I get out of my car and slowly walk towards the mansion. My hands were trembling and my body was sweaty.
I still couldn’t believe that it was done. That I was finally divorced from him. The proof of that was currently in my handbag. I was here to bring the final papers to him and to pick Noah up.
Entering the house, I follow the sounds of hushed voices but stop in my tracks when I near the kitchen.
Right now I could hear them clearly and what I heard encased my soul in ice.
“I still don’t understand why you can’t live with me and mommy?” Noah asks his father.
My shaking hands go to my chest. My heart breaking at the sadness in his voice. I would do anything for him, but this divorce was inevitable.
Our marriage had been a mistake. Everything about us was a mistake. It just took me a while to see the truth.
“You know why Noah, you mother and I are no longer together” His voice is soft as he replies.
It’s weird really. That during the duration of our marriage he has never once spoken to me softly. It was always cold. Always flat and devoid of any emotion
“These things just happen” he mumbles.
I can imagine his face frowning. As he tries to make Noah understand so that he doesn’t ask any more questions. But Noah is my son. Curiosity and inquisition is in his blood.
“Don’t you love her?”
My breath gets caught at the simple heartfelt question. I take a step back and lean against the wall. Heart racing, I wait in anticipation for his answer.
I knew his answer. I’ve always known what it is. Everyone with the exception of Noah probably knows that damn answer.
The truth is he doesn’t love me. Never had and never will. That was as clear as day. Knowing this, I still wanted to hear his reply. Would he tell our son the truth or lie to him?
He clears his throat, obviously stalling. “Noah…”
“Dad, do you love mommy or not?” Noah asks again, his voice final.
I hear him sigh in defeat. “I love her for giving me you” he finally says.
It was a placation not an answer.
I close my eyes against the rush of pain that fills me. After all this time. It still hurts. I feel my heart breaking all over again. I don’t know why a small part of me had hoped that his answer would be different.
He never said those three words to me. Not when we got married or when I gave birth to Noah, nor after in the years that had passed or when we slept together.
He held himself back through the entire duration of our marriage. I gave him my all but he gave me nothing in return except pain and heartache.
We were married but instead of two, there were three of us in our marriage. Him, me and the love of his life. The woman he’s refused to let go for nine long years.
Tears fill my eyes but I rub them way. I was tired of crying. Tired of chasing after a man that didn’t want me.
“Has anyone ever told you it’s rude to listen to other people’s conversations?”
His deep voice cuts through the silent space. Interrupting my thoughts in the process. I square my shoulders and enter the kitchen.
There he stands near the kitchen counter. My now ex-husband, Rowan Woods.
His mocking grey eyes pins me to the spot.
My eyes shift to my son. My pride and joy. The only good thing in my life. His good looks are definitely curtesy of his dad. He has my brown hair and his penetrating grey eyes.
“Hello” I give them a small smile.
“Hi mommy” Noah places his half eaten sandwich down and jumps down from the counter. He rushes to me and hugs my mid-section. “I’ve missed you”
“Missed you too, my love” I kiss his forehead before he steps away from me and goes back to his food.
I stand there awkwardly. This used to be my home, but now I feel out of place in it. Like I don’t belong.
In truth though, I never did.
Knowingly or unknowingly, he built this house with HER in mind. This was HER dream house, everything down to the color scheme.
That should have been the first indication that he wasn’t planning on letting her go. That he wouldn’t reciprocate my love for him.
“What are you doing here?” he asks in annoyance and stares at his watch. “You promised you wouldn’t interrupt my time with Noah”
“I know…I got the divorce degree today and I thought I could bring you the copy while I pick up Noah”
His face turns stone cold and his lips form a thin line. Every time he looks at me like this, a piece of me breaks. I’ve loved him since I can remember but that doesn’t mean a damn thing to him.
Over and over, he has broken my heart and shattered my soul. I continued loving him. Holding on. Thinking things will change, but they never did.
When we got married I thought I would finally get love. The love I’ve been craving since I was a child. I was wrong. Marriage turned to be a nightmare. I was always fighting with the ghost of his past. The ghost of a girl I could never measure up to no matter how much I tried.
I rub my chest. Trying to ease the pain that was encased there.
It does no good. It still fucking hurts even though we’ve been separated for months.
“Noah, could you go up to your room? Your mother and I need to discuss something” Rowan says through clenched teeth, the word mother slipping out of his mouth in disgust.
He looks between us for a minute before nodding.
“No fighting” he commands before leaving.
As soon as he is out of ear shot, Rowan bangs his fist on the counter in anger. His grey eyes are icy as he addresses me.
“You could have sent them to my damn office instead of interrupting my time with my son” the words leave his lips in a growl. His hands are fisted and he looks about ready to blow up on me.
“Rowan…” I sigh, unable to complete the sentence.
“No. F***ing No! You turned my life upside down nine years ago, you did it again when you asked for that fucking divorce, was it your way of hurting me? Separating me from my son because I couldn’t love you. Newsflash Ava, I fucking hate you”
He’s breathing hard by the time he’s done. The angry words tumble out of his mouth like bullets shooting straight at me. I feel them pierce my heart. Each word shattering my already fragile heart.
What’s there to say when the man you still love says he hates you?
“Just get out of my fucking house…I’ll bring Noah home when my time with him is over” he snaps.
I put the divorce decree down on the counter. I was going to apologize when my phone rings. I take it out of my bag and check the caller ID.
I wanted to ignore it but she never calls me unless it’s something important.
I swipe the screen and bring the phone to my ear.
I sigh “Mothe…”
She doesn’t give me chance to finish my sentence.
“Get to the hospital now! Your father has been shot” she says almost hysterically before hanging up.
My phone slips from my hand. I’m shocked.
“What is it?” his voice penetrates my brain.
Heart racing, I don’t look up as I pick my phone and answer him.
“Father has been shot”