Run, Girl (If You Can) - Chapter 151 - This Doesn't Seem Like Love To Me[Updated at: 2021-01-11 19:15:38]
"Is there anything else I should know?" Keeley asked frostily, taking a page from his book.
"I got revenge for you," Aaron said simply. "Lacy killed Max, the one who drove the car that hit you, and she died in prison. Aiden was the one who found the footage that convicted her though obviously he doesn\'t remember it… And I got my father kicked out of the company. He had a heart attack from the stress and died too."
He talked about these people\'s deaths as casually as he would talk about the weather! But she had to admit there was a slight warm fuzzy feeling knowing he cared enough to destroy the people who hurt her. She squashed it down. There was nothing warm or fuzzy about any of this.
A long ago thought came back to her. "Did you bury me with my family?"
He nodded. "And I visited you every week. I never married again or even dated anyone…the rest of my life was devoted to work."
That was quite the dedication. Did he really love her that much or did he just feel guilty? Twenty-seven years was an awfully long time to be alone. He was still so young when she died too.
"If you really loved me why did you leave me alone for five and half years?" she asked, trying to mask her curiosity with grouchiness.
"I would have thought that was obvious. I needed to accumulate power to protect you after realizing I couldn\'t when Lacy drugged you."
"When Lacy dru—you mean it was you?!"
Aaron had to have been the one that saved her that night. No wonder her dad liked him! He would have seen Aaron bringing her into the hospital safe and sound.
"It was me," he confirmed. "You deserved to go to your dream school in peace and I used that time to throw Lacy off your scent and find business contacts to help me overthrow my father."
He got a bit flustered and scratched his ear. "I…um…I got a lot more conscious of security too. Nobody knows I live here because I wanted it to be a safe place for you to be."
It seemed that Jennica had been right. He didn\'t care about high society at all. Aaron only wanted to be with her. It was too overwhelming. Keeley\'s entire world had just experienced a seismic shift.
Even if she did believe him…it didn\'t change anything.
"I hope you realize that you\'re still a manipulative creep for forcing yourself back into my life the way you did and not respecting my wishes."
He hung his head. "Yeah…"
"The only reason I even let you become my friend was because I thought you were a completely different person with no memories of our previous lives. If I knew it was actually you I never would have allowed it," she said seriously. "I can\'t forgive what you did, no matter what your intentions were."
Panic flashed through his eyes as he frantically looked up. She had seen more emotions from him in the time she had been here than the rest of her interactions with him combined.
"Keeley, please, I really don\'t have anything to live for without you. Don\'t leave me again."
"Why? This doesn\'t seem like love to me. This seems like a selfish, guilt-driven obsession. A normal person would have given up when I kept pushing you away in high school."
She turned to leave but stopped at the sound of his voice. "You\'re the only person who never gave up on me. How could I give up on you?"
Tears filled her eyes. She could feel his earnestness but it was too late. Too much had happened between them to ever go back. Keeley was tired.
"Let\'s just leave the past in the past, okay? I have my own life now. You should go find one too," she encouraged as she pushed the elevator button to leave.
"If I have to be alone in this life too, so be it. You\'re my only one. If you every need anything you know where to find me."
Her hands trembled as the elevator door opened. "Goodbye, Aaron."
What did she think she was going to find out when she confronted him? She wasn\'t sure but it definitely wasn\'t this. He was in love with her the entire time…how on earth could he have been in love with her the entire time?
He was cold. Callous. Unfeeling. Unsympathetic.
He said at first it was because he didn\'t know how to care for people and later it got worse because he was trying to keep her safe. Unbelievable. His attempts at keeping her safe were what made her miserable for the rest of her short life.
\'Well,\' a little voice in her head said. \'Think about how he grew up. There wasn\'t any love or real interaction between family members and from a young age he had to rely on himself for everything. He probably did his best.\'
Keeley told the little voice to shut up. His reasons and motivations didn\'t matter. His actions were what did and they were terrible.
\'He\'s made it up to you though, hasn\'t he?\' the little voice persisted.
Taking care of her when she was sick. Asking about her mundane daily life. Checking in on her and bringing her food. Recording a show she liked just for her. Aaron had been very good to her lately.
She couldn\'t accept it. He was only doing this because he felt guilty about getting her killed. Whatever he felt for her, it wasn\'t love.
When Keeley made it back to her apartment she ignored Jennica\'s questions and went straight back to bed. The emotional upheaval from her conversation with her ex-husband was too much to bear.
Maybe it was time to leave New York. She would be graduating in January; after that she could technically go anywhere. She would miss her friends and dad but making new ones had always been easy for her.
She could move somewhere close by, like Philadelphia. It would be easy to visit her dad and friends a few times a month that way. Jennica\'s future in-laws lived there too so she could see her and Cameron now and then when they visited.
There were multiple universities with genetics programs she could apply to there. It would be easier to forget if she left the city where she and Aaron had spent so much time together, both the good and the bad.