The living room carried a heavy atmosphere. Noises vanished but what remained rang clear. Unmentioned thoughts bounced off mental walls. Neither party dared to speak again. Both observed the other and waited for a response.
Logan squeezed his eyes shut, bowing his head. Jumbled words and sentences swirled in his mind. The memory from years ago resurfaced vividly and vaguely. The thing he couldn’t forget had been the turmoil—the feeling of being lost. Even now, he failed to identify what had been real or what had been illusions.
One realization did stand out above the rest.
Something shut off inside of him since then.
He got up abruptly. He took a few steps until he stood beside the couch’s armrest. His shoulders rose up, falling slowly. His head inclined a bit to his right. If he moved it a bit more, he’d spot Skye in his peripheral vision.
Logan reached for the top of the backrest, gripping it tight. Hot flames danced inside his abdomen. The pent up emotions threatened to burst out. If he didn’t end this conversation soon, he feared that he’d explode. Anything he’d say couldn’t be taken back anymore.
“Please, leave” his voice almost inaudible.
Skye rose to her feet. She walked around the coffee table with one hand raised, ready to touch him, “But, Logan—”
“Don’t concern yourself about me anymore.”
Her gesture stopped halfway. The hand hovered in mid-air. She felt lightheaded. Logan had one of the most understanding hearts she ever met. Yet, his back that was within arm’s reach seemed farther away.
“It doesn’t work that way, Logan” Skye told him, standing her ground. Her arm dropped to her side, “It’s my decision whether to care about you or not.”
A low humorless chuckle rumbled out of his chest.
“Then, why did you leave?” He breathed out. Shaking his head, Logan covered the half of his face with one hand, “Why did you never talk to me again? Why did you cut me off? Why didn’t you even tell me?”
“I—” She choked in reply. A pair of hands squeezed her heart, wanting it to shatter. It desired to rip apart her insides. It coaxed her resolve to crumble. It craved for her to fall. Tears streamed out of the corner of her eyes, “I couldn’t. Every time I picked up the phone… I didn’t know what to say. I became scared. What if I was forgotten? What if I get ignored? I loved you so much. Just the mere thought of any bad possibility broke me more. I’m sorry that I wasn’t strong enough to overcome myself.”
Skye sniffed. She wiped off her cheeks with the back of her hands. There it was. Her weakest moment among her vulnerabilities. She spent weeks locked up in her bedroom. The boulder of regret weighed on top of her body, keeping her in place.
No amount of words could ever describe that black pit.
She hoped her feelings somehow reached him, at least.
Logan stayed in place. A flashback of her traumatic episodes came to light. The times he held her in his arms when she needed him. The way she trembled like a stray animal out in the rain. The cries and woes that shrieked out of her mouth. Pure anguish and helplessness that drove her to the brink of insanity.
They were rare…
… but he remembered them all.
“What happened between you and Jae that day?” The question flew out of his mouth before he processed them. If she truly wanted to set things straight, he’d reopen the past. Just this once, he decided. If she didn’t take this opportunity…
He’d close it forever.
“I already told you—”
Logan slammed the backrest. The couch topled under the force. He caught it in time and steadied it back into place. “Then, why would you feel guilty? Because you left? And cut off contact?”
He whirled around. Nostrils flared, raw anger shot out of his eyes, “Why did you even do that then if you did nothing wrong?!”
Her words and her actions… they contradicted so much that either one failed to make sense. She pushed the blame on Jae repeatedly—from the second he caught them to the time he walked away to the moment of their breakup.
Then, she ran away like an exposed criminal.
If she had to move, why would she block his number? They had a thorough discussion. They agreed to not talk during that weekend and go back to being friends. Were those lies? Was it because they weren’t supposed to talk?
Then, why didn’t she even leave a note?
Skye pressed her lips together, swallowing her sobs. His claims hit home. Her teeth gnashed at them and punctured her flesh. The tangy taste of blood trickled on her tongue. Eyes quivering, she stared at him. Her gaze contained all the unspoken words she held back.
Logan shook his head slowly. He let the backrest go and stepped back. He became nothing more than a hollow shell, “If you won’t be honest with me, get out of my house.”
“Get out of my house!” He roared, pointing to the door. His other hand clenched into a fist. His chest rose and fell rapidly, wanting her to disappear. Vile flavor flooded in his mouth. Every nerve beneath his skin shook with rage.
Logan relaxed his stance.
Disappointment evident on his face, he said, “Don’t ever come back here.”
Skye’s body hair skyrocketed. Goosebumps crawled over her flesh. Her instincts commanded her to flee. She grabbed her bags and ran for the exit. She openly cried on her way out, covering her mouth. Tears stained her entire face.
Her feet bolted out of the door, leaving it open. She mapped out a clear path to the gate. She intended to beeling for it but halted in her steps.
Apparently, she wasn’t alone.
Turning to her left, she spotted two figures on the porch. They seemed to be in the middle of a conversation. The taller one hunched over to whisper towards the other person. They snapped their attention in her direction when she came out. Their shock displayed in their raised brows.
Skye bent forward, clutching her stomach. A bitter and pained cackle blared out of her mouth. Oh, this was just rich! Witnesses for her demise! The world truly loved to toy with her, didn’t it?
Steel gray eyes watched her movements.
Mockery pierced Skye’s chest. She must be a comical sight. Her sorry state must be amusing. This person now occupied her previous position—whether Alex was aware or not. Did she also want Logan between the two guys?
WIping her face with the back of her hand, Skye faced them with a frosty smile on her lips. Her loud voice rang out in all directions, “Well, isn’t this sweet? You two look cozy together. I didn’t know you were so close. If I hadn’t seen Alex, I would have thought you were making out with a girl, Jae.”
Getting over the initial surprise, Alex scowled at the mischief in her expression. Something sounded off about her statements. The answer dangled at the edge of Alex’s mind. She just needed to think deeper.
Then, her gaze flickered to the open door.
Jae sprinted for Skye while Alex headed inside.
His brother’s ex-girlfriend dodged his hand and raced for the gate. She reached the last porch step before Jae grabbed her arm. He yanked her backwards, knocking her off balance. Skye shifted her head towards him. He blocked her entire vision.
The stairs added more to his height and his domineering stature.
He bared his teeth, growling breathily, “How dare you come back here… just how much trouble will you cause before you’re satisfied?”
Skye tugged her arm and tried to break free. Jae’s fingers curled around her arm, tightening his hold. He was far from finished with her, “Answer me, Skye!”
“Or what?!” She shouted back, mimicking his glare.
“Are you gonna hit me if I didn’t?” She smirked without humor. Then, she leaned forward and hissed, “Your mother must be so proud of how you treat girls. A new flavor every week, right?”
Jae pulled her closer and raised his fist, ready to strike. Skye bowed her head. She closed her eyes. Then, she used her bags to shield her face. A whimper broke out of her lips.
The impact never came.
Skye took advantage of the pause and kicked Jae in his shin. When he released her, she hit the other one and escaped for her life. He crumpled to the ground as she screamed at the guard to open the gate. Unaware of what happened, her request had been granted. She quickly hid away.
Jae straightened his legs.
They wobbled unsteadily but he could manage. If it hadn’t been for his mother’s reminders, he would have hit Skye. It sounded unfair. She could hit him but he couldn’t do the same to her? B*******, he cursed mentally.
How the hell did she even hear about those rumors?
On second thought, Jae spun on his heel. He shook his head and jogged back up the stairs. That bitch could wait a bit longer. His brother mattered more at the moment. She wouldn’t have done that annoying tone for nothing.
No doubt, Logan heard her perfectly.