His head snapped at his mother's direction, anger flashing in his eyes. "Why would I be happy for it?"
"Why not? Was she not happy for you when you told her you were in love with Lara?"
He looked hesitant for a moment before looking up at his mom's expectant face. "Yes. She was. She congratulated me for falling in love with an amazing person. I don't remember her ever talking ill of Lara so I assumed Emily must like her very much."
"See. You shared your happines with her. She willingly accepted to be a part of it. If you still don't know what it is, it's called friendship between two people. But can you ever be happy with her being with someone..."
"I'll try to be happy for her-" Edward started.
"...who's not you?" Mrs Jones completed her sentence, questioning her son to a very raging doubt in her mind.
"Trust me, Mom. I don't want to say it aloud but I'm not the one for her." He looked at his mother's eyes, trying to convey his thoughts. "Yet I don't like her with someone else. Anyone else, to be honest. I think I'm just overprotective, that's it. And I'm willing to change myself for Emily if she'd want me to. I just don't want her to-"
"Leave you? Ever?" Mrs Jones asked, eyeing her son warily.
Edward nodded in approval, running his hands through his hairs in anxiety.
"Why? Because she's your best friend? Because best friends are supposed to be with each other all their life? Because you think she can't be with any other man who's not you but you can be with any woman, not applying your rules of friendship on yourself? Why-"
"It's difficult to explain, Mom. I can't say it in words."
"Why not in words, Edward? Why can't you see her in love with Eric? For what seems like misunderstanding on your part, I must say if Eric were to be with Emily, she'd be very happy in her life. He treats her like a girl she was, like a woman she is now and I'm sure in the future..." She glanced at Edward before continuing."If they ever get married and have children..." Edward shifted uncomfortably in his position, closing his eyes shut in annoyance, his face burning red as his hands gripped the kitchen counter for support.
"...He'd shower all his love, effort and time to keep Emily and his family happy, not sparing anyone who'd dare to hurt his wife, not anyone." She repeated as she walked towards Edward and gripped his shoulders tightly, making him look into her eyes. "Because that's how a man loves a woman. His woman. And that's how the woman knows she can't be with anyone else, but him."
For a moment, he was flabbergasted, not being able to say anything as a comeback.
Mrs Jones patted her son's shoulders as an approval of the reaction he showed to her words. "That'd be better for all of us, including you, if Emily marries Eric. I should've known better to not let her marry you in the first place. I should've known she's in love with someone else. I should've known better."
She smiled a little. "How silly of me to assume Emily was in love with you! How can she be in love with someone like you? How can she be? After all, you don't love her, as you say yourself-"
"I never said anything like that-"
"But you always made it seem otherwise!"
"How can I love Emily, Mom? She is my friend. It'd feel awkward between us-"
"Yeah. You're right. It'd indeed feel awkward. And as you're my son and she's my desired daughter-in-law, I had to make things right for both of you, after all that shit you made her go through."
Mrs Jones picked her phone from the table and dialed a number, waiting for the user to pick the call.
"What're you doing, mom?"
"I'm calling the one person who can make everything go right back to normal."
Edward narrowed his eyebrows."Who?"
"Why dear, Eric, of course. After all, someone has to be by Emily's side to give her a shoulder to cry. And as you've mentioned, she's in love with him, she'd love to spend some quality time with him. That would soothe her bruised heart and maybe, she'd be able to forgive you for making her do something she-"
"No! Don't call Eric! He'd make everything difficult for both of us."
After keeping her phone down, Mom frowned at Edward. "Why? Can things get anymore diificult between both of you than they are now?"
"No... But.. He..."
"If you can't be the man Emily wants you to be, then let someone else take your place, Edward. You can't keep her in shade forever. She needs to have her own happiness in life-"
"I'll give her everything, Mom! Anything she'd want from me! I told you I'm willing to change for her!"
"Then for God's sake don't ever meet her again and leave her to herself. This is the best and least you can do for her. And for yourself too. She needs time to recover which you aren't willing to give to her! She'd kill herself in frustration if you continued to push her like this!"
"I'm giving her time, Mom! Can't you see!? It's been fucking three months since I last saw her face! I am dying to see her, it kills me everyday not to talk to her, not to share my day with her, it hurts like hell here!" His hand curled into fists and he bumped his fist twiceon his chest. "Here it hurts so much! I'm in pain and I don't know what to do anymore. If I knew I'd end up pushing her away from me like this, I'd never have asked her to marry me! Never!" He slid down the wall slowly, as his legs gave up due to agony and pressure and he buried his face into his knees.
"I miss her so much that I'm afraid I'd forget her face someday if I don't see her anytime soon. I regret proposing her that day so much I want to kill myself over and over again for making her go through all that! Do you think I enjoyed signing the divorce papers!? Do you think I loved giving those fucking legal rag to her on her birthday when I came home after fucking my girlfriend on her(Lara) birthday!?"
Mrs Jones looked at her child with sympathy. "Edward..."
"No! I didn't! I didn't enjoy breaking her heart! I realised on the first week of our marriage that it had been so wrong of me to push her into my business. I felt guilty. But I coudn't do anything after seeing it had been too late for everything. I had to go on with Emily as my life partner. But you know what!? I didn't feel one bit awkward about all that! You know that husband-wife thing?! It was as if it was natural between us. I didn't even have to pretend to like her as a wife! With Emily by my side, everyday became so peaceful for a moment I forgot she wasn't meant to be married to me for real!"
"Then why did you take such a big step in life, Edward? Why did you let her go?"
Edward's eyes glistened with moisture as he swallowed a lump in his throat. "She was the best wife any man could ever ask for. And I realised she wasn't meant to be with me. I forced her to do it for me, and she did it just as I asked. She didn't complain one bit. And once again, I realised she'd never be mine. I always put her around with my silly requests and my selfishness grew everyday as she continued to give and give and give everything to me."
"I became greedy for her and it scared the shit out of me. That wasn't meant to happen. I thought she's never forgive me if she knew what I thought of her. She hates being treated like woman. I want so badly to treat her like one. I really do. Sometimes she makes me lose all my self-control, it makes me go crazy for her. And I don't want to hurt her. I'd never live a day if something happens to her because of me."
"It all happened so fast in me but I can't see her with any man but I can't tell her the truth. She thinks I am possessive and jealous, and I'm glad even after all this, she never left me for some stupid man to live her own life."
He looked at her mom. "We are supposed to be together forever. Mom. I won't ever let her leave me in between like this. You know how much I value her."
"Yet you don't love her?" Mom asked, now caressing her son's hair in pity and affection.
"I don't know. It's difficult."
"How can you not know, Edward? It's so clear to all of us that you do. Then why do you keep on denying it"?"
"I can't, Mom. You have to understand that."
"Why not? Emily loves you fine then why can't you?"
"She doesn't love me, Mom! How many times would you make me say it with my own mouth!?"
"Unless you say you care who she loves or spends her life with!"
"I do! I admit I care! A lot! Dammit! I also admit I don't like her looking at some other guy as a man! And I most definitely don't like her having a crush on Eric, though he is my cousin-"
"I don't know! It just happened that way. I don't know when. I don't know why!"
"Doesn't it hurt when she looks at Eric that way, and not at you?"
Edward leaned her head against the wall, his eyes now swollen red with unshed moisture. "You've no idea."
Mrs Jones shook her head in disappointment. "How can you be not in love with her, after all these years of being with her?"
"Don't ask me. It just happened that way."
"Nothing happnes without a reason, Edward. You're scared to love her, why don't you admit it already? You're scared she knows you as the back of her hand, that she might betray you and leave you for someone else-"
"Emily will never leave me-"
"She already did. You may not realise it now but it's already too late to bring her back. You were also his best friend, Edward. Why do you think she isn't picking up your calls and replying your texts? Shouldn't she be missing you as much as you're missing her? Shouldn't she be trying to contact you as much as you have tried contacting her for months? It all means she has moved on. From you. Your friendship. Her fake marriage. Everything. And I'll be glad if she could go back to being her normal self-"
"No! Why'd she move on? She has me-"
"I'm not sure if she'd want to be with you now, Edward. Take my advise. Move on yourself. Give both of you time and go on your own ways-"
"Hell No! What're you saying, Mom? How can I live without her!? She's a part of my life, how can I ever go on without her being my side!? How can you even say that-" Hurriedly, he stood up in rage, his eyes slightly widened in awe and realisation before he almost ran towards his room and picked up his coat from the closet, wearing it in haste.
Fumbling slighly with the contents of the table, he managed to get hold of his car's key, stuffing it messily in his pocket while Mrs Jones watched her son's sudden change in behaviour with confusion.
"Where're you going, Edward?"
As if brought back to earth, he looked up to stare at his mother with determination in his eyes. "To bring Emily back."
He didn't wait for her response, as he strode towards the door, turning the doorknob.
"Wait! You can't go there like this! Her parents still haven't forgiven you for what you did. They'll never let you have around their daughter again! Let it rest for some more time and then we can all go together and beg for their forgiveness."
Edward turned around a little, to face his Mom, his hand gripping the doorknob tightly, before he turned it around and the door opened with a soft click. "I don't care. I'm ready to face everything now. I want Emily back in my life, and I'll do anything to make her forgive me. She isn't going to live her life without me and I'm not going to let her have someone..." He turned around to face his mother. "...who is not me."
When he took one step out of his house, he stopped abruptly and furrowed his eyebrows too to see his mother gripping his hands in worry.
"I'll be fine, Mom. Don't worry about me."
"But do you... I mean are you really going to... profess your love for her?"
"No. I'm going to make her realise she doesn't need to be loved by me to live her life with me."
Mom sighed in defeat. "Edward, on the contrary, she needs to be loved by you to live her life with you."
"The world says a guy and a girl can't be just friends. But me and Emily have already contradicted this saying for twenty years now. Whoever still holds this view, I'll prove them wrong-"
"What about Emily then? What do you think she'll feel about all this?"
"She doesn't have to feel anything. She just needs to return back to her normal self and we can solve the rest from there."
"A woman wants to be loved by a man, Edward. I know it's not easy to love someone but if you believe in that person, they can be the only reason you'd want to live one more day of your boring life."
"I know. It's not easy. But for me, it's complicated. I'm ready to give her everything, anything she would ever want from me, so that she'd never miss something as small as love in her life."
"Love is not small, Edward. Never underestimate it. You don't know how much it can hold power over you. It can make you turn something you'd never want yourself to turn into!"
"I don't love her! I don't need to! Is it necessary to love everyone I want in my life!? Is it now, Mom!?"
Mrs Jones eye's widened with surprise."You don't?"
"Yes! I don't love Emily Jone-Willows! That's it! End of the conversation! I want her back just as a longtime friend! We are friends! Nothing more. Nothing less. And we can never be anything more!"
[ END OF BOOK I ]
[ PS: BOOK II COMING SOON...]