I organised all the fresh ingredients in the fridge, throwing away all the rotten and expired food products into the dustbin.
Stirring the glass of lemon water after adding a bit of salt, I drank it in one shot, cold water soothing my frustrated nerves and relaxing my body.
It had been three weeks already and I didn't receive anything satisfying from Cyber security and surveillance department, regarding the precise location of Mia or her whereabouts.
I heard shuffling of things, heavy footsteps on stairs resonated the ambient and I abruptly turned towards the kitchen counter, busying myself in wiping off the wet dishes.
My heart twisted painfully in my chest, remembering those three words which I had always wanted to hear from Edward my whole life, and which he indeed said to me but this time, those beautiful words weren't for me though.
His love and his feelings were for someone who held that special place in his heart which I couldn't even dare to take it, no matter how many years I would continue to be his friend.
No matter how many sacrifices I would continue to make for his sake!
"Good morning, lily!" Edward took his seat, scooting his chair closer to the dining table.
"Good morning" I continued to wipe off crockeries, not daring to turn around to look at him, knowing very well that my heart would betray my feelings once more and would forgive him for every pain and rejection he gave me every day, as a gift for standing by his side all my life.
"Here! Come and eat with me! It's been a long time since we ate together and I really miss eating with you!" He patted the chair beside him, motioning him to join him.
"I couldn't make anything good for breakfast today, Edward! Hope you don't mind-"
"I can eat everything as long as it's made by you, Lily!" Edward smiled at me, his hand still on the chair beside him, urging me to join him.
"Yeah but still, I couldn't wake up early today so-"
"Now will you please sit and eat with me if you're done nagging yourself already!?"
I nodded meekly and walked towards him, turning the plates around and started to serve him warm food. After placing spoons and fork on his side, I took seat beside him, still not looking at him.
Taking some food on my own plate, I dug my fork into the vegetables and stuffed it leisurely into my mouth.
"Why are you eating just vegetables in your breakfast!? You keep talking of my own nutrition and stuff when you yourself aren't taking proper care of your diet and your body!"
I sighed. "I don't really feel like eating, you know. It all seems just a boring work to me now!"
"Eating doesn't come in some boring work, Lily!"
"I don't know anything anymore, Edward." I looked at him, my eyes blank and deprived of every sort of emotions I was capable of feeling."I don't feel like talking to anyone now, I just want to stay alone in my room and I want everyone to hate me, to think of me as nothing more than some creature who doesn't care about anyone or anything and is selfish beyond recovery about her life and her own happiness!"
"What're you talking about!? My Emily is far from being selfish and she cares about each and everyone in her life. She is selfless as a freak and would do anything to bring a smile on someone's face!"
"I don't know. Maybe it's all because I have been wrong all along in my judgement, caring for those who doesn't even know what I actually want!"
Edward's eyes softened at my words and he shifted his chair closer to my side. He raised his hands to cup my chin but I stood abruptly from my chair, leaving his hands in air instead.
Turning my back at him, I turned to leave when he caught my wrist firmly and pulled me back to my chair. I furrowed my eyebrows at him, covering my fingers over his hand which was clutching my wrist and shoved his palm roughly to his side, leaving him shocked and gaping at my rude behaviour.
"What the-Are you seriously mad at me, Emily!? Why have you been acting so distant to me past these weeks!? You don't talk to me, you don't eat with me, you don't let me touch you, you don't let me hug you" He cupped my cheeks, making me look at him, but I still didn't look at him. "You don't even look at me anymore, Lily? Why? Tell me!? Did I do something wrong!?"
I shook my head, staring at the floor.
"You didn't do anything wrong, Edward. I just miss my home. It's been a long time since I last talked with my mom and dad so I guess that's the reason I'm getting hostile and frustrated these days!"
I put my hands over his and removed those hands cupping my chin slowly, putting them to his side.
Edward sighed in disappointment. "Why don't you go and visit your mom, then!? How about I come home early today and then we both can go and visit her properly!? After all, I myself wanted to talk to her-"
"It's not actually needed. Mom is coming to meet me today after I called her last night. I think I'll be fine after talking to her so you don't have to worry anymore."
Edward nodded and came forward to grab my hands, running his knuckles over my fingers. "Emi, you know I'm always there for you if you want to talk about something-"
"No. I don't want to talk about anything. I am really fine, Edward!"
"I told you I am fine-" Edward lifted my left hand abruptly and ran his fingers over my knuckles, his eyes narrowed infintesemily, searching for something.
"Where is your ring, Lily!?"
"Your wedding ring, Emi! My family ring, the one I gave to you in our wedding!"
I looked at my fingers, realisation dawning on me. "Oh. I must have removed it while taking bath today-"
"Your mom is coming today, Emi! You need to be careful with all this otherwise we might get caught anytime soon and that won't be good for both of us then!"
Quickly Edward ran towards the stairs and climbed over them deftly. After a minute or so, he came down and walked towards me with determination.
"Give me your hand!"
Ignoring his sentence, I kept my hands on my side. I bit my lips in nervousness, still staring at the floor, feeling his eyes burning holes into my skin.
Edward sighed loudly in frustration before grabbing my hand from my side and lifting it upto his level, he slid the ring smoothly onto my finger.
"Always wear this ring no matter wherever you are and whatever you're doing!"
"It's not that I removed it deliberately so-"
"It's my family ring, Emily! It's meant to protect you and keep you safe when I'm not around to do so!"
"But I am very safe here, Edward! We have guards all around this house and I really doubt if anyone would be fool enough to dare-"
"I don't know anything, Lily! Just never remove it from your finger! I don't feel very good seeing you without my ring and it's kinda unnerving to me seeing you getting all upset and distant from me these days!"
I nodded. "Okay. I understand"
When I attempted to remove my hand from his, this time, Edward raised his eyebrow at my struggle. His grip on my hand tightened and with a strong pull, he pulled me towards him and I landed straight on his chest. Quickly wrapping his arms around me to stop me from leaving him, he hugged me tightly, resting his chin over my head.
"I don't know why you're behaving like this, Lily and it's scaring the shit out of me! Please don't do this to me! Let's talk it all out!"
Tears pooled at the corner of my eyes, and I took a deep breath, wishing to God to give me some strength to bear all this unbearable pain without breaking out in front of him.
Resting my head on his chest, I let all my tears fall silently down my face. I wiped the salty moisture of my eyes on his shirt, my heart twisting and churning in my ribcage remembering his bold love confession for Lara, the night I confessed my own feelings to him for the first time.
"I love you too!"
Edward broke the hug to look at me and a pained expression passed through his eyes as soon as he saw me crying. Gently wiping my tears from his thumb pad, he kissed my forehead, running his fingers up and down my back to molify me.
"Atleast tell me what I can do to make you happy, lily. I really can't see you undergoing all this pain all by yourself. Share with me and we'll sort this out-"
I raised my hand. "I'm fine. Really you can't do anything for this. I'll be okay after some time!" I wiped all my tears frantically from the sleeves of my shirt and forced a smile back to my face.
"It's wrong, Emi! I don't understand why you can't share! Seriously you don't tell me anything when I never hide anything from you!"
"Trust me, Edward I am not hiding anything from you. You should leave for your office now, it's getting late!" I pointed my finger towards the wall clock, which showed thirty minutes past nine.
"I am not going anywhere unless you tell me the reason why you're behaving like this!" He took two steps towards me and I backed away from him, leaning against the nearby window.
"Why do you care anyway!? It's my life and my feelings, so I get to decide who should I share my things with!"
"Of course, you should share everything with me! I am here, right with you, to listen to everything you have to say!!"
Striding quickly towards me, he gripped my shoulders and I turned my head away from him, not willing to look at his eyes. When he gently grazed his fingers over my cheeks, I removed his hands roughly from my face.
"Don't touch me!"
"Why not, Edward!?"
He looked at me with shock and confusion. "I don't understand-"
"There is nothing to understand in it! I am not your real wife, Edward and yet you touch me and kiss me like I was.." I stopped for a moment, searching for the right words to say to him "Like..like I never was your fake wife to begin with! You have a girlfriend who is very beautiful and lovely and you love her with every fibre of your being, don't you!? Then why do you keep on messing up with my mind and my feelings by doing all this!?"
"I just wanted to hug you, Emi! Why? Do you have a problem with this also!?"
"Yes! I have a huge problem with all this you're doing to me!"
"But why!? You didn't seem to have any trouble with those simple touches before, Emily!"
"Those were not the simple touches, Edward! You fucking kissed me-"
"But you kissed me first though!"
I hesitated a little. "I didn't mean to actually-"
"But you did it anyway though!"
I averted my gaze somewhere else. "There was a big reason why I did all that-"
"But I surely do remember that you thoroughly enjoyed what we did back there, without no resistance against my kisses or touches though!"
I stared at him in shock and embarrasment. "Seriously Edward you're saying all this shamelessly to me when you still have your first love as your fucking girlfriend! Don't you have a least bit of decency left in your words!?"
Edward shrugged nonchalantly. "Yes! But it's a truth after all!"
"It's a half truth, Edward, not the whole of it!"
"Then tell me the full of it, if you can, Emily!"
"I don't understand what's wrong with me touching you like that!?"
I looked at him with sheer anger, my temper getting on my nerves. "I don't like it when you touch me!"
And you don't mean it!
"Oh so now you don't even like my touch!? Why so!? Any complete stranger can come out of nowhere and ask you on a date in front of me and I can't even touch my own best friend!? This is unfair, Emily! Totally unfair!"
I glared at him, tears of determination now brimming in my eyes, and I took two complete steps towards him. Our faces now stood close to each other, our noses touching and I stared deeply into his ocean blue eyes. "Do you want me, Edward!?"
He furrowed his eyebrows in confusion. "What-"
"Do you want to have sex with me!?"
I saw his eyes widening like saucers as heat rushed quickly to his face and he took one hesitant step away from me.
"Do you seriously want our pious friendship, our twenty years of long unbreakable bond, to turn into all this "friends with benefits" shit!?"
Edward looked away from my penetrating gaze, his eyes reflecting shame and regret.
"Answer me, Edward! I asked you a fucking logical question!"
I gauged his reaction for some time, waiting for his answer but none came from his side.
"See, Edward you're just attracted towards me" I looked down the floor and whispered to myself "As I am to you" I felt his eyes boring holes into my skin, at my sudden bold words. Collecting my courage, I looked at him, to show him the bare truth in my eyes. "And nothing else. I honestly understand all this 'cause it's kinda obvious and inevitable kind of thing between opposite genders!" Edward looked at me and I averted my gaze somewhere else. "But what I can't allow is this "attraction" thing to eat up what has existed proudly between us all these years! Our friendship is very special to both of us and that's why what I'm trying to say here may sound a bitter truth at first but still we can't deny that it is the only truth after all!"
Edward nodded lightly, his head hung low in realisation now. "I am sorry for everything, Emily! I'll never do anything like that again!"
I smiled at him. "Yes, that's better for both of us! You should get going now! It's getting late!"