Another two hours passed before Noah kissed Olivia goodnight and headed to his place. For some reason she felt exhausted. As if the emotional roller coaster she’d been one had thrown her into the ground and she was crawling her way back toward normalcy.
“Is he gone?”
Emilia bore her empty and cold blue stare into Olivia as the latter finished picking dishes from the table. Sighing in defeat, she decided it was best she let Emilia had her say on the matter, even if she was wrong.
“Okay, Emilia. I am tired and I really am in no mood to get into yet another fight with you. So, just let it out of your chest.”
“Tell me, why did you want to get married to Noah?”
Emilia began pacing as she’d done for two hours down in the basement. Her own fury had yet to disappear completely, and the remnants of it burned like glowing embers inside her.
“What do you mean why? Because he is my boyfriend. We’ve been together for a long time, it was time.”
“Seriously? That’s your answer. That’s what you’ll tell your children when they ask why you married their dad? Because it was time?”
“What is wrong with my answer?”
“Well, because I don’t I hear the word love in you answer. You don’t love Noah, Olivia. Therefore, you don’t want this.”
Olivia groaned and let her head fall on the table’s surface, her hands raking through her wavy hair.
“How do you know what I want? A few weeks with me and you’re suddenly an expert?”
“No. But spending your whole life with yourself hasn’t made you one, either. You chose Noah not because it is what you want but because it was what makes sense. You’ve said so yourself, you’ve been together for so long, it was the next logical, rational step. And the reason you brought it up was because you were scared.”
“Excuse me?” She looked up and rubbed her face with her hands.
“Wasn’t Noah supposed to be the coward who refused to commit let alone talk about marriage? Now, I am the coward? Jeez, were you this unstable while you were alive? No wonder Sam had second thoughts.”
She regretted it the moment the words left her mouth. Olivia expected Emilia to lash out at her, but instead she only closed her eyes. When her eyelids lifted again, Olivia saw them spark with anger just for a second before an emptiness extinguished that brief sign of emotion.
The ghost carried on as if unhurt by the comment.
“You saw Tracy all happy and in love and excited about having found the one. You panicked because that wasn’t how you felt about Noah. Deep down you already knew your relationship with him was starting to become monotony. Not because of the years you’ve been together but because you realized both of you had settled. And you were both so comfortable that you stuck with what you had. But the truth is you wanted the same magic surrounding Tracy and Trevor’s relationship.”
“You in your tidy brain rationalized what needed to be done and decided that marriage would be the next step and you expected some of that damn magic to happen, yet when Noah wasn’t as eager to go ahead with your idea you felt lost.”
“I can’t listen to this anymore.”
Olivia pushed away from the chair and began heading for the stairs to her room. She let out a gasp of shock as Emilia moved blindingly fast from the dinning room to block her way.
“And now that Noah has said he does want to marry you, you know it’s wrong because you haven’t felt a thing. You just did what you had to do as opposed to what you wanted to do.”
“Which is what according to you?”
“You know damn well what I mean. You know you have feelings for Michael. Hell, aside from practical, you are also stubborn. Which is why you refuse to admit you are in love with him. All that magic you knew has never been present in your relationship with Noah was there from the moment you met Michael. ”
“You don’t have any idea what you’re saying. Has it occurred to you, you just want me to do what you didn’t have time to do or more accurately, what you didn’t have the guts to do? I am not you and Noah is not Sam. And I am certainly not going to throw away what I’ve built with Noah just because of what happened with Michael. How do I know it isn’t something temporary, a spark that will extinguish once we both satisfy our curiosity?
“Oh, so you’re willing to settle for a mediocre life just because you are afraid you’ll end up alone? Well, news flash. At least that is better than ending up dead on some street.”
Olivia held on to the banister and dropped down to sit on the stairs. She felt Emilia breeze past her as she left her alone. If she’d been physically able, Olivia had no doubt in her mind Emilia would’ve slammed the door on her way out.
Her phone started ringing. Still shaken from the fight, she went to fish it out from her bag which lay on the floor next to the front door. It took all of her courage not to ignore Michael’s call. Olivia let out a shaky breath and pressed answer.
“Hey, Olivia. How are you?”
“I’m…..fine.” But her voice betrayed her and it came out choked. Michael picked up on it and his voice became filled with worry.
“Olivia, what is it? Are you okay?”
With the back of her hand she rubbed her eyes and replied.
“It’s fine. I just…..Tracy came by yesterday and we stayed up pretty late so I am just tired.”
“You’re sure that’s all? You need me to come?”
“No, no. Like I said, I just need a goodnight’s sleep, that’s all. Listen, I need to see you.”
“I was going to say the same thing. There is something I have to tell you.”
“Me, too. Could we meet this Friday? Around six outside the Gallery?”
“Sure. I’ll swing by after work.”
It appeared like he wanted to say something else, but he only added.
“Get some rest, Ms. Beckett. You sound beat.”
“I will. See you Friday.”
The minute she hung up, her shoulders began to shake and like the night when Michael left her house, she cried until she was sure there were no more tears left in her.