He followed her into his place worriedly, closing the door behind him. He caught up with her before she could rush to the bathroom. She turned to face him almost rigidly when he took hold of her arm gently. Her eyes were drawn and sad. There was a pain there again and Jared hated it.
“Rowan, will you tell me what’s going on?” He tried not to sound too demanding so he softened his voice and looked deeply into her eyes.
She tore her eyes away from his gaze and let out a shaky breath. “I just don’t want to see him.” She replied.
“Well you made that much obvious but why not?” His brows knitted together. He thought that maybe she had a bad childhood, that maybe he hadn’t been around much but the agony filled way she treated the situation made it seem so much more than that.
“What does it matter?” She questioned, trying her best to sweep away the subject. She kicked herself for making that sort of scene, for messing up the afternoon. If she hadn’t acted that way than her dad would never have noticed her.
“Of course it matters. Come on you have to tell me something. You’ve got me worried over here. You ran out of that place like you were terrified.”
She looked up at him then, seeing all the worry there in his eyes. She wanted so much to let out the pain that she had been holding onto for so long. Her heart was breaking and the memories rose up in her mind. She wanted to feel Jared’s arms around her, wanted him to tell her that they could wash away all of that together. But she could feel her walls coming up, could feel herself being locked away in the prison of dealing with it all alone, like she always did.
“Well I was worried sick when you were gone and you haven’t told me what happened.” She regretted the sharpness of her words after they had left her lips but how can you take back something so harsh?
He stepped back away from her, letting her arm fall from her hand. He let out a small breath and ran a hand back through his hair.
“Did you go to Italy?” She asked, she was hoping that all of this would wipe away the initial conversation, would tear away the attention from her own problems.
He could feel his heart tightening. A nervousness coursed through him at the threat of letting the truth out. She was looking up at him expectantly, her eyes wide and teary. “What does that have to do with this, Rowan?”
“Because it does Jared! Why can’t you tell me? Why can’t you tell me anything?!” Her tears fell then causing her to look away and hug her arms to herself.
He could see how her shoulders shook lightly and he felt terrible. It was true wasn’t it? He had given her nothing, had never explained to her what had happened with him, what had sunk him down to the mire he suffered in. Everything she knew had come from idle talk from a few of his friends. She had stood before him, bearing every scar she had ever made, tears falling and was willing to do all of that so he might know who she truly was. And yet he had done no such thing. His fear had taken away that chance, had ruined any possibility.
“Because it’s too complicated…You don’t understand.” He whispered raggedly.
She turned to look at him, defying her nervousness about being broken again in front of him. “Then make me understand. I don’t know anything about you , Jared. Nothing at all.”
He swallowed harshly and stepped closer to her. Gently he placed his hands on her shoulders. “I went to Italy. ” He confessed although he knew he had no intention of disclosing anything that had happened in Italy or anything that had happened with Bianca.
She nodded, hanging it seemed on the expectation for something more but when a moment passed and nothing else was said her heart fell. “That’s it?”
He moved away from her and wrung his hands a little with desperation and slight frustration. “What do you want Rowan?”
“I want to know you….Let me in like I let you in.” She was pleading it sounded like and the sound of it tore his heart to pieces. He knew he was pushing her away and he felt terrible for it.
“You won’t even tell me what happened with your dad.” He spoke defensively. What was he doing? Creating a barrier between that was made up of the past and things he couldn’t bear to mutter?
“I will but you have to promise me Jared…”
“It had nothing to do with you.” He stated quite suddenly. His eyes grew cold as he tried not to let his usual walls build up as high as he would let them. His emotions raced rapidly through him, pain and retreating alike. He knew that if he were to divulge the weakness he acted with, the pain he harbored that she would never see him the same. That everything they had promised each other would be void if she understood the weak and broken man he had let himself become. The man she sought, the one she relied so much on wasn’t real. He no longer existed and he couldn’t bear to let her know that.
She looked up at him wounded, her lips pressed firmly together. More tears broke free from her failing strength and barely nodded. “You’re right.” She replied. She moved away from him then and slowly made her way to the door.
“Rowan wait…” He called out going after her. “Don’t go.” He wanted to say that he didn’t mean it, he wanted to tell her that she did matter, that everything inside of him wasn’t worth the woman that she was.
“No Jared you’re right…” She lifted her hand and gently touched his face. She saw tears in his eyes, she knew he hadn’t meant it but his rejection of letting her in cut deeper than she would have liked. “…until you’re ready.” She wanted to kiss him but she knew that if she let his arms go around her then she would never want to go and so she turned the doorknob and slipped out of the house.
Her heart was breaking as she made her way down the street, taking her tears from her face with her fingers. She wanted to go back and tell him that none of it mattered but it did matter. She loved him, wanted nothing more than to be with him but how could that be if he never fully let her in?