Run, Girl (If You Can) - Chapter 115 - Everybody is Nobody But You[Updated at: 2021-01-11 19:15:24]
"That reminds me," Aaron said nonchalantly. "I\'m going on a business trip this weekend. Would you like me to bring you back a souvenir?"
Keeley\'s eyes widened with shock. No one in either of her lives had ever offered to bring her back a souvenir from anywhere.
"I really don\'t need anything," she insisted. "Please don\'t feel obligated. Where are you going?"
"Monaco. I\'m looking to expand there."
Right. This was around the time Aaron expanded overseas in her last life. They had already started drifting apart by then so she didn\'t even know where he was going on all of those business trips.
She tried to place the name. "Isn\'t that the tiny country at the bottom of France that\'s technically a city-state?"
"Yes. It\'s known for gambling and Grand Prix racing but it is about to become a hub for investment bankers and I want in on it."
There was the Aaron she knew; the shrewd businessman. He\'d seemed so lackadaisical lately around her that she nearly forgot he was still the vice president of one of the biggest companies in the country.
"That makes sense," she said, feeling out of her element.
Her knowledge of the business world was purely superficial even after all the events she attended. Probably because she was always chatting with the wives, daughters, and girlfriends of the businessmen and they only cared about fashion and tropical vacations.
Aaron looked like he was about to say something but his train of thought was derailed. His face was blank as usual but the temperature around him rose about twenty degrees so it felt like when spring melts away the snow.
"You\'re wearing my necklace."
She immediately clutched it, her cheeks heating. How had she forgotten she had this on when she agreed to see him? How embarrassing!
"It\'s pretty," she said lamely, trying to play it off.
He smiled brightly and it completely transformed his cold, angular features. Keeley had only seen him smile like this a handful of times but never in this life.
"I\'m glad. You never wore any of my other presents."
Why did she feel guilty? He was the weirdo who kept throwing away money on someone he barely met back then.
"…I\'m a simple person. That other stuff was too much."
"So if I get you a souvenir that isn\'t \'too much\' you\'ll accept it?" he asked with a hint of eagerness in his tone. Did he want to get her a souvenir that badly?
"I\'ll accept on the condition that you get me the most ridiculous thing you can find for under $20."
He smirked at the challenge. "Done!"
He considered her a friend—friends could buy each other things that were under twenty bucks. Hadn\'t she bought Valentina an \'I Heart NYC\' tee shirt for ten dollars from a street vendor when they were freshman because she thought it was funny?
The entrees arrived and Keeley dug into her steak with relish. This was exactly what she needed and oddly enough Aaron was the one to provide it. She never thought she\'d see the day he could be a source of comfort rather than a source of stress.
She thought about what her dad said, about how she should treat him like the previous life\'s Aaron and this Aaron were different people. When he did things like this…she almost believed she could do it.
"Aaron?" she asked hesitantly.
He was chewing so he could only respond "Mm?"
"Why are you nice to me?"
He swallowed and frowned. "What kind of question is that?"
"I\'m serious. I really don\'t get it."
By all accounts, it didn\'t make sense. Even if she disregarded the fact that the original Aaron was so cruel to her, she had been nasty to him from the beginning so he shouldn\'t care about her well-being.
Aaron set down his fork and looked at her seriously. "Why wouldn\'t I be nice to you?"
She could think of a million reasons, the least of which being that she was an ordinary woman and he was Aaron freaking Hale. He was the Ice King! He cared about no one! Being nice to someone so insignificant was beneath him.
She shrugged, unable to voice her true thoughts.
He sighed. "You really think the worst of me, don\'t you? I\'m nice to you because I want to be. Simple as that."
"But why would you want to be? I\'m nobody."
"Not to me," Aaron said firmly. "Everybody is nobody but you."
It was worded weirdly but she got his meaning. Her heart skipped a beat. He meant that she was the only one he considered a somebody—that she was important to him.
Keeley would have killed to hear those words twelve or thirteen years ago. Right now they made her want to bawl like a baby. Why? Why was she important to this weird version of Aaron but not the one she had loved so much?
Fate was cruel.
She looked down at her plate to hide the sheen of tears on her eyelashes. Not fair. None of this was fair.
"Why?" she whispered.
"You make me happy," Aaron said simply. "Isn\'t that a good enough reason?"
He had told her that once before but it wasn\'t enough in the long run. She wasn\'t enough. Unwanted tears rolled down her cheeks.
Oh, why couldn\'t she have forgotten her past life after high school? Without memories of the previous Aaron bogging her down she might be able to accept this one\'s kindness more fully.
There were too many \'whys\' haunting her. Why this Aaron seemed to like her even though her Aaron hadn\'t. Why she had been reborn in the first place if she had to meet him again. Why absolutely nothing made sense.
"Keeley? Are you alright?"
"No," she managed to get out. She wiped her eyes desperately but the tears kept coming. "I\'d like to go home now."
"I\'ll call for the check." He signaled for the waiter immediately but other than that didn\'t say anything else.
Her eyes remained glued to her lap so the waiter wouldn\'t see her crying. Pathetic. She hadn\'t cried about the actually bad part of her day so why was she crying now when Aaron was being nice?