Ash observed me quietly and all I could do in return was smile.Words weren't enough to explain the mess I'd placed both of us in. Words can't convey emotions perfectly. And so I kept quiet, glancing away from time to time as I took short sips from my latte. What did I have to say to him?
His whisper caused me to look up, my eyes meeting his sincere ones. Hesitance flitted across his face and he cast his gaze away from mine. What was he afraid to tell me?
"Ash, what is it?" I asked, curiously.
He shook his head once, biting down on his lower lip in thought. Setting down his coffee on the table, a silence reigned between the two of us as I waited for him to reply to my question. He didn't. And so, I had to persist.
"It's just that," a guilty expression ran across and he met my eyes once more, clutching the corner of the table tightly as he spoke in a rush, "yesterday, I saw Mollie. But nothing happened. She gave me her card but it doesn't mean anything. We're only friends, Natalie. I'm in love with you and only you. Forgive me."
Surprise flooded into me. He was apologising?
"Ash, it's not your fault," I whispered.
"But it is. It always has been. With that stupid tour guide in Spain, then here when I should have been watching you and you ran into Adam and then with Mollie. It's all my fault."
"No!' I hissed. He'd broken through my walls.
"It's not. Stop blaming yourself for things you never were the cause of. If anyone should be apologising here, it's me. Because I'm making you love a girl who can't love you back as much as she wants to. I'm making you wait for me, over and over again, and all you get is fear and not love. I should be apologising. For having made you go through with me. And I'm sorry Ash. I really am."