me to date her was only making her look bad. She actually took things pretty well. She apologized and told me that I don’t have to date her anymore. I was kind of hoping that meant we could finally just be together, but I guess that might not happen now. I just thought you should know that though since you wanted me to figure things out with Chelsea.”
“Yeah,” I replied, “that’s great.” I smiled weakly back at him, but something inside of my heart was aching. He was obviously trying to repair things so that we could have a relationship, and I was obviously ruining that for him. But he wasn’t the only one I had feelings for. I loved Ash too and I needed to try and keep both of them from getting hurt somehow. I wasn’t sure if that was possible though.
“Alright, well I should probably go now,” he said to me. We both stood up and he walked over to the door. He was about to leave the apartment, but he stopped and hesitantly turned back to look at me. “I love you,” he added a bit tentatively.
“Love you too,” I replied, truly meaning it. A hint of a smile flickered across his lips before he turned back around and walked out.
When the door shut behind him, I let out a deep sigh. I couldn’t believe this was happening. I couldn’t believe that I was being forced to choose between Ash and Cole…again. It wasn’t fair to either of them to have go through this again. I just wished there was some way that I could be with both of them, but I knew that there wasn’t.
“Hey! You shouldn’t be here! Stay away from her!” I heard Cole shouting from the hallway outside the apartment. Great, now he was telling Ash to stay away from me. I groaned as I walked out to try and break it up. But when I got out into the hallway, I saw that it wasn’t Ash that Cole was yelling at.
“Michael?” I said. “What are you doing here?” I’d almost forgotten about him actually. With all the Ash and Cole drama, Michael just sort of slipped my mind.
“I’m just here to visit you, Evalynne. It seems that we have some things that need to be discussed. However, your little boyfriend here is spazzing out about it.” he remarked.
“I’m not spazzing out!” Cole cried. “But I don’t want you anywhere near her. So go home!”
“Cole, relax,” I told him. I turned back to look at Michael, “What things are you talking about exactly?” I asked curiously. Was it possible that he had figured out the truth about Ash too? Was he here to tell me that if I told the police about him, he would kill both Ash and Cole?
“Well if you’d let me come inside, we could discuss them.” he replied matter-of-factly. He glared at Cole out of the corner of his eye as he did so.
“Fine,” I agreed reluctantly. I was too paranoid that he would go and kill Ash if I didn’t give him what he wanted.
“No way!” Cole shouted in protest. “Evalynne, what the hell are you doing?” he demanded, turning to face me with wide eyes.
“I think it’s time for you to go home now,” I told him, not bothering to answer the question he’d asked me. He stood there with a dumbfounded look on his face as I stepped away from the door to let Michael inside of my apartment. His mouth opened like he was about to say something, but no words escaped his mouth. “Bye,” I told him before shutting the door. I felt bad about what I’d done, but I didn’t want Michael to hurt Ash, so I had to take precaution in any way possible.
Sighing, I turned around only to find myself face to face with Michael. He was standing only a mere five inches away from me. Startled by how close he was, I let out a small gasp. “I told you not to do that!” I cried as my heart rate slowly returned back to it’s normal, steady pace.
But once again, he didn’t look amused. It was just like the last time this happened in the basement at Mimi’s. A feeling of fear began to churn in the pit of my stomach as I looked up into his livid eyes. “Tell me what you know.” he stated angrily.
“What are you talking about?” I asked him. I had a strange feeling he was talking about Ash. But how could he have possibly figured out that I knew?
“You know exactly what I’m talking about.” he remarked. “Now tell me exactly what you know.”
As I stood there, completely petrified, I realized that he wasn’t going to leave me alone until I told him. “I don’t see how you found out about this in the first place,” I murmured back to him.
“I’m a smart person, Evalynne. It wasn’t that hard to figure out,” he retorted as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. “Now just tell me what you know about it,”
“Well, I just found out today so I still have a lot of unanswered questions,” I informed him. “But apparently Ash actually did have a twin named Ashton Magnolia. He went to the war too and ended up dying, but they thought it was Ash so that’s what they told me. It was because of some explosion that had Ash buried in this huge pile of rubble. When they found him though, his knee was busted up so he couldn’t fight anymore. He came back home and saw Will and I together so he decided not to come back into my life after being dead for so long because he didn’t want to make things any harder for me.”
When I looked back up at him, he looked more confused than ever. “Ash is alive?” he asked me, sounding shocked.
“Yeah,” I replied, an uneasy feeling washing over me. “Isn’t that what you wanted me to tell you about?”
“No,” he scoffed, laughing haughtily. “I wanted you to tell me what you knew about Valerie being pregnant. I had no clue about Ash being alive still,”
I felt sick to my stomach when he said this. He hadn’t known about Ash before. I’d just given him all that information when I didn’t even have to. “Please don’t hurt him,” I begged, my voice coming out in a frightened whisper. “I’ll tell you whatever you need to know about Valerie. Just please don’t hurt Ash!” I was desperate now, and Michael was obviously enjoying it. His eyes flickered with amusement as he listened to my pleading.
“Fine,” he agreed, but something in his voice made it hard for me to believe him. “I won’t hurt him,” he continued, “but I’ll need a few things in return.”
When he said this, I instantly knew this wasn’t going to end well. “Like what?” I asked him nervously.
“Well first of all, you need to tell me what you know about Valerie. I know that’s why she came over here to visit you the other day. She trusts you, doesn’t she?”
“Yes,” I replied, feeling awful for betraying her like this. What other choice did I have though?
“Good,” he said. “That’s going to come in handy later.” I swallowed hard, not liking the sound of this. “So what did she tell you exactly?” he asked me.
“Just that she’s pregnant and you’re the father.” I replied. “She was just asking me for advice because she had no one else to turn to. She was too scared to tell you about it though because she thought you might get mad at her.”
He nodded as he took this all in. “Ok, I figured that part out on my own. But did she tell you anything else? Like what she was planning on doing about it?”
“No, she told me she doesn’t know what she’s going to do yet.” I told him. I took a deep breath, feeling guilty for what I was about to do. But Ash’s life was at stake here. “I do know that she wanted to run away from you though. But once she found out she was pregnant, she decided not to because she’d have no clue where to go from there. So she’s just pretending to like you so that you’ll stay with her. She’s pretty much using you so that she’ll have some assistance through this pregnancy because she wouldn’t know how to get through it alone. She really hates you though,”
A small, wicked grin spread across his lips and he nodded his head once again. “Alright, thanks for letting me know. That’s some pretty good information right there, but I need to know what she’s planning on doing after the baby’s born. And you’re going to find that out for me.”
“Fine,” I agreed. I hated that I was going to have to completely backstab Valerie, but she wasn’t as important to me as Ash was.
“Good,” he remarked. “Well it was nice visiting you, but I should get going now. I’ll see you later, Evalynne,” And with that, he traipsed out of my apartment, slamming the door behind him.
I sucked in a deep breath, my eyes beginning to tear up. This was awful. I’d just put Ash’s life at stake. I knew I couldn’t keep this from him any longer though. He needed to know what I’d done. I had to tell him.