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Before Now After (Part 4); Then you came

New chapter up: But then you came

Now part 4:

But then you came.

“It’s not how we see it.” – Tash

“It’s how we see it not.” – Rhys

“Sometimes it’s just meant to be.” – Tash

“But we crave what it not.” Rhys

“Stupidly.” – Tash

“But reasonably.” Rhys

“At the end of the day.” – Tash

“When the day comes to an end.” – Rhys

“The realisation hits.” Tash

“slowly but surely.” R

“Without Love there is no Trust”- Tash

“Without Trust there is no Love” - Rhys

Rhys

How did it feel? How did it feel? Seeing Vanessa walk down the aisle with another, seeing her happy and content, looking at him. Honestly? It didn’t feel like much, weird. He’d always imagined that when that day would come it would burn, or sting at the very least. But now that he actually sat here and saw it, he no longer felt bitter. Yeah when they broke up, it was messy it was complicated. And for a while, he really didn’t know what to do with himself. He meandered along, but that was it. There was no purpose anymore. In all honesty sitting back now and thinking, then he wasn’t Rhys anymore. He had been someone else. Someone different. Someone New. Not Rhys Lawson. Someone completely new.

Was he changing himself? Was he compromising? Was he trying to conform to someone or something that he was not, for someone else?

Yes.

And when he realised that, at that moment, he knew that love was not about changing someone to fit your ideals, it was accepting that person for who they are.

Vanessa could never understand that. Never.

She had taken away his own dream, she had taken away the Lawson in Rhys and the Rhys in Lawson. He was no longer himself. Playing to her ideals, her views, her thoughts, her picture perfect life. Her envisaged family portrait. All of it hers. He wasn’t any of that. None of that. Who she wanted him to be, he couldn’t. He just couldn’t.

He did eventually forgive her, but it took time, quite possibly longer than he had ever thought it would. Why? Because she broke his heart? Not especially, it was because she broke his trust. In all his life, he avoided dependence; he shirked away from support and shuddered at the thought of trusting someone. Because he knew. Rhys knew what it was like to be betrayed, to be left standing in the dark. That he had learned a very long time ago. Trust no-one and never get hurt. So when he let his guard down, when he let her in, that, then, right there, that is when he broke his own number one rule. Yet she had told him he could, that he could trust her, rely on her that she would support him through thick and thin.

And stupidly so very stupidly he did.

But surely that alone wasn’t the issue?

No over the years Rhys realised that not everyone was like his father. But that realisation came along way down the line. Much, much after Vanessa. For now all he knew was that, she claimed to love him but quite clearly she didn’t trust him. And there is no love where there is no trust. How could be possibly love someone who didn’t trust him. Who didn’t understand just what surgery meant to him? Who didn’t appreciate all he had gone through? She looked him in the eye and told him- trust me. He did. And look where that got him.

But she couldn’t be entirely faulted. May be the reality was that they were just not meant to be. Otherwise why would it have been so hard? Trying to make it work.

Well that’s what he used to think that good things didn’t require hard work, they didn’t need attention, they didn’t have bumps, tumbles, patches and trip ups so as to speak. That when things were meant to be everything was easy. It all just fell into place.

Well he did think. But that was before she came along. It’s weird, he knew long before, long, long before, he had felt something. There seemed to be an invisible tether that attached them. As if their lives had been running parallel this whole time, never being able to meet.  Somehow the ever prevalent dots never seemed to connect, like as if there was a missing piece in the puzzle, a missing steppingstone over the path, a missing conjunctive in their sentence. Whatever it was it was necessary, because without it he wouldn’t have realised that what he had with Vanessa was only ever meant to be temporary.

It had taken him a long time to rehabilitate to a life without surgery, and for a long time he resented it, but then she came and everything changed. Not suddenly, but slowly.

It started with a drink. Sympathy. Ironic. The one thing neither of them liked was what bought them together initially.

It had been a long day, a constant reminder of what he lost, and all he wanted to do was escape, to be left alone. When the beer landed in front of him.

“It was destined for the guy at the other side of the bar, but I figured you need it more.”

She didn’t even wait for his response, and off she went.

That the first. The first of many small moments that ultimately bought their seemingly parallel lines to conjoin. The only thing that was missing was the tangent in between. It wouldn’t come until significant period after, but that’s not to say the gaps in between didn’t draw them any closer. Newton’s law as they say.

Tash:

The second had been an accident.

She didn’t normally intervene in her punter’s conversation, or generally take any interest. Just the requisite amount for hospitality and good tips, but today she was having one of those days. A long busy shift, overzealous customers, short staffed and an overworking and overbearing boss, besides her ‘comfortable flats’ were with each passing hour losing such status and honour.

She had heard Kate going on and on. From the looks of it, she wasn’t getting anywhere, Tash from the glances she had stolen and the snippets of heavy sighing and rolling of the eyes that she had witnessed realised rather quickly-unlike Kate-that Rhys was not paying attention, let alone even beginning to be persuaded. Yet it was the advice that Kate was seemingly offering that was the most ludicrous of all.

At first she merely rolled her eyes and shook he head slightly in disbelief while bringing them their drinks. He had noticed and she was sure as she turned to walk away she saw him smirk.

Then when she came to take their orders, Kate who still busy talking to a now very bored Rhys, completely ignored her. At which point, instinctively Tash tapped her foot impatiently. After all it wasn’t as though she was rushing them, she had been signalled over by Kate and now completely ignored by that very same Kate.

Yet it was while she was cleaning up the nearby tables-their order now placed, that Tash actually scoffed. Unintentionally but equally unapologetically. She noted both of them had turned to look at her, that same smirk appearing on his face but this accompanied by intrigue, and from what Tash could gather fascination. Kate on the other hand actually asked Tash if she was ok. For the usually quick witted Tash, it had taken her all her might to bite her tongue back and merely smile shaking her head at them, as she rushed off to collect their order.

It was when she placed their plates in front them-with Kate still badgering him that Tash was bought into thick of it.

“What do you think?”

He had been leaning back slightly in his chair, his head now cocked in Tash’s direction who was had been setting down their utensils. He was looking directly at her; almost too intensely as if for some reason he was challenging her.

Tash who was in no mood to beat around the bush-so as to speak- wasted no time in expressing her opinion;

“I think you’re wrong.”

She had said it with such a poker face looking directly at Kate, that Kate could do nothing but gape back at her. He had now broken into a wide grin. As he picked up his fork and tucked into his pasta.

If nothing else then it had done one thing and that was lift his spirits. He no longer sat there sulking in fact if anything he had even ordered dessert. Despite not having a particular sweet-tooth, well if nothing else, Tash was certain she had earned her tip. From him at least

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Rhys and Tash

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