Run, Girl (If You Can) - Chapter 148 - Oh, Keeley![Updated at: 2021-01-11 19:15:37]
Aaron hadn\'t thought much of it when Keeley didn\'t text him back for a few days since it had happened before. The life of a PhD student was a full one.
He flew back less than an hour after his meetings ended, barely making it onto the plane so he could be with her on Valentine\'s Day. He never would have dreamed that she wouldn\'t be at home—no one was.
He was on the verge of pounding on Aiden\'s door so he could find her when a notification from Instagram popped up. Keeley posted a picture of a pizza and had tagged her location.
Perfect. He would go meet her there.
The last thing Aaron expected was finding her laughing and eating alone with that Ryan guy. He hadn\'t been gone that long and the other man had already made his move.
He saw red. Fury overriding rationality, Aaron approached their table and demanded to speak to Keeley outside. She appeared relatively relaxed when she was soothing her companion and promising to come right back, which only made him angrier.
He secretly hoped this was a misunderstanding; like there was a third friend who was in the bathroom or something. He hadn\'t expected her to say it was a date.
Aaron had every intention of whisking her away from that guy even if she was mad at him for it until she spoke a set of hauntingly familiar words.
When you regret something you tend to remember it in high definition. After getting that horrible phone call from the police, every word of his last conversation with his wife was etched permanently into his brain.
Keeley had accused him of covering up Lacy\'s involvement in her father\'s death with shaking fists and tears in her eyes.
It wasn\'t true, of course. He was pretending to get close to Lacy in order to find the evidence that would convict her.
But what did he say instead of the truth? \'So what if I am? She\'s worth more than fifty of you.\'
Cold. Cruel. Detached. Just like Keeley had been right now, which was completely out of character for her.
He froze in shock when everything clicked into place. All the little things that were confusing about her treatment of him didn\'t add up until this moment. If she knew those words…Keeley had been reborn too.
No wonder she resisted his advances. No wonder she had been so terrified of him. No wonder she ran away again and again and again. Keeley had every right to hate him if she remembered everything!
Aaron slumped against the wall and slid down onto the cold, hard ground outside the restaurant, burying his face in his hands.
Everything made sense now. How could he ever win her back after both what he actually did and what she thought he did?
He ignored her, didn\'t respect her choices or dreams, molded her into the perfect Mrs. Hale so others wouldn\'t bully her but made her lose herself in the process, and was the reason she lost their baby, her father, and eventually her life.
She died thinking he hated her. Of course she would hate him back.
Then why had she softened towards him? What had changed? They were doing so well for a while! And now it was back to square one because she was in love with someone else.
He had no one to blame for this but himself. When he thought he was getting a second chance with Keeley he believed he had a clean slate. That she had no idea what he had done so they could just start over and be happy.
Knowing she remembered everything…how could they possibly go forward from here? He needed to think.
Aaron slowly pulled himself up from the ground and got in his car, driving aimlessly around the city while he tried to figure out what to do next. He mentally went over what he knew so far.
Keeley had probably always wanted to be a geneticist but gave up her dreams to marry him and be the perfect socialite wife and make him proud so all she wanted to do after being reborn was accomplish those dreams.
She tried to avoid him and Lacy because she thought they colluded in the death of her father. This explained literally every interaction they had in high school perfectly.
He remembered something like a bolt of lightning. The night she was drugged, she was talking to herself and said it was his fault.
Of course. She must have known it was Lacy the entire time. It was his fault for putting her on Lacy\'s radar.
There was something else about that night that bothered him…what was it? Keeley said some weird things when she was out of her mind.
It hit Aaron so hard that he slammed on his brakes and got honked at by the car behind him. He had to pull over to the side of the road to process it because it was too terrible. He felt like he was going to throw up.
Her glacier. She said her glacier didn\'t love her and didn\'t think she was good enough. That he left her for an ocean. She sobbed and begged Aaron (thinking he was the planet Neptune) not to throw her away too.
Aaron had lied and told Keeley that he was going to be together with Lacy and \'their\' baby in order to get her to leave so she could be safe. He was the glacier. Lacy was the ocean.
Keeley\'s heart-wrenching questions that night \'why don\'t you want me?\' \'why do you always reject me?\' and \'why don\'t you love me?\' had been meant for him all along. She believed he threw her away when nothing could have been further from the truth.
His heart cracked right in half as he remembered everything she said while drugged. He broke down with his head on top of the steering wheel and cried for the first time since he originally lost her.