I closed the front door once I entered it. I immediately took off my shoes and walked more into the condo. Looking at the time on my phone, it was about 1 in the morning. Jamie had dropped me off by the gate; he insisted on driving me to the front of the condo since it was so late, but I told him I was fine I needed those extra 5 minutes to be completely by myself; just me and my thoughts.
I threw my bag on the living room couch when I see a dim light on in the kitchen. I rolled my eyes, thinking Skylar left it on before she went to sleep. She didn’t, because when I walked into the kitchen to turn it off, she was sitting at the kitchen table with a mug of coffee.
“Hey,” I said to Skylar. She didn’t say anything back. I walked toward Skylar and sat next to her. She finally looks in my direction. It looks like she’d been crying. “Are you okay?”
Skylar didn’t say anything, but the tears began to silently run down her face. She sniffles and then takes a deep breath in and lets it out. “I swear our family is cursed,” she finally said. I couldn’t help but laugh at the response; it was so completely random, yet very much like Skylar.
“Sky, what are you talking about?” I asked gently. She wipes the tears from her face, even though they keep running down her cheeks. I was now concerned. “Skylar?”
“How did you do this with Jamie for years, Grace?” Skylar finally said. I had no idea what she was talking about. What did I do with Jamie for years? Fuck, has it really been years since I’ve known Jamie?
“Did what with Jamie?” I asked.
“Love him,” Skylar began. “And watch him leave over and over again.” I was so confused about where she was going with this until it finally began to click inside my head. This is the first time I ever heard Skylar talk like this; so serious.
“Sky,” I began. I wanted to know the answer without scaring Skylar off. I guess it was an Ashmore women thing in my family; we always tend to run off whenever we are scared of the truth. “Do you love Shawn?”
Skylar’s tears fall faster on her face. Her sniffles get louder and she takes a deep breath.
“It fucking sucks, to say the least,” Skylar teased. I faintly smiled; Skylar always tried to make a joke out of anything just so that the attention wasn’t on her in a negative way. “I fell in love; fuck, I love a man that was too good to be true.”
“What happened between you two?” I asked. I guess I knew for the longest time that Skylar was falling in love with Shawn. She spent almost all of her time with him; it felt like Shawn was even living here at one point. Skylar was not one to fall in love; she was young and wild and she wanted nothing more to live her life that way; I guess I could relate in a way. Her mom and my uncle Mason divorced when she was young; I had to have been at least 10 years old when that happened. I remember listening to my dad and Uncle Mason talk downstairs from the hallway upstairs in my childhood home back in Virginia. Skylar was sound asleep on the sofa in the living room, not knowing what happened. I guess as she got older, she was able to understand it better; her mother wanted nothing to do with her or my Uncle Mason. I guess I knew how that felt because I grew up believing the same things about my own mom. But I was lucky to get her back in my life and for my dad to have her back in his life too. Skylar’s mom never came back. She killed herself a couple of years after the divorce; Skylar was just turning 13.
Skylar took a deep breath before she spoke. “Shawn has been the best thing to happen to me, Grace. I felt like I met my soulmate, and…” She couldn’t finish her sentence without sniffling. “I feel stupid for loving a person that can’t be here with me.”
“I feel stupid for loving a person that can’t be here with me,” I said as I sat on the chair across from Chelsea. She wrote notes down in a notebook as I spoke.
“Is that why you decided to terminate your pregnancy?” Chelsea asked me softly. Tears came down my face. I didn’t say anything back.
“You’re not stupid for loving him, Sky,” I reassured. Skylar looked at me, annoyed that I could say such a thing. “What?” I finally questioned.
“Someone who loves you back wouldn’t nonchalantly break up with you and not give you a good enough reason to do so,” Skylar spat out. I cocked my eyebrows up; he broke up with Skylar? I don’t know Shawn that well, but if he’s one of Jamie’s closest friends, then he should be a good guy.
“He broke up with you and didn’t say why?” I asked. Skylar shook her head as she wiped the tears falling on her face.
“This fucking hurts, Grace,” Skylar said and began to heave on my shoulder. I tried to comfort Skylar as best as I could. Nothing was making sense. I saw how Shawn looked at her. He would look at her like Skylar was the most expensive fucking diamond to exist. He was always attentive to Skylar; what she did, when she spoke… Shawn loves Skylar, and I didn’t understand what changed. Something happened that he’s not telling her.
If he’s not telling her what happened, then Jamie is also not telling me something.
“All he said was that he’s sorry. He didn’t want to hurt me but, y’know, it was too fucking late for that,” Skylar said as she blew her nose into a napkin. What the fuck is going on with them?
Then it hits me. “How did you do this with Jamie for years, Grace? Love him, and then watch him leave over and over again.”
“Did Shawn say he was leaving?” I asked. Skylar just cried out more.
I didn’t realize both Shawn and Kevin were sitting on the living room sofa, sharing nothing but the silence between them. I closed the front door and took off my shoes as I walked in into the living room.
“It’s nearly 2 in the morning; why are you both still awake?” I asked as I sat on one of the seats in the living room. They didn’t respond, it was very unlikely to see them so serious like this. Something was wrong. “Shawn? Kevin?”
They both shifted in their seats. Shawn visibly looked angry when looking at Kevin. The only other time I saw Shawn this angry was when we had our argument about the Voyage night trip with Skylar and Grace. Shawn only felt strongly about things he was passionate about; it was when I knew he felt so passionate about Skylar. Did something happen between him and Skylar?
Kevin, on the other hand, didn’t bother looking up at me. It wasn’t like Kevin to open up and say what was going on; he was typically the first one to do so. Both of their behaviors right now are making me nervous. What did they do while I was out with Grace tonight? I was growing impatient.
“Someone better tell me what’s going on, now,” I sternly said to both of them. Shawn crosses his arms and leans back at the chair, still looking at Kevin.
“Yeah, Kevin; tell Jamie hyung what’s going on,” Shawn aggressively demanded. Kevin didn’t say anything back, and I swear this all feels so foreign. Shawn never spoke to Kevin this way, and Kevin never allowed Shawn to talk to him like that either. I looked at Kevin, wishing he would speak up already and say what happened.
“Kevin?” I asked him. Kevin slowly looked up at me. His face was pale; ill even. I was worried for Kevin. What happened? Why is Shawn so angry at Kevin? What the hell is going on?
Kevin shifted in his seat and parted his mouth, ready to speak. “I,” Kevin began, but Shawn immediately interrupted.
“How can you do this to me, Kevin? You know how much I fucking love Skylar?” Shawn spat. I watched Shwan speak, not realizing that he had just admitted to being in love with Skylar. Shawn has never been in love with a woman before, yet he said it so comfortably; it’s like he knew he’s loved her for weeks already.
“I…” Kevin began before he let out a deep sigh. “I’m leaving to go back to Korea tomorrow night.”
I scrunched my eyebrows, not understanding where this was coming from. I mean, sure, he probably misses JooAh and wants to be with her, but still… why is Shawn so angry?
“Did JooAh ask you to go back home?” I asked Kevin. He didn’t answer, which made Shawn become in raged. He gets up from his seat and points at Kevin before yelling.
“I had to break up with Skylar because of your careless decisions!” Shawn spat. I had to step in and be the moderator in this situation.
“Everyone just, calm down!” I stood up and said sternly. I looked over at Kevin, wanting to know why was he leaving America all of a sudden. We had only been here for about 6 weeks; we had another 6 weeks before our visas expire and our trip would be over. “Kevin, why are you going back to Korea so soon?” I gently asked. Kevin looked back up at me, still nervous to say anything. I was growing impatient with Kevin, but this just wasn’t like him to be so… small.
“Just fucking say it!” Shawn shouted. I turned my head toward Shawn.
“Ya!” I tried to calm down Shawn and keep him quiet to let Kevin speak. I turned back toward Kevin. “Why are you leaving so soon?”
“JooAh’s pregnant,” Kevin confessed.