Chapter: 49

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RYLAN

"Mason was my fiance." Silence was all that followed. I dumbly stared at her till I could gather up some words.
    
"You had a fiance!" I blurted in shock and I probably sounded like a stupid asking that. Elena had done this. She had made me sound like a stupid.
    
"What else have you not told me?" I asked, disbelief coating every single word of mine.
    
"I didn't want to talk about him." I saw as she glanced back at those photos and then at me. Her eyes roamed about my face trying to figure out something.
    
"Did you meet him at Starbucks?" A long second passed before there was a small nod from her.
    
"I ran into him, Rylan. In fact he came up to me." She explained like it was supposed to make things any better.
    
"And you were never gonna tell me that." It was a statement, a fragile sounding one. It was my realization that she didn't share everything with me. She hadn't let me in.
    
"I—" She closed her mouth and drew in a shaky breath. I run my hand through my hair to be calm, as much as was possible in this situation.
    
"One last question." She glanced up, with moist eyes waiting for me to speak.
    
"Are these photos real?" Now that the question was out, I stared at her with bated breath, almost regretting asking it. I wasn't ready to hear what I didn't want to hear.
    
"No." I felt the relief seeping in. I released the breath I didn't know was holding.
    
"I want to trust you Elena. Tell me these are photoshopped! Tell me none of this is true!" My voice had gone down to a whisper. I was expecting a quick response, an immediate shake of head but what I saw was a falter in her expression.
    
"Rylan— I need to explain." And whatever hope I was holding onto just vanished into thin air. I gritted my teeth, my patience running thin.
    
"I'm simply asking you to tell me if these are fucking photoshopped or not!" I yelled. With the frustration gnawing at my sanity, I was past caring for the fact that my daughter was downstairs. Elena's eyes brimmed up with tears at my outburst. She swallowed briefly before answering.
    
"These are not photoshopped." I felt it, like someone had knocked the air out of my lungs. Numbness spread everywhere till agony filled in the hollow.
    
"The pictures are real but it's just not what it looks like." I visibly winced.
    
"Stop it Elena! The last words you spoke, I swear to God I never in my life wanted to hear them!" I clenched my eyes shut and exhaled to relieve a bit of the pain but nothing helped.
    
"He forcefully kissed me!" Desperation was etched on her features as she uttered every word loud and clear.
    
"He set it up. I didn't even kiss him back."
    
"That day you went to meet Hannah. You came back late." Elena froze as soon as I let those words out. Her whole body went stiff, lips parting with shock.
    
"Rylan, you're not believing me!" She mumbled in utter disbelief. Her voice was breaking but I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do. I had never felt so lost in my head.
    
"You want me to? Tell me how? Your ex kisses you forcefully and I being your husband don't get to know shit about it! Now that I get these photos, you're telling me this. You tell me what the fuck should I believe?" The ache gripped my insides tighter with every second, with every exchange of words. Elena's lips quivered. She looked beaten, ready to break at any second then. She roughly shoved away her tears with the back of her hand.
    
"That day after Mason forced me, I called you because I was anxious and shaking and I didn't wanna drive. I tried a number of times but you didn't pick up my calls." She stepped towards me and I instinctively took one back. She was hurt, I saw that in her face but unless everything was fucking clear in my head, close physical proximity to her felt overwhelming to me.
    
"You could have told me after you came back." My voice didn't break but I definitely sounded weak.
    
"After I came back I—" More tears fell down her cheeks when she aggressively bit down on her lips.
    
"You what? Tell me." She shook her head when I prompted her to speak.
    
"When I came back, you guys were watching a movie together. You, Liliana, Ava, you looked like a family, having some good time and I didn't want to….get in between." My eyes twitched at her response. Just how dense was she!?
    
"Do you even hear how ridiculous you sound? Getting in between? You're already there in between, you're my wife, damn it!" The momentary surge of exasperation fuelled my outburst. Otherwise I was exhausted to my core.
    
"You know I don't do well with my emotions. I was just...it was all messed up in my head and I couldn't think properly. I'm sorry!" She choked on her words while I was breathing hard, panting almost. The only thing that seemed sensible to me was to walk out and buy myself some time before my brain decided to function.
    
"Rylan, stop!" I stilled before slowly turning back towards her. At this point I was just tired and wanted an escape.
    
"I can't. I need some air. You have been holding things from me more than I thought could be possible. I feel like I don't even know you." Her face resembled a beaten puppy at that moment. I sighed before stepping out of the room. I felt suffocated and the urge to get out was immense.

 I felt suffocated and the urge to get out was immense

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