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April 13, 2010 (39)
I’d waited until Addison had left for the grocery store before I texted Ash, telling him to come over. And now, I was waiting impatiently for him to come. I had so many things that I needed to ask him, so many unanswered questions. Like if he was truly in love with Addison. Or if he still wanted to be my husband.
When he knocked on the door, I practically sprang to my feet, a jolt of excitement rushing through me. I quickly rushed over to the door and opened it up to let him inside. “Hey,” I greeted him, my heart fluttering when I saw his face. Because now I knew it wasn’t just some strange Ash-look-a-like. Now I knew that it really was Ash.
“Hi,” he replied, smiling politely at me. His smile didn’t reach his eyes though.
“Come on in,” I told him. He walked inside and I shut the door behind him. “Would you like anything to drink?” I asked a bit awkwardly.
“No thanks, I’m fine for right now,” he said.
“Alright, why don’t we just sit down on the couch then? I have a lot I need to talk to you about.” It felt strange being this formal and polite with Ash. Back when we were together, we’d always been so comfortable around eachother. But now, things were different. Now, I didn’t know what we were exactly.
“So what do you want to talk about?” he inquired.
“A lot of things,” I informed him. “I have so many questions for you…I don’t even know where to start.” I looked up at him, trying to show him with my eyes that I was still in love with him. He didn’t seem to get the message though. When I looked into his all too familiar eyes, I saw no detectable emotion whatsoever. “Well to start, I’d kind of like to know if you were serious when you told me that Addison is all you have left. Do you really care about her that much?”
I knew it was awful of me because Addison was my friend, but I was really hoping he would say no. “Well,” he began, sighing lightly, “I don’t really know. I mean, she’s a really sweet girl, but I think I like her as more of just a friend.” Yes!, I thought to myself. “But I was telling you the truth when I said she’s all I have now.” he continued. “Everyone else in my life is gone. I’m trying to start over and right now, she’s all I’ve got.”
“You have me,” I reminded him. I hadn’t planned on being so forward, but it just sort of slipped out.
I watched nervously as he swallowed, his Adam’s apple bobbing up and down as he did so. He opened his mouth to reply, but seemed tentative about what he was about to say. “Evalynne,” he began, “I love you so much, and I really don’t want to hurt you. But I feel like coming back into your life like this is only going to make things worse. You just seem so much happier now. I don’t want to take that away from you.”
“Happier?” I demanded before I could even stop myself. “Did you not see those news reports on TV? Did you not hear about my abusive ex-boyfriend and his psychopath of a brother? Ash, I’m nowhere near happy! Ever since you left, my life has spiraled downward. The only thing that kept me going was knowing that you still cared about me, knowing that you would want me to be strong and pull through this. And now, God seems to have decided to give me this miracle of having you back since the rest of my life is so sucky, and you think I’m happier without you?”
He sat there, speechless for a moment as he took all of this in. “Yes, I saw those news reports.” he finally said. I stared back at him blankly, wondering if that was that really all he had to say for himself. But then, he finally continued. “I’ve been paying very close attention to those news reports actually. I’ve also been paying very close attention to the way you act whenever anyone brings up either Will or Michael…it’s the same way you act whenever anyone brings up Ben.”
He paused and looked at me, obviously waiting for a response. I wasn’t quite sure what to say though. Was this my cue to tell him how Ben was really Michael? Was this when I was supposed to drop the bomb on him by letting him know that I’d given away his identity to a sadistic murderer?
“So you said you saw my ghost, right?” he continued when I didn’t reply. I nodded back at him. “Well that’s pretty strange considering that I’m not dead. Are you sure it wasn’t all in your head?”
I thought back to when I’d tried to show Kristy the letter that Ash’s ghost had written to me in my diary. I remembered how they weren’t there when I went to show them to her, how she’d pretty much told me that I was going crazy. Was she right all along? Was all that ghost stuff really just in my head?
“I don’t know,” I told him. “I guess it was.”
“Hmm…” he said to himself as he processed this information. “So do you have anything else you’d like to ask me?”
There was one particular question I was dying to know the answer to. I was just sort of nervous to ask him. “Do you still want to be my husband?” I finally said. “Because I still want to be your wife,”
“But aren’t you with Cole now?” he asked me. I bit my lip when he mentioned Cole’s name, feeling a surge of guilt. I knew I needed to make a decision though, and things were just too complicated between Cole and I. I needed someone I could trust to be there for me when I needed him, and that someone was Ash.
“As of right now, no,” I replied. “I know you’re with Addison, but she’ll understand once she knows who you really are. In fact, she’ll probably be happy for me.”
He looked at me for a long time, not saying anything at all. I feeling of anxiety settled in the pit of my stomach. He wasn’t speaking. Did this mean that he no longer wanted to be with me?
My mind was racing as I sat there waiting for a response, and so many negative thoughts were filling my head. Which was why it shocked me when he leaned down and kissed me.
Our lips molded together instantly, like they were meant for eachother. And I knew that they were. It was almost like he’d never left at all, like it was still last summer and we were still so madly in love with eachother. I hoped so much that when we pulled apart, things would stay that way.
When his lips finally left mine, my skin was still all hot and tingly. I looked up at him, hoping he would realize just how right this was. He needed to know that we were meant to be there, to be together. And no one could take that away from us. Not Addison, not Cole, not even Michael.
“I missed being able to do that while I was away,” he finally said. My heart seemed to burst with joy when he said those words. And when I looked up into his eyes, I could identify just how happy he was to be there with me. I recognized just how in love he was. I couldn’t have been more grateful for it either, because I knew that I was very in love with him. There was one slight problem though.
“Ash, there’s something I have to tell you,” I said. “Ben isn’t really who he says he is. He’s actually Michael McKnight, and if I don’t do exactly what he tells me to, he’s going to kill you.”
“Ben is Michael?” he asked, looking dumbfounded.
“Yeah,” I replied, a bit confused. “Didn’t you know that already though? I thought that was what you were hinting at when you said I act weird around Ben too.”
“No, I just thought that maybe he gave you a hard time about the Will and Michael situation…I didn’t know it was actually the psycho that tried to kill you!” he cried, his eyes wide with shocked fear. “Evalynne, we’ve got to call the cops!”
“No, we can’t!” I told him. “If we do then he’ll kill you…or Cole…or both. I don’t know for sure. All I know is that we can’t go to the police with this.”
“Then what are we supposed to do? Just sit here and let him mess with us?” he demanded, looking angry now. “That guy tried to kill you, Evalynne! There’s no way I’m letting him get away with that. If you won’t let me go to the cops then fine, I won’t. But I’m definitely going to go talk to him. And if he doesn’t listen, well then maybe I’ll just have to shut him up with my fist.”
His teeth gritted together as he clenched and unclenched his hands. He definitely still had that temper problem just like he used to. “Cole already tried that.” I informed him. “He ended up with a nearly broken jaw.”
“Yeah, but that was Cole. I took that guy out with one punch, remember? I can totally take Michael.” He had even more confidence than Cole did. I had to admit, Ash was definitely strong. But was Michael stronger? I really didn’t want to have to find out.
“Michael took out Cole and his friend, Shaun though.” I informed him. “This guy is dangerous. I really don’t want you getting hurt.”
“I’ll be fine,” he assured me. It didn’t matter what he said though. I wasn’t going to let him fight Michael.
“Please don’t,” I said, wishing he would just stop being so difficult.
“Fine, what if I just talked to him then?” he asked. “I promise that there will be absolutely no violence involved.”
I looked at him, still unsure if this was a good idea or not. But I knew he wasn’t going to stop asking me anytime soon. “Fine,” I said reluctantly. “But seriously, don’t try to fight him, ok?”
He rolled his light hazel eyes and smiled at me. “Ok, ok, no fighting,” he agreed.
“Good,” I said with a small smile. Now things were beginning to go back to normal between us. We definitely were growing more comfortable around eachother, which was good. It completely eliminated all the awkwardness. But I had this strange feeling that things weren’t going to stay this good for long. In my life, whenever something good happened, something extremely bad usually followed it.
Like when I’d married Ash. That was amazing, but afterwards, he’d gone off to war and “died”. Then I’d gotten together with Cole. But afterwards, we ended up fighting and he went back to Katrina. Then I’d met Will and we’d started going out. Almost immediately after, he decided to use me as his own personal punching bag. Also, I’d moved to Michigan and gotten rid of all of my previous problems. After I moved, I found out that Michael had followed me.
So I knew that Ash coming back to me like this was just the great event leading up to something awful. It was like the calm before the storm. But sooner or later, things would get bad again, so I could only hope that Ash and I would stay together.