Spring, two years after,

It was already getting dark when the taxi dropped me in front of my mum's new family home. The journey from Bradford in the United Kingdom to Albany in New York was quite stressful as I tried to hold the handle of my luggage and a big traveling box to stand firmly in place on the ground.

I stared at the magnitude mansion that took the natural environment as sacred, though it was modern to every single detail, it was built around the trees protecting them.

Three interlocking levels show the versatility of color in the two-storey mansion. Featuring large panes of glass and even wider viewing platforms, while the stunning horizontal wooden panel makes a clear path to the front door.

The cold breeze fanned my face as I fought the urge to stop the tears that glistened on my face. I used the back of my right hand to wipe my eyes and breathed out.

'I can't still believe mum left dad to live this kind of life, so selfish of her,' I thought angrily as I began to pull my luggage towards the door. If not for dad who made me come back, I didn't have any plans of seeing her again.

I pressed the button aside the door, and I heard the chiming sound from inside the house and waited for the door to be opened.

A few seconds, the door suddenly opened and behold that was my dear mother, should I call her dear because sporadically, I don't think she deserved to be called a dear mother.

I stared awkwardly at her as I quickly scanned through the blue evening gown which no one needed to be told was expensive with a silvery necklace with a round pearl pendant hanging comfortably on her neck with matching pearl earrings.

“Hailey! Finally, you're around,” She beamed while I just stared coldly at her blue eyes, which were just the same as mine.

“Hey, mum!” I greeted dryly when her new husband showed up behind her snaking his arm around her waist, mum looked at him as they both smiled at each other while I only clenched my fist on the handle of the luggage I was trying to keep in place.

“Hailey, nice to have you back,” He cheered with a smile, while I gave him an odd look in those gray eyes of his.

“Can I come in?” I asked annoyingly tired of their scrutinizing stares at me as mum moved away from the path as I started dragging my loads inside the luxurious house.

“Let me help you with those,” My stepfather offered, and I was quick in cutting him off.

“No, thanks, I can do it myself,” I declined as he stared at me for a while before he gave me a thin smile with a nod.

“Hailey, let hi--”

“I don't need either of his help or your mum, I just did fine carrying it all the way from the United Kingdom to New York, so please!” I fired at her as she opened her mouth and closed it speechlessly.

“Let me show you to your room then,” She suggested calmly, and I nodded as she began to climb the stairs while I trailed behind her as I kept on struggling with my luggage until I was able to scale through climbing the entire staircase.

Mum opened the door to my room, and I took my time studying how neatly arranged the room was in a pink princess's style room, but yet, this room seemed familiar to me.

I walked in, putting my luggage in front of the Queen sized bed with a pink headboard and pink white blanket.

If I was on good terms with my mum, I would have appreciated her happily.

“So, Hailey, how's everything in Bradford?” She asked while I snapped my head to her sharply with a scoff escaping my mouth.

“Everything?” I lividly questioned her with a dry chuckle escaping my lips before giving her a stern look.

“If you wanted to know about everything, then you should have been with us,” I told her while she swallowed the lump in her throat and awkwardly played with her fingers.

“Hailey, dear, I know you're still angry with me but--”

“No, mum! I'm not angry,” I interrupted her as she stared at me with a glint of hope in her eyes.

“I'm only here because Dad, wants me to, I'm fine with whatever you chose to do with your life as far as that makes you happy and as long it's not mine,” I gravelly told her as I saw the hurt that flashed through her face and turned around and started unzipping my traveling bag like she wasn't there again.

“Dinner will be ready in 30 minutes,” I heard her say as she closed the door behind her with a gentle thud.

Making sure she was gone, a tear slipped down my face to my box.

She didn't know how fucking hard it was for dad and I living in Bradford, and she had the guts to ask if everything was fine with us.

I sighed and wiped my face with my hands, standing up and sitting on the bed.

I brought out my phone from the pocket of the jacket I was wearing. It was an iPhone 8 that dad has managed to buy for me… I was so happy when he gave it to me last year on my 17th birthday.

I scrolled through my phone to check my voicemails and saw my dad's own, then clicked on it immediately.

'Princess, call me when you get over to your mum's place,' Dad's deep baritone voice said through my phone, making me smile at his voice as I placed a call to him.

It began ringing, and he picked on the first call.

“Hey, Princess!” My Dad chimed in while I smiled.

“I just got settled in mum's place,” I told him.

“Did you speak with your mum?” He asked while I sighed.

“I tried,” I sighed, rolling my eyes while I heard his breath out through the phone.

“Just be nice to her and everyone over there,” He said, making me sniff.

“Honestly, mum doesn't deserve you,” I hushed sadly.

“Shush! Don't say that, princess,” He uttered while I frowned.

“I guess it's late over there,” He said.

“Yeah!” I replied.

“Have you had dinner?” He asked.

“No, mum said it will be ready in 30 minutes or so,” I answered glancing around and seeing a Pink clock hanging on the wall, it was almost time up for dinner.

“Make sure you go,” He advised, making me press my lips together.

“Okay,” I replied flatly, and we became silent for a while.

“Hailey,” Dad called my name as I bit on my lower lips while playing with the hem of my jacket.

“Yes, Dad,” I replied.

“If anything troubles, don't think twice before telling me,” He entreated, and I smiled.

“Yeah sure… Good night Dad, I want to take a quick shower,” I told him.

“Goodnight princess, kisses,” He said.

“Kisses,” I said, almost kissing the air as I hung up the call and threw my phone on the bed, and stood up.

I glanced around, wondering why almost everything in the room, even the table and wardrobes, were pink like that of a Disney princess room.

I guess mom, would have put significant effort into this… Furthermore, I should try to thank her a bit.

But still, this room looked familiar to me and I thought almost racking my brain before I gasped when I stared at the window.

“Ryan!” I muttered with wide eyes as the flood of memories rushes into my brain as I recalled this was the room we both had our enticing and steamy moment.

I didn't see him when I got in, and I suddenly felt the urge of meeting him again, maybe he will come up for dinner.

So, I grabbed my toiletries and towel and hurried into the bathroom to take a quick shower.

I put on black joggers and a blue round neck free top, then packed my hair up in a ponytail and wore my white clogs with black socks before making my way out of the room.

I was so anxious to meet Ryan, wondering how handsome he would have been these past years… Too bad we were unable to communicate all through the years when I left then.

I got down the stairs and made my way to the dining table… I was still quite familiar with the house.

Likewise, I met mum setting up the dishes while my stepdad was scrutinizing his gaze on his phone, I glanced around the dining room and wondered if Ryan was also there too, but he wasn't.

“Hey, mum!” I greeted, announcing my arrival in the dining room as I approached a seat opposite the leading entrance of the dining room.

“Hailey! I was just about to come to call you,” She smiled at me and I nodded.

“Mum! Thanks for the room, I like it,” I told her, and she beamed happily at me.

“I'm happy you do,” She grinned slightly, and I nodded and pulled out the chair to sit down.

“How are you doing, Ley?” My stepdad asked as he stared at me… He reminded me so much of Ryan, and I want to see him so badly.

“I'm fine, you?” I asked, and his face lit up as he leaned closer to the table while my mum stared at me.

“I'm good,” He answered with a smile.

“Uhm! I apologize for my behavior earlier, just wasn't feeling too--”

“It's okay Ley, I understand,” He said placing his large hand over my left hand which looked petite compared to his, and I smiled at him.

Mum began serving us our meal, while I kept on looking at the entrance to see any sign of Ryan.

“I cooked your favorite,” Mum told me, and I nodded appreciatively at her.

I stared at the mashed potatoes with scrambled sauced eggs served with creamed salad.

The inviting aroma of food was so appealing that my stomach growled impatiently for me to start eating.

“You've looked more beautiful over these past years,” My stepdad started, I guess he was trying to build a father-to-daughter relationship with me, so I just answered him by the way.

“Thank you,” I answered, finally putting the soft mashed potatoes with scrambled eggs in my mouth.

“I guess Ryan will be stunned to see you,” Mum chuckled while I froze in my seat.

“Where's he by the way?” Stepdad asked as he glanced at my mom.

I was feeling so tensed just by the mention of his name, wondering whether I was ready to meet him or not.

“He should be here soon, I told him Hailey was around last time I checked on him, but he was playing video games in his room,” My mum answered and glanced towards me as I looked away and continued eating.

'So, he knew I was around and hasn't even bothered checking on me,' I thought.

'Give yourself a chill, when did you just arrive?' My mind retorted.

I was about to swallow the sweet delicacy of the mashed potatoes when Ryan hoped into the dining.

My eyes met his as he stood still and stared at me as his eyes darkened kind of while I choked on my food making me hit my chest.

“Here!” My mum quickly offered me a glass of water, I gulped the water down my throat before feeling relieved.

“I guess Hailey was the one stunned to see Ryan,” My stepdad chuckled as I heard Ryan draw out the chair opposite me while I cautiously stared at him.

“Not only her, but you should also have seen the look on Ryan's face too when he entered,” Mum crowed as she began dishing out Ryan's food.

Oh my God! Should I just say Ryan transformed from being just handsome to a handsome Greek god?

I stared at Ryan once more, maybe he could say something about welcoming me, but he just stared coldly at me and acted like I was a stranger.

'What's wrong with him?' I thought anxiously.

“I don't feel too hungry now, just wanted to tell you guys that,” He announced, massaging his temple and standing up.

“Wait! Why?” My mum asked him while I just focused my attention on Ryan.

“Because I'm not hungry!” He snapped nonchalantly and walked out of the dining room.

“Excuse me!” I notified my mum and stepdad as I find myself standing up.

“Okay,” My mum answered while I scurried out of the dining room, running after Ryan.

“Ryan!” I called after him as I climbed the stairs behind him, but he didn't wait or glance at me.

“Ryan, wait up!” I told him, breathing heavily due to almost running on the staircase and trying to keep up with him.

“Ryan! Why don't you just wait?” I asked, almost desperately.

“What do you want?” He raucously questioned deeply, turning suddenly to face me as I stopped in my tracks shocked at his question… Even his voice sounded deeper than ever before as he stared coldly at me with those hazel eyes of his.

“What do I want?” I found myself asking that question before I snapped my gaze at him.

“Just wanted to ask, how have you been this while,” I quavered, moving closer to him.

“Good as you can see,” He answered bluntly.

“Ryan!” I called his name softly as I tried to touch his arm, but he moved away as if I were a plague.

“Don't put your filthy hands on me,” He warned as the blood drained off my face, taken back by his statement.

“Ryan. What's wrong with you? This is unlike you,” I said, feeling hurt as I stared at him.

“I'm back, and you just act like I'm a stranger to you,” I bristled feeling pained by the behavior he displayed earlier at the dining table

“Yeah, this is unlike me, Hailey,” He spat icily as he started taking steps closer to me as his hazel eyes darkened while I found myself taking steps backward until I got stopped by the wall in the passage.

He moved closer and placed both of his hands on the wall, trapping me between them as he frowned at me.

He seemed taller with a die to get masculine fitted body every guy of his age would want.

“The Ryan, you know those past years isn't the same Ryan you'll get to know now,” He venomously implied as I tried to hold my breath.

“So, it was better if you lived your destitute and meaningless life in Bradford and never thought of coming back here,” He blurted those words out to me as they pierced straight into my skin while I blinked my eyes to hold back the tears glistening in my eyes.

He moved away from me giving me a hateful glare as I became completely shocked, not knowing what to say or do.

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