Apologising to Mai, I wandered out after Aidan. I was fuming at myself, at how I had just let myself become carried away.
Grow up, Meggan. You’re in love with an adult; if you want him to realise that he feels the same, you must first make him respect you.
I looked around the outside of the pub. I had no idea where Gabby, Alex, Erica and that evil woman, Skye were, but I wasn’t looking for them. Unfortunately, I couldn’t see where my beloved Aidan was either.
Suddenly, a voice hissed maliciously in my ear:
Why do you continue to think that he will choose to love you back? You may have the law ‘on your side’ now, but, as you’ve seen, you intelligence does not match up to his by far.
There was nobody around but the wind, but I could not mistake my mother’s accent in the snake-like tone.
“I won’t believe it!” I said out loud, as I spotted Aidan across the road, standing once again at the bus-stop. He looked impatient.
I tiptoed across, holding my breath that he would not run. Finally I was an arm’s width away.
“That was rude,” I said frankly, for what else could I say?
He jumped, a little startled, and blushed when he realised that it was me.
“That was impolite,” he said, and I realised that he was referring to my previous actions. My face fell.
“Aidan… I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it. I was stupid.”
”Yes, you were,” the anger in his voice was obvious. Suddenly, I found myself sobbing.
“Aidan, please don’t hate me! What I said was stupid. I am so confused with my life at the moment. I thought happiness… I mean, I made a mistake with… I…? My mother has just died; don’t leave me alone in the middle of America. I don’t even like America. I’m too patriotic!”
I started to panic, getting hysterical like I did naturally.
Aidan turned, surprised.
“Meggie, I don’t hate you. You hurt me though, with your words, saying things that assume that teaching (which I’ve always loved, by the way) is a silly profession are cruel and you should know better.
“Meg, you’ve got to understand that this is hard for me too (even without listening to your childish words); I miss my family as much as you miss your mother…well, maybe not…”
I giggled despite myself.
“As much as I would miss you if you went…”
“Oh, Meggie… This is ridiculous…”
“I don’t know what to do. Why do I feel like I need to stay here-?”
“And why do I feel like I need to stay with you?”
He shook his head, bemused. I burst into tears again; I just couldn’t stop the wave after wave of sad emotion that swept over me and pierced into my soul.
“Hey, Meggie… Darling…”
Aidan moved forward and embraced me and I clung to him, spilling my agonies out by my tears.
“I want to go home. I’m so scared…”
…Of my mother… But there was no way that I’d say that to Aidan. Not in a million years. I could never tell him my darkest secret.
“We’ll stay here, and you stay by me, okay?” He squeezed my hand and stepped away from the embrace.
I wiped my eyes, already feeling better from his kindly smile; he forgave me so quickly, but I knew that, underneath, we were both feeling something different inside.
“Thank you. You’re a saint!”
“Saint Aidan,” he winked, suddenly giggling at something secretive that I didn’t know yet.
“Nothing. Come on, let’s find Erica.”