011; real life

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"Elijah, can we have a minute please?" Awsten requests awkwardly, half expecting him to say no.

"Thea?" Elijah looks to her to see if she's okay with him leaving.  She nods and he steps out into the hall, closing the door behind him.

"I'm sorry," Awsten starts off nervously, "I shouldn't have treated you the way I did."

"It's okay," Thea mumbles, giving a forced smile.

"No, no, it's not okay," Awsten denies, shaking his head.  "I hurt you.  That's not okay.  I shouldn't have treated you the way I did.  I took out my fears on you instead of trying to talk it through.  You deserve better than having someone take out their problems on you.  I love you and I never want to make you feel anything but happy and loved and important."

"What were you afraid of?" Thea inquires, hoping to ignore the part about her own feelings.

"It's...I know it doesn't make sense but...I got caught up in thinking about Emily and how things started off so good and then just turned around and I was scared the same thing could happen with you," he explains, shifting where he stands.  "I know now that you wouldn't do what she did but it's hard, I guess.  I'm trying to get passed it."

"How are you doing?" Thea questions worriedly, which makes Awsten feel even worse.

"Why are you worried about that?  I hurt you.  You should be mad at me," Awsten reminds her, "you could hate me for the way I treated you and you'd be completely in the right for that."

"I tried hating you," Thea admits, "I think I just love you too much for that."

"I love you too but...don't be so caught up in that feeling that you just let me get away with shit like this.  I'm not doing it again, ever, but it shouldn't have happened to begin with.  You can be mad at me and still love me," he tells her,  "you don't gotta just act like this is all okay.  Be angry, we can work through it.  I want to work through it with you."

"I don't wanna be mad at you," Thea replies with a shrug, "I'm tired of it. I spent the last few weeks trying to be mad and just wishing I could forget about you 'cause it hurt but I can't.  I just want things to be okay."

"I do too," he agrees with a nod, "but...just going back in and acting like nothing happened wouldn't be okay.  I don't wanna be just another person you're okay with being hurt by.  I wanna do better, you deserve better and I wanna show you that.  I wanna work to earn your trust back.  I love you so much and I wanna be with you so fuckin' bad but we can't just go in after what I did.  I made you cry, I hurt you so bad and I never, ever wanna do that again and I wanna prove to you that I won't.  I want to deserve your trust.  So...I don't think we should be together yet.  No matter how much I wanna just take your forgiveness and put what happened in the past, I know that can't happen.  We can't keep going until you can trust that I won't hurt you."

"But...you do wanna be together still?  You don't gotta act like you do just 'cause the baby.  You can be in the baby's life either way," Thea makes sure to tell him, not wanting to take the risk of him only saying any of this for the baby.

"I love you, Thea.  I wanna be with you.  It's not about the baby," he assures her, "I do wanna be part of the baby's life, of course, but that has nothing to do with me being in love with you.  I love you and want to be with you and I promise I'll do everything to show you that I mean it."

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