I continue staring at Emma in shock. When Mother said that she’s been in a depressing state, I didn’t think it would be this bad.
She looked nothing like her old self. She did try to dress up, or maybe Mother tried forcing her to dress up, and even though her black pair of jeans, navy blue halter top, and a pair of wedge sandals looked nice, they did nothing to improve her appearance.
Her face was ashen; her glorious blonde mane now looked greasy and thinning. Her cheek bones were also pronounced, but not in a good way, and she looked like she had lost a lot of weight.
“Oh my God,” mom whispers next to me.
We take a step forward. I wasn’t really sure what to do. I didn’t know whether to welcome them or just avoid them.
Mom takes the initiative and leads me towards them. They both turn and look at us.
“Welcome,” I murmur, feeling completely awkward.
Kate smiles at me, but when her eyes fall on mom and she looks at her protective hand around my waist, her happiness dims a little bit.
“Thank you,” she replies, her tone just as soft and awkward as mine had been moments ago.
My eyes wander back to Emma, only to find her staring at me. I almost gasp as more shock hits me. Where her blue eyes were once lively, now they are dull. As if life and the will to live had been stripped from her.
There was no malice or anger in her gaze as she looked at me. Actually, there was nothing. She seemed to be in a lot of pain, and she was trying to numb it.
I don’t understand why, because I don’t think I’ve ever been in her shoes, but I kind of understand her. Weirdly, I feel for her.
“You can just head out to the back. The rest of the guests haven’t arrived yet, but there are some already there,” Mom tells both of them when I don’t speak after a while
Kate nods her head and guides her daughter. She wasn’t a stranger at this house, so she knew where she was going.
“That girl is in a world of pain and regret,” Mom says in sympathy after both of them have left.
She was right, though. Parts of me feel like I’ve been there before, but I don’t know why.
In order to distract myself, I stare around the house. The planners were almost finished, and
like the interior because I felt like I was living in Emma’s shadow, and he proposed we change everything.
Obviously, that hadn’t happened. With everything that went down after that night, I completely forgot about it. Now, I wonder if that will even ever take place.
I shake myself from those thoughts. Right now, it doesn’t even matter. Not when I was yet to make a decision.
“Mom, you can go and mingle with the rest; I’ll call Noah down, and we’ll invite the guests.”
She nods her head before squeezing my hand and leaving. I quickly headed up the stairs and called an excited Noah. When we get down, we find Rowan standing near the door, waiting for
“Shouldn’t you be at the back with everyone else?” I whisper just as another car enters our
Noah and I have always been the ones to welcome his guests. Rowan had either been with them at the back or nowhere to be seen until the party began. I thought it would be the same
“Not this year. This year, I’m where I’m supposed to be,” he whispers back. “And I also apologize for being shitty these past years during Noah’s birthday.”
I’m taken aback by his apology, but I don’t let it show, nor do I respond. Mainly because the guests had already reached the door, so I didn’t get a chance.
The next forty or so minutes are spent welcoming visitors. Some I remember, some I don’t. Of course, they all express their sorry for what happened to me. I didn’t want to dwell on it, so I just thanked them and told them I’m lucky to be alive.