“When I first found out, I was scared. The doctor said it was stage III colorectal cancer and I had to have it surgically removed.” Faith wiped away a tear slipping out of the corner of her eye. I was too shocked that I didn’t do anything but sat there with my eyes fixated on her while listening to each word she was saying. “My parents were there, for the first time they actually were in the same room without fighting.” She laughed humorlessly.
She used to tell me that her parents always fought and one day they were fighting on the way home. Her parents started calling each other’s names and she broke down in tears in the backseat of the car. After that day, her parents agreed that it was best for Faith to live with her grandmother in Vancouver rather than stayed in Toronto and lived in an unhealthy environment at home.
AUTUMN POVJudging from how Phraser was, I thought he would drag me to a fancy place where the drinks were as expensive as the food. My first guess was hotel bars or fancy pubs, maybe like those kinds that I’ve seen in Gossip Girl. A fancy place where Blair Waldorf would go without cringing or scrunching her nose.But he surprised me when he pulled up the car to the curb and led me to an Irish pub. The building looked hundreds of years old. I looked up and read the name ‘McSorley’s Old Ale House established 1854’ which confirmed my early guess about the pub being old.He held the door opened for me and I stepped inside the pub. The interior looked busy with portraits and posters were everywhere, leaving almost no empty space on the wall. There were paraphernalia and stovepipe tha
TYLER POV“Am I allowed to go home now?” I put both hands on my hips and looked at Mario. I should be home, talking to Autumn, not standing in front of a hotel room, guarding the door for two hours.He waved his hand. “Go.”He didn’t need to tell me twice as I rushed to the set of the elevator at the end of the hallway and pressed the call button.It was around ten o’clock when I finally got home. The elevator took longer than usual, no matter how many times I pressed the call button so I ran my way from downstairs to our floor. By the time I got home, I was sweating and panting hard. I fished out the keys from the pocket of my jeans and unlocked the door. “Autumn?”All lights were turned off. I used my phone to get to the coat stand. I reached for
TYLER POVThe night turned into morning and before I realized it, it was afternoon. I was still sitting on the balcony, waiting for the front door to swing open with Autumn walking in. I knew I’ve seen her this morning but it felt like weeks instead of merely a few hours.I shifted in my seat and rested my head. I’ve drunk a total of five cups of strong black coffee, my eyes were tired and my body wanted to rest. But I couldn’t sleep now, not until I made sure she was home. Not until we had a talk. I rubbed both hands over my face and took another drink.My phone buzzed and I immediately pulled it out of my front pocket to find that it a text was from Mario. Maybe I should put a different ringtone for him so I’d know. His text was short as always. An address.
TYLER POVSeemed to know my gloomy mood, the sky above has turned grey and started to drizzle. I pulled the hood of my coat over my head. The cool air seeped through the space in between the buttons, I shoved my hands into the pockets of my coat and hunched my shoulders against the cold as I sped up to the address Mario has sent me earlier.It took me fifteen minutes to get there and by the time I arrived, I needed to bend down and steadied my breathing. I pulled my phone out of my pocket and dialed Mario’s number.“Ciao?” He answered after a short while.I swallowed hard. “I’m here.”I heard him let out a weary sigh and when he spoke, it almost sounded like he wished I didn’t come. “Get inside.”<
TYLER POVI pondered his words for a few moments, then realized what happened. When I sat with him and Faith in the cafe yesterday, I was so distracted by trying to protect Faith that I didn’t realize his longing eyes whenever he stole a glance at her. He still loved her. Mario still loved Faith. I should’ve seen the signs. “Faith.”A bitter smile appeared on his lips. “Yeah.”“What happened?” I paused and quickly added, “I know it’s none of my business but if you don’t mind telling me.”Mario scratched the back of his neck and stood. “We are going to need some drinks if we’re going to talk about that.” He moved to the fridge again and yelled, “do you prefer chilled beer or shots of tequila?”
TYLER POV“I know it’s hard, man,” said Mario as if he knew what was bugging my mind. Perhaps, he was the only person who truly did since he went through the same thing two years ago when he broke things off with Faith.I tipped my head back and finished off my beer. “Do you still love her?” I asked just for the sake of putting my mind off the choices I had to make for a while, not because I was curious about his feelings for Faith. My eyes found him as I put the empty bottle carefully on the table next to his.If Mario was surprised, he didn’t show it on his face although his hands which were trying to open his third beer, kept on failing in doing the task. “If I don’t, I wouldn’t bother to disturb you two yesterday.”I cocked my
TYLER POVI stared ahead and took a deep breath, trying to calm myself down. This was bad, so very bad. Besides knowing fully well that this was the last thing I wanted to do, I also knew that I wouldn’t be able to do it. It was too much and I wasn’t sure I would survive by the end of it. Yet, what other choice did I have left?I closed my eyes for a brief second, internally telling myself that this was for the best. It would hurt both of us emotionally but physically she would be safe and that was all that mattered. When my eyes finally fluttered open, I turned the key and swung the door open.“Ty? Is that you?” I heard her voice from somewhere in the living room.I took off my shoes and stepped further into the apartment. “Yeah, it’s me.” I shrugged my coat off and hung it on the stand on my
Autumn POVI looked up and realized he has been watching me all along, there was an amused look on his face mixed with a little curiosity. “I don’t know which one is Norma but just to clarify, I’m actually looking at you. You looked so damn happy when you were with your friends.” His gaze slid back to the photo in a blue IKEA frame as he softly added, “I hope I’ll make you as happy as you looked in that photo.”I did not know what to reply to him with. There were one or two things about Phraser that really contradict one another. First, he could be a real jerk sometimes. Second, he often said things that had left me speechless, wondering if he might be a decent (since good sounded overrated, over-complimenting) guy. At a time like this, I wished he had been the first one, because if he was being a