Startled, she immediately retracted her hand, “Don’t touch me, Elliot!”
She stared at him in fear as though she was facing a monster. He said he was ill and she thought that she could accept whatever illness he had; but now that he said he had murdered someone, and that it was his father no less, she couldn’t find a way to accept it.
He felt a lump in his throat at her reaction. There was so much more that he wished to tell her, but he knew that she might not want to listen.
The waiter brought over the coffee and set the cups down in front of them.
Avery took the cup and took a big sip; Elliot, on the other hand, looked at her calmly and waited for her to calm down.
“Elliot Foster, if you are capable of murdering your own father, what else are you not capable of in this world?” She had slightly calmed down, but still felt unsettled.
She had thought that she knew the man before her, but he could always surprise or scare her. “Are you going to judge me without even asking me why I did it?” He responded coldly.
“What kind of reason could you have?!” She lowered her voice furiously.
“No matter the reason, murder is wrong! It’s written in law that murder is a criminal act, no matter who you kill! You could have left it to the legal system to punish him if your father had committed a great crime instead of killing him yourself!”
“But what if the law can’t punish him?” He retorted, “If Wanda continues to live her life happily after, wouldn’t you want to kill her?” “It’s different!” Avery’s eyes reddened as she gritted out, “Wanda killed my mom! What about your father? What did he do to be murdered by you?!”
“He was going to beat Shea to death!” He looked directly into her eyes as he tightened his grip on the coffee cup and gritted out, “You told me not to mention Shea, and I don’t want to either, because her life had been nothing but a complete tragedy.”
All the rage, misunderstanding and resentment within Avery instantly faded. She panicked to pick up her cup and took a sip of her coffee, while Elliot mirrored her motion. The two silently sipped on their drinks as they tried to calm themselves.
Avery felt much warmer once she finished her coffee, so she gazed up again to face Elliot.” Charlie Tierney knows about this, doesn’t he? The reason that you were threatened by him was because you don’t want others to find out about your mental state or that you’ve committed murder, is that right?”
“What would you have done if you were me?” He directed the question back at her. “What happened behind the door should stay inside. My mother might have passed away, but her presence and Shea made me feel like I was not alone. Is it wrong of me to not want this to go public?”
“You’re not wrong.” Avery got up and said, “Let’s take a walkie outside!” She felt as though she was burning up and was itching for a taste of the breeze. He paid the bill and walked her out of the cafe. Cars were racing through the roads and people were hurrying past them. “Elliot, I need some time to process all this information,” she said.
He was not in a rush. He had confessed to her so that she would stop misunderstanding him, not so that she would take pity on him.
“Was I overreacting just now?” She blushed at what she had said earlier inside the cafe. “I should have asked you why instead of blindly accusing you.” “I don’t blame you. I would have probably acted that way, too, if you told me that you’ve murdered someone.”
“Oh… I’ve never killed anyone before.” She lowered her gaze. “I do want Wanda dead, but there’s too much to worry about.” “Don’t act rashly. I will find a way to deal with her.” He squeezed her hand once and let go immediately. Avery hung the jacket on her arm and he was worried that she might feel cold; luckily, her hand was warm when he touched it.
“Elliot, don’t ever do stuff like that again.” She grabbed onto his arm and stopped him. “I know that you are not afraid, but these kinds of things are quite scary.” His lips curled into a bitter smile. “Do you think that I don’t long for warmth and love?”