SECOND PART RECAPS
***author’s note: It has been five whole months, so thanks for being patient per usual^^ Another slightly lengthy chapter to make up for the long time~ Hope you enjoy! Warning: there’s some language.***
8:03 p.m. | Tower Apartments, Unit 403
At the sound of the front door creaking shut, Axel finally steps out into the kitchen. With a sigh, he opens the fridge. This is getting ridiculous. He thinks. He’d reluctantly told Desirée that he’d let her help with his team’s investigation into the Phillips Construction Company, mostly because she’d threatened to do some digging behind his back if he wouldn’t. And since he didn’t really intend to follow through with that agreement, his solution for the time being was to avoid having to talk to her.
This was working well so far as their schedules were nearly the exact opposite of one another. Desirée was normally out doing her hacker work as CR3YZ in the night, and Axel was at the Sentinel in the mornings when she was home. Those bits of overlap in the apartment during the early evenings was all he had to deal with. “Ah-ha!” He hears behind him. “Fuck.” Axel grumbles under his breath. “You are avoiding me, aren’t you?” Axel closes the fridge and sees Desirée standing with her arms crossed in the doorway. “I thought you were going out for a run.” He says, avoiding her question. “I already went while you were at work. I had a feeling my not seeing you around recently was intentional, and this confirms it. You appeared the second after I supposedly left.” “Did I?” Axel says dismissively. “Spill it, what’s going on?”
“A lot of things.” Axel shrugs, “Gas prices have gone up. The lady at the corner store just gave birth to a son. The-” “Kill the sarcasm.” Desirée walks over to the dining table and rolls her eyes. At her annoyance, Axel chuckles. “Can’t you be straight with me for two seconds?” She asks seriously. Axel sighs and rubs his neck. “This whole case seems shady, and I know I agreed to bring you on board, but the more I delve into this, the weirder it gets and I don’t feel comfortable letting you in.” “But you said that-” Axel joins her at the table and places two fingers on Desirée’s lips to silence her. “I know what I said, okay? But I’m just going with my gut on this. I appreciate you wanting to help me but-” Desirée mumbles something incoherent and Axel draws his hand back from her lips.
“What was that?” He asks. “I said, don’t be arrogant. I’m not insisting for your sake.” “Oh, is that so?” Axel raises an eyebrow. “Then why are you so interested?” Desirée’s expression falls. She rises off of the counter and beelines towards her room. “This conversation isn’t over. At the end of the day, I do what I want. And there isn’t anything you, or anyone else, can do to stop me.” She says over her shoulder before slamming her door shut. Axel had expected Desirée to joke or argue, but the look on her face was neither teasing nor upset. To Axel’s eyes, she looked pained, and he pauses to think about what the possible reason for that reaction could be.
8:49 p.m. | Persefoni Home
“Hey dad, hey Nicole.” Aislyn says as she enters the living room. She kisses both of their foreheads in turn before taking a seat in the armchair opposite them. “Hey kiddo, Nicole was just telling me about your day in Ravensburg. Sounds like you had a great time.” “We did.” Aislyn says. “Mackenzie was just messaging me, telling me to thank you again, Nicole. You were such a big help. I’m out of my element with all of that kind of stuff.” “It was nothing.” Nicole beams. “She’s a sweet girl, I’m glad we found something for her.”
“None of us had time to cook today since we all got home late, so how does takeout sound?” Her father asks. “I’m down.” Aislyn answers. “Great, so what are we thinking? Chinese? Italian? Personally, I could go for something spicy.” “If you want something hot, how about that new Thai place, dear? I picked up a pamphlet and put it on the fridge.” Nicole chimes in.
“Oh, I remember you mentioning it, but I didn’t see it.”
“How could you miss it? It’s right by the handle…”
As she watches her father and Nicole talk back and forth, Aislyn feels a warm smile form over her face. Though her initial reasons for coming to live with them were less than ideal, the past few months with Nicole and her father had made her happier than she could’ve imagined. Eating dinner together, renting films to watch from time to time to time, and running errands with either one or both of them, were all things that Aislyn had gotten used to. And to think I chose to live alone all these years… Aislyn thinks. She reaches for the remote on the coffee table and turns on the news.
TV announcer: Thank you for spending your evening with us. Stay tuned for today’s episode of Val’s Corner. I’m Curtis Jones, good night everybody.
“What great timing.” Aislyn says sarcastically, as she sees Valerie’s name flash across the screen as the intro to her program plays. “Got something against the newscaster?” Her father asks. “She’s annoying.” Aislyn and Nicole say simultaneously. They look at one another and laugh. “Is there something I’m missing?” Her father asks with an amused grin. “I forgot to mention we ran into her today.” Nicole says.
“You should’ve seen what Nicole said. Valerie ran off with her tail between her legs.”
“It was nothing.” Nicole says as she tosses her hair over her shoulder. “Well, I want to hear some details. I’ll go grab that menu off the fridge and place an order for some dishes for us to share. Any objections?” “None here.” Aislyn says as Nicole shakes her head. “Perfect, I’ll be right back then.” Her father says as he makes his way upstairs. As Valerie’s voice rings out from the TV, Aislyn and Nicole turn their attention to it.
Valerie: Good evening, I’m Valerie Jamieson and welcome back to Val’s Corner. We’ve got several stories to delve into tonight, so let’s jump right in. First off, supermodel Nikki Lake, who made headlines nonstop twenty years ago, was recently seen here in Ravensburg by yours truly. Anyone interested in the fashion industry recalls Lake’s sudden retirement years ago. The star has since taken a step back from the public eye and in recent years has chosen to work behind the scenes running her own talent agency, saying quote: “it’s fulfilling to help cultivate the careers of others.” Lake was spotted with her step-daughter and a friend who will remain unnamed to protect their privacy. Lake expressed her satisfaction at her current work, and seems to have no plans on returning to the spotlight, but who knows what the future may hold. Now, onto the world of sports. The injured quarterback of the Ravens’ football team has finally returned. A motorcycle ride gone wrong had put him out of commission, but-
Aislyn shuts off the TV. “Unbelievable.” She says. “I have to say, she’s rather bold to have talked about me despite what I said.” Nicole says with a smirk. “You aren’t bothered by that?” Aislyn asks, turning towards Nicole. “If I let every media person who attempts to pry into my life get to me, I’d have left the business a week in. This is nothing.” She says with a smile Aislyn returns. “When you talked to Valerie though, you said you despised it, all the attention.” “Oh, I did.” Nicole says as she tilts her head back, letting her thoughts drift to days past. “But it wasn’t all bad…” “You looked stunning in those photos they played on screen.” Aislyn says. “Thank you, sweetheart.”
“Could I ask you something?”
“Knowing everything you do now, would you still choose the path that you did-” “Oh, yes.” Nicole answers without letting Aislyn finish her question. “You didn’t even hesitate.” She says with a laugh. “Well, there are some things in life that you don’t need to think about. For instance, if I didn’t decide to become a model, I wouldn’t have been able to arrive where I am today, and meet your father and be as happy as I am now.” Nicole meets Aislyn’s eyes with a warmness that makes her feel slightly emotional. “I’m sure when you’re my age, you’ll look back and think the same thing.” I don’t think so. I’ve already done so much I regret… Aislyn doesn’t have it in her to voice those thoughts aloud, and simply nods.
9:23 p.m. | Oldmerrow Graveyard
Cailean couldn’t stand being under the same roof as his mother at the moment, and didn’t want to intrude on his friends. His case being dropped left him without a significant amount of work to occupy him, and so, he found himself wandering to clear his head until he ended up at the Oldmerrow Graveyard. As Cailean pushes back the rusting gates, he recalls it’s been quite some time since he’s gone to pay his father a visit. He crosses through the rows of tombstones to arrive at his father’s spot.
“Hey, dad. Sorry I haven’t been by in a while.” He says quietly. The graveyard was empty, and the only sound aside from the evening wind howling through the trees was Cailean’s voice echoing as he spoke. “I argued with mom today, which is probably not too surprising. I can’t help but wonder how you would’ve handled talking to her because clearly I blew it…” Cailean was told that talking to a loved one that passed away at their grave was one way to mourn. And while it started out that way, Cailean had made it a habit to do so every time he visited. He never gave much thought to what happens to people after they die, but the thought that his father could hear his mundane complaints or updates comforted him.
His father’s tombstone was clean, which served as an affirmation that his mother had been by recently. His anger that had begun to ebb away returns. Why would mom and Aislyn come here of all places to talk? He thinks. Cailean walks over to a nearby bench and takes a seat. And why wouldn’t Aislyn tell me… He taps his foot impatiently as he considers what to do. It was clear that his mother had no intention of being straight with him. But what about Aislyn? There was clearly something that she didn’t want him to know about, according to Lexi, but she felt comfortable enough to tell Kim, according to Gus. Cailean was tired of hearing things secondhand.
Yes, Aislyn did make an effort here and there to initiate conversations with him after Cailean had told her to stop thinking twice about telling him things, but Cailean could tell that all of those chats were surface level. Aislyn never delved into something beyond her thoughts and feelings for the day. Not her past, not her fears, and evidently not the things that happen to her, like her handsy co-worker or meetup with his mother. Nothing. Cailean sees a family holding a bouquet walk past him and decides to make his way back towards the gate. Staying here thinking in circles is not going to get me anywhere. With a sigh, he pulls out his phone and dials Aislyn’s number.
9:42 p.m. | Aislyn’s Room
Aislyn’s father and Nicole had gone to pick up their dinner, leaving her to kill some time alone. She decides to put away the things she’d bought from their shopping trip earlier in the day, which resulted in Nicole once again spoiling her with things she didn’t need. As Aislyn reaches for the first bag to empty, she feels a familiar warmth envelop her. “Surprise!” J.D. says as he appears on the floor beside her. Aislyn does her best to hide her shock. “Your lack of excitement at being graced with my presence offends me.” J.D. laughs. Aislyn remains silent. “Come on. You aren’t mad, are you? I said some time apart could do you some good, but I didn’t mean I’d be gone forever, or a long time for that matter.”
Aislyn hadn’t considered that. She had no idea how long J.D. would be away for after disappearing after their last conversation, and was just beginning to successfully shove how much that bothered her out of her mind. She felt like showing her relief at him being back only a few days after being apart would only make J.D. feel convinced that she relied on him too much. “What’s with the bags? Drowning your sorrow at my absence with retail therapy?”
“No. It may come as a shock to you, but I’m actually perfectly capable of handling things without you. Maybe I’m not as dependent on you as you thought.”
“Ouch.” J.D. grins. “Well, I’m happy if that’s the case.” He adds. Before Aislyn can say anything else, her phone begins to ring. “Aww is that pretty-boy?” Aislyn nods and rises to answer. Not wanting to talk in front of J.D, she steps onto her balcony and accepts the call. “Cailean, hey. Sorry I didn’t answer you earlier, I was out with-”
“Aislyn.” Cailean interrupts. He normally said her name in a way that let her know he was smiling even without being able to see his face; his current tone was far from that and it unsettles her. “Something wrong?” She asks. “I don’t know. You tell me.” Cailean says evenly. “What do you mean?” Aislyn already felt shaken at J.D’s sudden appearance and Cailean’s different demeanor only served to worsen that feeling. “I’m going to just cut straight to it, did you talk with my mom on Valentine’s?”
Aislyn’s mind begins whirring. Daphne had given her word she wasn’t going to say anything to Cailean, but did something happen? Did she change her mind and decide to spill? If so, how much did she say? Aislyn opens her mouth to speak but no words come out. What if what she said didn’t align with what Daphne did? She’d just be digging herself deeper into whatever hole she was most definitely already in. “Did she threaten you?” Cailean asks. At the unexpected question, Aislyn finds her voice. “What? Of course not.” She says honestly.
“You don’t have to lie for her, I know how my mother is.”
“I’m not lying.” Aislyn protests.
“Then why didn’t you tell me you spoke with her?”
“Because it was an uneventful encounter.” Aislyn blurts. “Right, because people normally just bump into each other at cemeteries.” Cailean’s voice is ice cold and Aislyn really wishes she had a chance to speak to Daphne to find out what exactly happened for this to come up now.
Cailean comes to a halt. Why? Why isn’t she just telling me what happened? He runs a hand through his hair in frustration. He wanted to give Aislyn the chance to set the record straight on her own, but it didn’t look like she would. “Lexi told me, you know. She said she saw the both of you there. That it looked like you were there for a while. That there’s something you’re not telling me.” At Aislyn’s silence, Cailean continues to speak. “This is the part where you step in. To either clarify or tell me I’m wrong. But I’m not wrong, am I?” “No… you’re not.” Aislyn says quietly.
“Do you know how it feels? Hearing all that from someone else?”
“Don’t say you’re sorry, Aislyn. You know that’s the last thing I would want to hear from you. I know opening up is difficult for you, and I told you once before that I didn’t expect you to change overnight. But I didn’t expect you to not change at all.”
Cailean was initially prepared to wait for however long it took until Aislyn was ready to open up, really open up, to him, but the fact that in their few months together nothing had changed, even in the slightest, was vexing. If she couldn’t even tell him she’d talked to his mom about whatever they did, what could she tell him? He could only do so much to bridge that gap between them on his own. But maybe, telling all that to Aislyn over the phone right at this moment wasn’t the best idea.
“You know what? You’re not the one I’m upset at, so it’s unfair of me to channel this anger onto you. I’ll talk to you after I’ve had a chance to cool my head.” Cailean says, and he hangs up the phone. Aislyn’s silence only made it easier to let his thoughts flow uninterrupted, and he didn’t want to say something he’d regret, even if it was true.
Aislyn looks at her phone screen in a stunned silence. She felt awful. She couldn’t manage to say one thing as Cailean spoke. The fact that he was speaking so calmly only made it worse. She would’ve preferred it if he got angry or yelled at her. He’d told her that she hadn’t changed at all, and it hurt because it was true. If J.D. could hear what Cailean had to say, he’d likely agree. Aislyn may live with her father and Nicole now, have a job and some new friends… but when it came to sharing those parts of her she closed off, she hasn’t budged. Cailean’s words had made her feel similar to how she had when J.D. told her he’d be giving her some space: helpless and alone. After taking a steadying breath, she walks back into her room. J.D. gives her a disapproving look.
“So you can handle things on your own, huh? That’s not what it looked like to me.” J.D. says as he crosses his arms. “Pretty-boy looked like he was giving you an earful. What exactly did, or didn’t, you do-” “Nothing.” Aislyn interrupts. “Nothing?” J.D. repeats incredulously. “Look, Sunshine-” “I said it was nothing!” Aislyn snaps, raising her voice. J.D. raises his eyebrows in surprise. Aislyn has never spoken to him like that before; she surprises even herself.
“It’s obviously not nothing, so stop being childish and just tell me what’s wro-”
“I don’t need your help. Isn’t this what you wanted?” Aislyn laughs humorlessly and J.D. presses his lips into a thin line. “Aislyn-” “Why don’t you go back to wherever you’ve been these past few days.” Aislyn says. She walks past him and makes her way towards her door. Before she reaches it, she feels J.D’s warmth disappear. With her hand on the handle, Aislyn sinks to her knees.
10:00 p.m. | Gus’s Indoor Pool
Kim had told Gus she’d show him the bathing suit she’d bought in Bayville, and planned to finally follow through with that promise. He’d called to tell her he’d be picking up dinner on his way back from the gym, but didn’t mention anything beyond that which made her curious as to how his talk with Cailean went. Kim reaches the edge of the pool, and turns around to float in the other direction, careful to avoid getting her face wet as she had forgotten to put on waterproof makeup. After losing count of how many laps she does, she eventually hears the sound of the door closing upstairs.
“Kim?” Gus’s voice rings from upstairs. “I’m down here.” She calls back. After a few moments, she sees him descending the steps with a duffel bag over his shoulder. “Hey, you.” He says, giving her a smile she returns. “Hey.” She says back.
Gus sets down the bag he carried in and pulls out a pair of black swimming trunks. “Aren’t you tired from the gym? You don’t have to join me, I can get out so we can eat.” She says. Gus turns towards her and lets his eyes drift from hers to her chest, sending a blush across her face. “After you’ve gone through the trouble of showing me what I assume is the suit you were telling me about? I don’t think so.” He says.
Gus peels off his white tank top and steps out of his jersey shorts and boxers. Kim instinctively directs her gaze towards the window as Gus pulls on the swim trunks. “You know, even though we’ve seen all there is to see of each other, this boldness of yours is going to take some getting used to.” She says as she feels her face grow hotter. Gus lets out a low chuckle and dives into the pool. Kim turns her head to avoid the splashes from hitting her face. “How’d it go?” She asks, unable to hold back any longer. She was deathly curious as to how things went with Cailean. Gus makes his way towards her and pulls her in for a kiss.
“Well, things went about as well as they could’ve… before some unforeseen element made things go south.” Gus says after he pulls away. “Unforseen element?” Kim echoes. “Cailean and I were catching up for a bit, and things were going pretty good if I do say so myself. But then, he got a call from Lexi.”
“What did she say?” Kim asks. “She told him that she saw Aislyn and his mom talking at the Oldmerrow Graveyard on Valentine’s and Cailean hadn’t heard anything about it so he was pretty surprised.”
“Oh, that’s not good.” Kim says.
“He asked me if I knew anything about it…”
“I said I didn’t, but that it didn’t surprise me since I had a feeling that’s probably what you and her talked about when she called you that night.”
“Gus!” Kim chides, “I told you that was a chat about lady problems.” “Sure it was.” Gus says sarcastically.
“And I told you to be subtle.”
“No, you told me to check in on my best friend, and that’s exactly what I did. I’d give myself an A for the execution on my part.”
Kim shakes her head and splashes him. “I told you I didn’t want to break Aislyn’s confidence in me.” She says as she swims away from Gus towards the window.
“Hey, if Aislyn didn’t tell Cailean something she was supposed to, then that’s on her. It’s not your job to try and fix other people’s problems.”
“You know I can’t do that. If I know I can do something to help, I will. And even if you don’t want to, you will, because I said so. Understood?” Gus sighs. “I did what you asked, but I think it only made things worse, don’t you?”
“Well, you might be right about that…”
“So, for now, just sit back and let things play out on their own. I’m sure everything will be fine.” Gus places his arms on Kim’s waist and lifts her to his lips before submerging both of them under the water. Well, there goes my makeup. She thinks. Oh well.
7:21 a.m. | Bayville Sentinel HQ
“Jeeze, Aislyn. What did that keyboard do to you?” Minah asks. “Sorry…” Aislyn mumbles. She was unaware just how hard she was pressing her keys in frustration until Minah drew her attention to it. She’d called Cailean several times during the night and was met with his voicemail each time. Aislyn had barely gotten any sleep wondering what thoughts could possibly be crossing his mind. “Let’s just hurry up and go.” Minah adds. They’d both made it a habit to come into work earlier than their normal 8:00 arrival to sign in and go through some emails before heading out to avoid running into Axel and Randall.
“Thanks by the way.” Minah says. Aislyn turns to her. Minah wasn’t particularly mean, but she wasn’t kind either, so her graciousness was out of character. “For what?” Aislyn asks.
“Well, I asked you to tag along with me because I didn’t want to be with Randall, and you followed along, no questions asked. Aren’t you curious as to why?”
“I am, but if you didn’t want to share, I’m not one to pry.”
“I appreciate the support, but why are you avoiding Axel too? Is it because of what I said?”
Aislyn felt like saying yes would’ve made her seem childish. After all, just because Minah said Axel has been drawing someone in his sketchbook that resembled her, it didn’t mean he was. But she still felt in her gut there was something he wasn’t telling her. Before she can answer, a voice at the door interrupts. “Well, what do you know? There you are.” Randall says. Aislyn and Minah turn to see him and Axel standing in the doorway.
While Axel looked amused, Randall seemed more annoyed. “We were beginning to think that you guys had quit considering we haven’t seen you since Silva gave us the case.” Axel says. Aislyn shrugs and turns to Minah who she’s surprised to see has gone red in the face. “How about we all have a chat in the lounge.” Randall says. Aislyn notices he keeps his eyes locked on Minah who was now looking at the ground. “Sure.” Aislyn says, she casts a glance at Axel who still seemed to be entertained by whatever was going on.
Aislyn takes a seat on the couch, and Axel joins her. “Long time no see.” He says. “Yeah.” Aislyn says as she keeps her gaze focused on Minah who sits across from her. There’s an awkward silence that Randall is the first to break. “So, I’m assuming you two have been doing some digging in your time away from the office. What did you learn?” He looks at Minah who answers while looking at Axel.
“Aislyn and I have been going around interviewing the Phillips Construction Company’s competitors to see if we could learn anything about how the company rose to power so quickly. But everyone either deflected answering or refused to speak to us. Clearly they’re afraid of something.”
“Well, Randall and I have been looking into some warehouses that are owned by the PCC in Ravensburg to see what kind of shipments come through the docks.” At that, Aislyn snaps her head towards Axel. She thought they were keeping what they’d found when they had looked around a secret. Axel raises an eyebrow at her but says nothing. Aislyn goes back to looking at Minah.
“And?” Minah asks.
“And nothing. We looked through some shipping logs I found and saw nothing out of the ordinary, just steady shipments of construction materials every few weeks.” Axel answers.
“So, what do we do about this?” Randall asks. Everyone turns their attention to him. He reaches onto the coffee table and picks up a copy of the Merrow Times, Oldmerrow’s Newspaper, and begins to read the page he has dog-eared.
“Early Wednesday morning, the Oldmerrow Police Department received a confession from the Phillips’ housekeeper, Ms. Ensley Bates, age 27, stating that she was solely responsible for the attack on Walter and Heidi Phillips earlier this month. The couple has decided to drop all charges and end the case amicably with no criminal proceedings. ‘My wife and I would like to avoid a spectacle and focus on our work.’ Walter was quoted saying in a statement received by the Merrrow Times early this morning.”
While Minah and Axel’s eyes widen in surprise, Aislyn’s expression doesn’t change. Cailean had told her the day before last that his case was abruptly coming to an end. She’d have liked to hear what happened when he went to the Phillips’s house, but all thoughts of that flew out the window after their conversation last night.
“Silva hasn’t called us in, so I expect he still wants us to work on this like nothing’s changed.” Axel says. Minah and Randall nod.
“Just because this didn’t turn out to be a case of dirty company politics at play, doesn’t mean there’s not something else going on.” Minah chimes in.
Aislyn feels all their eyes turn to her as she had yet to say anything. “Right….” She says weakly.
“Great, so we’re all in agreement. We’ll move forward with our investigations and meet up with Silva on Monday like usual to see where to go from here.” Axel says.
“Axel.” Randall seems to give him a knowing look, “You and Aislyn can go on ahead. There’s something Minah and I need to discuss.”
“Sure thing.” Axel says. “Come on, rookie.” He says as he pats her shoulder. Aislyn looks at Minah whose face didn’t look like one begging her not to leave, so she rises and walks past Axel to the elevator. “See you later.” She says over her shoulder. Minah nods but says nothing more. Aislyn presses the button to the elevator in silence. She had no idea what their next course of action was, and she didn’t really care. She had a hundred different thoughts crossing her mind at once. “Okay, what’s going on?” Axel asks once he joins her.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“I thought you were avoiding me because you were helping Minah avoid Randall because they hooked up, but you looked my way once that entire meeting, so clearly there’s something else going on.”
“That’s what happened?” Aislyn questions. Judging from Minah’s demeanor around Randall, she supposes she shouldn’t be surprised. “You mean you were helping her out without knowing that?” At his question, she shrugs.
“Whatever, that’s not what I asked. Why are you giving me the cold shoulder? I thought we were cool now.”
“Is that what we are?” Aislyn says with a dry laugh. The elevator arrives and Aislyn moves to enter it, but is stopped by Axel blocking her way with his arm. “The fuck is that supposed to mean?” He asks, narrowing his eyes angrily. Aislyn meets his glare with one of her own. “If you have a problem with me, just come out and say it.” Axel says.
Once again Aislyn was at a loss for words. What was she supposed to say? I think you’re hiding something from me? Why did you show Minah your sketches and not me? Both of those statements seemed unreasonable, even to herself. She closes her mouth.
“Fine, don’t tell me. I can tell there’s something else that has you pissed off though. So, until you sort that out, there’s no point in us being around one another.” Axel drops his hand and makes his way towards the emergency staircase. With a sigh, Aislyn presses the elevator button once again and steps inside.
I’m an idiot. Aislyn thinks over and over to herself as she exits the Sentinel on her own. There was no reason for me to react like that. I should’ve- Her thoughts are interrupted by someone calling her name. Aislyn stops her descent and Daisy comes up beside her. “Hey, Aislyn! I was trying to get your attention for a minute now.” “Sorry, I was lost in thought.” Aislyn says. She didn’t think she’d be able to engage in a conversation with anyone for the time being, so she attempts to make a hasty escape. “I have somewhere to be, so-” “Wait.” Daisy says apprehensively, “Are you okay?”
“Yes. Now if you’ll excuse me.”
“Aislyn, I know we aren’t super close, but we’re still friends. You can talk to me.”
“I know.” Aislyn says, wondering what kind of expression she has on her face. She felt numb all over and couldn’t tell.
“I don’t think you do, because I can tell you’re clearly not fine, but you aren’t giving me an honest answer.”
“You want an answer? Okay then. No, Daisy, I’m not okay, I’m not fine, and I’m not alright. I’m single-handedly ruining every relationship I have, and hurting the people I care about most.” She says exasperated. At Aislyn’s little burst of anger, Daisy smiles. “That sounds better.” She places a hand on Aislyn’s shoulder. “Would you like to grab some coffee?” Daisy asks.
“I know you mean well, Daisy, and I’m grateful, but I don’t think me troubling you with all of the problems I’m causing in my own life is going to help. I already know what I keep doing wrong.”
Daisy who normally held an infectious enthusiasm turns as serious as Aislyn’s ever seen her. “Sometimes it takes hearing things you already know from somebody else to help you. I thought you of all people would know that.” Aislyn looks at her questioningly. “So, Aislyn. I’ll ask again. Would you like to grab some coffee?” Despite all the emotions she was feeling at the moment, Aislyn gives a small smile. “Yeah… yeah, I would.” “Great!” Daisy says as she links her arm through Aislyn’s, her bubbly disposition back in full force.
At long last, another chapter with several happenings occurring. It felt so good to be writing again after so long. Cailean’s finally reaching his tipping point, understandably, hehe. I’m hoping the developments of the Phillips case aren’t confusing, it’s been quite a while *cries* so I’m hoping everything’s easy to follow. Well, I shall keep this short and sweet~ Feel free to let me know your thoughts! Thanks for reading! ❤