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Three days later, I asked
“Oliver’s on his way,” he said, then took a sip of his Frappuccino.
“I’ve been thinking.” I looked at him. “I just thought of this last night.”
“What is it?”
I took a deep intake of breath. What I was about to say needed a lot of courage. “I don’t want to fight with you again. Just listen.”
“I still need my job,” I said, “but I need more time for myself.”
“What are you thinking?”
“I want to see my family, just like you said. I’ll come back in two weeks.”
He flashed out a satisfied grin. “That’s great. I’m glad you finally realized that. When do you want to leave?”
“Tomorrow.” I shrugged. “If you allow me to.”
“You’re allowed to see your family. It will help our recovery.”
“Really?” I smiled. “Then, there’s still something else I want.”
He put the cup on the table. “Okay. Let’s hear it.”
“Come with me.”
“Come with me, Cassius,” I repeated. “It sounds ridiculous, I know. But I need you there. You don’t need to stay with me. You can just stay somewhere near me if you’re not comfortable. But I’m sure my mother won’t mind.”
“Hold on,” he interjected. “You know that this isn’t easy, right?”
“I said, I need you. Please, Cassius. You can’t leave me alone. I don’t want to be alone.”.”
“You’re asking me to go with you in your hometown. For two weeks. That’s isn’t simple, Alayna. You know I can’t do that.” “It’s too much, I know, but I want you to continue my therapy. Will you help me?”
His mouth parted. “Look, I suggested that you should go home to your family so you could have a fresh mind. That’s how I’m supposed to help you.”
“Don’t abandon me!” I shook my head. “Not you too.”
Cassius’ eyes darkened. “What exactly do you want from me?”
“I’ve been holding myself for a few times now. Sometimes I watched you sleep, and you were still there. I’ve had mixed emotions because of you. You make me laugh, you make me happy, and you make me forget that I was in pain— like you’re doing right now.”
“Alayna, I never intended to give you these emotions,” he breathed. He ran his finger through his hair. “Oh, God!”
I’d been picturing myself running my fingers through his hair too. I wanted to kiss him again. Brandon was not even there. He was changed. I saw him with someone else. It was not me who turned my back. He turned away from me first. I should not feel guilty anymore.
On the contrary, Cassius was there for me. I had to admit that something was going on between us. An attraction. He captured me with his gentle heart, his smile, and everything about him made me feel so safe, consumed—just how I first saw him. I was falling for him unintentionally.
“Do you not like me?”
“What did you say?” he was out of breath.
“Tell me. Tell me, you don’t like me.”
“That isn’t fair, Alayna. You know what I feel for you,” he said, his eyes softened.
The lump in my chest lungs slightly lightened, and the rapid beat of my heart slowed down. I finally said what I had to say. Brandon didn’t want to do anything with me anymore. He had hurt me enough. It’s like I died inside. I was done with this stupidity.
But I knew my life must go on. I had a family to support. I just had to grab anything that would make me at ease even just a little.
It was Cassius. I believed if he could help me. I should be called the most selfish person alive knowing I could hurt him too, but nothing will change if I don’t try.
“If you think I’m not serious, I will tell Oliver.”
“What!?” he exclaimed. “What will you tell Ollie?”