It was so much easier to be with him throughout the rest of the day now that I'd told him the truth and eased the weight that had been putting me down since the beginning. But the tension didn't go away like I'd hoped it would. It still was there, as thick as ever. It's as if my words had only intensified it.
I slurped in my noodles, trying not to make that annoying smacky sound but failed. Ash gave me a small smile as he took a drink out of his tea, which was served during lunch. We were dining in an oriental Chinese restaurant, and a pretty expensive one at that.
No one from the hotel was here as far as I could see. It was the two of us seated in a private area which Ash had asked for when we'd gotten in. I wondered if he was maybe going to ask me something. I waited, letting the silence reign but it didn't happen.
Sighing, I set down my chopsticks and looked at him. "I hope I haven't offended you in any way with what I'd said."
"You were being honest. How could I possibly be offended by that?" He gave me a reassuring smile, taking a bite out of his food as he watched me with his stormy eyes. They'd darkened since that moment. He was lying.
"Maybe it's not what you wanted to hear. And that's why you're disappointed."
"Of course it's not what I wanted to hear. No one in their right mind would take it too well if they heard that someone they care about was being in an abusive relationship. Did you expect me to smile and give you a hug?"
"No but..." I sighed once more, looking away. "I thought it would be easier to be the Natalie that didn't have to worry over the past. I just wanted to have fun this vacation."
"Who says you can't?" He asked. "The past will always exist Natalie. It'll always be a part of you but learning to move on...I guess that's what takes the longest," his eyes flickered away from mine as he came to the end of what he was saying. I noticed his grip on his own chop sticks tighten and I could tell in that moment he was hiding something as well. But I decided that now was the not the moment to ask.
"And you'll wait, till I'm able to get past that stage?"
His eyes locked with mine once more and slowly he nodded. "I will. But I'll also help you as much as I can."
I smiled warmly at him and took the last sip out of my tea, then whispered the words, "Thank you."