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April 8, 2010 (21)
Dinner had been extremely awkward ever since I’d decided to open my big mouth and tell everyone about Ash. Ever since I’d said that, Ashton kept giving me this strange look whenever he thought no one was looking. I caught him every time though, because I’d been secretly watching him the entire night. I’d been waiting for him to give me some kind of signal, letting me know that he was actually Ash. But he hadn’t.
This was pretty disappointing to me. I was actually really hoping that he was somehow Ash. I had no clue what I’d do if he was Ash, considering that he was dating my new roommate, but I still wanted him to be Ash. Mostly because then I could finally stop missing him.
Maybe God had realized that Ash never deserved to die in the first place so he reincarnated him into Ashton. Maybe he’d given him a second chance. I knew this theory was extremely farfetched, but I still kept it as a possibility anyways. I needed something to keep me hoping.
“You want some coffee, Evalynne?” Addison asked me, interrupting my racing thoughts.
“Sure,” I replied with a small smile. After finishing dinner, we’d all headed back to mine and Addison’s apartment for some coffee and dessert. Addison had pre-baked chocolate chip cookies heating up in the oven as we spoke, and we were all seated on the couch with steaming cups of coffee set on the coffee table in front of us.
“So Evalynne,” Ashton said, speaking to me for the first time all night, “what did your husband look like anyways?” He noticed the confused glance Addison shot him and added, “I’m just curious,”
“Oh, um, one second,” I replied a bit awkwardly. I then pulled my cell phone out of the pocket of my jeans and scrolled through the pictures I had saved on it, stopping when I found one of Ash. “Here,” I said, holding it up for him to see. I watched closely as Ashton’s eyes widened in what looked like panic.
“Oh my gosh!” Addison exclaimed once she saw it. “He looks almost exactly like you,” she said, looking from Ashton to the screen of my cell phone.
“Yeah, I guess he does,” he uttered back to her. Then he looked back up at me and I slid the phone back into my pocket. “And you said he died in the army, right?”
I nodded in response. “Yeah,”
“Wow,” he murmured to himself, running a hand through his wavy hair. I glanced over at Cole, who was sitting to the right of me, catching his eye. He gave me a look, telling me that he was just as freaked out by Ashton’s strange reaction as I was. It almost seemed as if Ashton was going through some sort of panicked shock.
“Honey, why are you so interested in Evalynne’s husband all of the sudden?” Addison asked him.
“I’m not,” he remarked hastily. “I was just curious.”
“Are you sure?” she asked him.
“Yes.” he stated. “Why wouldn’t I be?”
“I don’t know. It just seems like you’re acting a little strange.” So Addison was noticing it too. “Almost like you knew Ash before he passed away or something,”
The moment those words left her mouth, Ashton’s eyes widened and bit down on his lower lip nervously. “No! This is the first I’ve ever even heard of Ash Mongolia.” he snapped. We all looked at him, as he sat there, looking completely on edge.
“You sure about that?” I said to him. I just couldn’t help it. I wanted to know the truth. Something was definitely up, and I was eager to find out what it was.
“Of course I am!” he retorted defensively.
“Speaking of Ash,” Cole began, “didn’t his mom just pass away too, Evalynne?” He was speaking to me, but out of the corner of his eye, he was watching Ashton. I knew exactly where he was going with this. He wanted to know what Ashton’s reaction would be when he found out that Lori was dead. He wanted to know if Ashton was really Ash too.
“Yeah, she died of a heart attack.” I replied, also watching Ashton. His complexion went very pale and his got even wider than before. A look of shock and true grief passed over him and he looked as if he might cry at any given moment.
“Oh, that’s awful!” Addison cried. “Do you know what the cause of the heart attack was?”
“She claimed that she saw Ash’s ghost, and I guess the shock was just too much for her heart to handle.” I told her.
“Are you serious?” he demanded, looking slightly frightened. “That’s kind of freaky. Have you ever seen his ghost?”
I wasn’t quite sure how to respond to this. I could either lie and say that I hadn’t or be honest and admit that I had. I could’ve easily told her the truth if I wasn’t so afraid of what she’d think of me if I did. But by the look on her face, she seemed truly concerned, like if I told her that I in fact had seen the ghost of my dead husband, she’d believe me.
“Yeah, I have.” I confessed. “A few times actually,”
“You have?” Cole asked me, sounding surprised. I nodded back at him, hoping he wouldn’t think I was crazy.
“Wow,” she said. “Did he say anything to you?”
“Yes. He pretty much just told me that he was watching over me and protecting me.” I left out the part where he told me to break up with Cole, not wanting to cause anymore drama. I was so sick of drama.
“Oh my gosh, that’s so sweet,” she oozed. “I bet he was a really great husband.”
“Yeah, he was.” I said. I heard Cole mutter something under his breath, but I couldn’t really make out what it was exactly. “Did you say something, Cole?” I asked him.
“Nothing,” he replied. “Just that he really wasn’t all that great,”
My skin prickled with heat as the anger set in. “I know you didn’t really like him very much, but that still doesn’t give you any right to speak badly of him. He never even did anything to you.”
“Really? Because I kind of remember him punching me in the face,” he remarked.
I rolled my eyes, really in no mood to start arguing with Cole. Especially not in front of Addison and Ashton, who both looked like they were feeling very awkward right now. “Yeah, but that really wasn’t that big of a deal.”
“Oh yeah, I forgot.” he said. “You don’t think that getting punched in the face is a big deal. I mean, you let Will do it to you. Why wouldn’t you let Ash do it to me?”
I was speechless. My mind couldn’t even process what Cole had just said to me. He brought up Will. After everything that had happened, he brought up Will. And right in front of Addison and Ashton too. After I’d given all of my love to him. After I’d given my virginity to him. How could he?
Feeling humiliated, I glanced up at Addison and Ashton. They were both at a loss of words too. “Um, I think I’m going to go check on the cookies,” Addison said.
“Yeah, I’ll go with you,” Ashton added. They booth stood up and headed into the kitchen, leaving Cole and I alone on the couch.
I turned back to face him, noticing the regretful look in his chocolate brown eyes. “That was stupid of me to say,” he told me, sounding apologetic. “I’m sorry,”
“I don’t want to hear it,” I remarked. I was so sick of the words ‘sorry’. I’d heard it from Will enough times to know that it had absolutely no meaning behind it whatsoever. “Maybe you should go back to Chelsea’s party,” I said.
“Evalynne, come on. Don’t be like this,” he told me, sounding whiny and pathetic.
“You aren’t getting this, are you?” I retorted. “Let me reword it for you. Get the h*** out of my apartment.” He looked at me with desperation in his slightly dilated eyes. I’d almost forgotten that he was drunk. Maybe that was what had made him say that to me. I kind of hoped so. I really hoped he didn’t mean it. “Don’t come back until you’re sober.” I added bitterly.
He sighed deeply and stood up. Then he slowly trudged over to the door, but turned back just before he opened it. “We’re still together, right?” he asked me.
“I don’t know. I’ll have to get back to you on that,” I retorted. This wasn’t exactly true. I knew that were definitely still together, because I was still in love with Cole. I just wanted to torture him a little while I was still mad at him.
With one last sigh, he turned back around and left the apartment. A few seconds after he did so, Addison and Ashton walked back in with the cookies. I was glad when neither of them brought up what had just happened. In fact, the rest of the night went pretty well. Mostly because all we did was make a little bit of small talk. Then Ashton decided to head home so he left. Addison and I went to our bedrooms and went to sleep afterwards, not saying a word about what had happened that evening.