As Elenor’s unmistakable voice reached my cars, I desperately wished that my mind was playing tricks on me. However, as I slowly turned around, the harsh reality sneered at me, a cruel jest. Before me stood Elenor, an unexpected sight that widened my eyes in disbelief.
Suppressing the lump that had formed in my throat, I managed to murmur, “Elenor?” My steps faltered as I tentatively approached her, the mission for ice cream completely abandoned. “What are you doing here?”
Her gaze oscillated between Daisy and me, her lips parting and closing as if struggling to find the right words. “Hazel,” she whispered, her voice barely audible, “What’s happening? Is that…”
I couldn’t engage in this conversation here and now. I mustered my resolve and implored, “Could we find a more private place to talk? Maybe at my place?”
A bitter chuckle escaped her lips. “So, now that I’ve stumbled upon the secret you’ve been keeping, you suddenly want to invite me to your house?” With a nod, she reached for her purse resting on a nearby table. “Fine, I’ll tag along. I’m genuinely curious to hear your explanation.”
My lips were caught in a nervous bite as I motioned towards my car. Without a word, she trailed behind me, her gaze observant as I secured Daisy in her baby seat. Sliding into the passenger seat, she folded her hands and fixed her stare ahead, offering no conversation as I navigated the route to my apartment.
Upon arrival, I handed Daisy over to her nanny, who had returned to work the previous day. Then, I guided Elenor towards my office, a soundproof haven in case her emotions got the best of her. Gesturing to the sofa, I/offered, “Please have a seat, Elenor. Allow me the opportunity to explain.”
Her lips pursed with a sigh, she sank onto the sofa. “Could I have something strong? Whiskey, vodka, anything?” she requested. Acknowledging her need, I made my way to the bar, retrieving a bottle of vodka and a glass. Handing them to her, she filled the glass and downed it in a single gulp. Her voice dropped to a whisper as she uttered, “I have one question for you, Hazel. Is that little girl Ravel’s?”
I met her gaze and responded, “Yes, she is.” Taking a place on the opposite end of the sofa, I continued, “She’s nearly three
A pained expression flitted across Elenor’s face. “But why?” she finally uttered.
Elenor’s single question acted as a key, unlocking a floodgate of past pain. As the first tears escaped down my cheeks, I struggled to find my voice. “In the beginning, I felt he didn’t deserve to know,” I began, my voice trembling. “Not after I found him in our bed with June,” I continued, watching her eyes widen in disbelief. “Not after he made me feel worthless, not after he handed me divorce papers on the anniversary of our wedding.”
Leaning forward, she rested her elbows on her knees, clearly taken aback. “He cheated with June, right in your marital bed?” Her words carried a mix of astonishment and anger. In response, I nodded, unable to find any more words. “What a
amix despicable jerk! How can he continue to be with her after all he’s done?”
“From anger,” I continued, my voice quivering, “fear took over. I was terrified he might try to take her away from me.” Licking my lips, I shifted my gaze to my intertwined fingers. “I was afraid I lacked the resources to fight a custody battle in court. That’s why I worked tirelessly, pushing myself to make enough money. Eventually I made the money but then, I realized we didn’t need him to complicate our lives, especially considering he’s still with his mistress.”
Elenor ran her hands down her face, her sigh carrying a mix of understanding and frustration. “I get your situation, Hazel. I truly understand why you took the path you did. But what I can’t wrap my head around is why you kept her a secret from me too.” Her brows furrowed as she continued, “I was never your enemy, or did you see me as one?”
I met her gaze with sincerity, my voice gentle but resolute. “Elenor, I trust you. It’s not about trusting you as a person, but rather your loyalty to him.” Despite her apparent disdain for his actions, he was still her brother. “I couldn’t risk you being
unable to keep it hidden from him for so long.”
She took another gulp of her drink, her eyes moving restlessly. “Do you grasp the gravity of what you’ve done?” Her gaze wandered, a flicker of emotion passing through her eyes. “You’ve severed the connection between father and child, aunt and niece, and even grandmother and grandchild.” A sudden scoff escaped her lips, accompanied by a bitter twist of her expression. “Well, scratch that last part. Anne doesn’t deserve to be a part of this baby’s life.”
“I wish I could say I’m sorry for hiding her from you all, but I’m not.” I wiped my tears, not caring if I smudged my makeup since I was already at home. “If I told the world about her, I’m certain my life wouldn’t have been what it is right now.”
“I agree with you,” she concurred, “but that doesn’t mean this isn’t f ucked up.” She scrubbed her hands down her face again. “I thought you and Ravel were fixing things?”
Fixing things is far-fetched. “We are trying to fix our past, to stop considering each other as enemies, but I have no intention of walking down the aisle with Ravel again.”
“I don’t think my brother knows that.” She muttered, “He is already picking his groomsmen.” We both chuckled at the joke. “So what’s your plan?” She asked in a serious tone, her previous amused demeanor disappearing. “You certainly aren’t thinking of keeping this from him forever.”
Where am I even going to start from? “I need more time.” I need to come to terms with the fact that I might end up sharing custody of my daughter.
“And I’m going to give you just that.” She assured me, “But don’t expect me to keep shut for too long.” She smiled sadly. “I may be pis sed at Ravel, but he’s still my brother and I can’t keep such big news from him.”
Exhaling shakily, I nodded. “Thank you.” Time is all I need, and as long as she gives me that, I’ll find a way to approach this topic with Ravel. “I really appreciate the fact that you are this understanding.”
“I know how much my brother hurt you.” She mused, reaching forward to grab my hand, “I saw how much you tried to save your marriage. If I were in your shoes, I’m certain I would have done the same.”
I offered her a weak smile, already emotionally spent. “Do you think he’ll want to take her away from me?”
Tilting her head, she blinked slowly, slightly lost in thought. “I don’t know what went wrong between you and Ravel, and I know you might find what I’m about to say absurd, but my brother still loves you, and because he’s still in love with you, he won’t do anything to hurt you. Taking Daisy away from you will hurt you, and I don’t think he’ll do that.”
This is something that confuses me with Ravel now. It’s as if the Ravel I fell in love with in the past is slowly returning and it irks me that he didn’t make that effort when our marriage was crashing, instead he chose the arms of another woman. “What are you doing in Seattle?” I asked, changing the topic. She left just a week ago.
“I got an ad job after my surgery and I just couldn’t refuse.”
My nose crinkled. “You got surgery?” I asked, bewildered by the news. “How come the internet said nothing about it.”
She grinned. “I pulled out some ribs to get a tinier waist.” My eyes subconsciously went to her waist and to be honest, I didn’t see any difference. “I don’t want them to know I did something to my waist, so it’s on a hush-hush.”
“Wow..” I mean, what should I say to something like this?
“You’re the only one who knows aside doctor.”
Something doesn’t just add up. “If you underwent surgery last week, that means your wound is still fresh and you’re still under medication. Why are you consuming alcoholic drinks like that?”
She shrugged. “I’m never one to follow rules.”
“Even one that could endanger your life?”
She winked in response. “Back to Daisy. You should tell my brother before I do. I think it’s best if he hears it from you and
not someone else.”
One thing is certain, I have limited time, and my life is about to change.
Billionaire’s Ex-wife : Craving You Chapter 69