Run, Girl (If You Can) - Chapter 478 - Even Lamer Than Usual

[Updated at: 2021-01-11 19:17:43]
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Noah was sprawled across the couch tiredly as his cousin Ben\'s two toddlers ran around him screaming. Thanksgiving dinner had been delicious, as expected, but it may as well have been ash considering his state of mind.


You can\'t enjoy something fully if your mind is somewhere else. His was back in Manhattan, wondering how well Jeremy Ward was fitting in with the Hale family today. Violet was close with her family so she wouldn\'t continue dating someone who didn\'t mesh well. He knew that much.


"You\'re even lamer than usual, Noah," Logan complained as he pushed his brother\'s legs off the couch to make some space for himself. "I haven\'t seen you since this summer and you won\'t even play video games with me."


Noah sat up with a groan. Four slices of four different pies was definitely too much.


His brother\'s complaint was a valid one. Noah had been spaced out ever since they arrived here last night. He needed to be more present for Logan\'s sake since they really didn\'t see each other all that often since he went off to college.


"Sorry. I\'ll stop being lame now. What do you want to play?"


Logan brightened immediately. "Can we play that game with the ice tunnels where you have to dig your way out before you freeze to death?"


"Sure," he agreed easily before inwardly sighing.


That game was so morbid. Lots of VR games these days were. There were ones involving being an epidemiologist stopping a plague, surviving being trapped in a building with multiple serial killers, and more. Noah and Violet had a long discussion speculating on why VR games were so focused on death a couple of months ago.


He ran into this problem no matter what he tried to distract himself with. Every facet of his life had been touched by Violet in some way. Not being reminded of her was impossible.


Noah played that ice tunnel game with his brother for over an hour before Logan lost interest and went off to bother their aunt Alison about more pie. He went back to his position on the couch, miserably wondering what to do. He hated not talking to Violet but he was trying to distance himself for both of their sakes.


When she texted him saying she had found out the truth about Michael Gray he couldn\'t help but respond. He was missing her too much. As soon as she said he was not only her uncle but a murderer who had spent the past quarter century in prison he sat up so quickly it made his head spin.


What?!


Noah replied at top speed, wanting the full story, and she told him. Geez, what a bomb to drop on somebody. No wonder her dad hadn\'t wanted to tell her. It was too much to process.


\'How are you handling this?\' he asked nervously.


If it were him, he would be pretty upset. In fact, he was upset on her behalf right now. Being related to not one but two murderers! Violet was always too hard on herself anyway; Noah was concerned she might internalize this.


\'It made me realize how amazing my dad is\'


Her message came as a surprise. But he supposed it shouldn\'t have, considering the way Violet viewed the world. Noah could see how learning about how her father overcame his circ.u.mstances would increase her respect for him.


She was such a good person. Instead of selfishly yet understandably being upset by distressing news, she was thinking about other people. Most people didn\'t realize how deep Violet\'s kindness and concern for others ran because she was so shy. But if she cared about you, you really felt it.


Noah wanted to immediately apologize for being AWOL and promise he would never go anywhere ever again but he couldn\'t do it. She was dating Jeremy. He was the one who should be concerned about her now, not him.


He backspaced his original reply to that message and sent something else. \'You\'re a really good person, Vi\'


\'How so?\'


\'Your first thought in this situation is for someone else\'


It took her a little while to respond. \'Well, I get the feeling my dad really didn\'t want to talk about it and I made him anyway. It would be hard not to think of him first. You don\'t have to worry about me though. If my dad doesn\'t consider these people family then I don\'t either. You can\'t help who you\'re related to\'


That was a relief. He had been worried she would think there was something wrong with her sharing blood with such people.


Murdering for somebody else because you didn\'t want them to be stressed out…that\'s a really twisted way of viewing love. Violet said her uncle grew up in the foster system after his mother was murdered but still. Clinging onto Aaron like that was nuts.


He probably hated it. In Noah\'s many years of knowing Aaron Hale, he had come to know that the man tolerated most, liked few, and loved only his wife and children. He actually felt sorry for him having to deal with such a troublesome relative.


\'That\'s a good mindset to have\' he sent back. Simple and to the point.


Noah really didn\'t know what else to say to her. Usually he didn\'t have this problem but the subject had basically been closed and he really didn\'t want to hear her gush about how well bringing Jeremy home had gone.


He set his phone to airplane mode and shut his eyes. He didn\'t want to deal with anything else right now. Maybe he should just go to sleep. That is, if Ben\'s kids ever stopped screaming.


"You alright there, Noah? You\'ve seemed half-dead all day," his uncle Brian noted as he sat down on the other couch.


"Violet is dating someone else," Logan contributed helpfully from the kitchen.


"Ah."


All of Noah\'s family knew about Violet since she had been present at every major event in his life that had ever happened in New York. All of his aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins had met her at some point or other.


He grabbed a throw pillow and covered his head with it, trying to disappear. There really was no escaping thoughts of Violet.


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