Chapter: 28

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ELENA

Earlier this  morning Rylan had left without even having breakfast. The moment he walked into the dining room, I could sense the change in his behavior. He had straightened his blazer before kissing Ava's head.
    
"Breakfast?" I had offered.
    
"I will have it in the office." And without so much as a glance at me, he had walked out. Like I didn’t exist and I wasn’t sitting there in front him.
    
Even in the office I didn't see him come out even once. Was it because he was under too much work pressure or had he gone back to being the asshole he was.
    
I had spent my evening with Dad at the hospital. He was a little better than before.
    
I don't know why but I felt like cooking something for dinner tonight. Stacey helped me with a little tip here and there and the difference made was unbelievable, tasted better than anything I had made ever before.
    
Initially Ava was excited for the dinner and was waiting for Rylan but when he was really late, I convinced Ava to have her dinner and put her to sleep. Although I had my dinner with Ava, I was still waiting for Rylan.
    
It was around ten when I heard him coming. When he noticed me he halted in his steps and looked at me like he hadn't expected me to be there.
    
"Uhh I had prepared spaghetti with meatballs for dinner. I was thinking if you-" I was rudely cut off before I could complete.
    
"I already had my dinner." He said in a measured curt tone and immediately went upstairs without sparing me another glance. His sudden cold demeanor had me flabbergasted. Only a day back everything seemed so normal and now he was behaving as if I was a stranger.
    
I sighed and cleaned up the kitchen before going off to bed.
...................

"No, Dad. You'll listen to everything she says. I shouldn't hear any complaints from Mom." I said in a strict tone. At times he could really be a child. He huffed in response.
    
"Fine. I'll listen to everything she says." The displeasure was evident in his tone.
    
"Let me talk to her." I heard Mom's voice before she was the one speaking.
    
"Ellie, you're coming tomorrow, right?" There was a bit of excitement in her voice that I haven't heard in a long time.
    
"I'll come on my way back from the office." I said while observing my nail whose corner just got broken.
    
"Good. I am preparing your favorite tart." I furrowed my eyebrows at that.
    
"Mom, you shouldn't. I'm not a guest. With Dad ill, you already have so much on your plate." She sighed loudly.
    
"But I wanted to. I haven't cooked something for you in ages." I couldn't help the smile falling on my lips. Back at home, we used to spend some evenings discussing almost everything in the world while we baked different items.
    
"Fine then, prepare a lot. I am going to come with a huge appetite." I heard her chuckle.
    
"How are things going?" It was strange how I could never truthfully answer this question of Mom.

It had been nearly two weeks since that day, since that kiss. Rylan had been ignoring me like some plaque. He was off to the office early and sent me his car. He came back late, and mostly had his food outside. One minute he was behaving all caring and the very next moment I felt like we were two unwilling strangers living under one roof.
    
Could it be the kiss? It was different than the one we shared the night Dad got hospitalized, more deep, more intimate. Had he felt it?
    
"Everything is fine here Mom." I lied straight through my teeth. Just then Rylan entered. His eyes caught a quick glance of me while he walked in like I wasn't sitting there.
    
"Mom, I'll call you later." I hung up on her. I was determined that I had to talk with him.
    
"Rylan." He halted in his steps but didn't turn around. After two long seconds he slowly and may I say very reluctantly turned and looked at me.
    
"Yes?" He asked nonchalantly.
    
"What is it?" I folded my arms and stared at him. He gave a shrug like he was totally unaware of the issue.
    
"I don't understand." I rolled my eyes at his pretend.
    
"Why are you avoiding me?" I raised a brow at him.
    
"I am not avoiding anyone." He looked straight into my eyes and anyone would have easily believed him by his unfaltering gaze.
    
"You are! You have been behaving strangely since that night. Do you understand that we aren't teens that we kiss and then you avoid me for days? You have been coming home late, leaving early, spending minimum time at home, why?" I had to get my answers. He was acting like a kid.
    
"Are you still hung over that night?" I was dumb for a second before disappointment settled in.
    
“What?”
    
"To stay a year together, we need to be civil towards each other. But the kiss… It didn't mean anything. I…. You were….. It… It was just..." He trailed off, not able to find the perfect word or not being able to let it out.
    
"What? A moment of weakness?" I'm sure anyone could have sensed the bitterness in my tone. He inhaled deeply before speaking his mind.
    
"A mistake."

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