30. I love... coming home to you.

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"So what's this I hear about you being on Tinder? You bored of me already?" Ryan asked me, eyes boring into me over her plate of food

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"So what's this I hear about you being on Tinder? You bored of me already?" Ryan asked me, eyes boring into me over her plate of food.

It was Friday night and we were in the middle of dinner at my favorite Italian place for one of our first official dates. And this was not how I was hoping the evening would go.

I held her gaze, trying to stay calm. How did she hear about that?

"I, uh..."

She frowned, studying me. "Did you already know about this?"

"It's not my profile," I finally managed to say. "It's fake, obviously. But I did hear about it the other day. I had it deleted."

"And why, exactly, did you decide to keep that from me?" she pressed, her face a mixture of hurt and anger.

I took a drink of water, trying to buy myself a minute to think.

"It was right when you and I... got together. It just didn't feel like the right time. I was going to tell you. I just didn't want to put a damper on things with us when we were still figuring out where we stood."

She pressed her lips into a line and sighed loudly. Not telling her when I found out was such an epically bad idea.

"You can't just... omit important information like that. You can't decide for me whether it's a good time to talk about things."

She had me there. She was right, completely. "I'm sorry. I should have told you."

We sat in silence for a few moments. She just stared at the table, refusing to meet my eyes. I shifted in my seat nervously. The longer she stayed quiet, the more I started to worry. I tried to formulate the right thing to say in my head but I kept drawing a blank.

"Please don't keep things like this from me, Ethan," she finally said. "Remember how we talked about you being closed-off? I've let you in— a lot. You have to let me in, too. Or this will never work."

I drew in a deep breath. "I know. You're right. I'll try. I am trying, I mean. But I'll try harder."

She just nodded distantly, chewing on her lip.
"My father emailed me. He wants to meet a week from Wednesday for coffee."

"Wow. How do you feel about that?" I ask her, reaching out to hold her hand over the table.

"I'm not sure," she admitted. "It's still far away. And now it's going to loom over my head until it's here."

"Still want me to come with you?"

"Not sure about that right now, either."

My heart sank. I guess I deserved that, though. "Well, you know the offer still stands."

For the rest of the evening, she was distant. She was a quieter person in general, but she usually came out of her shell when we were together. Tonight, though, I was getting the more standoffish Ryan that most other people see.

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